Goldberg: How the feds block Ebola cures (5)

A volunteer receives the Ebola vaccination “cAd3-EBO-Z” at the vaccine center in Bamako, Mali, Oct. 9.

We have technology to potentially control Ebola and other viral outbreaks today. But the federal bureaucracy refuses to catch up with 21st-century science.

For example, diagnostic startup Nanobiosym has an iPhone-sized device that can accurately detect Ebola and other infectious diseases in less than an hour.

Two other companies, Synthetic Genomics and Novartis, have the capacity to create synthetic vaccine viruses for influenza and other infectious diseases in only four days. Both firms can also share data about outbreaks instantaneously and make real-time, geographically specific diagnosis and vaccine production possible.

These companies could start producing Ebola vaccine/treatments tomorrow — except that the Food and Drug Administration’s insistence on randomized studies and endless demands for more data means firms have to spend millions on paperwork instead of producing medicines.

And for every small company drained by such tactics, many others conclude it’s not even worth trying.

[Good Read]

See Also:

#1 — Fauci tries to calm US after missteps on Ebola, amid concerns Americans have lost faith

#2 — An Ebola travel ban would be completely unprecedented — Here’s why

#3 — Ebola vaccine research and NIH funding cuts: reviewing the numbers

#4 — Ebola: Is bushmeat behind the outbreak?


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Afternoon Update October 20th, 2014 (10)


#1 — CNews | $20M Lotto 6/49 jackpot ticket sold in Ontario

Ontario has a new multimillionaire.


#2 — CTV | Canada’s Ebola rapid response team practises deploying to Nova Scotia

Canada has deployed one of its Ebola rapid response teams to Nova Scotia in a practice drill that would simulate the process that would unfold if a case of Ebola were to be confirmed on Canadian soil.


#3 — Globe | Canada’s skewed labour data tips balance in favour of foreign workers

There are more than 30 First Nations reserves in northern Saskatchewan, many of which struggle with exceptionally high levels of unemployment. Yet none of the people living on those reserves are reflected in the regional unemployment rate, a key trigger that determines whether employers can apply to bring in temporary foreign workers for low-skill jobs.


#4 — Postmedia | Windsor pump prices plummet over the weekend

Windsor motorists were treated to a break at the pumps this weekend by some of the lowest fuel prices seen in over a year.


#5 — Sun | Lower oil prices won’t deter Alberta’s plans: Prentice

CALGARY ─ Drooping oil prices won’t deter the province in its commitment to spend billions on school and health care systems, Premier Jim Prentice said Friday.



#6 — BBC | Hong Kong protests: CY Leung ‘foreign link’ claim denied

Pro-democracy activists have strongly denied Hong Kong leader CY Leung’s claim that “external forces” are involved in protests in the territory.


#7 — CNS | Ebola Victim’s Fiancee Reaches End of 21-Day Quarantine Period

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — As her boyfriend Thomas Eric Duncan lay dying of Ebola in a Dallas hospital bed, Louise Troh battled loneliness and fear that she too had contracted the disease while confined to a stranger’s home under armed guard.


Fox | Isolation period ends for family, contacts of Ebola patient

#8 — Fox | Halloweed? Police warn of pot-spiked candy

Colorado parents are being told to be on the lookout this Halloween for marijuana-laced candy, NBC News reported.


#9 — DM | The biggest ship ever to navigate the Thames

The biggest ship to sail up the Thames has left the London Gateway port in Essex and is sailing for its next destination Singapore via the Suez Canal at a steady speed of 23 knots.


#10 — WT | Dutch battle surge of desperate, violent Muslim refugees

THE HAGUE — Nasir Galid fled Somalia hoping for a better, safer life. Instead, he died in an Amsterdam hospital five days after being attacked in a garage where he was living with other homeless immigrants.


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Farage: ‘Rochester is high noon for Cameron – he’ll face leadership challenge if he loses’ (10)

THE Ukip narrative is changing so quickly, I can barely keep up, let alone the swathes of commentators in Westminster who have become too reliant on reporting a status quo over the last decade that they simply cannot get their head around what is currently happening in UK politics.

Whether old Labour voters, traditional Tories, disenfranchised non-voters or even the odd ex Lib Dem, one thing that unites what seem a disparate band of supporters is the appetite for change.

Of course that sounds like typical politician’s cliché. All votes represent change, be it a new government, a fresh manifesto, or the turning of the page into a brighter future. But it’s more than just policy. My feeling is that many voters have grown weary of the political game itself.

For decades now the two main parties have passed power between themselves, and never had to face the prospect of actually having to listen to the voter. They were either in power, or in opposition, and focussed entirely on outfoxing the party on the opposite benches.

Politics has become a battle of PR powerhouses, swaddling increasingly merging policy positions. The real function of Parliament, to represent and deliver democracy, has been eclipsed by an obsession with maintaining an ever-professional media façade.

So it is no surprise to see the Conservatives pulling every trick out of the book in a desperate attempt to save Rochester from turning purple.

[Good Read]

See Also:

#1 — Ukip leader Nigel Farage: The Rochester and Strood by-election most important in 30 years

#2 — Why David Cameron will struggle to out-Ukip Ukip on EU migration

#3 — Ukip celebrate second victory in a week

#4 — The other parties know that Ukip is setting the agenda

#5 — EU exit would leave Britain with zero influence, says Barroso

Afternoon Update:

#6 — Spanish nurse tests negative for Ebola after treatment

#7 — France calls on Germany to invest 50 billion euros in eurozone

#8 — Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble

#9 — European leaders pivot back to debt crisis after wake-up call

#10 — EU counts tens of thousands human trafficking victims

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Williamson: Rove Agonistes

‘Karl Rove targets attorney general race in California.” “Who’s afraid of Kamala Harris? Karl Rove!” “Karl Rove Attacks — We Need Your Help!” Karl Rove’s starring role in the 2010 California attorney general’s race came as a surprise to Karl Rove, who wasn’t actually involved in that particular contest. This happens with him all the time. For the Left, Rove served for many years as the go-to bogeyman, the marquee name with which to conjure before Democrats discovered Charles and David Koch. “Karl Rove” was how the Left pronounced “Satan.”

What has been peculiar in the years since then is Rove’s transformation from left-wing hate totem to right-wing hate totem, an all-purpose villain whose name is used liberally by tea-party groups and conservative populists raising funds for races in which he has no involvement. On and on they go: “Don’t let Karl Rove squish Allen West!” “Gingrich: We can’t let Karl Rove and a bunch of billionaires handpick GOP candidates for Senate.”

That’s a whole lot of hate for the last guy to manage a winning Republican presidential campaign.

“I’m a myth,” Rove says, snorting. “I’d have to be a super being to have done everything that’s attributed to me.”

[Good Read]

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Carson: Travel Ban Isn’t An ‘Overreaction’ (5)

Dr. Ben Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said Friday it’s “not an overreaction” to ban all travel coming into the United States from the three West African countries affected by Ebola.

“It’s actually common sense and logic,” Carson told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on “The Kelly File.”

“Why would you bring something dangerous in here?” he said. “Or let something dangerous come into our country on purpose?”

Twenty-two other countries have banned travel, and other African countries have “put up an isolation wall,” the potential presidential GOP candidate said.

So, then, he argued, “are we the only one who is are so wise and everybody else is a fool? I don’t think that’s the case.”

Meanwhile, Ebola has become one of “so many things that we make into partisan issues that are not partisan at all… they’re things that affect all of us,” said Carson.

But there is a “bandwagon event” in which “people see a person as their leader and they jump on that bandwagon without investing any intellectual thought into this at all,” he said.

What people need to do, said Carson, is ask themselves what they would do if one of their loved ones were in proximity to someone from one of the West African countries.

[Good Read]

See Also:

#1 — Ebola-linked cruise ship passenger cleared; hospital apologizes for mistakes

#2 — Battle Over Ebola Travel Ban: Health Officials Call It a Big Mistake

#3 — Ebola outbreak: WHO missed ‘the disaster of our times,’ claim aid agencies

#4 — How the microscopic Ebola virus kills thousands

#5 — Ebola: What Should We Do Now?

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Levy: Lunch with Doug Ford

We’re halfway through our bowls of famous United Bakers pea soup when two ladies turn up at our table — each clutching a baby and asking to pose for pictures with my lunch companion on their iPhones.

“Sorry to interrupt, sorry to interrupt,” one says, thanking mayoral candidate Doug Ford three times before walking away, their pictures and their babies in tow.

There’s rarely a noon hour when this popular lunch spot in the heart of Toronto’s Lawrence and Bathurst neighbourhood isn’t abuzz with the latest gossip — peppered with the repeated sound of soup bowls, salad and sandwich plates being served and coffee cups being refilled by the kind of old-time waitresses who still keep pencils in their ears.

But on this day, many eyes appear to be on our booth.


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Foreign caregivers backlog grows as families wait for residency

The number of individuals waiting for permanent resident status under a program that brings foreign caregivers and nannies to Canada has ballooned to more than 60,000, according to documents released under an access to information request.

More than half of those individuals waiting for permanent residency are the spouses and children of foreign caregivers already living in Canada, according to documents obtained under access to information and given to CBC News.

Foreign caregivers are eligible to apply for permanent residency after two years of work in Canada, but it can take more than three years to process their applications. After they are granted residency, they can then apply to bring over their children and spouses.

Richard Kurland, an immigration lawyer and policy analyst, says processing time is too long.


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The Big Data Election

With a year to go before Canadians return to the polls, the federal Liberals and New Democrats are building enormous voter-tracking databases in an attempt to cut into the Conservatives’ longstanding electoral advantage identifying and getting out their vote.

In the last six months, both opposition parties have hired data analytics experts to co-ordinate what is expected to be a key tactical approach in the 2015 election campaign. And both have turned to U.S. political consulting firms with links to Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns for their expertise in electronically tracking and targeting voters.

If Canada’s 2011 campaign, played out daily on social media, was the “Twitter election,” then the October 2015 vote promises to be the “Big Data Election” – in which the sophisticated analysis of electronic records to identify supporters and get them to the ballot box could prove decisive.


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Fernandez: Dual Control

The selection of political Ron Klain as ‘Ebola czar’ has been criticized on the grounds that he has no medical or public health qualification. But relatively little attention has been focused on the word ‘czar’ itself. The term ‘czar’ in the American sense, begins with FDR. It loosely described a type of inter-agency coordinator with the authority “to go outside of formal channels and find creative solutions for ad hoc problems, the ability to involve a lot of government players in big issue decision-making, and the ability to get a huge bureaucracy moving in the right direction … managing competing power centers.”

The term also meant something else: an official operating outside the regular offices of government who hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate. The Liberty Law site describes their history in the following way, even before they were called by the name: “czars began as emergency responses to the extraordinary demands of World Wars I and II, and then took hold during normal times.”

[Good Read]

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Van Buren: Seven Bad Endings to the New War in the Middle East

You know the joke? You describe something obviously heading for disaster — a friend crossing Death Valley with next to no gas in his car — and then add, “What could possibly go wrong?”

Such is the Middle East today. The U.S. is again at war there, bombing freely across Iraq and Syria, advising here, droning there, coalition-building in the region to loop in a little more firepower from a collection of recalcitrant allies, and searching desperately for some non-American boots to put on the ground.

Here, then, are seven worst-case scenarios in a part of the world where the worst case has regularly been the best that’s on offer. After all, with all that military power being brought to bear on the planet’s most volatile region, what could possibly go wrong?

[Good Read]

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Morning Update October 20th, 2014 (10)


#1 — CNews | Enterovirus kills young B.C. man

A young B.C. man who had enterovirus D68 and asthma died earlier this week, the Provincial Health Services Authority confirmed Friday.


#2 — CTV | U.S. tug towing Russian ship to Prince Rupert, B.C.

OLD MASSETT, B.C. — The stricken Russian container ship Simushar is under tow again off the north coast of British Columbia.


#3 — Globe | Southeastern Newfoundland gets glancing blow from hurricane Gonzalo

It was wet and windy, but southeastern Newfoundland has received only a glancing blow from hurricane Gonzalo as the storm moves away from the province.


#4 — Postmedia | Miracle Mineral Solution poses serious health risks: Health Canada

OTTAWA – Health Canada says anyone who bought a product called Miracle Mineral Solution should stop using it immediately.


#5 — Sun | Quebec home-based daycare workers set to strike Monday

Nearly 14,000 home-based daycare workers in Quebec are set to strike Monday.



#6 — BBC | Russia denies submarine incident off Sweden

The Russian defence ministry has denied reports that one of its submarines got into trouble off Sweden, sparking a military alert in the Baltic.


#7 — CNN | Woman may have spotted suspect in Pennsylvania trooper slaying

(CNN) — A man suspected of killing a Pennsylvania state trooper might have been spotted near his former high school, police said Saturday — a potential boost for authorities’ weekslong and multimillion-dollar quest to find him in the woods.


#8 — Fox | Local jails refusing to hold illegal immigrant offenders, forcing feds to track them down

Local police agencies across the country are frustrating efforts at the federal level to detain and deport criminal illegal immigrants, leaving immigration officials scrambling to track them down.


#9 — DM | Bloodied but unbowed

It all began three weeks ago, when several hundred pro-democracy students stormed the Hong Kong government headquarters demanding a free and fair vote in the upcoming elections.


#10 — WT | White House: Ebola ‘czar’ will report directly to Susan Rice

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday afternoon that new Ebola czar, Ron Klain will report directly to former U.N. Ambassador and current National Security Advisor Susan Rice.


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