Weekend Roundup: Ebola on the Loose


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

This week the world anxiously winced as Ebola spread out of Africa to the U.S. and Spain. The traveling virus exposed some harsh new global realities: the hot zone incubator of Africa’s impoverished urbanization, persistent social inequality and decrepit public health infrastructure all linked to the rest of the planet by air travel. Nothing is any longer a world away.

In The WorldPost this week, the co-discoverer of Ebola, Peter Piot, calls for urgent logistical aid to the infected areas of Africa. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim writes that the fight against the pandemic must entail a fight against poverty and chaos in countries just emerging from civil war and strife. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization pins her hopes on cutting edge science. Michael Elliott of the Bill Gates-backed One Foundation calls for outside assistance from NGOs and governments for investment in public health systems.

Just as the protestors in Hong Kong were folding up their umbrellas and preparing for talks with authorities, the talks were cancelled. Now what? Chris Patten writes that China is not delivering on its promise of universal suffrage for the former British colony of which he was the last governor. The Shanghai-based Guancha.cn editorial board challenges Patten’s claim that Beijing does not need to approve election procedures for Hong Kong’s chief executive. Princeton scholar Stephen Macedo ponders what James Madison and other Founding Fathers who designed America’s democratic institutions might make of the Hong Kong controversy. FairVote’s Steven Hill compares the Nominating Committee for Hong Kong’s chief executive to the original Electoral College in the U.S. and proposes a compromise for Hong Kong. WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan reports on how mainland Chinese just across the border in Shenzhen are baffled by the Hong Kong protests.

As China this week surpassed the United States as the world’s largest economy we review the launch of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s newly published book, “The Governance of China.” In a reference to the comparable dysfunction of American democracy as President Obama’s tenure winds down, the review is entitled “How to Turn Audacity into Effective Action.”

Turning to the troubled U.S. alliance in the fight against ISIS, the Middle East Institute’s Paul Salem argues that fight cannot be won as long as Bashar al-Assad, whose brutal battle against Syria’s rebels created the conditions for the emergence of ISIS, remains in power. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, argues that Arab authorities must provide opportunity for their youth so they are not attracted to the ISIS “pre-packaged franchise of hate.” WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports from Istanbul that Turkey’s policy of letting the Syrian border city of Kobani fall is backfiring because of the outrage it is unleashing among Kurds.

South Korea’s foreign minister, Yun Byung-se, proposes a novel approach to confidence building security in North East Asia: cooperation on nuclear power safety in a region that hosts 40 percent of the world’s reactor facilities. As Western sanctions over Ukraine begin to bite deep into the Russian economy, Vasily Kashin writes from Moscow that new business partnerships with China are proliferating.

On the brighter side of events, Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson reports on how the new International Declaration on the Future of the Arctic offers hope that a turn around of the melting icecap is possible. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry notes his intense efforts with British counterpart Philip Hammond in recent days to sound the alarm on “the gathering storm” of climate change.

This week the Nobel Committee announced its new Laureate for Literature, Patrick Modiano. We translate into English several passages from the works of this writer who is little known outside France.

Finally this week’s Philosophers’ Mail recalls how the Japanese Zen philosopher Rikyū applied his wabi-sabi perspective — simplicity and the appreciation of imperfection — to the ritual of brewing and drinking tea.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.