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A nurse in Dallas, Texas, has become the first person to contract Ebola inside the United States. The nurse helped care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last week. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the exact cause of transmission is unknown.
Thomas Frieden: “We don’t know what occurred in the care of the index patient, the original patient in Dallas. But at some point there was a breach in protocol. And that breach in protocol resulted in this infection.”
The case has raised concerns hospitals are not adequately protecting workers from Ebola. According to the union National Nurses United, 76 percent of 2,000 nurses surveyed said their hospitals had not communicated any policy to them regarding admission of potentially infected patients. The union has threatened to picket hospitals if nurses are not given protections including Hazmat suits and hands-on training.
A U.S. health official says an Ebola vaccine would likely be ready if it were not for budget cuts. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, told The Huffington Post, “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine.”
In Liberia, thousands of healthcare workers are set to go on strike today to demand better hazard pay, safer conditions and life-insurance benefits. At least 95 healthcare workers have died of Ebola in Liberia; the same number have died in Sierra Leone.
Turkey has agreed to let U.S. forces use its military bases to fight Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. U.S. officials say Turkey also agreed to train moderate Syrian rebels. The Obama administration has been pressuring Turkey to play a greater role against the militants who are battling Kurdish fighters for control of Kobani, a key Syrian town on the Turkish border.
Over the weekend, a triple suicide bombing in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala killed 60 people and injured more than 120. Hours earlier, roadside bombs killed the police chief in Anbar province, just west of Baghdad. The province is reportedly on the verge of falling entirely into the hands of ISIS militants. CNN reports the Iraqi military has abandoned a key base outside the city of Heet, one of its few remaining outposts in Anbar.
The Islamic State has released a third video of British hostage John Cantlie, part of what it claims will be a seven-part series. The video contains no reference to events dating back to early September, indicating it may have been filmed over a month ago.
Two U.S. drone strikes killed up to eight people along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border Saturday. The strikes reportedly targeted a vehicle in North Waziristan, and a compound in the Khyber region. Pakistani media identified the dead as suspected militants, including a senior member of the newly created al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. The attacks bring the total number of U.S. drone strikes in the area last week to at least eight.
At a conference in Cairo, international donors have pledged $5.4 billion in aid to Palestinians, about half of it dedicated to reconstruction in Gaza, which was devastated by this summer’s Israeli assault. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged $212 million in new U.S. aid.
John Kerry: “Out of this conference must come not just money, but a renewed commitment from everybody to work for a peace that meets the aspirations of all — for Israelis, for Palestinians and for all the peoples of this region.”
Speaking at the conference, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “We must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations.” Ban will visit Gaza on Tuesday.
Thousands of people traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, to take part in “Ferguson October,” four days of action calling for justice in the case of Michael Brown and the reform of police practices nationwide. Overnight on Saturday, 17 people were arrested in a sit-in at a gas station near the St. Louis neighborhood of Shaw, where police fatally shot another 18-year-old African American, Vonderrit Myers. Watch our report from the streets.
Pro-democracy demonstrations have continued in Hong Kong, despite opposition from hundreds of people who tore down barricades and clashed with the protesters. Despite the opposition, the protesters have vowed to continue their call for greater political freedom from China.
In news from South America, Bolivian President Evo Morales has won a third term in office. Early results from Sunday’s election show Morales with 60 percent of the vote. Morales became the first indigenous president of Bolivia in 2006.
In neighboring Brazil, environmentalist and third-place presidential candidate Marina Silva has backed pro-corporate candidate Aécio Neves in the upcoming runoff election. Neves took 33 percent in the initial round of voting, while Rousseff took 41 percent. They face a runoff on October 26.
In Texas, abortion providers are reporting a massive spike in phone calls and waiting times for abortion after a court ruling shuttered all but eight abortion clinics in the state. A spokesperson at the Planned Parenthood facility in Austin told the Houston Chronicle it received seven times as many calls as normal last week, many of them from cities such as Midland and McAllen, where abortion access evaporated overnight following the ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling allowed hospital-style building requirements passed as part of a sweeping anti-choice law to come into effect overnight. On Thursday, the appeals court declined to revisit an earlier decision upholding one part of the law.
Former National Security Agency and CIA director Michael Hayden has said he does not believe the government should prosecute New York Times reporter James Risen. Risen faces potential jail time as the Obama administration seeks to force him to testify at the trial of a former CIA officer accused of giving Risen classified information. Risen’s book, “State of War,” details a failed CIA operation to deliver faulty nuclear bomb blueprints to Iran. General Michael Hayden, who led the CIA until 2009, and, before that, led the NSA, told Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes he does not think Risen should be forced to divulge his source.
Michael Hayden: “I am, like America, conflicted. OK?”
Lesley Stahl: “Really?”
Michael Hayden: “I am. I am. You’re talking about ruining lives over things about which people are acting on principle, so I’d be very careful about it.”
Lesley Stahl: “So you would not be pursuing Jim, if you had the decision to make?”
Michael Hayden: “Frankly, Lesley, I don’t understand the necessity to pursue Jim.”
Tune into Democracy Now! tomorrow as we interview James Risen about his new book, “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War.”
Seven high school football players in Sayreville, New Jersey, have been arrested and accused of sexually assaulting four teammates. The players, who are between 15 and 17, are accused of holding down and digitally penetrating fellow students in the locker room. The football program has been suspended.