Week in Review: 7/21 to 7/27

It’s officially summer break! We are all definitely ready for some sunshine and time at the beach. Even though the glorious days of vacation are ahead of us, it is still good to keep up with some news stories that are being widely reported around the world. Here is your week in review.

Alarming Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Dr. Kent Brantly talking to a colleague before being diagnosed with the disease himself. Samaritan’s Purse.

The Ebola epidemic in Africa faces new challenges after the revelation this week that a top U.S. doctor treating the patients in the area has come down with the disease himself. 33-year-old American Dr. Kent Brantly, who has been in Liberia since October 2013 as the medical director of a North Carolina-based medical charity, has now switched roles and become a patient with the disease that unfortunately has a survival rate of just 10 percent. The Ebola epidemic has so far resulted in the death of another influential doctor in the area, Dr. Samuel Brisbane, who was the first Liberian doctor to pass away from the disease. According to the World Health Organization, as of July 20th, the worldwide number of Ebola cases is thought to be 1093, including more than 660 deaths. There is still hope for Dr. Brantly, as Ebola patients that receive immediate care, like Dr. Brantly, have a higher survival rate.

McDonald’s and Bad Meat

McDonald’s in Hong Kong, where some menus have been discontinued due to the bad meat. Associated Press

In all honesty, this piece of news really did not seem too surprising considering that most of us probably thought “Well, it’s fast food. It was bound to happen.” This week, McDonald’s came under fire after there were reports that its meat supplier, OSI Group Inc., had problems in its subsidiary, Shanghai Husi Food Co. The company was accused of selling meat that was beyond its shelf life to restaurant companies. McDonald’s now faces more accusations about food quality, and more transparency about what ingredients are actually used in their products. Police have so far detained five employees of the company, and OSI has vowed to conduct a thorough investigation in its former and current senior management. Not surprisingly, McDonald’s has had to discontinue some of its menus for a period of time, because those menus contained the “bad” meat in question. Yikes.

Trouble Brewing in Libya

Smoke rising from a street in Tripoli. Mahmud Turkia/ARP via Getty Images

With intensifying violence in Libya in the last couple of days, the U.S. State Department decided to evacuate its Libyan embassy, and advised all American citizens to leave the country. The warning came after it became clear that the Libyan militia was increasing its attacks near the diplomatic offices in the capital of Tripoli. The Embassy personnel have been moved to Tunisia, and they are to travel from there to continue their diplomatic work. The recent spike in violence is a sign of the continued unrest that has plagued the country ever since the ouster of longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

Letters for a Cause

Danny and a helper unloading one of many boxes containing the letters. Hayley Nickerson Stewart

The positive news story of this week comes from Foxboro, Massachusetts in the U.S. Six-year-old Danny Nickerson, who has an inoperable brain tumor, received more than 15,000 letters after a campaign started by his mother, who asked a local newspaper to put in an appeal about sending Danny some birthday cards. Danny not only received birthday letters, but also many presents, and plans to open them little by little. The six-year-old has an aggressive form of cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), where it is thought that less than 10 per cent of its victims are able to live beyond 18 months after the diagnosis. However, his mother says that he is doing better than expected, and that the cards have given him even more strength to carry on with his chemotherapy. He has even received a shout out from Justin Bieber. There has also been a GoFundMe page set up, where people can donate money to support the medical costs for Danny’s treatment. So far, people have contributed more than $32,000, which easily doubled the original aim of $15,000. For people who would like to write to Danny, the address is as follows:Daniel Nickerson, PO Box 212, Foxboro, MA 02035

Comic Con Highlights

Benedict Cumberbatch backstage at the ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ panel. Reuters

For pop culture enthusiasts, the biggest event of year finally opened up its halls. Comic Con 2014 has been full of highlights already. Here are some of the moments that had fans going crazy:-Benedict Cumberbatch making his first appearance at Comic Con at the Dreamworks ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ panel moderated by Craig Ferguson-Superman vs. Batman teaser footage-‘The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 1’ teaser trailer shown in Hall H-The Game of Thrones panel (also moderated by Craig Ferguson)-And finally…the Game of Thrones blooper reel shown during the panel