World News Brief, Wednesday October 29

US revises Ebola guidelines while Australia becomes first country to deny visas to people from West African countries; China and Vietnam seek to allay tensions over maritime disputes; nuclear plant reopens in southwestern Japan; UK says it will not support search and rescue operations for Mediterranean migrants; and more 

Top of the Agenda

United States Revises Ebola Guidelines

The federal government announced revised guidelines (NYT) for monitoring Ebola on Monday, which require people who have been in contact with Ebola patients to contact local health authorities and undergo an examination. The policy seeks to bring uniformity (Al Jazeera) to U.S. guidelines, as states have begun to institute individual policies. New Jersey and New York's mandatory quarantines have been harshly criticized, particularly for damaging recruitment efforts for much needed health workers to West Africa. The U.S. military also announced on Monday that it will quarantine all troops returning to the United States from Liberia. Meanwhile, Australia became the first country to impose a visa ban (Sydney Morning Herald) on people from West African countries the most affected by the Ebola virus.


"The right answer is to protect the public without overreacting. The decisions […] to screen and monitor those returning from the Ebola-stricken region of West Africa, and to ask some to stay home or away from public places are prudent and reasonable. The experts have repeatedly explained that Ebola does not spread like the flu; transmission requires the transfer of bodily fluids. That's the science. But emotions count, too," writes the Washington Post.

"By now, the warriors against Ebola understand that they face a long struggle against a formidable enemy. […] The human species carries certain advantages in this fight and has things going for it that Ebola does not. These include self-awareness, the ability to work in teams, and the willingness to sacrifice, traits that have served us well during our expansion into our environment. If Ebola can change, we can change, too, and maybe faster than Ebola," writes Richard Preston in the New Yorker.

"It may seem intuitive to ban flight from affected countries to reduce the risk of Ebola patients in America. Yet, I believe it may paradoxically increase our risk. The borders among countries in Africa are porous and individuals will simply travel to another country and board a plane thereby spreading the virus within the African continent and to America. Also banning flights will severely restrict the travel of US health workers who are franticly trying to extinguish this epidemic in Africa," writes Manoj Jain in the Huffington Post.



China's Top Diplomat in Hanoi to Reset Ties

China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, made a one-day visit to Hanoi (SCMP) to reset Chinese-Vietnamese ties and allay tensions over maritime disputes ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum hosted in Beijing next month. Chinese and South Korean heads of state will also meet on the sidelines of APEC to move forward on negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement (Yonhap).

This CFR InfoGuide looks at China's maritime disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

JAPAN: A local assembly approved the reopening of a nuclear plant (Kyodo News) in southwestern Japan. It is the first reopening of a nuclear facility since Japan instituted new regulations after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.


UK will not support search and rescue efforts for Mediterranean migrants

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