The Great Debate

To combat Ebola, first build back trust in healthcare workers

By Celine Gounder
July 30, 2014

Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment centre in Kailahun

The worst-ever outbreak of Ebola is spreading out of control in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and now Nigeria, where almost 700 people have already died from the virus. Healthcare workers caring for Ebola patients have themselves fallen victim to the disease, including two American physicians.

Need to learn to launch a BUK missile quick? Look online.

By Robert Beckhusen
July 30, 2014

A Buk M-23 air defence missile system is seen on display during the opening of the MAKS-2009 international air show in Zhukovsky outside Moscow

No one has admitted responsibility for firing the sophisticated missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, killing 298 people over Ukraine on July 17. But untrained rebels could probably have done it with a little practice. There are even instructions online, making it possible for nearly anyone who comes into possession of one of these systems — anywhere in the world — to use it.

from Breakingviews:

Few people know who this man is, and he’s probably better off that way

July 29, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Putin’s anti-American rhetoric now persuades his harshest critics

By Nina Khrushcheva
July 29, 2014

People I know in Russia, members of the intelligentsia and professionals who have long been critical of President Vladimir Putin’s anti-Western stance, have suddenly turned into America-bashers. Many have been swept away by Putin’s arguments that the United States, not the Kremlin, is destabilizing Ukraine.

What do John Oliver, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock have in common? Hard truths.

By Chloe Angyal
July 29, 2014

 Comedian John Oliver poses for photographers backstage during the 41st International Emmy Awards in New York

Until a few weeks ago, I’d met very few Americans who could name the prime minister of my homeland, Australia. But that was before John Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight, on HBO, ran a short segment about him. Suddenly, Americans I met were joking about Tony Abbott, the social conservative best known for being photographed in Speedos and telling people to vote for him because his daughters are so good-looking. Oliver’s recurring segment, “Other Countries’ Presidents of the United States,” profiles various world leaders — France’s François Hollande has also received the Oliver treatment — and handles them with the same comic contempt with which the show treats American politicians.

from Stories I’d like to see:

The Russian sanctions information gap

By Steven Brill
July 29, 2014

Emergencies Ministry member walks at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

There are so many gaps in the reporting about the effort to use economic sanctions against Russia to get President Vladimir Putin to pull back support for the Ukraine separatists that it makes sense to devote my whole column this week to listing them.

CDC mishaps show live flu viruses are nothing to play with

By Carlos Moreno
July 28, 2014

ISRAELI MEDICAL PERSONNEL PREPARE SMALLPOX VACCINE IN JERUSALEM.

Over the past two months, a series of mishaps at the CDC and NIH — involving mishandled anthrax, mislabeled influenza and misplaced smallpox — has alarmed the scientific community. The common theme surrounding all of them is human error.

The government is punishing some struggling parents, and it will backfire

By Amana Fontanella-Khan
July 28, 2014

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All parents worry about whether they’re doing a good job, but few would want Uncle Sam’s opinion on the matter.

from Breakingviews:

Memo to Wall Street: more Ace Greenberg please

July 25, 2014

By Antony Currie

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Markets: Exuberance is not always ‘irrational’

By Anatole Kaletsky
July 25, 2014

A pedestrian holding his mobile phone walks past an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries outside a brokerage in Tokyo

With the stock market continuing to hit new highs almost daily despite the appalling geopolitical disasters and human tragedies unfolding in Ukraine, Gaza, Syria and Iraq, there has been much head-scratching about the baffling indifference among investors. Many economists and analysts see this apparent complacency as a symptom of a deeper malaise: an “irrational exuberance” that has pushed stock prices to absurdly overvalued levels.