Archives for FUBAR

A roundup of Ebola quarantine guidelines

States have broad authority to quarantine people to prevent the spread of disease, and several are exercising that right to go beyond the safety recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control for containing the deadly Ebola virus. The CDC says mandatory quarantines of those without symptoms are unnecessarily severe and will discourage health workers from going to West Africa to fight the epidemic. It says people at the highest risk of contracting Ebola but who have no symptoms — such as those who came into direct contact with an Ebola patient’s body fluids — should avoid public transportation and public
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Massive manhunt ends for cop killer suspect

They searched for him in impenetrable woods and forbidding caves, in schools and vacation homes and even in a roadside clothing donation bin, all the while hoping that ambush suspect Eric Frein wouldn’t take a potshot at them from some unseen, distant perch. For 48 tense days, hundreds of law enforcement officials fanned out across the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania in a grueling manhunt for the 31-year-old survivalist armed with high-powered weaponry and explosives. In the end, Frein surrendered meekly around 6 p.m. Thursday to a team of U.S. marshals who stumbled across him near an abandoned airplane hangar
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Showdown in Maine over an Ebola quarantine

State police plan to monitor the movements and interactions of a nurse who vowed to defy the state’s quarantine for health care workers who treat Ebola patients, but troopers cannot take her into custody without a judge’s permission. State officials were seeking a court order to detain Kaci Hickox for the remainder of the 21-day incubation period for Ebola that ends on Nov. 10. Hickox contends there’s no need for quarantine because she’s showing no symptoms, and she made her point by stepping outside her home briefly Wednesday night to talk to reporters, even shaking one reporter’s hand. Police watched
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Are quarantines effective? Some say ‘no’

The Spanish flu pandemic a century ago prompted the last large-scale quarantines in this country. Now the Ebola outbreak is raising new questions about whether ordering quarantines is an effective way to fight deadly disease in the U.S. Health experts say putting people into quarantine can be appropriate on a case-by-case basis. In a high-profile case in 2007, an Atlanta man believed to have a rare, extremely drug-resistant form of tuberculosis was ordered into federal quarantine after returning to the country from his wedding overseas. Later tests found a less dangerous form of TB. Experts have criticized Govs. Andrew Cuomo
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Is Joe Biden ready to be the ‘tie breaker?’

It’s the stuff of a campaign manager’s dream: The sitting vice president, in the midst of his own run for president, dashes across Pennsylvania Avenue and bursts into the Senate to cast the deciding vote on make-or-break legislation, saving the day for his party while C-SPAN cameras capture the moment. For Joe Biden, it could become a reality — in the event of a deadlocked Senate after the midterm elections. If the Senate splits evenly between Democrats and Republicans, the vice president’s role as the 101st senator would instantly be elevated. That in turn would raise Biden’s own profile heading
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Baptists admit losing ‘moral war’ over gay marriage

More than a thousand evangelical pastors and others — gathered for a three-day conference to steel the resolve of Christians who preach that gay relationships are sinful — were asked a simple question: How many live in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage? Hands rose all across the convention hall. “This moral revolution is happening at warp speed,” said the Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “This is a real challenge to us on biblical authority.” Speakers at the event said they understood they were on the losing end of the culture war on marriage. But
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Can courts curb NSA spying on Americans?

While Congress mulls how to curtail the NSA’s collection of Americans’ telephone records, impatient civil liberties groups are looking to legal challenges already underway in the courts to limit government surveillance powers. Three appeals courts are hearing lawsuits against the bulk phone records program, creating the potential for an eventual Supreme Court review. Judges in lower courts, meanwhile, are grappling with the admissibility in terror prosecutions of evidence gained through the NSA’s warrantless surveillance. Advocates say the flurry of activity, which follows revelations last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden of once-secret intelligence collection programs, show how a post-9/11
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Who makes the call on Ebola quarantines?

For Americans wondering why President Barack Obama hasn’t forced all states to follow a single, national rule for isolating potential Ebola patients, the White House has a quick retort: Talk to the Founding Fathers. A hodgepodge of state policies, some of which directly contradict Obama’s recommendations, has sowed confusion about what’s really needed to stop Ebola from spreading in the United States. While public health advocates denounce state quarantines as draconian and scientifically baseless, anxious citizens in non-quarantine states are asking whether they’re at greater risk because their governors and the president have adopted a lesser level of caution. If
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Army, governors to their own way on Ebola restrictions

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday recommended new restrictions for people at highest risk for coming down with the Ebola virus and symptom monitoring for those at lower risk, but some state governors and even the Army are carving their own paths. As contradictory state policies proliferate in response to Ebola fears, the CDC’s recommendations mark an effort to create a national standard, one that would protect public health without discouraging people from helping fight its spread overseas. The CDC now says even if people have no symptoms and are not considered contagious they should stay
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Methodist pastor keeps his job after gay wedding

A Methodist pastor who was disciplined after he officiated at the wedding of his gay son will be allowed to remain an ordained minister. The Judicial Council of the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination ruled Monday that a Pennsylvania church jury was wrong to defrock Frank Schaefer last year after he would not promise never to perform another same-sex wedding. The council ruled on technical grounds and did not express support for gay marriage in general. Its decision is final. Reached by phone after the decision, Schaefer called it “amazing.” He said he was pleased, “not just for myself, but for
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