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Are Ebola Fears Driving More New Yorkers to Get Flu Shots?

Flu shots are up 50 percent in New York City compared to this time last year, according to the city health department, via WNYC. This could mean nothing, or it could mean, as WNYC points out, that the shots are more widely available this year. But it could also point to a weird upside of Ebola panic: The near-constant Ebola headlines are certainly keeping health at the top of the mind lately. Could fears over one illness be driving people to take action on another, albeit unrelated, illness?

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Palestinian Leaders Call Holy-Site Closure a ‘Declaration of War’

Israeli authorities cut off access to a contested Jerusalem holy site on Thursday, in what a spokesperson for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called a "declaration of war." The landmark, commonly known as the Temple Mount, is considered holy by both Jews and Muslims, and the closing comes after an attempted assasination of a far-right Jewish leader campaigning for more Jewish access to the site.

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Apple’s Tim Cook Shatters the Glass Closet

This morning, Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, came out in an essay for Bloomberg Businessweek. “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

As he indicates, Cook’s revelation is no big revelation. Out magazine listed him as the second-most powerful gay person in the United States earlier this year, and Cook has never said that he is anything other than gay. But nevertheless, with his essay, Cook has become one of only a handful of openly gay chief executives in the United States — and the only one currently on the Fortune 500. What’s more, he has done it as the head of the fifth-most valuable company in the country.

Consider the glass closet shattered.

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NYPD Sergeant Allegedly Conspired With Woman Over Skype to Molest Her 1-Year-Old Baby

Back in February 2013, NYPD Sergeant Alberto Randazzo was charged with use of a child in a sexual performance, promoting sexual performance by a child, and possessing a sexual performance by a child. Then, a year later, while he was out on bail for those charges, he was caught downloading 30 clips of child pornography to his computer. This guy is a complete monster, huh?

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Rebel Ebola Nurse Shakes Reporter’s Hand, Goes for Bike Ride in Maine

Quarantine-defying Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox, now home in Maine after escaping Chris Christie’s bluster in New Jersey, flaunted her freedom in the most Maine way possible this morning: by going on a bike ride. While health officials in the state are insisting she stay inside until November 10, when her 21-day incubation period ends, Hickox, who served with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone but has twice tested negative for the virus and shown no symptoms, keeps pushing the boundaries.

Last night, “Hickox made her point when she stepped outside the home,” the Associated Press reports. “After speaking to reporters, she shook a hand offered by one of the reporters.”

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Is This the Troll-Proof Social Network of Women’s Dreams?

Sometimes the internet feels cleanly divided into two parts. There’s the anonymous internet, filled with infinitely replicating 15-year-old boys eager to test boundaries with violent rape jokes — think Gamergate, 4chan, Reddit. Then there’s the not-anonymous internet, which contains your mom, your boss, your ex-boyfriend, your next boyfriend — where you worry about your Google results, and self-censor accordingly. Gone, it seems, is the small, pseudonymous internet — best exemplified for women my age by LiveJournal — where you could express yourself without the surveillance of authority figures, but still forge real connections with other real people and potential future IRL friends.

Without that kind of space, the internet can be a rough place. Last week, a Pew survey found that although men are more likely to be embarrassed or threatened online, women are more likely to experience the sustained online harassment, stalking, and sexual harassment that discourages people from commenting online. One way of dealing with this is to ask Twitter for better ways to block harassers (to make the anonymous internet a little safer) or Facebook for better privacy controls (to make the non-anonymous internet a little less public). But another way is to start your own social network with women in mind.

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2014’s Worst Possible Halloween Costumes

Every year, humanity is given a fresh chance to enjoy a perfectly lovely All Hallows' Eve, and every year we completely screw it up with racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive costumes. It's not even officially Halloween yet, and people have already ruined it for the rest of us. Come, take a tour through the haunted house of totally tasteless costumes, 2014 edition.

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Confessions of a ‘Partyist’: Yes, I Judge Your Politics

How would you feel if your child married a supporter of the opposing party? I’ll admit it: I wouldn’t like it very much. Partisan affinity is not the only, or even the most important, quality in my children’s prospective future mates. I would certainly prefer a kind, well-adjusted Republican over an angry, emotionally unstable Democrat. Still, all things being equal, I'd rather not greet my child's future spouse with a copy of Bill O'Reilly's latest tucked under his or her arm. Does that make me a bigot?

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7 Actually Interesting Things You Missed in Wednesday’s Midterm Races

If you're like most Americans, you aren't following the midterm elections. They do seem sort of boring, but much like skipping Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, if you don't watch, next season you'll be confused about why everyone is angry at some guy named Scott.

To help you keep up, we at Intelligencer are providing a daily recap of the most interesting events on the campaign trail. Today's wrap-up includes plenty of preliminary 2016 drama, with appearances by Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul. It's basically that one episode where Kim comes to visit.

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