The federal government will temporarily stop funding any new studies that could make three high-risk infectious diseases even more dangerous. The government is asking all scientists involved in this research now to voluntarily halt their current studies.
The unusual move comes after a long controversy over experiments with mutant forms of a bird flu virus.
How many times do top officials have to say that the Ebola virus is not airborne?
A lot, apparently.
Here is President Obama Thursday: "This is not an airborne disease. It is not easy to catch."
And the day before: "It is not like the flu. It is not airborne."
And Friday, a reporter asked the inevitable question about airborne Ebola when Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, held a press briefing about nurse Nina Pham's transfer to the National Institute of Health.
Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 8:23 am
The powerful California Nurses Association has put Ebola on the bargaining table in its negotiations for a new contract with Kaiser Permanente.
Contract talks have been going on for months, and the nurses' most recent demands are focused on Ebola — better training, more staffing, protective gear that goes beyond what's recommended by federal officials and even a special life insurance policy.
Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 3:07 pm
By Eyder Peralta
In a process that will surely be repeated across the United States, a federal judge in Arizona ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick said that the legal opinion in his circuit is clear: The Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decided state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional and the Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals for those cases.
For that reason, Sedwick ordered that the state "permanently cease enforcement of those provisions of Arizona law declared unconstitutional by this order."
While the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act may lead to a dramatic rise in emergency room use and hospitalizations for previously uninsured people, that increase seems to be largely temporary and should not lead to a dramatic impact on state budgets, according to an analysis from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released Wednesday.
Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:26 pm
By Eve Abrams
Once upon a time, most kids attended things called schools to get an education. And, in those schools, these kids were called students.
Well, times are changing — especially in urban areas with lots of charter schools. In New Orleans, where just about every school receiving public funding is now a charter, we asked a bunch of adults where they had gone to school.
Their answers: Newton Elementary and Newton High School, Warren Easton High School, Epiphany School, Folsom Elementary School, Valena C. Jones School and the Moses Brown School.
Isata Kallon, a nurse at Kenema Hospital in eastern Sierra Leone, remembers the day 3-year-old Ibrahim showed up at the Ebola treatment center. He was with his mother and two older brothers, ages 5 and 8. They all had Ebola. Ibrahim was especially sick, vomiting constantly.
"The chance of survival was very low for him," says Kallon, who's in her 30s. She sits at a picnic table outside the Ebola ward, her hair pulled back with a hairband and her blue nursing scrubs tinged with sweat around the neck.
Nigeria's army has reportedly reached a cease-fire deal with the extremist group Boko Haram that could lead to the release of more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted in April and whose release quickly became an international cause.
According to NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, Nigeria's official news agency is quoting the country's defense chief, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, as saying a truce has been reached. Badeh announced the truce and ordered his troops to immediately comply with the agreement, according to The Associated Press.
Ron Klain, a former White House adviser, has been appointed to head U.S. efforts to combat Ebola.
A White House official says Klain "will report directly to the president's Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco and ... National Security Adviser Susan Rice as he ensures that efforts to protect the American people by detecting, isolating and treating Ebola patients in this country are properly integrated but don't distract from the aggressive commitment to stopping Ebola at the source in West Africa."
Bermudans are boarding up windows and leaving low-lying areas on the British island territory ahead of Hurricane Gonzalo.
A warning issued by the Bermuda Weather Service says residents of the island can expect winds of 74 mph or higher and "dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves, even though winds expected may be less than hurricane force."
Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy has stepped down as head of the nation's second-largest school system after a controversial tenure that saw him at odds with the teachers union and unable to push through a plan to get an iPad in every student's hand.
Police in Hong Kong moved aggressively to dismantle a pro-democracy protest site in the city's congested Mong Kok district, launching a dawn raid to remove metal and bamboo barricades at one of three areas where student activists have staged rallies calling for open elections in the former British colony.
The operation to clear the protest camp after weeks of pro-government demonstrations and sit-ins "came while many protesters were asleep on the asphalt in dozens of tents or beneath giant, blue-striped tarpaulin sheets," Reuters says.
Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:05 pm
Findings from a new long-term study of small high schools in New York City show the approach may not only boost a student's chances of enrolling in college but also cost less per graduate.
The city began an intensive push to create smaller learning communities in its high schools in 2002. That year, the city's education department rolled out a districtwide lottery system for high school admission.
In the Silicon Valley arms race to lure the top talent with the best benefits, Facebook and Apple are adding egg freezing for female employees. The two companies may be the first to pay for the procedure for women who choose it to delay childbearing.
The addition of egg-freezing to the benefits plan comes as tech companies face mounting pressure to hire more women. And it's a perk that some women may find attractive.
Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 8:53 am
To stop the raging Ebola epidemic in West Africa, "we need to pay attention to where the fire is burning."
That means there is no "magic solution," Jim Yong Kim, the head of the World Bank, told NPR's Steve Inskeep during an interview on Morning Edition. So appointing an Ebola czar to monitor the international response isn't going to suddenly stop the outbreak.
Neither will closing the borders between U.S. and the three hardest-hit countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.