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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 22-Oct-2014
22-Oct-14 World View -- Hong Kong leader suggests that the poor shouldn't be allowed to vote

Web Log - October, 2014

22-Oct-14 World View -- Hong Kong leader suggests that the poor shouldn't be allowed to vote

Violent rioting breaks out in Sierra Leone town over Ebola case

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Hong Kong leader suggests that the poor shouldn't be allowed to vote


Hong Kong students watch televised debate on Tuesday evening (Finance Asia)
Hong Kong students watch televised debate on Tuesday evening (Finance Asia)

Hong Kong residents were promised fully free and fair elections when Britain returned the British colony over to China in 1997. China has consistently stalled on the promise, triggering the protests of the last few weeks. These protests have been mostly peaceful, but there have been some clashes with police in the last few days.

Hong Kong's Beijing-appointed leader Leung Chun-ying (CY Leung) made a gaffe on Monday evening during remarks to reports. In attempting to explaining why free and fair elections would be a mistake, he said the following:

"If its entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously youd be talking to the half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 a month."

The implication, according to press reports, is that if poor people were allowed to vote, then Hong Kong would turn into a welfare state where poor people would gain more influence in politics.

This remark is certain to infuriate protesters, as one of their issues is that many Hong Kong families are poor because of deteriorating economic opportunities, and one of the developed world's largest wealth gaps. According to a protest leader, "It reflects the distrust the authorities have of the people, and it also reflects how the current political system is biased for the rich and against the poor." AFP and Diplomat and Finance Asia (Hong Kong)

Violent rioting breaks out in Sierra Leone town over Ebola case

Sierra Leone officials have imposed a curfew on an eastern town after two people were killed in clashes between rioting youth and the police. The clashes were triggered when a health authorities tried to take away a 90 year old grandmother suspected of having Ebola. A dispute erupted, resulting in gunfire and rioting.

As we wrote several days ago ( "19-Oct-14 World View -- Forecasting the Ebola endgame and Global Risk"), the Ebola crisis is interacting with other geopolitical issues, particularly causing instability wherever it appears. Things are probably going to get increasingly ugly in the next few months. Reuters and BBC

Health officials promote new ideas to curb Ebola deaths

If you live in Liberia or Sierra Leone and you go to a hospital because you think you might be coming down with Ebola, then there's a good chance that you'll be turned away because there are no more beds available. You'll have to return home, where your family will try to care for you, and may become infected themselves.

Health officials are hoping that Ebola survivors can play a crucial role in helping newly infected patients survive, thus bringing down the 50-70% death rate.

The blood of an Ebola survivor will have antibodies that can fight Ebola. Doctors can then take a sample of their blood and turn it into a treatment called serum - by removing the red blood cells but keeping the important antibodies - for other patients. Officials are saying that serum may be available in Liberia within weeks.

Survivors can become caregivers for newly infected patients, thus sparing the patients' family members from risking infection. It's believed that Ebola survivors are henceforth immune to the Ebola virus. However, some doctors say that this immunity is not 100% certain, since the Ebola virus may mutate into a different form that defeats the immunity.

One reason for the high death rate for Ebola is that patients become dehydrated from sweating, diarrhea and vomiting. It turns out that just drinking water is not an effective way for a dehydrated patient to rehydrate, and it just increases the volume of diarrhea.

For this reason, low-cost packets of electrolyte rehydration salts are being made available throughout Liberia and Sierra Leone. When mixed with water, these become an effective oral rehydration solution (ORS).

The problem with an ORS is that the patient has to drink about 5 liters (quarts) of the ORS per day, and the ORS tastes awful. For that reason, most ORS solutions are treated with glucose, to create a sweeter taste.

If a patient comes down with Ebola symptoms at home, taking an ORS right away, before the body becomes too dehydrated, is an effective way to increase the probability of survival. BBC and Pharmacy Times

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 22-Oct-14 World View -- Hong Kong leader suggests that the poor shouldn't be allowed to vote thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (22-Oct-2014) Permanent Link
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