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African immigrants fear Ebola backlash as Dallas patient fights for life

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Some African immigrants in Dallas are worried that the case of a Liberian man who is sick with the Ebola virus in a city hospital is generating ill-feeling, including some taunts and finger-pointing, toward the wider community.

“Some people around here see us as bringing the disease and that’s just not right,” said a Liberian who asked to be called Sekou.

Some African immigrants in Dallas, while saying they are thankful to the United States and its people for taking them in, say handshakes are fewer and curious glances more frequent since Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to hospital last month with Ebola. His was the first diagnosed case of the disease in the United States.

Duncan, who was visiting from Liberia when he fell ill, was staying in the melting-pot neighborhood of Vickery Meadow, home to about 25,000 people who speak more than 30 languages.

The Dallas case has put authorities and the public on alert over concerns that the Ebola epidemic could spread from West Africa, where it began in March and where it has killed more than 3,400 people. The epidemic has hit hardest in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Some immigrants from Somalia wearing traditional clothing that includes headscarves for women, say they have seen fingers pointed their way on the neighborhood streets.

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“People are looking at us in a bad way. We didn’t have anything to do with this. Somalia does not have Ebola. It is on the other side of Africa,” said Shadiya Abdi, 27, an immigrant from Somalia.

At schools in Vickery Park, where five students who came in close contact with Duncan have temporarily stopped attending school, some of the other children of African immigrants have been branded ‘Ebola kids’,” said local politician Eric Williams.

In downtown Dallas, near where tourists gather at the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, an Ethiopian parking lot attendant who gave his name only as Ayob said a few people have started to see him as an object of suspicion.

“Some guy told me ‘go get yourself quarantined’,” he said.

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Some U.S. politicians have called on President Barack Obama to consider a travel ban from the Ebola-hit countries, an idea condemned by Williams, who is running as an independent for a seat in the U.S. Congress from a south Dallas district.

“We have one diagnosed case and now there is a list of people who want to shut the borders to Africa,” said Williams.

But a few see a silver lining, in that the Dallas case might focus the attention of the world’s richest country on eliminating a disease that has killed thousands in some of the world’s poorest countries.

“The best thing is to mobilize resources to contain the epidemic in West Africa,” said Limerick Willie, a Liberian native who has lived in Texas for decades and now heads Dallas African Charities.

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There were nearly 2 million people in the United States who came from sub-Saharan Africa, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Tom Brown and Frances Kerry)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Maddow slams Trump’s era of government officials ‘saving the country from the commander-in-chief’ with leaks

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Rachel Maddow on Monday worried about the pattern of government officials leaking to the press to stop President Donald Trump from sabotaging United States' interests to help Russia.

The MSNBC anchor broke down the key questions raised by the bombshell New York Times report that officials were keeping secrets from Trump to protect U.S. interests.

Maddow reminded of a June 2017 story by Michael Isikoff.

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Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy

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President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.

"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.

"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.

"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140804748423118848

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Trump seethes and calls Fox ‘fake news’ after seeing a story that made him mad

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Trouble appears to be brewing between President Donald Trump and the cable news station he loves: Fox News.

In a tweet Monday night, the president lashed out at the network over its polling and called it “fake news’ — an epithet he usually reserves for mainstream outlets:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140768516288782336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Media Matters for America Senior Fellow Matthew Gertz, who has previously noted that Trump appears to record news segments and watch them a few hours later, suggested that the president appeared to be reacting to an earlier segment from Special Report with Bret Baier. The segment showed that, even according to Fox News’ polling, Trump trails every single leading candidate in the Democratic field in head-to-head matchups.

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