The Obama Administration is stepping up the fight against the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. According to this report, today, the president will announce and outline a new plan to deploy 3,000 military personnel to West Africa, where the virus has already killed more than 2,200 people. As part of the strategy to stem the spread of Ebola and assist victims, the U.S. will help build 17 medical facilities and set out to train hundreds of healthcare workers every week.
The AP is also reporting that the Pentagon has requested that Congress approve a redirect of at least $500 million for “overseas contingency operations” to their plan to combat Ebola throughout West Africa ... Discuss
24-year-old Matthew Miller from Bakersfield, Cal. has been detained in North Korea since April, when he reportedly tore up his tourist visa in the Pyongyang Airport and asked for amnesty. North Korean officials have since accused him of espionage and now, following a 90-minute trial, sentenced him to six years of hard labor. The U.S. State Department are urging North Korea to release Miller, along with Kenneth Bae and Jeffrey Edward Fowle, who are still being held, saying in a statement "Now that Mr. Miller has gone through a legal process, we urge the DPRK to grant him amnesty and immediate release" ... Discuss
Over the weekend, the militant organization known as ISIS—or The Islamic State—murdered a British aid worker, posting a video of his beheading online. According to The Daily Beast, the executioner of David Haines, a 44-year-old British citizen who spent the last 15 years as an international humanitarian worker, was the same man who killed James Foley and Steven Sotloff in other recent execution videos posted online. The video reportedly shows Haines reading a prepared statement holding U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron “entirely responsible for [the] execution,” for entering “voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State.” In a statement, Cameron said, “We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes” ... Discuss
Scotland—a country most Americans associate for an abiding love of FREEDOOOOOM—is about to give independence another go, maybe. Next week, Scots will vote on whether or not the country should separate from the (so-called) United Kingdom and be their own, independent country. Though the country has had an independent (though not entirely autonomous) parliament since 1999, next week's vote would be a true separation—the nation's first in 300 years. It would be a very big deal, with economic repercussions throughout the globe. Scotland probably has its eyes on a few oil reserves in the North Sea that it could claim as its own if it was an independent country, and there's no telling what currency the nation would decide to use. Also, if the vote goes towards Scottish independence (early polling is too close to predict) expect calls for British Prime Minister David Cameron's resignation to be loud and frequent. A number of Scots might also lose their jobs but, well, to coin an old phrase: "They may take our jobs, but they'll never take—" ah, you know the rest ... Discuss
Following the deaths of more than 2,000 people and concerns about the spread of the Ebola throughout West Africa, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $50 million to help fight the virus. In a statement, the organization’s chief executive said, “We are working urgently with our partners to identify the most effective ways to help them save lives now and stop transmission of this deadly disease. We also want to accelerate the development of treatments, vaccines and diagnostics that can help end this epidemic and prevent future outbreaks” ... Discuss
The U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released new findings showing that atmospheric CO2 levels rose at alarmingly fast rates in 2013. From The Washington Post: “[The surge] surprised scientists and spurred fears of an accelerated warming of the planet in decades to come.”
According to the story, the record levels of greenhouse gases seem to indicate not, only a rise in emissions from manmade sources (like pollution and car exhaust), but also show “a diminishing ability” of oceans and vegetation to process the CO2. The head of the WMO’s Global Atmospheric Watch program warned, “If the oceans and the biosphere cannot absorb as much carbon, the effect on the atmosphere could be much worse …. The changes we’re seeing are really drastic. We are seeing the growth rate rising exponentially” ... Discuss