World View:Pope Francis Calls Mediterranean a ‘Vast Cemetery’ for Migrants

World View:Pope Francis Calls Mediterranean a ‘Vast Cemetery’ for Migrants

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Pope Francis calls Mediterranean a ‘vast cemetery’ for migrants
  • Mali attempts to prevent the spread of Ebola
  • E-Cigarettes can infect your computer with malware

Pope Francis calls Mediterranean a ‘vast cemetery’ for migrants

Pope Francis at the European Parliament on Tuesday (AFP)
Pope Francis at the European Parliament on Tuesday (AFP)

Pope Francis has previously spoken out on the treatment of migrants.Last year, he criticized the “globalization of indifference” towardsmigrants, saying that the western society had “forgotten how to cry,”and that “the culture of our own well-being makes us insensitive tothe cries of others.”

On Tuesday he gave a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels:

There needs to be a united response to the questionof migration. We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vastcemetery.

The boats landing daily on the shores of Europe are filled withmen and women who need acceptance and assistance. […] 

One of the most common diseases in Europe today is loneliness.You can see it in the eyes of migrants who came here seeking abetter future.

Francis also said that the European Union had lost its way:

Europe seems to give the impression of being somewhatelderly and haggard, feeling less and less a protagonist in aworld which frequently regards it with aloofness.

We encounter a general impression of weariness and ageing, of aEurope which is now a grandmother, no longer fertile and vibrant.

The time has come for us to abandon the idea of a Europe which isfearful and self-absorbed, in order to revive and encourage aEurope of leadership.

Francis also declared that the EU had lost its bearings, and washostage to a uniform economic model that undermined democracy whilethe centrality of human rights was becoming confused with andsupplanted by individualistic narcissism.

Over the past weekend alone, some 800 migrants were rescued fromdrowning by naval vessels from Italy and Libya. At 215,000 asylumseekers arrived in Europe so far this year, while only 43,000 arrivedduring the entire year 2013. Guardian (London) and Reuters and AFP

Mali attempts to prevent the spread of Ebola

Two weeks ago, a 70-year-old sick Imam traveled by car from Guinea toBamako, the capital city of Mali, where he went to a local hospitaland died. Hundreds of people touched his body in the funeralpreparations that followed, before anyone realized he had Ebola.( “15-Nov-14 World View — Ebola cluster growing in Mali, hundreds possibly exposed”)

Mali officials said on Monday that another person had tested positivefor Ebola, bringing the total number of cases to eight. Sixpreviously identified patients have died. Health officials in Maliare currently monitoring some 300 people who may have come in contactwith the Imam, or with someone who had been in a contact chain to theImam. Teams of people check each of these people twice a day,every day, to catch anyone who may be sick with Ebola. Not everyoneis cooperating, but Mali officials are being aggressive in chasingdown anyone who avoids monitoring.

Health officials have been successful so far in preventing widespreadEbola infections outside of the three main West African countries -Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They’re hoping that quick actionhas prevented Mali from becoming the fourth country devastatedby Ebola.

The level of anxiety and panic has also simmered down. Thanks topolitical crises over immigration and Ferguson, I haven’t heard a peeplately out of anyone demanding that anyone traveling by plane fromWest Africa be refused entry into the United States.

There was a time last spring, for about a month, when everyonethought that Ebola had been all but eradicated in West Africa.Then suddenly it turned out that there were dozens of casesthat had previously been unreported, and soon these turnedinto hundreds, and then thousands.

Officials are hoping that nothing like that will happen in any othercountry, but the case of the Imam shows what can go wrong. All youneed is one Ebola patient who travels to a crowded city or a war zone.Since an infected patient may not show symptoms for 21 days, it wouldbe possible to start a new Ebola cluster anywhere, just as recentlyhappened in Mali. VOA and Reuters

E-Cigarettes can infect your computer with malware

E-cigarettes are a great invention for people who are addicted to thenicotine in cigarettes. E-cigarettes look like cigarettes, theyfulfill the need for nicotine, but they do not have any tars and otherpoisons that cause lung cancer. The “smoke” they give off is onlywater vapor.

However, an e-cigarette contains a battery that has to be charged, andmany of them are recharged by connecting them to a computer with a USBcable. At least one brand of e-cigarette made in China infects yourcomputer with malware when you connect the USB cable.

Apparently the same thing is possible for photo frames, MP3 players,or any other device that plugs into the computer via a USB cable.Guardian and Reddit

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, European Union, Mediterranean,Italy, Libya, Mali, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone,e-cigarettes, malware, USB cable
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