Review Category : National News

US Journalist with Ebola Flying to Nebraska for Treatment

Facebook(OMAHA, Neb.) — The U.S. journalist who tested positive for Ebola while working in Liberia is scheduled to arrive in Nebraska Monday.

Ashoka Mukpo, who was working as a freelance cameraman for NBC, left Liberia in a specially equipped plane Sunday. After arriving in Omaha, he will be taken by ambulance to the Nebraska Medical Center, the medical center announced.

He will be the second American to be treated at the facility. The Nebraska facility treated Dr. Richard Sacra last month after he also contracted the disease in Liberia.

The Nebraska Medical Center is one of only four biocontainment units throughout the United States. There is another unit at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Md., one in Missoula, Mt., and a third at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Ga., which is where Dr. Kent Brantley and nurse Nancy Writebol, the first two Americans to catch the disease, were treated.

Mukpo’s mother, Diana Mukpo, told ABC News affiliate WLNE-TV that the family has been coordinating with the State Department.

According to his mother, Ashoka Mukpo had spent two years working for a Liberian NGO before returning to the United States earlier this summer.

“He feels a tremendous commitment to the Liberian people and the Liberian culture, and when he heard about the Ebola outbreak he felt compelled to go back … much to the anxiety of his parents and family, obviously,” Diana Mukpo said.

Ashoka Mukpo contributed to reports for various news outlets before getting sick, but also shared emotional updates on his personal Facebook page.

“Man oh man I have seen some bad things in the last two weeks of my life,” he wrote in one such post on Sept. 18, two weeks before testing positive for the disease. “How unpredictable and fraught with danger life can be. How in some parts of the world, basic levels of help and assistance that we take for granted completely don’t exist for many people.”

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Possible Sighting of Cop Killing Suspect Eric Frein Focuses Search

Courtesy Roman Kamensky(CANADENSIS, Pa.) — Search teams hunting suspected cop killer Eric Frein focused on a square mile-and-a-half area of Monroe County, Pa., Sunday evening after a possible sighting by law enforcement, police said.

“The search teams are following up on a possible sighting by law enforcement in the area from earlier this afternoon, and other teams that are searching in other areas of Price and Barrett Townships,” Pennsylvania State Police spokeswoman Trooper Connie Devens said Sunday.

Devens said, however, that it was not a positive identification.

The possible sighting comes two days after searchers confiscated a stash of food, ammunition, clothing and other supplies at a camp site in the Pennsylvania woods they suspected was Frein’s.

Last week they also found more than 90 rounds of ammunition for a .308 rifle, the same caliber weapon Frein is accused of using when he allegedly ambushed two state troopers on Sept. 12, killing one and wounding another.

Lt. Col. George Bivens said Friday he believes that with each supply cache found by police, Frein is weakening, because he doesn’t think Frein is trying to live off the land.

“One of the things he seems to be surviving on predominantly would be cans of tuna fish and ramen noodles,” Bivens said. “I believe his food is running out and we’ve seized a big amount of it.”

Police have found empty packs of Serbian cigarettes, an AK-47, ammunition and two pipe bombs in the search, which is focused on the border of Pike and Monroe counties in eastern Pennsylvania.

The suspect is a self-trained survivalist and war reenactor obsessed with Eastern European militaries and weapons. He learned to shoot from his father, a retired Army major.

Bivens said Frein’s family, who lives nearby in Canadensis, is being cooperative.

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Possible Sighting of Cop Killing Suspect Eric Frein Focuses Search

Courtesy Roman Kamensky(CANADENSIS, Pa.) — Search teams hunting suspected cop killer Eric Frein focused on a square mile-and-a-half area of Monroe County, Pa., Sunday evening after a possible sighting by law enforcement, police said.

“The search teams are following up on a possible sighting by law enforcement in the area from earlier this afternoon, and other teams that are searching in other areas of Price and Barrett Townships,” Pennsylvania State Police spokeswoman Trooper Connie Devens said Sunday.

Devens said, however, that it was not a positive identification.

The possible sighting comes two days after searchers confiscated a stash of food, ammunition, clothing and other supplies at a camp site in the Pennsylvania woods they suspected was Frein’s.

Last week they also found more than 90 rounds of ammunition for a .308 rifle, the same caliber weapon Frein is accused of using when he allegedly ambushed two state troopers on Sept. 12, killing one and wounding another.

Lt. Col. George Bivens said Friday he believes that with each supply cache found by police, Frein is weakening, because he doesn’t think Frein is trying to live off the land.

“One of the things he seems to be surviving on predominantly would be cans of tuna fish and ramen noodles,” Bivens said. “I believe his food is running out and we’ve seized a big amount of it.”

Police have found empty packs of Serbian cigarettes, an AK-47, ammunition and two pipe bombs in the search, which is focused on the border of Pike and Monroe counties in eastern Pennsylvania.

The suspect is a self-trained survivalist and war reenactor obsessed with Eastern European militaries and weapons. He learned to shoot from his father, a retired Army major.

Bivens said Frein’s family, who lives nearby in Canadensis, is being cooperative.

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First Patient Diagnosed with Ebola in US Now Critical

Hemera/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Thomas Duncan, the first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., was downgraded to critical condition Saturday, the Texas hospital treating him said in a statement.

He has been described as unconscious, breathing with a respirator and suffering kidney failure.

Duncan, who was visiting family in Dallas after arriving from Liberia, was diagnosed with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sept. 28, three days after he initially went to the hospital complaining of flu-like symptoms. He remains in an isolation ward.

In other developments, Louise Troh, the woman who traveled back from Liberia with Duncan and is referred to as his wife by relatives, told ABC News she is frustrated with the lack of information on Duncan’s condition.

“They are telling me nothing,” she said. “They are treating me like a dog. I have no idea how he is doing.” Hospitals officials have not responded to Troh’s allegations.

Troh and her family were removed from their apartment to an undisclosed location last Friday, where they will remain for the duration of their quarantine that will last a total of 21 days. Meanwhile, clean-up crews returned to the apartment Saturday to continue sanitizing.

Including Troh and her family, health officials are monitoring about 50 people who may have had contact with Duncan during his visit, including nine believed to be at “high risk” for exposure.

At least one person is being monitored after traveling in the ambulance used to transport Duncan to the hospital last week, according to officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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CDC Head Frieden on Ebola in America: ‘We Will Stop It In Its Tracks’

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said today he is “confident” the United States can prevent any widespread outbreak of Ebola on American soil.

“Here in the U.S., I remain quite confident we will not have a widespread outbreak,” Frieden told This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos. “We will stop it in its tracks, because we’ve got infection control in hospitals and public health that tracks and isolates people if they get symptoms.”

Days after Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan became the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., Frieden said the U.S. health system is prepared to handle the disease, and said he wants to export similar medical practices to the West African countries ravaged by the disease.

“Right now, the best thing to do [for Duncan] is that meticulous kind of clinical care, of supporting his fluid and electrolytes, doing everything possible,” Frieden said. “And that’s really the kind of thing that we want to get up and running in Africa, as well.”

While he was symptomatic, before he was put in isolation at Dallas Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Duncan was in close contact with nine individuals who are considered high risk and are now being closely monitored.

“Last we’ve heard, no one has developed symptoms of those who had contact [with Duncan],” Frieden said. “But we’re going to check every single day, because some people did have, particularly family members, a lot of contact when he was sick and we know that his condition is quite critical, so we’re really hoping for his recovery.”

While there have been no newly diagnosed Ebola cases in the U.S. since Duncan, Frieden said he expects to see more rumored cases and false alarms around the country. The CDC has been consulted on more than 100 cases in connection with Ebola but Frieden said only Duncan’s case “worried” his staff.

The heightened attention on Ebola has also prompted calls from politicians such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for travel restrictions between the U.S. and the West African nations battling the disease.

“First and foremost, our top priority is the safety of Americans. And we will consider any options to increase that safety,” Frieden said.

“We have to recognize that try as we might, until the outbreak is controlled in Africa, we can’t get the risk here to zero,” he added. “But we’ll absolutely look at any suggestion that’s workable and that wouldn’t backfire. We don’t want to do something that inadvertently increases our risk by making it harder to stop the outbreak there.”

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WATCH: Utah Woman Spits Out Toxic Tea in Surveillance Footage

Hue/amanaimagesRF/Thinkstock(SOUTH JORDAN, Utah) — Newly released surveillance video shows the moment a Utah woman was nearly killed when she drank a poisoned cup of tea.

In the video, Jan Harding, 67, can be seen taking a single sip from a cup of iced tea she poured out of a self-serve machine at Dickey’s Barbeque, a restaurant in South Jordan, Utah.

Harding’s iced tea was laced with lye, an odorless chemical that looks like sugar, is used for degreasing deep fryers and is the active ingredient in Drano.

In the video taken on Aug. 10, Harding immediately spits out the drink and rinses out her mouth. She braces herself against the counter until restaurant staff arrive.

The chemical seared through Harding’s esophagus, leaving deep, ulcerated burns. She was hospitalized for two weeks.

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WATCH: Coast Guard Rescues Man in Inflatable Bubble

PatrickPoendl/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — An endurance runner who tried traveling from Miami to Bermuda in an inflatable bubble is back on dry land after he was rescued by the Coast Guard.

Reza Baluchi aimed to “walk on water” in a hydropod for more than 1,000 miles and left earlier this week. He survived on protein bars, bottled water, and was armed with a GPS and satellite phone.

But the 42-year-old ran out of steam early Saturday morning, signaling the Coast Guard for help three days after its initial warning to him.

“If you run into trouble, there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to get to you in time or even find you,” a dispatcher previously told Baluchi.

“Okay, I’m continuing to go,” Baluchi replied.

When he activated his personal locating beacon, the Coast Guard found him 70 nautical miles off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida.

The Coast Guard lowered a rescue basket for Baluchi and sent a swimmer after finding him, said Lt. Tom Huntley.

The adventurist, who was suffering from exhaustion but not injured, was “reportedly disoriented and asking for directions to Bermuda,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

This wasn’t Baluchi’s first time behind the wheel of a bubble. He successfully trekked 30 miles from Newport Beach, California, to Catalina Island earlier this year. He is also hoping to run through all the recognized countries in the world, according to his website, “to inspire us and unite us as a people.”

Baluchi did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

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Flight 93 National Memorial Fire Destroys September 11 Flag

iStock/Thinkstock(STONYCREEK TOWNSHIP, Pa.) — A fire at the Flight 93 National Memorial destroyed the flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001, federal officials said Saturday.

The fire, which happened on Friday, ravaged through the Memorial’s headquarters in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and also destroyed a number of personal items of the passengers and crew of United Flight 93.

Park officials say that a vast majority of the museum’s items were saved.

The National Park Service and Pennsylvania State Police are working to identify the cause of the fire, officials said.

There were no major injuries, although one firefighter suffered minor first degree burns.

The memorial marks the spot where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed during the Sept. 11 attacks.

The plane, which was traveling from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, crashed after passengers fought back against its hijackers. All 33 passengers and seven crew members were killed along with the hijackers.

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Parents of Missing UVA Student Hannah Graham Plead for Help

Charlottesville Police(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The parents of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham asked anyone with information about where their daughter is to come forward Saturday.

“Somebody listening to me today either knows where Hannah is or knows someone who has that information,” Sue Graham said. “We appeal to you to come forward and tell us where Hannah can be found.”

The Grahams also thanked everyone who has helped in the search and investigation of their daughter’s disappearance.

Hannah Graham went missing the night of Sept. 13, police said.

She was last seen after 1 a.m. with Jesse L. Matthew Jr., who has since been arrested and charged with abduction with the intent to defile, police said.

Police found surveillance footage and witnesses who allegedly saw the pair at a bar together.

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New Jersey Nun Beatified in First-Ever US Ceremony

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEWARK, N.J.) — A New Jersey nun who died nearly 90 years ago became the first person beatified in the United States on Saturday.

Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich is credited with curing a boy’s eye disease, an act declared a miracle by Pope Francis earlier this year.

Hundreds attended Saturday’s ceremony at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, marking the third of four steps required for Demjanovich’s declaration of sainthood.

The liturgy was the first ever in the country, as the beatification process — which has its origins in the early days of the Catholic Church — usually takes place in Rome.

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