New York, New Jersey emphasize home confinement for Ebola workers amid government criticism
The governors of New York and New Jersey are at odds with scientists over Ebola as they back 21-day quarantines for medical workers returning from West Africa, while the nation's top infectious-disease expert warns that such restrictions are unnecessary and could discourage volunteers from aiding disease-ravaged countries.
The two governors late Sunday night emphasized separately that their policies permit home confinement for medical workers who have had contact with Ebola patients if the workers show no symptoms. They will receive twice-daily monitoring from health officials.
The emphasis on home confinement was at odds with the widely criticized treatment of a nurse returning from Sierrra Leone who was forcibly quarantined is a New Jersey hospital isolation unit even though she said had no symptoms and tested negative for Ebola.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said such quarantines in medical facilities would only be used in some cases, such as if the health care workers were from states other than New York or New Jersey. For workers under home confinement, family members will be allowed to stay, and friends may visit with the approval of health officials. Workers displaying any symptoms will go straight to the hospital.
"We're staying one step ahead," Cuomo said Sunday night. "We're doing everything possible. Some people say we're being too cautious. I'll take that criticism."
How was Liberian Ebola patient's treatment different from American patients who survived?
When Thomas Eric Duncan became the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States, his relatives with roots in virus-ravaged Liberia knew what questions to ask.
Would his treatment include experimental drugs? Was a blood transfusion from a survivor an option? What about a transfer from the hospital in Dallas, where he was being treated, to one of four medical centers nationwide that specialize in highly infectious diseases like Ebola?
Duncan, poor and uninsured, did not get all the help his family members wanted, and they now question why his care was different in some ways than that of Americans infected with the deadly virus who survived. Of the nine people who have been treated for Ebola in the U.S., only Duncan has died.
"We asked. We begged. We pleaded. I even offered my own blood, even though it wouldn't do anything for him," said nephew Josephus Weeks, who was so close in age to Duncan that they were raised like brothers. "We requested everything we could think of to save Eric. They said no."
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas spokesman Wendell Watson said "many treatment options" were considered, including experimental drugs and a transfusion. What could be done to save Duncan was "discussed daily" with experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Emory University in Atlanta, which has a special isolation unit that successfully treated other Ebola patients. He said all parties decided to leave Duncan in Dallas, where he died Oct. 8.
INSIDE WASHINGTON: Revolving door between companies, Army on display in intelligence program
The Army's troubled $5 billion intelligence fusion network has been a source of lucrative contracts to companies whose employees once worked for the Army, while failing to deliver on its promise of making data seamlessly accessible to soldiers in the field, according to records and interviews.
The Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A) was supposed to integrate intelligence from a network of sensors and databases to provide a common intelligence picture from the Pentagon to the farthest reaches of Afghanistan.
But the program so far has been a bust, with one memorable Army testing report finding it "not operationally effective, not operationally suitable and not survivable."
The performance failures of the network have been well-documented, but less scrutiny has been devoted to the revolving door between defense companies that profit from the troubled intelligence system and the military commands that continue to fund it, records show.
Several people who worked in key roles in Army intelligence left for top jobs at those companies. In the world of government contracting, that's not illegal or entirely uncommon, but critics say it perpetuates a culture of failure.
Girl wounded in Washington state school shooting dies, bringing death toll to 3
A 14-year-old girl who was wounded when a student opened fire inside a Washington state high school has died, raising the death toll in the shooting to three.
Gia Soriano died Sunday night, more than two days after she was shot, officials at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett said.
"We are devastated by this senseless tragedy," her family said in a statement, read at a news conference by Dr. Joanne Roberts. "Gia is our beautiful daughter, and words cannot express how much we will miss her."
Roberts said Gia's family was donating her organs for transplant.
Another girl was killed Friday when a popular freshman at Marysville-Pilchuck High School north of Seattle opened fire.
South Korean prosecutors demand death penalty for captain of doomed ferry
South Korean prosecutors on Monday demanded the death penalty for the captain of a ferry that sank in April, killing more than 300 people, and life sentences to three key crew members, a court official said.
Prosecutors also requested that a district court sentence 11 other crew members up to 30 years in prison on charges that they were negligent and failed to protect passengers when the ferry was sinking April 16, said an official at the Gwangju District Court in southern South Korea. He spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he wasn't authorized to speak to the media about the requested punishment.
The 15 crew on trial were among the first people rescued from the ship when it began badly listing en route from Incheon, west of Seoul, to the resort island of Jeju. Most of those who died in the disaster were students from a single high school who were on a field trip to the island.
Capt. Lee Joon-seok and the three key crew members — a first mate, a second mate and the chief engineer — were indicted in May on homicide charges. Eleven other crew members were indicted on less serious charges.
Court officials have said the court will issue verdicts on the 15 crew members in November.
Before US breakthroughs, gay marriage has been accepted by some countries around the world
The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal this month to review rulings that overturned bans on same-sex marriage marked a milestone in gay rights in the United States. Around the world, many countries have come to accept such unions as part of the tapestry of everyday life. But there are still pockets of resistance. Here is a look at some countries that have made same-sex marriage common practice:
BRITAIN WAITS, ACCEPTS:
In 1992, five same-sex couples in London applied for marriage licenses in one of the opening salvos of the battle for what campaigners call "marriage equality."
The license bid was denied — to no one's surprise — and one of the organizers, rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, said that most gay people at the time believed same-sex marriage to be an "impossible, unattainable" goal.
Whale hunts, polar bears and door knocks: Getting out the Senate vote above the Arctic Circle
Three children whiz by on a snowmobile as Gabe Tegoseak, crunching through icy streets in the town that's as far north as you can go and still be in the United States, is hunting for votes.
He's tired after a late night spent butchering one of three bowhead whales that subsistence hunters towed in from the pewter-colored waters of the Chukchi Sea. Slabs of blubber cover front yards all over town, and Tegoseak has some whale of his own to cut up and cook at home.
But not yet. There is an election coming soon, and doors await his knock. Harold Snowball answers one of them.
"Are you a Republican or Democrat, do you mind if I ask?" says Tegoseak. Snowball thinks he's a registered Democrat but says he votes for who he believes will do a better job. In this case, that will probably be Alaska's Democratic U.S. senator, Mark Begich.
"Yeah!" Tegoseak says with a fist pump, and later makes a note of this on a spreadsheet.
SUVs — once a symbol of American excess — are becoming the world's favorite ride
Once a hulking symbol of American excess, sport utility vehicles are quickly becoming the world's favorite way to get around.
It's a surprising rebirth for a vehicle that was the subject of obituaries when gas prices spiked in 2008. Automakers won back customers by making smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs that also appealed to newly wealthy buyers in Asia and South America and former skeptics in Europe.
Indian drivers want SUVs to navigate rough roads. In China they're a status symbol. European and American Baby Boomers buy SUVs because they're easier to climb in and out of. Upwardly mobile Brazilian families like their spaciousness. Cheaper subcompacts like the Renault Duster are bringing in customers who couldn't afford SUVs before.
Earlier this year, SUVs overtook four-door sedans for the first time as the most popular vehicle for individual buyers in the U.S. By 2018, analysts expect China to be the biggest market for SUVs in the world.
"The SUV genie is out of the bottle. They've been discovered by enough people that you'll never put them back," says Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with the car buying site Kelley Blue Book.
Actress Marcia Strassman, who starred in 1970s sitcom 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' dies at age 66
Marcia Strassman, who played Gabe Kaplan's wife, Julie, on the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," has died. She was 66.
Strassman died at her Sherman Oaks, California, home on Friday after battling breast cancer for seven years, her sister, Julie Strassman, said Sunday.
"They gave her 2 ½ years to live but she lasted much longer," she said. "She was very courageous."
Strassman had numerous roles on television and in film during her five-decade career.
She played nurse Margie Cutler on the first season of "MASH" before her breakout role in "Welcome Back, Kotter." The show was about a teacher returning to the tough high-school of his youth to teach a classroom full of misfits, including future movie star John Travolta.
Bumgarner's latest gem leads Giants past Royals, within a victory of third title in 5 years
Hall of Famer Juan Marichal mingled in the San Francisco clubhouse and waited patiently for his chance to share a kind, congratulatory word with Madison Bumgarner.
Marichal understood it would be tough to find a moment with the man of the night. MadBum, the man of the postseason, more like it.
One of the greatest pitchers ever thinks the world of one of baseball's brightest young arms, so standing in line to speak to the lefty was no big deal.
What Bumgarner did to pitch the Giants within one victory of another World Series championship certainly was.
The Southern southpaw tossed a four-hit gem in his latest brilliant postseason start, and the Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 5-0 on Sunday night to reach the cusp of a third championship in five years.
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