Headlines from Around the World: 10/07/14

The first Ebola virus case has now spread to the USA. Currently, the Ebola patient, Thomas Duncan, is in full isolation in a hospital in Dallas. His family members are kept out of school and monitored for symptoms. Duncan got the Ebola virus when he went to Liberia and helped an Ebola virus patient to a hospital. He went back home to Dallas, where he carried the virus. Ebola spreads only through contact with bodily fluids, like blood. It is not contagious when there are no symptoms, and Duncan apparently had no fever when he got on the plane. He would have been contagious in Dallas, though, raising the possibility of the first case not just spotted but contracted in the United States. The World Health Organization now estimates that the virus has killed about 70 percent of people infected in West Africa. Also, in Liberia, an American cameraman working for NBC News has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to US for treatment.

On the other side of the world, student protesters are protesting against political reform in Hong Kong, China. They want the Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying to resign because the students don’t agree with his political views. According to the South China Post, “Leung said his chief secretary, Lam, had received a letter from the Hong Kong Federation of Students on the ‘constitutional development’ of Hong Kong. He said that they had ‘studied the letter in detail’ and appointed Lam to meet with the students.” One of the students said, “”At the moment, the main focus of the debate should be the political reform,” the students said. “Therefore, our agenda of the public dialogue will also be set based on this central issue.” Hong Kong police has surrounded the government buildings and will use “appropriate force”, such as tear gas, if the situation escalates.

In North Korea, a new report says a major upgrade has been done on their launch site allowing for larger rockets to launch into space. Although the South Korean Defense Ministry, Pyongyang, insisted that “the test was for scientific purposes only,” many nations, including the United States considered it a cover for testing ballistic missile technology.

In addition, the Aral Sea is now nearly dry as the eastern lobe of the South Aral Sea has completely dried up. With the loss of water, the salinity levels are beginning to rise. Winds will start to blow contaminated soil onto surrounding croplands, meaning more water will be needed to make the land suitable for agriculture. Finally, the local climate has changed as well because of the falling water levels.

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