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Daily Scoop: Creepy Canvassers, Africa's Digital Revolution, and Is Halloween Cancelled?

October 31, 2012

Here are the stories that caught my eye today. What about yours? 

Creepy Canvassers or the New Normal? In the last remaining days of the U.S. presidential campaigning season, canvassers for both President Obama and Mitt Romney are still racing door-to-door. But now they have more than their talking points in hand. With cell phones containing data on individuals from when or if they voted in the last election, to when they last went to the opera or a sporting event, volunteers for each campaign can get spookily specific with those they are looking to reach.

Is Halloween Cancelled on the East Coast this Year? Jezebel, asks. For our U.S. community, tonight is one of the most fun (and spooky) nights of the year. But the massive not-a-hurricane but devastating none-the-less Sandy has put a wrinkle in the brows (and plans) of many who live on this side of the country today. Even New Jersey Governor Chris Christie jumped in with this tweet:

If conditions are not safe on Wednesday for Trick or Treating, I will sign an Executive Order rescheduling #Halloween.


Photo courtesy of Jezebel

8 Ways to Help. The aftermath of Super Storm Sandy has left many without access to basic supplies including water and electricity. If you want to help (and I know you do!), The Daily Beast has this quick list of where to turn. Save the Children is working hard, as well, to respond quickly with all forms of assistance.

Africa's Digital Revolution. The word "revolution" might be overused these days but in this case, what else can you call the transformational power mobile phones and digital tools have on the daily lives of Africans across the continent? "In the world's poorest continent, only one in three people has access to electricity – but far more than that have a mobile phone." Read more to find out what this means in terms of impact on millions of people's lives.

Breast is Best for Babies in Bangladesh. This doesn't exactly rise to the level of Halloween, but this month is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and there's a critical reason why. Virtually every major medical organization in the world, at this point, as made clear that exclusive breastfeeding (feeding infants only breastmilk until they are 6 months old) is the healthiest way to feed newborns. Bangladesh has risen to the occasion by increasing rates of exclusive breastfeeding to a whopping 64 percent, over the last five years. 

Dhaka (Bangladesh) maternity hospitals encourage exclusive breastfeeding. Credit: Sujan-map/IPS

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