Zoon Politikon with Holly Seeliger

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Twitter @HollySeeliger

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https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/va...

LILONGWE, Malawi — The United Nations has pulled staff out of two districts in southern Malawi where a vampire scare has triggered mob violence in which at least five people have been killed.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in rural Malawi, one of the world's poorest countries, where many aid agencies and NGOs work. A spate of vigilante violence linked to a vampire rumors also erupted in Malawi in 2002.

"These districts have severely been affected by the ongoing stories of blood sucking and possible existence of vampires," the U.N. Department on Safety and Security (UNDSS) said in a security report on the Phalombe and Mulanje districts that was seen by Reuters.

The Acting U.N. Resident Coordinator, Florence Rolle, said in an emailed response to questions that based on the report that "some U.N. staff have relocated while others are still in the districts depending on locations of their operations."

"UNDSS is continuing to monitor the situation closely to ensure all affected U.N. staff are back in the field as soon as possible," Rolle said.

Twitter @HollySeeliger

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http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/...

Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment scandal has sent shock waves through Hollywood, with high profile figures like Quentin Tarantino and Jane Fonda speaking out against the film mogul. Controversial director Woody Allen is the latest to chime in with his opinion, speaking to the BBC to admonish Weinstein's actions. Kind of.

"No one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness," he told the BBC. "And they wouldn't, because you are not interested in it. You are interested in making your movie. ... But you do hear a million fanciful rumors all the time. And some turn out to be true and some — many — are just stories about this actress, or that actor."

Allen went on to say he is "sad" for Weinstein, who was recently ousted from the Motion Picture Academy after a number of women came forward to accuse him of assault.

"The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved," Allen told the BBC. "Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that [his] life is so messed up."

The director, who was accused of abusing adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in 2014, went on to say he hoped the scandal wouldn't lead to a "witch hunt."

"You also don't want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself. That's not right either."

Twitter @HollySeeliger

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Twitter @HollySeeliger

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https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hepatitis-a-outbreak-tears-through-san-diego-homeless-community/?wt.mc=SA_Facebook-Share

SAN DIEGO — The hepatitis A outbreak now roiling this well-heeled, coastal city may have had its roots in a baseball game — when the city cleaned up for the 2016 All-Star Game by pushing its homeless out of the touristy areas downtown and into increasingly congested encampments and narrow freeway onramps just east of downtown. The lines of tents stretched for blocks.
At the same time, the city was locking and removing bathrooms to help control the rampant drug and prostitution trade they’d spawned. Hepatitis A is transmitted through contact with feces from an infected person, and in close, unsanitary conditions, the highly contagious virus can spread explosively. So it was only a matter of time, experts say, before cases would surge among the homeless.
“I’m not so much surprised it occurred, but surprised it didn’t occur earlier,” said Dr. Robert Schooley, who chairs the division of infectious diseases at the University of California, San Diego, and currently serves as an informal health adviser to the city’s mayor. “In some ways, it was the perfect storm.”

Twitter @HollySeeliger

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https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2017/10/03/t...

In an interview with Fox News, President Donald Trump said that Puerto Rico's debt will have to wiped out.
"They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we're going to have to wipe that out. You're going to say goodbye to that, I don't know if it's Goldman Sachs, but whoever it is you can wave goodbye to that," Trump said on Tuesday in an interview with Fox News, according to a Reuters report.
The White House didn't immediately return CNBC's emailed request for further details of Trump's proposal. Goldman Sachs didn't immediately return CNBC's request for a response on the president's comment.

Twitter @HollySeeliger

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https://www.theroot.com/university-of...

The University of Wisconsin recently approved a policy that will suspend or expel students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations—because they are infringing on others’ free speech—an ironic and dangerous threat to the right to protest everywhere.

The Associated Press reports that the university’s board of regents adopted the language in a vote Friday. The policy states that students found to have twice engaged in “violence or other disorderly conduct” would be suspended. Three times and you’re out (expelled).

The new Wisconsin policy is similar to Republican legislation that the state Assembly passed in June, though it has not been ratified by the state Senate. It comes on the heels of cancellations at several schools, including the University of California, Berkeley, of conservative speakers because of protests that have sometimes gotten violent.

Twitter @HollySeeliger

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Portland, ME 04101

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Twitter @HollySeeliger

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Portland, ME 04101

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Twitter @HollySeeliger

Support me on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/hollyseeliger
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I love Patreon and Paypal subscription donations in sums of $7 or $14
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You can also send letters and checks to:
Holly Seeliger
P.O. Box 5185
Portland, ME 04101