11 October 2014   2 comments

In the face of an incredible tragedy, the real heroes of the Ebola crisis in West Africa are the local doctors and nurses who work selflessly to help the afflicted.  They are aided by the group, Doctors Without Borders, which should also be regarded as heroic.  The organization is fiercely independent and its mandate and method of operation completely repudiates the idea of the nation-state:  it focuses only on the people who need medical assistance regardless of the political situation in a crisis.  The New York Times has an article that gives a great background to the organization.   And the US National Public Radio conducted an interview with some of the doctors working in West Africa.  The last doctor interviewed is one of my oldest friends, Dr. Cameron Bopp, who was working in Monrovia, Liberia.

A Japanese medical study has indicated that male babies may be more susceptible to climate change than female babies.  We have known for some time that female babies survive at a higher rate than male babies (even though the conception of males tends to be a little higher than for females).  This study, however, suggests that temperature may have an adverse effect on male survival rates.  It is far from a definitive study but we perhaps have another reason to question the effects of global warming on human society.

The UN is warning of a humanitarian disaster if the Islamic State seizes control of the town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic).  Kurdish fighters are trying to prevent the takeover, but they are completely outgunned and Turkey refuses to open its borders so that the Kurdish fighters can be resupplied.  The US has stepped up air strikes near the city, but the strikes are not likely to slowdown the IS advance.   A UN official warned of a crisis roughly equivalent to the slaughter in the Bosnian town of Srebenica in 1995.  In that incident thousands of innocents were slaughtered and the US was powerless to stop the violence. The Turkish refusal to allow aid to flow to the Kurds in Syria has led to increased violence within Turkey by Turkish Kurds.


Posted October 11, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “11 October 2014

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  1. A definitive book, now or soon, about the Kurds. would be tiimely and perhaps actually helpful.


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