Wednesday Oct 15th, 2014

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donates $25m to fight Ebola

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan join fight to tackle Ebola by donating to the Centers for Disease Control’s non-profit arm

By Charlotte Krol, [Bloomberg]

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $25m (approximately £15.7m) to the US Centers for Disease Control’s nonprofit arm to help fight Ebola, saying most governments do not realise the disease is at a “critical turning point.”

The grant from Zuckerberg and Chan’s donor-adviser fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation is for the CDC’s Ebola response in the three West African countries most affected — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — and “anywhere in the world where Ebola poses a threat to health,” according to an e-mailed statement from the CDC Foundation.

“We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn’t spread further and become a long-term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“We believe our grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field to prevent this outcome.” [full article below]

Man treated for Google Glass addiction

Doctors wrote in the journal Addictive Behaviors a man exhibiting alcohol-like withdrawal symptoms was suffering from an addiction to his Google Glass headset.

By Ben Hooper [UPI]

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A man exhibiting withdrawal symptoms at a California addiction treatment center was found to be addicted to Google Glass, doctors said.

Doctors at the U.S. Navy's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program in San Diego wrote in the journal Addictive Behaviors the 31-year-old U.S. service member was checked in to the program during the summer and was exhibiting symptoms that were initially misdiagnosed as alcohol-related.

The doctors said they soon found the man's withdrawal symptoms stemmed from his addiction to his Google Glass headset, which he told doctors he had been wearing for up to 18 hours per day.

Dr. Andrew Doan, head of addictions and resilience research at Naval Medical Center San Diego and a co-author of the paper, told NBC News the man reported his withdrawal symptoms from Google Glass were "much worse" than his withdrawals from alcohol.

"When the therapist would ask him a question, he would have this repeated movement of placing his index finger to the right side of face, similar to trying to turn on the Glass," Doan said. [full article below]

CAUGHT 'RED-HANDED': NEWS-SITE DECEPTION UNCOVERED

LEO HOHMANN [WND]

Statistically, it would seem to be impossible.

How could every major alternative website that challenges the mainstream, establishment view of Washington and the world be experiencing a drop-off in readership while their counterparts on the other side of the political spectrum are gaining readers?

It appears unlikely, yet that’s exactly what happened last month, according to Alexa.com, which measures web traffic and ranks websites from the most popular to the least popular.

The Drudge Report, WND, Breitbart, Fox News, the Blaze, Newsmax, CNSNEWS, the Daily Caller, Infowars and Natural News are all plunging in popularity, according to Alexa’s rankings.

At the same time, pro-government sites like the Daily Kos, ThinkProgress, Media Matters, MSNBC, NPR.org and Democracy Now! are all rising in popularity, according to Alexa.

Alexa rankings are important because they are among a handful of measurement tools used by companies when deciding where to spend their advertising dollars.

The San Francisco-based subsidiary of Amazon has refused to return phone calls or emails from WND seeking comment on its latest rankings.

Alexa did post a blog on its website Oct. 1 explaining that it had increased the size of its global traffic panel, which was supposed to make its estimated rankings more accurate.

But alternative news sites aren’t impressed with the results.

Several responded in WND’s first report on the mysterious trend. And more have responded since that article was published, including the head of Breitbart News, who is not buying the new figures released by Alexa.

Should You Stock Up On Chocolate Bars Because Of Ebola?

by GREGORY WARNER [NPR}

Farmer Issiaka Ouedraogo lays cocoa beans in a village of Fangolo, Ivory Coast.

Jack Scoville was buying himself a chocolate bar a few weeks ago — Hershey's, milk — at a corner store in Chicago. And he noticed the price was just a bit higher than he's used to paying: 5 or 10 cents more. His first thought was not to blame a greedy store owner or the executives in Hershey, Pa.

He blamed Ebola.

Scoville is a senior market analyst at Price Futures Group, and he looks at the cocoa commodities market. Last month, cocoa contracts — the price that chocolate suppliers agree to pay for raw cocoa — spiked in large part because of Ebola fears.

"The price made the move to three-year highs in response to the Ebola crisis, on fears that it could spread into Ivory Coast and Ghana," says Scoville.

Ivory Coast and Ghana together produce more than half the world's cocoa. And they're both next door to Ebola-affected Liberia and Guinea.

Now the fear isn't that you can get Ebola from chocolate. Everyone I've interviewed on this story urged me to remind my readers that YOU CANNOT GET EBOLA FROM CHOCOLATE. The fear, rather, was that if Ebola were to jump over the border to Ivory Coast, those cocoa farmers would scatter to avoid exposure to the virus. The cocoa fruits — the seeds of that fruit that we call the cocoa bean — would stay unpicked. And Halloween would become as expensive as Christmas.

"That," says Scoville, "would be the fear."  [full article below].

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