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Tom Brokaw On The Defense From #MeToo Movement After Sexual Harassment Allegations

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(Via Vanity Fair)

On Friday morning, the cast of NBC’s Today show found themselves in what must have felt like an unwanted moment of déjà vu. The previous night, my former Vanity Fair colleague Sarah Ellison published an investigation in The Washington Post that detailed sexual misconduct allegations against NBC legend Tom Brokaw, as well as new allegations involving the inappropriate sexual behavior that had toppled former Today co-host Matt Lauer last fall.

Today had already been through this. On November 29, hours after NBC News chairman Andy Lack had fired Lauer for sexual misconduct, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb—who has since replaced Lauer in the 7 A.M. anchor chair—took to the air to break the news to viewers in a highly emotional and unscripted moment of television. Guthrie and Kotb appeared visibly shaken, almost tearful. “We are devastated,” Guthrie said.

Five months later, as the hosts segued into the Brokaw and Lauer allegations during Friday’s show, passing the mic to NBC senior national correspondent Kate Snow, the vibe was much more steeled. Snow’s four-and-a-half-minute segment was pure hard news, and it didn’t pull any punches. “Another former NBC anchor, Ann Curry,” Snow reported, “is also speaking out, along with others, criticizing the NBC News division for what they say is an atmosphere that enabled sexual misconduct, and made it difficult to report.”

For NBC News, the Post exposé re-ignited a P.R. crisis that executives had hoped was already behind them. But it’s not as though NBC News brass didn’t see this coming. In media circles, gossips have been whispering about the Post investigation for weeks. Talk of the impending feature had likewise trickled down to 30 Rock’s rank and file. They knew it was going to be a “biggie,” as one insider told me, but “of the people I was talking to, nobody predicted it was Brokaw.”

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13 Reasons Why America Is Already Dead

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“Typhus Zone” in Los Angeles Adds To California’s Dirty Reputation

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San Francisco’s poo and needle-filled streets have competition for the state’s most squalid, as LA’s skid row – home to over 4,000 transients, is now a “typhus zone,” according to NBC News.

Situated among wholesale fish distributors and produce warehouses, skid row spans approximately 54 square blocks in downtown Los Angeles – and has become a breeding ground for rats and other vermin, which have contributed to Los Angeles County’s typhus outbreak which began this summer.

Uneaten food is dumped on the street — a salad platter was recently splattered on the asphalt — and discarded clothing piles up only to be swirled into rats’ nests.

Those rats, experts say, are likely contributing to the growing number of typhus infections cropping up on skid row and other parts of the region. The disease is spread by fleas, which are carried by rats, opossums and pets.

“You have constant activity that serves as a breeding ground for rats,” said Estela Lopez, executive director of the Central City East Association, a business improvement district that overlaps skid row. –NBC News

Typhus infections can cause high fever, headache, chills – and in rare or untreated cases, meningitis and death. It is contracted when the “feces from infected flease are rubbed into cuts or scrapes in trhe skin or rubbed into the eyes,” according to the county health department.

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South Africa Testing “Confiscation” Of White Land To Build Affordable Housing

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The debate about land redistribution in South Africa has been a passionate one, as many South African cities face a housing crunch that has left hundreds of thousands of people living in informal settlements. Just as this debate is starting to reach a fever pitch, one South African city, Ekurhuleni, is about to embark on what mayor Mzwandile Masina calls “a test case” for the nation: the government is going to seize hundreds of acres of land, from white citizens without paying for it, to build low-cost housing.

Last month, the city voted in favor of pushing forward with “expropriation without compensation”. According to ABC News, this was cited by the African National Congress as a legal rule that is necessary in order to distribute land equitably and correct “historic injustices” that took place in the country.

The mayor of Ekurhuleni stated the same thing, saying that landowners in South Africa should not be scared. Mayor Masina told AP: “Our policy is not to take the land by force. Our policy is to make sure the land is shared amongst those that need it.” It was unclear what those whom the land is taken from thought about this policy.

The total amount of land that’s going to be expropriated amounts to about 865 acres. The land is both private and government owned, and some of it has been vacant for decades. Masina, who heads the local ANC-led coalition, did not specify which landowners will be hit be the measure.

The internationally debated land reform was approved by South Africa’s ruling party to address the historic injustices of apartheid, and distribute land among the population more equitably. According to the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, over 77 percent of South African farms and agricultural holdings are owned by white citizens with only four percent of lands belonging to black South Africans. White citizens make up just nine percent of the country’s population, while black citizens account for 76 percent. This, to the ruling regime, is a green light to repossess land that has been owned by white citizens, in many cases for generations.

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