The Great Debate

Is Ebola the real ‘World War Z?’ (Spoiler alert: It’s not)

By Max Brooks
October 16, 2014

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In 2006, I released a novel about a global zombie plague that drives humanity to the brink of extinction. While the zombies may have been fake, I tried to anchor the human response (political-military-economic-cultural) in reality. I studied the history of pandemics, natural disasters and industrialized warfare. I interviewed doctors, soldiers, journalists and someone who “has never gotten a check from the CIA” in an attempt to illustrate the fragile global systems that shield our species from the abyss. As a result, I’ve been repeatedly asked if the current outbreak of Ebola is the real-life incarnation of my novel. As much as any author would love to crow about how “I predicted this!”, this time, I’m happy to say, my fictional plague could not be more different from the truth.

What to expect from Apple’s product launch event today

By Chris Morris
October 15, 2014

Local resident Andreas Gibson celebrates with employees outside the Fifth Avenue Apple store after being the first to exit with an iPhone 6 in hand on the first day of sales in Manhattan, New York

After the widely acclaimed introduction of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch and Apple Pay a month ago, Tim Cook is ready to take a victory lap. But the energy surrounding this week’s expected roll out of a new slate of iPads and new MacBook and iMac models is significantly lower than that of a month ago.

Lessons on stopping epidemics from Kazan’s ‘Panic in the Streets’

By Molly Haskell
October 15, 2014

The Ebola news has made me think about Elia Kazan’s crackling and moody Panic in the Streets, a 1950 thriller about a deadly bacterium that has entered New Orleans and threatens to spread. On a recent re-viewing, it definitely left me quavering — and gave me a nightmare chill I hadn’t experienced on previous occasions.

‘In Putin’s mind, Ukraine is not a nation’

By Jason Fields
October 14, 2014

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How dangerous is Vladimir Putin?

Reuters Editor-at-Large Sir Harold Evans moderated a panel of experts searching for answers to that question at a Newsmaker event hosted at the company’s Times Square offices in New York on Oct. 14. The panel was comprised of New Yorker Editor David Remnick, author of the award winning Lenin’s Tomb, former chess champion and Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov, Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen and Roger Altman, who served in the Treasury Department under presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and is currently chairman of investment advisory firm Evercore.

View from Dallas, Texas: The city isn’t taking Ebola seriously enough

By Lauren Silva Laughlin
October 14, 2014

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DALLAS, Texas — I woke up to an early text from a close neighbor Sunday morning: “Did you get an emergency call from the city?” she asked. Dallas residents in the “M Streets” area were receiving reverse 911 calls about a nurse who lived on the 5700 block of Marquita, a street just four blocks south and four blocks west of the quiet block of McCommas, where I reside with my husband and two young children. The latest international health crisis patient – the first person to contract the disease on American soil – was a neighbor. Ebola was literally at my doorstep.

from Stories I’d like to see:

Following the mistakes in the Texas Ebola story

By Steven Brill
October 14, 2014

A worker in a hazardous material suit is sprayed down by a co-worker after coming out of an apartment unit where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas

1. Ebola and malpractice tort reform:

As we all now know, the death of Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was preceded by what might have been a fatal mistake made by emergency-room doctors or nurses at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Although he showed up at the hospital complaining of Ebola-like symptoms and reportedly told a nurse that he had just arrived from Liberia, he was sent home with antibiotics.

Under assault by U.S.-led coalition, Islamic State may shift tactics

By David Axe
October 14, 2014

Militant Islamist fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province

This summer, Islamic State fighters swept into the expanse of desert straddling the Iraq-Syria border. Riding in pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, supported by skilled snipers and at least one tank, the Islamists captured the town of Rabia on the Syrian side of the border.

Read this to get a better understanding of how Ebola spreads

By Celine Gounder
October 13, 2014

A member of the CG Environmental HazMat team disinfects the entrance to the residence of a health worker at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who has contracted Ebola in Dallas

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Sunday that a nurse at a Dallas hospital who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died from Ebola last week, was the first person to become infected with the virus on U. S. soil. The nurse reportedly wore a gown, gloves, a mask and a face shield while caring for the Liberian national at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Many, including CDC Director Tom Frieden, are questioning how the nurse became infected despite wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, which should have shielded her from direct contact with Duncan and his bodily fluids.

Staying on the sidelines: In fight for Kobani, Turkey doesn’t see any good guys

By Andrew Finkel
October 13, 2014

Turkish Kurds watch the Syrian town of Kobani from near the Mursitpinar border crossing

ISTANBUL – Mayhem and civil war in Syria has become a grim spectator sport on the Turkish side of the border. Turkish Kurds gather on the hilltops overlooking the smoldering Syrian town of Kobani, under siege from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. They cheer and sing patriotic songs, certain that the town’s defenders, Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units, hear them and take heart.

Here’s what it will take for Americans to start getting pay raises

By Robert Kuttner
October 13, 2014

Demonstrators rally to raise the hourly minimum wage for fast-food workers at City Hall in Seattle

What will it really take to give America a raise?

A lot of well-credentialed policy experts have been writing nonsense about why Americans can’t be paid more.