The Great Debate

from Breakingviews:

Anyone have change for a quadrillion dollar bill?

By Edward Hadas
June 12, 2015

A vendor arranges eggs on a new 100 billion Zimbabwean dollar note in Harare

A vendor arranges eggs on a new 100 billion Zimbabwean dollar note in Harare July 22, 2008. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Surgery so simple a gardener can do it – but he probably shouldn’t

By Fizan Abdullah
May 21, 2015
A nurse at Malindi district hospital attends to a woman, injured when their community members were attacked in Tana River district in Kenya's coastal Tana Delta region

A nurse at Malindi district hospital attends to a woman, injured when their community members were attacked in Kenya’s coastal Tana Delta region, December 21, 2012. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga

Cause behind African migrant flood has terrifying implications for the world

By Michael Werz and Max Hoffman
April 21, 2015
Italian coastguard and Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off the ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea

Italian coastguard and Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off the ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta’s Grand Harbour, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

from Data Dive:

Ebola’s spread brings host of other diseases in its wake

By Michael Corones
September 26, 2014

Almost 3,000 West Africans have died from the current outbreak of Ebola virus, and on Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that by January between 550,000 and 1.4 million people could be infected if nothing is done.

Remember the movie ‘Outbreak?’ Yeah, Ebola’s not really like that.

By Celine Gounder
August 14, 2014

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The Ebola outbreak continues to spread in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries hardest hit by the disease. More than 1,000 people have now died from the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its highest-level alert for a response to the Ebola crisis. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The disease is intensifying in West Africa, but the epidemic poses minimal risk to Americans. So why are we so afraid?

from Stories I’d like to see:

The price of a life and George W. Bush post-White House

By Steven Brill
August 12, 2014

A spectator smokes a cigarette as she waits for the start of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai

1. How government accountants value life:

Last week, the New York Times reported: “Buried deep in the federal government’s voluminous new tobacco regulations is a little-known cost-benefit calculation that public health experts see as potentially poisonous: the happiness quotient. It assumes that the benefits from reducing smoking -- fewer early deaths and diseases of the lungs and heart -- have to be discounted by 70 percent to offset the loss in pleasure that smokers suffer when they give up their habit.”

Liberia’s poverty, skepticism of experts makes treating Ebola harder

By Pamela Scully
August 11, 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 media is focused on the horrors of Ebola, a disease with no known cure that is jumping across borders in West Africa, leaving more than 900 dead in its wake. Fears of the disease’s spread even traveled to the United States, where two Ebola patients are being treated at Emory University hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Violence or vaccines: Which path for U.S. in Africa?

By Michael Shank
August 6, 2014

A U.S. Special Forces trainer conducts a military assault drill for a unit within the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) during an exercise in Nzara on the outskirts of Yambio

Africa is the new frontier for the U.S. Defense Department. The Pentagon has applied counterterrorism tactics throughout the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Central and South Asia. Now it is monitoring the African continent for counterterrorism initiatives. It staged more than 546 military exercises on the continent last year, a 217 percent increase since 2008, and is now involved in nearly 50 African countries.

Africa’s about more than Ebola, it’s about optimism, too

By Michael Elliott
August 5, 2014

The seat of the representative from Guinea remains empty at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington

The conversations at the U.S-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington this week, Secretary of State John Kerry said on the first day, are very different from discussions about Africa 15, or even 10, years ago.

Tracking the Nigerian kidnappers

By Eliot Pence
May 14, 2014

nigeria -- candlelight vigil

Abubakar Shekau, the purported leader of Boko Haram, ignited international outrage when he announced that he would sell more than 200 of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls “in the market.” Nations around the globe offered help to Nigeria.