The Ebola outbreak started in rural areas, but by June it had reached Liberia's capital, Monrovia.
By August, the number of people contracting the Ebola virus in the country was doubling every week. The Liberian government and aid workers begged for help.
Enter the U.S. military, who along with other U.S. agencies had a clear plan in mid-September to build more Ebola treatment units, or ETUs. At least one would be built in the major town of each of Liberia's 15 counties. That way, sick patients in those counties wouldn't bring more Ebola to the capital.
For weeks, Ferguson police and local leaders met with community groups and activists to work out a plan for the aftermath of the grand jury's decision whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 6:31 pm
Audie Cornish speaks with Pastor Willis Johnson from Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Mo., about the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case and the reactions he sees in his community. Read Pastor Willis Johnson's sermon for this coming Sunday, "Disgrace and Grace."
Karl Wildman was the hero of his family — he escaped Vienna at the start of World War II and became a successful doctor in the United States. When Karl died, his granddaughter Sarah Wildman found a hidden trove of love letters from a woman Karl left behind in Vienna.
Every day, shortly after breakfast, more than 150 noisy and eager-eyed kids, coated in dust from top to toe, troop into a mud cowshed in a sun-baked village among the cotton fields of southern Pakistan. The shed is no larger than the average American garage; the boys and girls squeeze together, knee-to-knee, on the dirt floor.
Words scrawled on a wooden plank hanging outside proudly proclaim this hovel to be a "school," although the pupils have no tables, chairs, shelves, maps or wall charts — let alone laptops, water coolers or lunch boxes.
Residents and business owners in Ferguson, Mo., awoke Tuesday morning to assess the damage done to their neighborhoods. In the aftermath of the grand jury's decision Monday night not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, many business were vandalized and some were destroyed.
"The violence we saw in areas of Ferguson last night cannot be repeated," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday, announcing that he is sending hundreds more members of the National Guard to the city that saw intense looting on Monday night.
"Last night, criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community," Nixon said, "burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing storefronts, and looting family businesses — many for the second time."
After a night of unrest and violence, police are posted at every intersection in Ferguson, Mo. National Guard troops man camouflaged Humvees in strip mall parking lots. The governor ordered more. Is it making the community feel safer?
One thing's for sure: It's keeping people from moving about as they normally would during this holiday week.
Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 6:31 pm
In Washington, D.C., a city with one of the highest costs of living in the nation, low-income residents are having trouble buying affordable housing — not because of a lack of it, but because of all the red tape.
Nearly 1 in 5 D.C. residents lives at or below the poverty line.
D.C. real estate developer Buwa Binitie offers affordable housing units as well as market-rate condos and says his rental properties can get snapped up quickly but the for-sale properties take a whole lot longer.
Police officer Darren Wilson's "current employment status has not changed," Ferguson Mayor James Knowles says, speaking one day after a grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
Saying that an internal affairs investigation into the August incident in which Wilson shot Brown to death is continuing, Knowles added that he couldn't go into more specifics than to say Wilson remains on administrative leave.
Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 4:23 pm
By Sam Sanders
A Florida woman who once had been sentenced to 20 years in a case that invoked the state's "stand your ground" law has accepted a plea deal that will see her released from prison in January.
Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., was accused of firing what she said was a warning shot at her husband and two of his children during a domestic dispute in 2010. She was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, convicted and sentenced under Florida's mandatory minimum guidelines.
The shrine of Imam Ali in the Iraqi city of Najaf is a vast gold-domed edifice, where Shiite Muslims from all over the world gather to pray.
But just a few minutes drive away, are travelers of a different, shabbier kind. A long row of cinder block and sheet metal buildings is draped in bright flags with religious slogans. Usually, these are for pilgrims to sleep in. But right now, they're spilling over with displaced Iraqi families.
"It's tough for the children," says Zaira Raqib, a mother of four of them. "We know we're displaced, but they don't understand."
Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 12:35 pm
The masked garbage crusaders of the night can be more than just a nuisance. Raccoons also can be bad news for human health, carrying diseases such as rabies and roundworms.
And because raccoons have happily colonized cities and suburbs, a particular roundworm called Baylisascaris procyonis that the critters often carry can make its way into humans. The parasite's eggs are carried in raccoon poop.
When ingested, the eggs release the worm, which can burrow into the eyes and brain causing blindness or even death, in rare cases.
In the record industry, it's not too early to be releasing Christmas albums, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has been listening to a lot of them. He's narrowed down his list of goodies to these four: A Merry Friggin' Christmas soundtrack, Christmas at Downton Abby, Earth Wind and Fire's Holiday and the Living Sisters' Harmony is Real.
About two-thirds of Americans who are infected with the virus that causes AIDS aren't getting treated for it.
The finding comes from an analysis just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that more needs to be done to make sure people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus get proper treatment.
You might wonder why 48 million Americans get food poisoning every year, yet there are some animals that seem to be immune from even the nastiest germs.
We're talking here about vultures, which feast on rotting flesh that is chockablock with bacteria that would be deadly to human beings. In fact, vultures have a strong preference for that kind of food.
Leading up to a grand jury's decision not to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, witness testimony has been hotly debated.
The big question has always been whether Wilson felt threatened and whether Michael Brown had his hands up when Wilson opened fire. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch hinted last night that some of the more believable testimony showed that Brown was charging officer Wilson.
Attorney General Eric Holder says "far more must be done to create enduring trust" between police and communities they serve, even as his Justice Department continues to investigate possible discriminatory police actions in Ferguson, Mo.
Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 11:55 am
By Michelle Andrews
For young people, turning 21 is generally a reason to celebrate.
If they're insured through the federal health insurance marketplace that operates in about three-dozen states, however, their birthday could mean a whopping 58 percent jump in their health insurance premium in 2015, according to an analysis by researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, told a grand jury in September that the 18-year-old hit him in the face with a fist following an exchange between them on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo.
The grand jury on Monday declined to charge Wilson, who is white, in the killing of Brown, who was black.
After sitting through hours of testimony and reading through thousands of pages of documents, a grand jury decided that there was not enough probable cause to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Their decision, like the shooting that led up to all this, sparked violent protests overnight in Ferguson, Mo.