Ebola has returned to Liberia for the first time in months, and no one is sure how.
The return of Ebola in Liberia — with three new cases reported this week in the previously Ebola-free country — is worrisome, and raises questions about whether Liberia was really free of the disease to begin with, experts say.
The real problem is no one knows where these new cases came from. Needless to say, WHO is keeping a very close eye on the whole situation, as are a lot of people. But at least, Liberia is better prepared to deal with Ebola now.
Ebola has returned to Liberia for the first time in months, and no one is sure how.
In refugee camps scattered around northern Africa there are children as young as seven who have left their homes in search of a way to emigrate to Italy and the EU.
Their stories sound very familiar to anyone who has followed the flight of Central American minors across Mexico and into the USA: they’re trying to escape poverty, crime, abuse, and paramilitary groups looking for boys for soldiers and girls for … recreation.
People smugglers take advantage of these young people, too, using them as the African version of “coyotes” to ship illegal immigrants on tiny boats across the Mediterranean.
Over the following days, the smugglers taught Rudi how to steer a wooden boat, how to operate its engine and how to navigate. He practised up and down the coast of Libya, and after a week, they said he was ready.
Nearly 200 migrants were loaded on to his boat, having paid up to $2,000 (£1,300) each for the crossing. Their lives were in the hands of a 15-year-old boy.
Rudi tells me that if he hadn’t agreed to sail the boat, he would have been stranded in Libya and could have been kidnapped or killed.
The arrangement suited the people smugglers well. They took nearly $500,000 (£325,000) from the migrants, and stayed in Libya, so they didn’t run the risk of being caught by the Italian authorities. All the risk was with Rudi, and his passengers, of course
I was just reading an article at the NY Times titled “The Lies Heard Round the World” and noticed that it listed several non-U.S. fact checking sites.
We have PolitiFact and FactCheck. org, but sometimes we hear stuff (especially on Twitter) from other countries and have no way of verifying the info.
With that in mind, I decided it would be a good idea to go look them up. Obviously, I can’t vouch for them as I don’t fluently speak the languages of the non-English ones and I’m unfamiliar with their reliability, but perhaps others will come along and do so. I’ll note the language of each site next to its link.
Oh, before I list them there’s one more U.S. site I found: Conservative Fact Check. Yes, because you know how shameless the librul lamestream media is, especially with their toady fact checkers backing up all their hateful, godless lies:
CFC is dedicated to providing a conservative alternative to enormously liberal-biased fact checking sites like snopes. com, factcheck. org, and politifact. com.
It’s a familiar scenario: you receive a particularly juicy story about Obama in email and forward it to your friends. Then, somebody on your mailing list tries to ruin the fun by sending you a link from Snopes which declares your story to be false. What do you do if you know it’s true? […]
I didn’t really spend any time looking around the site, but I figured if nothing else it might be useful for looking up wingnut memes.
Now on to the list!
- FactCheckEU - English. Nice site, even has a handy map with a bunch of little markers. Seems very well organized.
- Pagella Politica - Italian. Not sure how useful this will be, but I included it anyway because... who knows? It may come in handy one day.
- Africa Check - English. This could be a very useful one and is related to Agence France-Presse through its AFP Foundation.
- Chequeado.com - Spanish. Based in Argentina.
- UyCheck.com - Spanish. Based in Uruguay, as far as I can tell.
Based on what I saw and using Google Translate, it seems like politicians sound pretty much the same the world over. Imagine that. //
Last night I mentioned an article in Tablet Magazine which described how the mayor of a French town, out of a reflexive fear of jihadists, had banned an anti-jihadist Muslim film titled Timbuktu from being shown, even though he hadn’t bothered to see it for himself. It really annoyed me after all the chest-beating over censorship and free speech. Here’s the trailer for the movie:
Seeing that the film would be released later this month in NYC, I put my annoyance aside and went searching to see if I could pre-order it. No such luck, but I did find another video, this one showing Fatoumata Diawara, a musician & actress in the movie, recording the same song, the sound of which I’d been instantly enchanted by even though I couldn’t understand more than a couple of words of it:
Still undeterred, I went looking for the music CD, which is unfortunately sold out at the moment. Arrrrgh! Not yet ready to admit defeat, I kept poking around Amazon and came across this Kindle book, TIMBUCTOO, which I immediately snapped up—not only did is sound fascinating, but it was also a steal at $2.99 and I happen to already know that the author, Tahir Shah, comes from a well-known family of Anglo-Afghan-Indian Sufis. His elder sister, Saira Shah, is also an author & reporter, though she’s perhaps best known for her work in the documentary films Beneath the Veil (2001), Unholy War (2001), and Death in Gaza (2004) .
Wow, I really went off on a tangent there, didn’t I? Sorry, but if you’ve read my LGF pages before, you’re probably used to it by now, heh.
Back to Timbuktu. So I checked out Tahir Shah’s author page on Amazon and decided to follow him on Twitter. Lo & behold less than a dozen tweets down there was an article about Timbuktu from about a month ago!
Not only is it a fascinating (and frightening) look into what happens in a woman’s world when militant Islamists take over and impose their own foreign “culture” on another by force, but it also provided some closure on a couple of pages posted here at LGF during the time all these events were happening:
- The Price of War: Ancient African Archives Set on Fire in Timbuktu by FNB
- Some Good News About the Library Torched in Timbuktu by yours truly (Psst--be sure not to miss the full-length documentary on that page!)
Below are a few paragraphs from the article this page is named after. It’s not a terribly long piece and should be very interesting (especially to the ladies), so I highly recommend reading the whole thing:
It was a sweet victory for Arby and Mint Mohamed, not least because of their opponents’ sexism. In the first stage of the two-round vote, five male candidates, were ranged against Mint Mohamed; in the second round, when she was running against a member of the president’s RPM party, all four of the men who had lost urged their supporters to vote against her.
“They said, no, a woman cannot be MP for Timbuktu,” says Mint Mohamed, a short but forceful presence whose father was one of Timbuktu’s leading imams. “In the madness of the election campaign, the men of the north said a woman MP could not be good for the city. But if politics had been forbidden for us by Islam, my father wouldn’t have let me go into politics. So I said to them, show me the verse in the Qur’an where it says that a woman cannot be MP. They weren’t able to.”
A year after Mint Mohamed was elected, stories of the suffering and humiliation women experienced under jihadi rule in 2012 are beginning to emerge. In late March that year, a rebellion in the north of Mali sparked by the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya swept across the north of the country. On 1 April the rebels captured the remote desert town. So began a nine-month occupation, first by the secular Tuareg separatists of the MNLA, whose fighters wrecked government buildings and stole what they could, then by the jihadi alliance of Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith) and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghbreb (AQIM). […]
One more quick aside, just to tie it all up in a neat little box before you go: You know the page that VB just put up—the one about the Malian Muslim guy who saved a bunch of people in the Kosher deli in Paris and was just awarded French citizenship for it? I don’t know if he’s from Timbuktu, but being that it’s also in Mali I’m sure he has no love for jihadi types, so I’m not really surprised that he made an effort to save those folks.
Small world… the circle of life and all that… we’re all tied together for our time here, whether we like it or not, so… Hakuna matata! ;o)
District head Baba Abba Hassan said most victims are children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.
“The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous,” Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for poorly armed civilians in a defence group that fights Boko Haram, told the Associated Press.
He said the civilian fighters gave up on trying to count all the bodies. “No one could attend to the corpses and even the seriously injured ones who may have died by now,” Gava said.
An Amnesty International statement said there are reports the town was razed and as many as 2,000 people killed.
But the way the press has covered it has been frustrating, a good example of the way Americans see Africa monolithically and don’t understand or perhaps simply can’t be bothered to understand the differences between different countries. “And I don’t mean fringe reporting,” Adichie added. “I mean the ostensibly responsible press.”
Adichie was in Nigeria when the disease was there, though it has since been declared Ebola-free. But it feels to her as though Nigeria has been deprived of that victory. “It’s been attributed to everything but Nigerian action,” whether that’s CDC intervention or something else. “It feeds into the same old narrative of ‘Africa is a place with no agency.’ If anything good happens, it has to be about someone else.”
Ebola is threatening much of the world’s chocolate supply.
Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer of cacao, the raw ingredient in M&M’s, Butterfingers and Snickers Bars, has shut down its borders with Liberia and Guinea, putting a major crimp on the workforce needed to pick the beans that end up in chocolate bars and other treats just as the harvest season begins. The West African nation of about 20 million — also known as Côte D’Ivoire — has yet to experience a single case of Ebola, but the outbreak already could raise prices.
The World Cocoa Foundation is working now to collect large donations from Nestlé, Mars and many of its 113 other members for its Coca Industry Response to Ebola Initiative. The initiative hasn’t been publicly unveiled, but the WCF plans to announce details Wednesday, during its annual meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, on how the money will fuel Red Cross and Caritas Internationalis work to help the infected and staunch Ebola’s spread.
We’ve been covering the Ebola panic a lot here on LGF, but here’s something that really puts things in context, in a way that many people here might not have thought of. Stassa Edwards discusses the history of racists using fear of disease to attack and demonize minorities, and how that fear was used to justify everything from imperialism to nativist legislation. Warning, this gets pretty disturbing, in more ways than one.
On October 1st, the New York Times published a photograph of a four-year-old girl in Sierra Leone. In the photograph, the anonymous little girl lies on a floor covered with urine and vomit, one arm tucked underneath her head, the other wrapped around her small stomach. Her eyes are glassy, returning the photographer’s gaze. The photograph is tightly focused on her figure, but in the background the viewer can make out crude vials to catch bodily fluids and an out-of-focus corpse awaiting disposal.
The photograph, by Samuel Aranda, accompanied a story headlined “A Hospital From Hell, in a City Swamped by Ebola.” Within it, the Times reporter verbally re-paints this hellish landscape where four-year-olds lie “on the floor in urine, motionless, bleeding from her mouth, her eyes open.” Where she will probably die amidst “pools of patients’ bodily fluids,” “foul-smelling hospital wards,” “pools of infectious waste,” all overseen by an undertrained medical staff “wearing merely bluejeans” and “not wearing gloves.”
Aranda’s photograph is in stark contrast to the images of white Ebola patients that have emerged from the United States and Spain. In these images the patient, and their doctors, are almost completely hidden; wrapped in hazmat suits and shrouded from public view, their identities are protected. The suffering is invisible, as is the sense of stench produced by bodily fluids: these photographs are meant to reassure Westerners that sanitation will protect us, that contagion is contained.
Pernicious undertones lurk in these parallel representations of Ebola, metaphors that encode histories of nationalism and narratives of disease.