News in the Humanosphere: U.S. health leader hits out at Ebola patient quarantine

On Friday, the governors of New York and New Jersey mandated that travelers coming from Ebola affected regions who had direct contact with Ebola patients must be held in strict isolation. On Sunday night, New York eased that requirement slightly. Still, a perfectly healthy MSF nurse wrote a scathing op-ed about her treatment in isolation and public health officials are warning that this policy is both unnecessary and may discourage health workers for traveling to the regions they are most needed.  “I don’t want to be directly criticizing the decision that was made but we have to be careful that there are unintended consequences,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “The best way to stop this epidemic is to help the people in West Africa, we do that by sending people over there, not only from the U.S.A. but from other places,” Fauci told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He called such quarantines “a little bit draconian.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/1FP6BSF)

Also…Quarantined MSF nurse Kaci Hickox says she doesn’t have a fever; a preliminary blood test came back negative for Ebola. She reportedly hired a civil rights attorney to work for her release Sunday. (NPR http://n.pr/1FP71bR)

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, arrived in Guinea’s capital Conakry on Sunday to see firsthand how the global response is failing to stop the deadly spread of Ebola in West Africa. She will also visit Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone this week. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1FP6AOR)

Earth at Risk…The World Wildlife Fund says more than half of the world’s wildlife population has been lost. The conservation group says this has placed the health of the planet at risk. “We are consuming on average every year about the equivalent of about 1.5, one-and-a half times the resources available to the planet. That means we are cutting trees more quickly than they can be restored.  We are fishing the oceans more quickly than fishing stocks can reproduce, and we are emitting in the atmosphere more CO2 than the natural systems can actually absorb. This is clearly not sustainable.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1t78kfG)

Ebola

Mauritania has closed its border with Mali to prevent the spread of Ebola, officials said on Saturday, highlighting fears of further contagion in West Africa after a girl from Guinea died of the disease in Mali this week. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1FP6FSA)

The longer the Ebola outbreak rages in West Africa, the greater chance a traveler infected with the virus touches down in an Asian city. (AP http://yhoo.it/1t78W4L)

Africa’s economic growth is bounding ahead, despite the Ebola epidemic gnawing at its western shoulder, but some see the continent showing a deficit in solidarity towards the three poor and war-weakened states worst hit by the deadly disease. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1t77z6m)

Africa

Three U.N. peacekeepers were injured in northern Mali on Saturday when a blast struck their convoy near the northern desert town of Kidal, the U.N. mission said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1t77pvG)

The general secretary of the Ghana Medical Association says public sector workers will continue their indefinite strike action this week to pressure President John Dramani Mahama’s government to address their concern about their pensions. (VOA http://bit.ly/1FP6TJm)

Sudan’s ruling party has given final approval to President Omar al-Bashir as its candidate in next year’s presidential vote, sealing his bid to extend his rule after 25 years in power. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1FP6BlR)

A major political party in Burkina Faso on Saturday pledged to support a plan to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to stand for re-election next year, when he was due to stand down. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1FP6IOh)

The sovereign debt market is booming, with sub-Saharan African countries raising nearly $7 billion so far this year, more than in all of 2013, according to Dealogic, a market research firm. (NY Times http://nyti.ms/1yDJgPb)

MENA

Tunisians voted on Sunday in parliamentary elections that bring full democracy finally within their reach, four years after their revolution cast out autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1FP6F57)

An absolutely horrific tale of the physical and psychological torture endured by ISIS’ hostages. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1wArwoe

Asia

The organizers of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protest have canceled a vote on what the next steps should be in their month-long street occupation. (VOA http://bit.ly/1FP6Qxe)

Indonesia’s new president on Sunday appointed professional technocrats to lead the top economic ministries and implement much-needed reforms to deal with costly fuel subsidies, cooling investment and the country’s creaky infrastructure. (VOA http://bit.ly/1FP6SFi)

Combat operations in Helmand Province officially ended on Sunday for the United States Marines and British troops stationed there, bringing an end to a decade-long struggle to keep a major Taliban stronghold and the region’s vast opium production in check. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1wArpch)

The Americas

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been re-elected for a second term, after securing more than 51 percent of votes in a closely fought election. (BBC http://bbc.in/1t77QpO)

Uruguay’s election for a new president to succeed Jose Mujica will go to second round, exit polls say. (BBC http://bbc.in/1FP6NS8)

Haiti’s government announced it was postponing long-delayed legislative and municipal elections that had been due to be held Sunday, triggering protests by thousands of angry would-be voters. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1t79yY5)

Reuters Factbox: Uruguay’s presidential candidates and their policies http://yhoo.it/1t79esD

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About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]humanosphere.org.