In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; death] This weekend was a "Weekend of Resistance" in Ferguson, Missouri, and around the country, in honor of Michael Brown, whose killer, Officer Darren Wilson, still has not been arrested or charged. In St. Louis, over 1,000 protestors peacefully marched, in a demonstration that culminated in a sit-in at St. Louis University. Yesterday, police arrested more than 50 people, including members of the clergy, who were participating in a "Moral Monday" in Ferguson. #BlackLivesMatter

[CN: Same as previous] Please read this amazing piece by my friend Pamela Merritt, aka Shark-fu, who lives in St. Louis: "Ferguson October Protests Reveal Deep Wounds in St. Louis."

[CN: Illness; death. Covers next five paragraphs.] The World Health Organization has forecast that the number of new cases of Ebola in West Africa could reach 10,000 per week by December. Additionally, they have predicted that the current mortality rate of 50% will increase to 70% as limited resources become even further stretched by more patients.

Amidst calls for more aid, married couple Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and med school graduate Priscilla Chan have announced they are donating $25 million to the US Centers for Disease Control foundation, earmarked for Ebola research and prevention: "The health agency has hundreds of staffers working on Ebola and has sent more than 100 experts to the virus zone—Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The CDC foundation collects funds for supplies, such as personal protective equipment, ready-to-eat meals, generators, vehicles and motorcycles, and thermal scanners to detect fever."

Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian traveler who died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital last week, has received a blood transfusion from Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, in the hope that "the antibodies in Brantly's blood will kick-start Pham's immune response to Ebola."

It is not yet known how Pham became infected: CDC director Tom Frieden "said it was likely a breach in infection control protocol. The CDC is urgently reviewing whether its procedures are adequate."

As I said in comments two weeks ago, my major concern about a potential Ebola outbreak in the US is not inadequate procedures among healthcare providers (although that, too), but the fact that the combination of the US' nightmare insurance-based healthcare system and garbage exploitative employment laws will mean that people showing the very common symptoms of Ebola will not seek healthcare. I said then: "Lots and lots of people who don't have health insurance, or who have shitty health insurance—not to mention people who can't miss work to access healthcare—don't go to the doctor with symptoms like fever and aches. If there is an Ebola outbreak in the US—and I think that's very unlikely, at this point—it will be because our garbage healthcare system and shitty workers' rights discourages preventative healthcare. All our terrific healthcare infrastructure will mean zip if people aren't able to use it." Ditto all the most adequate procedures for care providers. First, we have to make sure people seek treatment, early. And whoooooooooops we have spent decades discouraging people from seeking care for what they imagine to be minor healthcare issues.

In good news: Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

In other news: Mitt Romney "feels nudge" to run again in 2016. But Ann Romney has other ideas about that: "Done. Completely. Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done. Done. Done. Done." LOL.

[CN: Misogyny; objectification] Ernie Hudson, who played Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters, is not on board with the all-female roboot: "I heard it was going to be a total reboot, and that it would have nothing to do with the other two movies. If it has nothing to do with the other two movies, and it's all female, then why are you calling it Ghostbusters? I love females. I hope that if they go that way at least they'll be funny, and if they're not funny at least hopefully it'll be sexy. I love the idea of including women; I think that's great. But all-female I think would be a bad idea. I don't think the fans want to see that. Maybe it will come out and be the most amazing thing, but in my opinion I think it would be wrong to do another movie that didn't include the guys. And that didn't include me!" Shut up, Ernie Hudson.

And finally! [video] This is probably the best thing you'll see all day: A tiny boy nails the big dance finale in Dirty Dancing. I mean, whatever you're expecting, trust me: It's even better!

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