Friday, October 31, 2014

Links For Halloween

Before you go trick-or-treating, chaperon your kids as they trick-or-treat, or dress up for that Halloween party, please read a few stories:

From NBC Washington, an ax-wielding man attacks a policeman in Washington, DC.  Could this be a copycat of a similar incident in New York?

From MyFoxChicago, former NBC superstar Michael Jordan is not impressed with President Obama's golf game.

From Pantagraph, on the other hand, LPGA golfer Danielle Kang has her second hole-in-one in eight days.

From CNN, both Senate candidates in North Carolina are admonished for the negative tone of their ads, by someone too young to vote.

From Roll Call, meet the Democrats' recount lawyer.

From The Daily Caller, the Senate races in Colorado and Iowa "are more important than you think".

From The Blaze, a wolf-like animal has been spotted in northern Arizona.

From the Daily Herald, the recent drop in fuel prices has led to a drop in the sale of small cars.

From Bernama, two sons of a passenger on Flight MH370 have filed a lawsuit.

From Israel National News, Jordan threatens to revoke its 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

From Prophesy News Watch, the United States gave almost $8 billion in aid to Pakistan during the past five years, while a Christian woman has been jailed for blasphemy.

From The Verge, Samsung releases the thinnest-ever smartphones.

From Breitbart's Big Peace, a village in France has banned clown costumes.

From ABC News, shelters in Sri Lanka take in victims of a deadly mudslide.

And from the Huffington Post, the history of the pin-up girl.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Survivalist Accused Of Killing Policeman Captured

After a seven-week manhunt in the Pocono Mountains and a repeated case of mistaken identity, Pennsylvania State Police have captured survivalist Eric Frein, who is accused of murdering one policeman and wounding another in what has been described as an ambush.  Frein's previous criminal record includes only a conviction of criminal possession of stolen property arising from the theft of World War II military uniform reproductions from a vendor in New York in 2006.

Read more at The Morning Call, CBS Philly, the New York Post, NBC News and Lehigh Valley Live.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Cheap Alternative To Obamacare

Here's an alternative to ObamaCare that I didn't know about.  Instead of going through the state exchanges set up by the ACA, customers can buy one-year policies that can be renewed if they stay healthy.  From Fox News:
The plans, the only ones allowed for sale outside of ObamaCare exchanges, generally cost less than half of what similar ObamaCare policies cost, and are increasing in popularity as uninsured Americans learn they are required to get health coverage. The catch -- that the policies only last for a year -- is not much of a deterrent, given that customers can always sign up for ObamaCare if their short-term coverage is not renewed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

U.S. Official Calls Netanyahu "Chicken[bleep]"

Via the Washington Examiner:

Writing in The Atlantic, Jeffery Goldberg opines that the relationship between the American and Israeli governments "have moved toward a full-blown crisis".  One official's description of the Israeli Prime Minister got a little vulgar.  From Goldberg:
The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chicken[bleep],” this official said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname.
Read the full (uncensored) story.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Machines In Maryland Reported To Switch Votes

Via Fox News:

The same problem that was reported with some voting machines in Cook County, Illinois has turned up in Maryland.  Machines switching Republican votes to Democrat votes have been reported in the city of Frederick and the counties of Queen Anne and Anne Arundel.  Will these switches likewise be attributed to a "calibration issue"?

Neither of Maryland's two Senators, Democrats Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, are up for reelection in 2014, but this year's ballot includes the vote for Governor.  In Maryland, the governor is elected every four years, which is offset from the presidential election by two years, thus coinciding with the "midterm" elections.

Read the story at Watchdog(dot)org.

UPDATE:  There's more on this story from CBS Baltimore.

Darth Vader Prevented From Voting

Via the Huffington Post:

I'm normally not in favor of voter suppression, but I still believe that there are some people who should not be allowed to vote.  One type of person who should be kept away from the voting booth is the alien, someone who is not a citizen of the country in which he seeks to vote.  Chances are, if you come from a galaxy other than the one in which the election is held, you might be an alien.

However, that's not why Darth Vader, who is running for Prime Minister of Ukraine, was turned away from the polling station.  From MSNBC:
The force is not so strong with this one.
Darth Alekseyevich Vader, a candidate running for Prime Minister in Ukraine, was turned away from a polling station Sunday – the day of the parliamentary election – after he refused to take off his mask and reveal himself. 
Read the full story.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jack Bruce 1943-2014

Jack Bruce, known as the bass player and singer for Cream, often considered to be the first "supergroup", died earlier today from liver disease at his home in Suffolk.  He had undergone a liver transplant in 2003, recovering well enough to resume performing in 2004.

John Simon Asher Bruce was born in 1943 in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow.  He originally studied cello and played the double bass, before switching to electric bass.  He also played guitar, harmonica and keyboards.  Bruce played bass in several bands including John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Manfred Mann, before forming Cream with guitarist Eric Clapton, who also contributed some lead vocals, and drummer Ginger Baker.  After Cream disbanded in 1968, Bruce played in various other bands, produced solo albums, and worked as a session musician.  Cream reunited for a concert in 2005.

Bruce is survived by his second wife Margrit, four children, and a granddaughter.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Remains Of Hannah Graham Positively Identified

On September 13, University of Virginia student Hannah Graham disappeared after being seen in downtown Charlottesville, VA.  Although a suspect named Jesse Matthew Jr. was arrested and charged with abducting her with intent to defile, her whereabouts and whether she was still alive remained unknown.  Today, human remains were found this past Saturday on an abandoned property in Albemarle County, VA were identified as belonging to Hannah Graham.

As horrible as the above story is, it gets worse.

In 2009, a Virginia Tech student named Morgan Harrington was on the University of Virginia campus, attending a concert at the John Paul Jones Arena.  Afterwards, she went missing.  Her body was found about 5 miles from where Hannah Graham's remains were discovered five years later.  Police reportedly have evidence tying Matthew to Harrington's murder, as well as to a sexual assault which took place in 2005 in the city of Fairfax, VA.  Matthew has been indicted in that case.

Read more at The Roanoke Times, WTVR, WJLA and WDBJ.

Google VP Breaks Skydive Altitude Record

Alan Eustace, a vice president at Google, made a skydive from a balloon earlier today at a record height of 135,908 feet, outdoing the jump from 128,100 feet made by Felix Baumgartner two years ago.  Unlike Baumgartner or Joe Kittinger, who held the record before Baumgartner and who coached Baumgartner during his jump, Eustace did not ride into the stratosphere in a capsule, but dangled underneath his balloon in a spacesuit.

Read the story at The New York Times.

Man Attacks NY Policemen With Hatchet

Yesterday in New York City, a group of four rookie police officers were posing for a photo when they were attacked by a man wielding a hatchet.  The assailant, Zale Thompson, hit one cop in the arm and other on the head, the latter now in critical but stable condition.  The cops fatally shot Thompson, but also hit a female bystander, who was taken to a hospital for surgery.

Read more at CNN, the Daily News, The New York Times, NBC New York and Reuters.

UPDATE: According to the New York Post, Thompson had something in common with the gun-wielding terrorist in Ottawa.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pittsburgh Tributes Canada


Before last night's hockey game in Pittsburgh, in which the Penguins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers, singer Jeff Jimerson performed O Canada as a tribute to fallen Corporal Nathan Cirillo and his country.  Although numerous NHL players are Canadian, the Canadian national anthem is normally performed before a game only when at least one of the two teams hails from a Canadian city.

Some Background On The Ottawa Gunman

The Mail Online has published an extensive article on Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the Canadian National War Memorial and then stormed into the Canadian Parliament, and on yesterday's events.

A few points:

Zehaf-Bibeau was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Libyan businessman who once owned a restaurant, and Susan Bibeau, who worked for the Immigrant and Refugee Board.  This would most likely mean that although Zehaf-Bibeau was reportedly a convert to Islam, his father is also a Muslim.

Although his last name combined those of his parents, Zehaf-Bibeau was born with the name Michael Joseph Hall.  He had a long criminal record, including marijuana possession, PCP possession, assault, a weapons charge, and robbery.

Zehaf-Bibeau was raised in the Montreal suburb of Laval, recently lived in British Columbia, and traveled to the United States four times.

To travel the short distance between the War Memorial and the Parliament, Zehaf-Bibeau apparently hijacked a car.  This act appears to have been recorded by another motorist's dashboard camera.  After entering the Parliament building, he was fatally shot by their Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.

Read the full article.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Soldier And Security Guard Shot In Ottawa

A few minutes before 10 a.m., a soldier guarding Canada's National War Memorial in Ottawa was shot by an unidentified gunman, who then stormed into the Canadian Parliament building and shot a security guard.  The attacker has reported to have been shot and killed, but this has not yet been confirmed.

Read more at The StarFox News and AOL News.

UPDATE: From Breaking 911, Ottawa police are now reporting a third shooting site near the Rideau Centre, a mall close to Parliament Hill, and a second shooter still at large.

UPDATE 2: From CBC News, the gunman who shot the soldier and then entered the Parliament building is now reported to have been killed.  The article includes a small map of the Parliament Hill area.

UPDATE 3: The CBC News link, which no longer includes the map, now indicates that the soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, has died.

UPDATE 4: From the Mail Online, the dead attacker has been identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a recent convert to Islam, whose passport was revoked when he was designated a "high-risk traveler".  (via Bare Naked Islam)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Links

Some things going on out there:

From Business Insider, two vessels sunk during World War II have been discovered off the coast of North Carolina.

From UPI, a teenager in Ohio who died in a haunted house had a heart condition.

From Fox News, a Florida District Court of Appeals judge has ruled that red-light camera operators cannot legally issue citations.

From Reuters, a French CEO and three others were killed when his private jet crashed into a snowplow at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport.

From The Verge, Microsoft has released a new version their Windows 10 preview.

From MyFoxChicago, the CEO of Canadian Pacific says that U.S regulators would approve a merger with CSX.

From CBS Chicago, cops shoot and kill a teenager wielding a knife, on Chicago's South Side.

From the Daily Herald, McDonald's profits drop 30% and five problems they're facing.

From The Hill, travelers from ebola-affected countries to the U.S. will be allowed to enter only through five designated airports.

From ABC News, the FBI has tracked down three teenage American girls in Germany, who were allegedly trying to travel to Syria.

From The Telegraph, while President Obama was voting, some guy teased him by saying "don't touch my girlfriend."  (Personally, I think the man was two presidents too late.)

From The Roanoke Times, the Virginia Creeper Trail has been entered into the Rails To Trails Conservancy's hall of fame.

From The Washington Free Beacon, Democrats in Pennsylvania are angry that localities in the state can be sued for illegally passing gun laws, even though state law forbids localities from passing this very type of law.  (via The Federalist Papers)

And from CNET, a product that makes going to the bathroom more colorful.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Two Countries Declared Free Of Ebola

There appears to be some good news concerning the current outbreak of ebola.  Today, the World Health Organization declared Nigeria to be free of ebola, which follows a recent announcement that Senegal had likewise rid itself of the disease.  Meanwhile in the United States, 43 people who had come into contact with the Liberian Thomas Duncan have completed their monitoring period without showing any symptoms, and thus were cleared.

Read more at CNN, BBC News, ABC News and Yahoo News.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Church Destroyed On 9/11 To Be Rebuilt As Shrine

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only church to be destroyed in the 9/11 attacks, will be rebuilt as a National Shrine overlooking the 9/11 Museum and Memorial.  The old church was adjacent to the South Tower of the World Trade Center and was destroyed when the tower collapsed.

Read the full story at the New York Post.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola 101 For Americans

Over at Somewhere in Texas, Smokie has put up this post, written by our mutual friend from BlogTalkRadio, Sue from NM.  According to Smokie, she "was a nurse and educator for 30 years and researched the information used to write this article."  Smokie and Sue wish the information to be shared with "family, friends and even political opponents".  An excerpt:
Ebola can be transmitted from mammals and rodents to humans.  When Ebola was first discovered there were extensive studies done to see if Ebola was transmitted by mosquitoes.  The studies proved mosquitoes do not carry or transmit the Ebola virus.
Ebola can be transmitted by eating the meat of an animal infected. Meat should be thoroughly cooked and the Ebola virus is killed.
Humans to human transmission is through direct contact with body fluids. Blood, mucous, sputum, feces, urine, vomit, breast milk, eye secretions and semen are the body fluids that can transmit Ebola.
Read the full article at the link above, and then spread the word.

Ebola-Infected Nurse Transferred To NIH In Maryland

Via Legal Insurrection and Rino Blog Watch:

Nina Pham, the nurse who became infected with ebola while treating Liberian traveler Thomas Duncan, is now in fair condition as she continues her recovery.  She is no longer in Texas, but has been transported to Bethesda, Maryland and placed in a National Institutes of Health isolation unit.

Read the story at NBC News, which includes a video from Ms. Pham.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Countries Where Voting Is Mandatory

Feel like sitting home instead of voting during the upcoming election?  Before you do, please consider the fact that in 21 countries, not voting is actually a crime.  The countries are scattered among all continents except Antarctica, and vary as to the age when voting is compulsory.  One of them makes the requirement only for men.  Read the story, and the map, at Business Insider.

Former Biden Staffer Named Ebola Czar

President Obama has named an "ebola czar", perhaps following a recommendation from his first presidential opponent.  The designee is not a person with a medical or healthcare background, but a former staffer to Vice President Biden named Ron Klain.

Read more at the New York Post, Fox News and WYFF4.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Links

As the middle of the week rolls around, here are some things in the news:

From CNN, a second hospital worker in Texas has been diagnosed with ebola.

From Sky News, the United Nations says that the world has 60 days to beat ebola.

From Frontpage Mag, the ebola outbreak was not caused by any Republican budget cuts.

From Christianity Today, a nurse who survived ebola says that "medicine alone won't cure West Africa".

From CBS Las Vegas, vandals spray "ebola quarantine zone" on the entrance to a gated community in Scottsdale, Arizona.

From Gateway Pundit, thousands of chemical weapons were found in Iraq, at a place now controlled by ISIS.

From MyFoxChicago, New York factory growth in October has been the lowest in six months.

From UPI, Iran "shrugs off" the recent decline in oil prices.

From Life News, a clinic in Florida stopped performing abortions when pro-lifers showed up to pray.

From Newsweek, the Syrian city of Kobane continues to resist ISIS.

From Pantagraph, in Jerusalem, Israeli police clash with Palestinians.

From ABC News, a North American group seeks to buy an Italian soccer team.

From Fox News, a town in Virginia suffers from the "war on coal".

From CNN Travel, train travel is making a comeback.

And from Consequence Of Sound, Foo Fighters jam with the Wilson sisters on David Letterman.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More Ebola Developments

Yesterday, the Dallas healthcare worker who had contacted ebola was identified as Nina Pham, one of 70 people who treated Thomas Duncan of Liberia.  Today, she said that she was "doing well".  She has received a transfusion from Dr, Kent Brantly, who survived his battle with the disease.  Haz-mat crews sent to disinfect Pham's apartment found a creature far larger, but probably much more friendly, than an ebola virus - her dog, who was removed and taken to a "safe place".

A doctor in southern Texas, "troubled by the circumstances surrounding" Pham's contraction of ebola, wonders if the strain has mutated.

Meanwhile in Germany, a Sudanese man who had been working for the UN has died at the St. Georg clinic in Leipzig.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Texas Healthcare Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

A healthcare worker in Texas who helped treat Liberian traveler Thomas Duncan has tested positive for ebola.  From Bizpac Review:
In a statement released to the media Sunday, the Texas Department of State Health Services said the worker has been in isolation since reporting a fever on Friday. While the positive results are only preliminary, if they are confirmed, it would mark the first case of the deadly disease actually spread through contact in the United States.
“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” Texas Health Commissioner Dr. David Lakey said in the statement. “We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread.”
Read the full story.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Clinton's Actions Not Adultery, E-Mail Claimed

Via the Mail Online:

Yesterday, the Clinton Library released about 10,000 records, including an e-mail stating that according to "classical Jewish law" and a "Talmudic interpretation", President Clinton did not actually commit adultery during his sexual encounters with Monica Lewinsky, because she was single.  The e-mail, sent by a member of Hillary Clinton's staff, claimed that "adultery", as defined by these Jewish sources, requires that both sexual partners are married, just not to each other.  I had always thought that "adultery" requires only one of the two sexual partners to be married, but not to the other.  For example, from Dictionary(dot)com:
1.  voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.
The phrase "someone other...." does not distinguish between a married person and an unmarried person, and thus could refer to either one.

The revelation from the Clinton Library is not all that surprising.  If someone can muddle up the definition of "is", doing the same for "adultery" would not be all that far-fetched.

Read the full story at the New York Post.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Music Break

It's been way too long since I've put up one of these, so let's get down to it.

To start off, here's Silver, Blue & Gold by Bad Company, from their 1976 album Run With The Pack.  The group's original lineup, which would continue until 1982, consisted of Paul Rodgers (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Mick Ralphs (lead guitar), Boz Burrell (bass) and Simon Kirk (drums).  Rodgers and Kirk had previously been members of Free.  Ralphs had been the original lead guitarist of Mott The Hoople.  Burrell had played with King Crimson.

Hawk 1, Drone 0

From Fox5 in San Diego:

A hawk takes down a quadcopter drone flying over Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Go East, Canadian Oil

(H/T Kel of Red Fox Blogger)

For six years, President Obama has been delaying giving his approval for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Canadian crude oil from oil-sands in the province of Alberta to refineries on the Gulf coast in Texas.  From Bloomberg:
So you’re the Canadian oil industry and you do what you think is a great thing by developing a mother lode of heavy crude beneath the forests and muskeg of northern Alberta. The plan is to send it clear to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast via a pipeline called Keystone XL. Just a few years back, America desperately wanted that oil.
Then one day the politics get sticky. In Nebraska, farmers don’t want the pipeline running through their fields or over their water source. U.S. environmentalists invoke global warming in protesting the project. President Barack Obama keeps siding with them, delaying and delaying approval. From the Canadian perspective, Keystone has become a tractor mired in an interminably muddy field.
Our neighbors to the north have considered an alternative pipeline to their west coast, but it too had some problems, in this case of an internal nature.  Back to Bloomberg:
How about an all-Canadian route to liberate that oil sands crude from Alberta’s isolation and America’s fickleness? Canada’s own environmental and aboriginal politics are holding up a shorter and cheaper pipeline to the Pacific that would supply a shipping portal to oil-thirsty Asia.
The latest proposed solution?  Build a pipeline from Alberta eastward to New Brunswick, where there are refineries in the area of St. John.  The city is on the Bay of Fundy, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean.  Oil piped into New Brunswick could then be shipped to any place equipped to receive oil tankers.  One other positive consideration, again from Bloomberg:
And if you’re a fed-up Canadian, like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there’s a bonus: Obama can’t do a single thing about it.
Read the full story.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Obama's Selectivity About Billionaires

Brought to you courtesy of a joint effort by the hypocrisy department and the you-can't-make-this-stuff-up department.  After sending out an e-mail chiding the GOP for advancing the "interests of billionaires", President Obama attended a fundraiser at the home of a billionaire named Rich Richman, which cost each guest up to $32,400.  I can't help but wonder if Mr. Richman might have inspired a certain comic magazine, or maybe even a Beatles song.

I've said it before, and I'll it again.  When a Democrat complains about "millionaires", "billionaires" or "the rich", they're really talking only about the millionaires, billionaires and rich people with whom they disagree.

Read more at the Mail Online and The Washington Free Beacon.

Ebola Patient Dies In Dallas Hospital

Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who traveled to the Dallas area and was diagnosed with ebola, died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, at 7:51 a.m.  He had gone to the United States to visit family members.  He was admitted on September 28, and went into critical condition during this past weekend.

Read more at MyFoxDFW, Yahoo News, BBC News, Dallas News and CBS News.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Who Is Joe Biden?

You'd think that most Americans would know that Joe Biden is our Vice President, and that he had previously been a senator.  Back in 2008, when Senator Barack Obama  (D-IL) was running for president against an old white guy named John McCain (R-AZ), I figured that he chose Biden (D-Del) as his running mate in order to have his own old white guy.  However, if a little social experiment by Jimmy Kimmel is any indication, some people don't know the V.P. from a hole in the wall, even when he pays a visit to their local area.  From The Washington Free Beacon:
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel was so irked by the traffic congestion caused by Joe Biden’s visit to Los Angeles that he decided to find out how much Americans really know about the vice president.
A select group of Americans walking along Hollywood Boulevard were asked one simple question: “Who is Joe Biden?”
Here's the video, full of hilarious, mostly wrong answers:


Did any of these people vote in 2008 or 2012?  If so, did they even bother to look at the name appearing on the ballot with that of Barack Obama?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Links

As the workweek begins, here are some things in the news:

From CNBC, the Supreme Court has decided not to take up the appeals from several states on the issue of gay marriage.  In a commentary, Legal Insurrection opines that SCOTUS "may have decided gay marriage by not deciding".  This, in turn, may prove that Rush (not Limbaugh, but the Canadian rock group) was right when they said, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

From My Fox Chicago, the Kenyan president is stepping down.  (No, this is NOT about Obama.)

From the Mail Online, a study in Japan suggests that warmer temperatures lead to more babies being female.

From Breitbart London, E-cig maker Totally Wicked wins the right to challenge the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

From Tech Crunch, a Canadian Pastafarian (believer in the Flying Spaghetti Monster) is fighting for the right to wear a colander on his head when having his picture taken for his driver's license.

The New York Post tells us that we shouldn't "write Tom Brady’s football obituary just yet."

From The New York Times, a shipment of medical supplies to Sierra Leone has been delayed since August.

From Fox News, during the past two years, Colorado welfare recipients have withdrawn money, provided by taxpayers, from places such as Las Vegas, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands.  Let me get this straight.  You can be poor enough to qualify for welfare in Colorado, even if you can afford to travel to Hawaii or the Virgin Islands.  Or did the taxpayers also pay for the trip?

From CNET, GT Advanced Technologies, which supplies sapphire products to Apple, has filed for bankruptcy.

From WFAA, as Thomas Duncan remains in critical condition suffering from ebola, the mayor of Dallas calls him "our citizen now".

From ABC News, Canada's Postmedia buys Sun Media.

From the Chicagoist, a man pleads guilty to stealing a Stradivarius violin.

And from the Daily Republic, this place (in California) is for the birds.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Four-Year-Old In New Jersey Reportedly Dies From Enterovirus 68

A four-year-old boy who attended preschool at Yardville Elementary School in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, and who died a week ago, was found to have had enterovirus 68.  A medical examiner reportedly determined that the boy's death was due to the virus, but some media outlets have contrarily stated that its role hasn't been determined.

Read more at NBC10, WABC, NJ(dot)com, WPVI and the New York Daily News.

Fire Destroys Buildings At Flight 93 Memorial

Yesterday afternoon, a fire destroyed three buildings at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, PA.  The buildings were part of a headquarters complex about two miles from the actual crash site, and included storage space for 9/11-related memorabilia and artifacts.  No one has been reported as injured.  The memorial itself and a visitors center, currently under construction, were not affected.  The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Read more at CBS Pittsburgh, CNN, AOL and Reuters.

UPDATE:  From the Associated Press, a flag that had flown over the Capitol building was lost in the fire.

Friday, October 3, 2014

DC And MD Hospitals Admit Two "Possible" Ebola Patients

I would emphasize that these two people are "possible" ebola patients and are suffering from "ebola-like" symptoms.  One is in Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, while the other is in Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Montgomery County, MD.  The Howard University patient has recently traveled to Nigeria.

Read more at USA Today, The Washington Post, NBC Washington and WJLA.

UPDATE:  The reports now indicate that neither patient has ebola, but one has malaria.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ebola Patient In Dallas Area Identified

The first person to be diagnosed with ebola in the United States has been identified as Thomas Eric Duncan, who flew from Liberia to Belgium to Washington's Dulles Airport to Dallas to visit family members.  In two related stories:

The Star-Telegraph reports that up to 80 people may have had contact with Duncan.

CNN Health has a Q&A on Duncan and his experience with ebola.

Both stories link to an article in The New York Times, which reported that Duncan, with two other men, helped carry a woman from a taxi to her house, because she could not walk.  This occurred on September 15, five days before Duncan arrived in the Dallas area.  The woman and one of the two men have since died.

UPDATE 1: From WFAA, Liberian officials have said that Duncan will be prosecuted when he returns, because he allegedly lied on a health questionnaire by denying that he had come into contact with anyone suffering from ebola.

UPDATE 2:  From FOX 13, health officials in Salt Lake City are investigating a "possible, but unlikely case" of ebola at a children's hospital.

UPDATE 3:  The WFAA story is no longer available, but NBC News also carried the story.

Russian Gas Supply To Slovakia Cut In Half

Being an American of Slovak descent, I'm naturally concerned about this situation, but due to the natural gas production in the United States, I'm sure we Yanks can help out.  From My Fox Chicago:
Slovakia, which is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas, was among the nations hit hardest by Russia's 2009 cutoff of gas travelling through Ukraine to Europe. Now, it can get supplies from the West if needed.
Read the full story.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Small Amounts Of Marijuana Decriminalized In Maryland

Via The Daily Caller:

As of today, the residents of and visitors to my adopted home state will no longer face arrest and criminal charges for possessing marijuana in amounts smaller than 10 grams.  Instead, they will receive a civil citation.  This will present a problem for policemen.  According to the Washington Post:
How will officers determine the weight of the marijuana they discover? What happens if they arrest someone for having more than 10 grams only to discover at the station that it was less? And given that it is still a criminal offense to carry drug paraphernalia - including bongs, pipes and rolling papers - should officers use that charge against suspected drug offenders instead?
The Post also reports that according to Maryland police spokesman Gregory Shipley:
State troopers will use their best judgment in guessing the weight of marijuana, Shipley said, since “the troopers won’t be carrying scales.” If it looks like less than 10 grams, troopers will issue a civil citation. If it looks like more than that, troopers will make an arrest and head to a station for an official weighing. If the trooper guessed wrong, the arrested individual will be released and issued a civil citation.  (emphasis added)
If you want to get stoned in my part of the world, you'd better be careful about how much you use, and hope that any cops you encounter are willing to start with the assumption that it's under 10 grams.

Read the full story.

Rhode Island Child Dies From Enterovirus 68

The outbreak of infection by enterovirus 68, which coincided with the start of the current school year, has claimed its first fatality, a 10-year-old girl in Rhode Island.  From CBS Connecticut:
The Rhode Island Health Department says a child has died from complications of an unusual respiratory virus that has been affecting children across the U.S.
Health officials said Wednesday that the 10-year-old girl died last week of a staph infection associated with the enterovirus 68 infection, which it called “a very rare combination.”
“We are all heartbroken to hear about the death of one of Rhode Island’s children,” Dr. Michael Fine, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, said in a statement. “Many of us will have EV-D68. Most of us will have very mild symptoms and all but very few will recover quickly and completely. The vast majority of children exposed to EV-D68 recover completely.”
Read the full story.

Virginia AG: Abortion Clinics Don't Have To Report Rapes Of Teens

From Life News:
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has issued a shocking ruling saying that abortion clinics do not have to report rapes of teenage girls even though Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics have a long history of doing abortions on rape victims without reporting the rapes to authorities.
In an official opinion quietly issued two days before the last Board of Health meeting, the Attorney General determined that the Virginia Health Department, and abortion center staffs, can turn a blind eye to the rape of underage children.
Abortion providers are normally required to report rapes of any female under 18 years of age, but compliance, and as we now see, enforcement of this requirement have sometimes been inconsistent.

Read the full story.