TIME ebola

German Hospital: U.N. Worker Dies of Ebola

He was the third Ebola patient flown to Germany for treatment

(BERLIN) — A United Nations medical worker who was infected with Ebola in Liberia has died despite “intensive medical procedures,” a German hospital said Tuesday.

The St. Georg hospital in Leipzig said the 56-year-old man, whose name has not been released, died overnight of the infection. It released no further details and did not answer telephone calls.

The man tested positive for Ebola on Oct. 6, prompting Liberia’s UN peacekeeping mission to place 41 staff members who had possibly been in contact with him under “close medical observation.”

He arrived in Leipzig for treatment on Oct. 9 where he was put into a special isolation unit.

The man was the third Ebola patient to be flown to Germany for treatment.

The first patient, a Senegalese man infected with Ebola while working for the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone was brought to a Hamburg hospital in late August for treatment. The man was released Oct. 3 after recovering and returned to his home country, the hospital said.

Another patient, a Ugandan man who worked for an Italian aid group in West Africa, is undergoing treatment in a Frankfurt hospital.

TIME Foreign Policy

Kerry Pledges $212M in U.S. Aid to Gaza

A Palestinian man stands atop the rubble of his house as he looks at the ruins of his neighborhood that was badly damaged during the 50-day war between the Hamas militant movement and Israel, in the east of Gaza City on Oct. 12, 2014.
A Palestinian man stands atop the rubble of his house as he looks at the ruins of his neighborhood that was badly damaged during the 50-day war between the Hamas militant movement and Israel, in the east of Gaza City on Oct. 12, 2014. Mohammed Salem—Reuters

The funds will help the region rebuild following a destructive 50-day war this summer

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged $212 million in new aid to help rebuild Gaza after the region accumulated heavy damage during this summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas.

Kerry made the announcement on Sunday as diplomats from more than 40 countries gathered in Cairo to pledge humanitarian aid, the New York Times reports. The U.S. previously provided $118 million in aid to Gaza earlier in 2014.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that approximately one-third of Gaza’s population was displaced by the violence and that the parts of the region are still plagued by blackouts and lack of access to water.

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas has said that Gaza will need $4 billion to rebuild, and Qatar has already promised $1 billion toward that goal. U.S. officials suggest concerns for the region’s stability may hinder aid commitments among donors.

“There is the third time in less than six years that we have seen war break out and Gaza left in rubble,” Kerry said. “As long as there is a possibility that Hamas can fire rockets on Israeli civilians at any time, the people of Gaza will remain at risk of future conflict.”

[NYT]

TIME world affairs

In Photos: 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai

Two years and one day after she was shot in the head by the Taliban, the 17-year old education activist becomes the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. (She shares the honor with Kailash Satyarthi, who has long been campaigning against child exploitation in neighboring India)

TIME Science

Love, Not Fear, Will Help Us Fix Climate Change

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Retreating glacier in the Arctic Anna Henly—Getty Images

Dean Ornish is Founder and President of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF.

The U.N. Climate Summit has galvanized support—for now. But we're going to need much more

Superman’s father, Jor-El, was a leading scientist who tried for years to warn his fellow inhabitants that their home planet, Krypton, was about to explode. But they didn’t take the necessary actions until it was too late.

Something similar is happening with global warming on our planet. In some ways, Al Gore is our Jor-El. (Gore-Al?)

At first, people were captivated by his warning about warming. An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar, Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize, and global warming was on everyone’s mind.

But not for long. It’s been eight years since the documentary came out, but despite accumulating scientific evidence, not much has happened to address global warming, until recently.

The United Nations Climate Summit last week, with more than 120 world leaders, galvanized everyone’s attention again. More than 400,000 people from around the world marched through the streets of Manhattan to raise awareness of global warming.

Why did it take eight years to bring global warming to our awareness again?

Because fear is not a sustainable motivator—in health or in politics. In the short run, fear is powerful, it gets our attention. It activates a primal part of our brain, the amygdyla, that helps us survive a short-term crisis (e.g., the proverbial saber-toothed tiger jumping out in front of us).

In the long run, though, it’s too scary to think that something really bad may happen to us, so we usually don’t, at least not for long. The human mortality rate is still 100%—one per person—but it’s not something most people think about very often. Until something bad happens, but, even then, only for a short while.

Something similar happens on an individual level when a person has a heart attack. The physician has their full attention, and they’ll do just about anything the doctor tells them they need to do—but usually only for about four to six weeks or so. Then, they often go back to their old ways. They tune out.

Preventive medicine is often fear-based. “Don’t smoke that cigarette, you’ll get lung cancer!” “Put down that cheeseburger, you’ll get a heart attack!” And so on. That doesn’t work for very long.

What enables people to make sustainable changes in their lives, both personal and planetary, is not fear of dying; it’s joy of living.

Love is more powerful than fear as a sustainable motivator. We will address tough challenges to help our loved ones that we might not do just for ourselves.

One of the most powerful moments at the recent UN climate summit this week was when Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner from the Marshall Islands received a standing ovation after she recited a poem written for her seven month old daughter, which included:

We are spreading the word

and there are thousands out on the street

marching with signs

hand in hand

chanting for change NOW

they’re marching for you, baby

they’re marching for us

because we deserve to do more than just

survive

we deserve

to thrive…

so just close those eyes, baby

and sleep in peace

because we won’t let you down—

you’ll see.

Recently, I gave the matriculation lecture at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, to almost 400 future generals from 67 countries representing all four branches of the U.S. military. Since the title of my talk was “The Power of Love,” I asked former four-star General Stan McChrystal to make a short video to provide much more street cred than I would have at a military gathering on why love is more powerful than fear.

“If you think about why people do extraordinary things—why on the battlefield soldiers will sacrifice themselves, why they will make extraordinary efforts not to let down their comrade on the left or right—it’s got nothing to do with fear or coercion from their corporate or sergeant or officers.

“It has everything to do with commitment and wanting to have a relationship with people and with an organization in which they feel like they’ve given part of themselves so that they can, in fact, feel like they are a very important part of that team.

“No matter how much fear we create in subordinates, that’s just not strong enough to force them into actions where they’re more scared of something else, particularly a situation like combat when the chances of being killed or injured by the enemy is great—any fear they have of their chain of command is likely to be very insignificant.

“So, when we talk about the power of love, I think it’s the most powerful force that moves soldiers. You’re not going to stand in the sports bar and talk about how much you love each other, ‘I love you man!’ But when people put on the equipment, when they really have got to do difficult things, that’s what makes people operate, that’s what makes people give, that’s what makes organizations strong.”

If it’s meaningful, then it’s sustainable. In 2010, I consulted with President Clinton after his bypass grafts occluded and encouraged him to make healthy lifestyle changes including a whole foods plant-based diet low in refined carbohydrates. He has been doing so since then, lost more than 20 pounds, and looks and feels great. He’s inspired many others. Although I’ve been consulting with him since 1993, he has talked publicly about why he made these more intensive changes in diet: because he wanted to live long enough to walk his daughter down the aisle and to live to be a grandfather. Those meaningful goals make these dietary changes sustainable.

Almost 70 years ago, Viktor Frankl’s classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, described what he learned as a concentration camp survivor in World War II. He found that prisoners who were able to find meaning in the midst of extreme suffering—e.g., “I have to survive to be reunited with my loved ones; to bear witness; to complete my life’s work”—were much more likely to survive, even if they were not physically as strong as those without meaningful goals.

If it feels good, then it’s sustainable. There’s no point in giving up something you enjoy unless you get something back that’s even better—and quickly.

The biological mechanisms that control our health and well-being are much more dynamic—for better and for worse—than most people realize. So, when people eat well, move more, love more, stress less, and quit smoking, they generally feel so much better, so quickly, it reframes the reason for making these changes from fear of dying (which is not sustainable) to joy of living (which is).

For example, nicotine in tobacco makes your arteries constrict. So does chronic stress. In your brain, that can cause a stroke; in your heart, a heart attack. But in your face, it makes you wrinkle and age faster. Supermodel Christy Turlington has a wonderful web site, www.smokingisugly.com.

And in your sexual organs, nicotine is the anti-Viagra. Instead of dilating blood flow to your sexual organs, it constricts and reduces it. Men who smoke are 200% more likely to have erectile dysfunction than those who don’t. Fortunately, quitting quickly reverses impotence.

Telling someone that quitting smoking makes you sexy and beautiful is much more motivating and sustainable than telling them that it causes heart attacks and strokes. That puts it into present tense—what is happening, making it much more motivating—rather than fear of what might happen later.

One of the reasons I’m excited by what visionary Elon Musk has done with the Tesla is to show that you can reduce global warming and drive a powerful, fun car. A cool car helps make a cooler planet.

If we are going to find sustainable ways of dealing with global warming, we have to base it on love and feeling good, not fear and loathing. If it’s fun, then it’s sustainable.

Dean Ornish is Founder and President of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. He is the author of The Spectrum and five other bestsellers. He was the first to prove that comprehensive lifestyle changes may reverse heart disease and other chronic illnesses without drugs or surgery and may even begin to reverse aging at a cellular level.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Iceland

Iceland Is Running a Gender-Equality Conference Without Any Women

Iceland's Foreign Minister Sveinsson addresses the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York
Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, minister for foreign affairs of Iceland, addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York Sept. 30, 2013. Adrees Latif—Reuters

The "Barbershop" conference aims to encourage men to talk about gender equality among themselves

Iceland is organizing a gender-equality conference that won’t have any female attendees.

In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson said the “Barbershop” conference aims to bring together a group of men discussing gender equality among themselves, focusing particularly on violence against women.

“For our part, we want to bring men and boys to the table on gender equality in a positive way,” he said, describing the first-of-its-kind conference as an “exceptional contribution to the Beijing+20 and #HeforShe campaigns.”

The event will take place in January and will be co-hosted by the South American nation of Suriname, according to Sveinsson.

TIME conflict

Mandatory Palestine: What It Was and Why It Matters

"Mandated territories granted England include: Tanganyika Territory (formerly part of German East Africa), Mesopotamia and Palestine," wrote TIME in a brief news bit in 1923—a fleeting mention of a decision that would change the face of the Middle East as we know it

TIME

The map above is from a 1929 TIME article titled “Islam vs. Israel”—even though, as the map makes clear, in 1929 there was no country called Israel. (On a desktop, roll over to zoom; on a mobile device, click.)

Instead, there was Mandatory Palestine. The idea of a mandatory nation, using the common definition of the word, is an odd one: a country that’s obligatory, something that can’t be missed without fear of consequence. But the entity known as “Mandatory Palestine” existed for more than two decades—and, despite its strange-sounding name, had geopolitical consequences that can still be felt today.

The word “mandatory,” in this case, refers not to necessity but to the fact that a mandate caused it to exist. That document, the British Mandate for Palestine, was drawn up in 1920 and came into effect on this day in 1923, Sept. 29. Issued by the League of Nations, the Mandate formalized British rule over parts of the Levant (the region that comprises countries to the east of the Mediterranean), as part of the League’s goal of administrating the region’s formerly Ottoman nations “until such time as they are able to stand alone.” The Mandate also gave Britain the responsibility for creating a Jewish national homeland in the region.

The Mandate did not itself redraw borders—following the end of World War I, the European and regional powers had divvied up the former Ottoman Empire, with Britain acquiring what were then known as Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) and Palestine (modern day Israel, Palestine and Jordan)—nor did it by any means prompt the drive to build a Jewish state in Palestine. Zionism, the movement to create a Jewish homeland, had emerged in the late 19th century, though it wasn’t exclusively focused on a homeland in Palestine. (Uganda was one of several alternatives proposed over the years.) In 1917, years before the Mandate was issued, the British government had formalized its support for a Jewish state in a public letter from Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour known as the Balfour Declaration.

But by endorsing British control of the region with specific conditions, the League of Nations did help lay the groundwork for the modern Jewish state—and for the tensions between Jews and Arabs in the region that would persist for decades more. Though Israel would not exist for years to come, Jewish migrants flowed from Europe to Mandatory Palestine and formal Jewish institutions began to take shape amid a sometimes violent push to finalize the creation of a Jewish state. Meanwhile, the growing Jewish population exacerbated tensions with the Arab community and fueled conflicting Arab nationalist movements.

TIME reported on some of the tensions in the 1929 article from which the map above is drawn:

The fighting that began between Jews and Arabs at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall (TIME, Aug. 26) spread last week throughout Palestine, then inflamed fierce tribesmen of the Moslem countries which face the Holy Land (see map)…

…Sporadic clashes continuing at Haifa, Hebron and in Jerusalem itself, rolled up an estimated total of 196 dead for all Palestine. A known total of 305 wounded lay in hospitals. Speeding from England in a battleship the British High Commissioner to Palestine, handsome, brusque Sir John Chancellor, landed at Haifa, hurried to Jerusalem and sought to calm the general alarm by announcing that His Majesty’s Government were rushing more troops by sea from Malta and by land from Egypt, would soon control the situation

The clashes in Mandatory Palestine, which at times targeted the British or forced British intervention, began to take a toll on U.K. support for the Mandate. As early as 1929, some newspapers were declaring “Let Us Get Out of Palestine,” as TIME reported in the article on Jewish-Arab tensions. Though the Mandate persisted through World War II, support in war-weary Britain withered further. The U.K. granted Jordan independence in 1946 and declared that it would terminate its Mandate in Palestine on May 14, 1948. It left the “Question of Palestine” to the newly formed United Nations, which drafted a Plan of Partition that was approved by the U.N. General Assembly—but rejected by most of the Arab world—on Nov. 27, 1947.

As the day of May 14 came to an end, so did Mandatory Palestine. The region was far from settled, but the Mandate did accomplish at least one of its stated goals. Mere hours earlier, a new document had been issued: the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

Read a 1930 cover story about the Zionist movement during the period of Mandatory Palestine: Religion: Zionists

TIME Israel

LIVE: Israel’s Netanyahu Speaks at United Nations General Assembly

Prime minister is likely to address Palestinian leader's claim that Israel committed "war crimes" during Gaza conflict

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, having vowed to refute “all of the lies” in a speech by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas last week. Abbas said Israel had committed “a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world” during the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: September 29

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Although Bahrain has joined the coalition against Islamic State, the U.S. should hold the tiny Gulf kingdom accountable for its recent anti-democratic moves and budding partnership with Russia.

By Brian Dooley in Defense One

2. After a summer of strife, one solution to America’s racial divide: More black candidates.

By Theodore R. Johnson III in the Root

3. Rather than forming ad hoc coalitions against each crisis, the world should muster the political will to restore and strengthen our multilateral institutions.

By Javier Solana at Project Syndicate

4. An affordable, crowdfunded, DIY, learn-to-code computer kit could open the door to a new generation of hacker kids.

By Natasha Lomas in TechCrunch

5. Everything-sharing in Seoul, new parks overnight in Johannesburg, market-pricing for parking in L.A. – here are some bold ideas from CityLab 2014.

By the Editors of CityLab

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME ebola

We Need a Global Health Emergency Corps to Fight Ebola

Liberia Battles Spreading Ebola Epidemic
A worker checks a list of of Ebola relief aid after it was airlifted by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), on August 23, 2014 in Harbel, Liberia. John Moore—Getty Images

A new health defense strategy is needed that brings immediate, concerted interventions across whole regions

The West Africa Ebola outbreak is fast becoming a disease of mass destruction. A recently issued projection from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) forecasts a worst case scenario of 1.4 million cases of Ebola by late January if the disease transmission cycle isn’t broken soon. The disease may become so widespread that it may become permanently entrenched and spread elsewhere.

The lagging response in West Africa is laying bare the failure of the world’s health preparedness system. Countries aren’t simply prepared to fight complex disease wars that straddle multiple national borders.

President Obama’s emergency package that sends 3,000 military personnel and 1,700 beds brings badly needed help, but that aid could take weeks to arrive. A further problem is that intervention is slated primarily for Liberia, leaving out Sierra Leone and Guinea. Lopsided U.S. aid on the Liberia side could trigger two unintended consequences: the acceleration of the epidemic in Sierra Leone and Guinea, which in turn could trigger mass migrations of their people clamoring for care at the U.S. hospitals.

In spite of the U.S. commitment, other countries have yet to commit comparable aid to the other two countries or even to the response at large. The UN is stepping in to bolster the response, but the UN and its health agency, the World Health Organization, are hampered by their lack of ability to render direct medical treatment to patients. The battles along the medical front lines are being borne by non-government organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, taking over for the decimated ranks of local health workers. All are besieged by the extent and intensity of the struggle, and if CDC’s ominous scenarios were to be realized, even American aid may not be enough to contain the spread.

To confront Ebola and future waves of “flashdemics” — high velocity, high lethality outbreaks — a new intervention strategy is needed: The creation of an international medical ground force that can be immediately dispatched to stricken zones, endowed with authority to enter countries unimpeded and begin operations. This rapid response unit can quickly and directly treat the ill, humanely care for the dying, and prevents spread to the vulnerable. This unit would implement strategies worked out in advance from a response playbook with pre-determined roles for responders.

A medical reserve force could terminate nascent outbreaks quickly and spare further cost in lives and resources. A stricken country can then recover and rebuild from the emergency response to strengthen its health system against future threats. A coalition of countries, especially those with advanced health systems, could create a force in short order by contributing teams from existing agencies.

However, this kind of badly needed at-the-ready, direct intervention capacity, at a national or regional scale, does not currently exist. International aid organizations are spread out over many regions and are focused on delivering long term aid, not emergency flashpoint response. The largest national donors, prominently the U.S., conduct health aid programs with favored nations, but run relatively few operations in countries whose politics are hostile to the west.

Unpreparedness has left impoverished countries vulnerable to outbreaks that could readily leapfrog worldwide. To counter the potency of Ebola and other powerful diseases, a new health defense strategy is needed that brings immediate, concerted interventions across whole regions. Waiting for individual governments to act alone is simply too risky. Creating a new global health emergency corps should be a top priority for world leaders.

Jack C. Chow is a former assistant director-general at the World Health Organization on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria (2003-2005), and former U.S. ambassador on global health and HIV/AIDS (2001-2003). He is presently a professor of global health at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College for Public Policy, and is based in Washington DC.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME ebola

Obama Urges UN to Act Faster on Ebola Outbreak

“We are not moving fast enough”

President Barack Obama said Thursday that every country needs to do more to confront the urgent threat of Ebola, warning that the United Nations’ response could determine the difference between tens of thousands of deaths and up to a million.

“The outbreak is such that at this point more people will die,” Obama said during a UN meeting in New York. “But the slope of the curve, how fast we can arrest the spread of this disease, how quickly we can contain it, is within our control.”

“If we move fast, even if imperfectly, than that could mean the difference between 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 deaths versus hundreds of thousands or even a million deaths,” Obama added.

Obama said the United States could provide the infrastructure to aid the countries in West Africa where the outbreak has already killed more than 2,900 people. But the U.S. cannot by itself send enough health workers in fight the crisis, Obama said.

“We are not moving fast enough,” Obama said. “We are not doing enough. Right now everybody has the best of intentions but people are not putting in the kinds of resources that are necessary to put a stop in to this epidemic.”

“It’s a marathon but you have to run it like a sprint,” he added.

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