The Ebola scare continues, and, even with positive stories such as Nina Pham being cleared from her Dallas hospital, the cultural and economic strain of the virus is having a continued effect. In the end the greatest effect of the virus may be on the American economy as travel bans and fearful citizens have already caused airline stocks to drop and predicted economic losses swell to over $32.6 billion.
The Ebola outbreak has amounted to 4000 deaths in the world and has affected West Africa, such as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the worst. One of those deaths belonged to Thomas Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. The UN says more than 233 health workers working in West Africa have now died in the outbreak, the world’s deadliest to date. A senior official said that they did not anticipate the scale of the Ebola outbreak. Chris Dye, from World Health Organization, said, “We’ve asked for a response of about $1 billion, so far we have around $300 million with more being pledged, so a bit less than half of what we need but it’s climbing quickly all the time.” President Barack Obama ordered screenings for Ebola at five American airports in the United States, including JFK International Airport in New York after being briefed by Center for Disease Control chief Dr. Tom Frieden earlier this week.
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.
An employee of the Chicago airports O’Hare and Midway has been accused of starting a fire in the FAA Air Route Traffic Control facility in Aurora, III. The fire caused the delay and cancellation of over 2,000 of flights out of both of the airports and disrupted even more throughout the entire country. Since failing to cut his own throat near the location of the fire, he has been charged with the destruction of aircraft and aircraft facilities and faces twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
With the Ebola virus going around in Africa and spreading rapidly, there is no wonder why one in four people in the United States are worried they or someone in their family will become the victim of this deadly virus, according to an international poll by CNN. Because the Ebola virus has no treatment or vaccine available, “Ebola outbreaks have a 90% fatality rate,” according to CNN. Symptoms include severe fever, intense weakness, and internal and external bleeding. President Obama says that chances of the Ebola outbreak in the United States are extremely low and he said on Tuesday that the United States is leading international efforts to combat the virus. One of the efforts to combat this is shipping hospital equipment from the United States to Liberia starting on Friday. United States Aid Official Nancy Lindborg said, “The United States hopes its expanded effort to contain the spread of the virus will help rally other countries to respond to this epidemic.” The plane will arrive at a facility where it will be staffed by 65 Americans who will help treat about 2500 people who were affected. Finally, according to Reuters,, United States Secretary of State John Kerry will hold discussions with other countries to discuss about the response to Ebola.
Three airplane flights have been compelled to make premature landings due to reclining seats. The first was on August 24 when two passengers on a United Airlines flight got into a fight after one used a “knee defender device” on the other’s reclining seat. The second was only days later when a Frenchman was arrested on his flight from Paris to Miami and caused his plane to land early after assaulting a flight crewmember about a reclining seat. The third was on September 2 when a woman was “hit” in the head by the passenger in front of her reclining the seat too far. The woman’s tantrum forced her Delta Airlines flight flying from New York’s La Guardia Airport to West Palm Beach Florida to make an unexpected landing in Jacksonville.
Following a federal appeals court ruling that struck down Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed rules to guarantee a free and open internet, the FCC has announced it will propose rules that would allow internet content providers to pay for special lanes to deliver content faster. Consumer advocacy groups are attacking the proposal on the basis that prices for service providers that can afford the fast lanes such as Disney or Netflix would probably be made to raise prices, while at the same time, smaller start-ups will be unable to afford the lanes which would stifle creativity and innovation online.
Intuit, the company responsible for making TurboTax, has been linked to a grassroots campaign against a long-standing proposal called Return Free to allow taxpayers the option to use prefilled tax returns from the IRS instead of having to fill out the forms or using a tax preparation service. Agents working for the public relations and lobbying firm JCI Worldwide have worked to convince community leaders to write op-eds that Return Free would be harmful to members of their respective communities. The lobbying firm listed Intuit as a client, until it had been contacted on the matter by independent newspaper ProPublica and has since called the listing a mistake.
After the overturning of a 2013 court ruling, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will now be able to register as an official religion in Poland. The overturning was based on the parody religion not being given a requested extension to turn in documents which would have made the religion official in Poland. Polish Pastafarians, the term for followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, greeted the announcement by shouting “pasta” repeatedly in unison in front of the Warsaw court.
The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision has struck down the decades-old aggregate political spending cap on a First Amendment basis. While the $2600 per candidate per election limit is still legal, individuals are no longer limited in the total amount of political contributions that can be made every two years. Justice Breyer, in his dissenting opinion writes that the ruling would allow “a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign”.