Archives for FUBAR

Does America need an ‘Ebola Czar?’

Facing renewed criticism about the U.S. response to Ebola, President Barack Obama is conceding that it may make sense to have a single person lead the administration’s effort. But he says imposing a travel ban from disease-ravaged West Africa, as Republicans have demanded, would be counterproductive. In Dallas, the epicenter of Ebola in the U.S., officials took a tougher approach toward monitoring dozens of health care workers who were exposed to the virus while treating an infected patient who later died. The health care workers were asked to sign legally binding documents agreeing not to go to public places or
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Hospitals grapple with pending threats from Ebola

Step inside All Children’s Hospital and you’re greeted with three things: hand sanitizer, tissues and masks decorated with little cartoon Band-Aids with legs, feet and smiles. “Dirt Squirt Alert!” a sign says. “Stop the spread of germs that make you and others sick!” A sign at the check-in counter calls on people to immediately tell the triage nurse if anyone in the family has a cough, fever and/or runny nose and has been to the Middle East, part of a check for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Now they ask another question to anyone with flu-like symptoms: Have you been to
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Pot stays hidden in the grass in Colorado politics

Colorado has seen feisty debates this fall, with candidates in close races for governor, Senate and the U.S. House arguing over abortion rights, energy policy and the death penalty. Just don’t expect any of them to talk much about the biggest news of the year: legal pot. While the state’s 10-month-old marijuana retail experiment has received worldwide attention and sales of recreational and medical pot have generated more than $45 million for state coffers, most voters have collectively shrugged. Predictions that they would go scrambling back to the polls to repeal the legal pot law they passed in 2012 haven’t
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Kobali key in the battle with Islamic extremists

Dusty and remote, the Syrian city of Kobani has become an unlikely spoil in the war against Islamic State militants — and far more of a strategic prize than the United States wants to admit. Perched on Turkey’s border, the city of about 60,000 has been besieged for weeks by IS fighters. Kobani is now a ghost town: the U.N. estimates that fewer than 700 of its residents remain as its people flee to safety in Turkey. The Obama administration has declared Kobani a humanitarian disaster, but not a factor in the overall strategy to defeat the Islamic State group.
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Only small level of support for help on Ebola crisis

Individual Americans, rich or not, donated generously in response to many recent international disasters, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and last year’s Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The response to the Ebola epidemic is far less robust, and experts are wondering why. There have been some huge gifts from American billionaires — $50 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $11.9 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s foundation, and a $25 million gift this week from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. Their beneficiaries included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health
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America ramping up response to Ebola crisis

The federal government is ramping up its response to the Ebola crisis after a second Dallas nurse became ill and it was disclosed that she had been cleared to fly a day before her diagnosis. While Ebola patients are not considered contagious until they have symptoms and only two persons have been known to contract the disease in the U.S., the revelations Wednesday raised new alarms about whether hospitals and the public health system are equipped to handle the deadly disease. Federal health officials were being called to testify before a congressional committee Thursday to explain where things went wrong.
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A young nurse is the latest victim of Ebola in America

A dated yearbook picture of a smiling young woman has become the latest face of Ebola in the U.S. The high school picture of Amber Vinson spread across the country after the 29-year-old nurse was confirmed with the virus Wednesday. But little was publicly revealed about her, beyond the image of her with a wide grin, tipped head and shiny pink blouse. Vinson lived in Akron, Ohio, and went to Kent State University, where she received degrees in 2006 and 2008, the university said. She was licensed as a registered nurse in Ohio on February 2, 2009, and remains licensed
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Another Dallas health care worker infected with Ebola

A second health care worker at a Dallas hospital who provided care for the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. has tested positive for the disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services said Wednesday. The worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was monitoring herself for symptoms, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. The unidentified woman reported a fever Tuesday. She was in isolation within 90 minutes, Jenkins said. Health officials said the worker was among those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan, who was diagnosed with Ebola after coming to the U.S. from Liberia. Duncan died Oct.
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Dallas nurse cite sloppiness in Ebola care

A Liberian Ebola patient was left in an open area of a Dallas emergency room for hours, and the nurses treating him worked for days without proper protective gear and faced constantly changing protocols, according to a statement released late Tuesday by the largest U.S. nurses’ union. Nurses were forced to use medical tape to secure openings in their flimsy garments, worried that their necks and heads were exposed as they cared for a patient with explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting, said Deborah Burger of National Nurses United. Burger convened a conference call with reporters to relay what she said
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A lot at stake in nuclear talks in Iran

An Iranian nuclear agreement is the Obama administration’s grandest foreign policy objective, a legacy-defining endeavor that holds the prospect of ending the gravest potential threat to Israel and the Middle East and reintegrating Iran into the world community. But reaching a deal is no easy matter. And as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plunges back into talks Wednesday with Iran’s foreign minister, many challenges beset the diplomacy. Iran is maintaining a tough line on much of the nuclear infrastructure that it says is for peaceful energy production, but which world powers worry may be designed to develop atomic weapons.
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