Review Category : National News

Kaci Hickox’s Quarantine Was Based on ‘Fear and Politics,’ Attorney Says

Handout(NEWARK, N.J.) — Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was placed in quarantine at a New Jersey hospital despite exhibiting no Ebola symptoms after arriving from West Africa, is “very pleased” about her release and looks forward to some rest and relaxation, her attorney told ABC News.

Hickox left the hospital Monday afternoon to be taken to Maine, where she lives. Her attorney, Norman Siegel, said he plans to speak with Hickox Tuesday about their strategy for dealing with the courts of law and public opinion.

“Her civil rights were violated,” Siegel told ABC News. “At a minimum, she could bring an action for damages. But I think her goal is to try to revise the current policies with regard to, for example, mandatory quarantines.”

Siegel criticized New Jersey and New York governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo for enacting quarantine policies, despite criticisms from the Obama administration and medical experts that the measures were unnecessary.

Hickox, 29, was the first person forced into New Jersey’s mandatory quarantine after arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport Friday. She had previously treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone for Doctors Without Borders, but never registered a fever, leaving no medical reason to keep her quarantined, Siegel said.

She was held in a tent structure outside of University Hospital in Newark.

“When you look at what happened and how it happened, you come away with the sense that this policy was based on fear and politics rather on medical fact, and we can’t have the politicians directing these kinds of important issues,” Siegel said.

Health care workers such as Hickox who return to Maine from West Africa will remain under a 21-day home quarantine, with their condition actively monitored, Gov. Paul R. LePage said in a statement.

“We will help make sure the health care worker has everything to make this time as comfortable as possible,” he said.

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River of Lava Approaches Hawaii Homes

ABC News(PAHOA, Hawaii) — A lava flow is bearing down on homes in Hawaii, with the lava advancing up to 10 yards per hour, officials said.

The lava was within 70 yards of the nearest residential property Monday and continued to advance overnight.

The lava is blistering hot, burying streets and covering trees. Residents in the scenic town of Pahoa on Hawaii’s Big Island were forced to flee, powerless to stop the approaching river of lava.

“We don’t know what we’re going to do,” resident Theresa Zendejas said. “It’s really scary.”

The lava has been spewing from the Kilauea volcano since it erupted in June. The lava flow has traveled 12 miles since then, at times speeding up erratically, recently fanning out to cover more ground.

Officials say there is no way to stop the lava, but they’re working to protect power poles from burning and to create detours in case the main road is affected — which would cut off access for thousands of people. Hawaii officials are making arrangements for those living in the lava’s path.

Beyond being buried by dozens of feet of hardened black rock, structures could also catch fire by being near the 2,000-degree lava.

Since Kilauea’s current eruption began in 1983, unstoppable lava flows have added 500 new acres to the island and destroyed at least 181 homes, a visitor center, a church and a community center, according the National Park Service.

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Second Dallas Nurse Will be Discharged After Ebola Treatment

Obtained by ABC News(ATLANTA) — A second Dallas nurse undergoing treatment for Ebola is being discharged from Emory University Hospital Tuesday and is Ebola-free, officials said.

In late September, nurse Amber Vinson, 29, had cared for Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Duncan died on Oct. 8, and Vinson’s colleague, Nina Pham, 26, was diagnosed with Ebola a few days later.

Vinson took a flight to Ohio and returned to Dallas in the days before she, too, was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 15. That evening, she was flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Passengers on both of Vinson’s flights were notified about the ordeal.

“We are overjoyed to announce that, as of yesterday [Oct. 21] evening, officials at Emory University Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control are no longer able to detect virus in her body,” the family said in the statement Oct. 22, adding that Vinson should be able to leave the isolation unit.

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Deepwater Horizon Spill Left ‘Bathtub Ring’ of Oil Residue on Deep Ocean Floor

Photo by Benjamin Lowy/Edit by Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The oil spill at B.P.’s Deepwater horizon in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 left a “bathtub ring” of oil-rich water about the size of Rhode Island.

A study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, found that some of the oil that spilled in the incident was deposited on the deep ocean floor. Additional “fallout plume” allowed suspended oil particles to sink to underlying sediment.

Researchers also said that oil may have been deposited outside the 3,200-square-kilometer region near the well, which may have gone undetected due to “heterogeneous spatial distribution.”

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Deepwater Horizon Spill Left ‘Bathtub Ring’ of Oil Residue on Deep Ocean Floor

Photo by Benjamin Lowy/Edit by Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The oil spill at B.P.’s Deepwater horizon in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 left a “bathtub ring” of oil-rich water about the size of Rhode Island.

A study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, found that some of the oil that spilled in the incident was deposited on the deep ocean floor. Additional “fallout plume” allowed suspended oil particles to sink to underlying sediment.

Researchers also said that oil may have been deposited outside the 3,200-square-kilometer region near the well, which may have gone undetected due to “heterogeneous spatial distribution.”

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Virginia Plans to Remove Guardrails Blamed for Injuries, Deaths

zebra3/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Virginia is the first state to announce it plans to physically remove from its highways a controversial guardrail system blamed by accident victims for injuries and deaths across the country. The move comes after Trinity Industries, the manufacturer of the ET-Plus system, failed to meet a deadline to submit a plan to conduct new crash tests for the system.

“The Virginia Department of Transportation is currently putting together a plan for removal,” Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) spokesperson Marshall Herman told ABC News Monday.

The company was notified of the action in a letter sent by VDOT on Friday, addressed to Trinity Highway Products president Gregory Mitchell. The letter states that if the ET-Plus is removed from its roadways, Virginia will also seek reimbursement of the cost to do so.

Herman said there is no finalized timeline to remove the end terminals, and should Trinity provide data proving the ET-Plus meets safety criteria, it will reconsider the recall.

Trinity Industries told ABC News in a statement that it is “moving expeditiously to initiate” crash tests that had been previously requested by the state. VDOT had given Trinity until last Friday to submit plans for crash tests of the ET-Plus and had, in the meantime, removed the end terminal from the state’s purchasing list. The company had requested postponement of the deadline.

“We do not believe it would be appropriate for any state to remove a product that has met all test previously requested by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and continues to remain eligible for federal reimbursement,” Trinity’s statement read.

Thirteen states, including Virginia, said they have decided to halt installation of the guardrail system. Most recently Trinity’s home state of Texas announced Monday it is “discontinuing the use of these systems for new installations until further notice.” Virginia is the first to say it will pull existing guardrails from the roadside.

Virginia’s announcement came a week after a jury in Texas found that guardrail maker Trinity Industries had defrauded the government by altering the guardrail end terminal design nearly a decade ago and failing to disclose all of the changes to federal officials as required. Trinity, which plans to appeal the decision, was ordered to pay $175 million in damages – an amount that is expected to triple by statutory mandate.

The modified guardrail, dubbed by Trinity the ET-Plus system, was the subject of an ABC News 20/20 investigation in September that looked into allegations from crash victims that the guardrail can malfunction when struck from the front by their vehicles. Rather than ribboning out and absorbing the impact as designed, the guardrails “locked up” and speared straight through the cars, severing the motorists’ limbs in some cases.

According to an internal email obtained by ABC News, a company official estimated one particular change – reducing a piece of metal in the guardrail end terminal from five inches to four – would save the company $2 per guardrail, or $50,000 per year.

Late last week Trinity announced it would no longer sell the ET-Plus “until the additional testing has been completed.”

“We have confidence in the ET-Plus system as designed and crash tested by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute,” Gregg Mitchell, president of Trinity Highway Products, said in a press release then. “It has met all tests previously requested by the FHWA [Federal Highway Administration]. We take the safety of the products we manufacture very seriously.”

Trinity said it would work with the FHWA on further crash testing.

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Washington State High School Shooter Lured Victims to Cafeteria Using Text Message, Police Say

Jaylen Fryberg/Facebook(MARYSVILLE, Wash.) — The Washington state high school student who shot five students, killing two of them, had invited them via text message to sit at the same lunch table the day of the cafeteria shooting, authorities said Monday.

Jaylen Fryberg, 15, used a .40-caliber gun to commit the shootings, investigators with the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team said of last Friday’s shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

In a statement, police said, “The only pre-planning of the event that detectives are able to confirm is that [Fryberg] had arranged for a meeting of friends during lunch in the cafeteria. A witness confirms that the five victims were seated at the table when the shooter opened fire, striking the victims before turning the gun on himself.”

Authorities also said the handgun had been purchased legally and registered and owned by a family member. Police did not specify which relative the handgun was registered to.

“It is still under investigation how the shooter obtained the weapon prior to Friday’s incident,” police said in the statement.

Two of the victims, Nate Hatch, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15, were relatives of the shooter and remain hospitalized, according to the boy’s grandfather, Donald Hatch.

In a tweet, Nate Hatch wrote, “I love you and I forgive you jaylen rest in peace.”

Two girls, Zoe Galasso and Gia Soriano, were killed in the shooting.

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Deer Crashes into Iowa Furniture Store, Shows Self Out Door

iStock/Thinkstock(CEDAR FALLS, Iowa) — Furniture store owner Deb Emmert was letting her usual, paying, human customers into her Cedar Falls, Iowa, store on Saturday morning when a four-legged animal suddenly showed himself in.

“I had just opened the door and let two ladies [in] and as a gentleman and his son were coming in the window exploded,” Emmert told ABC News. “There’s no other word for it. The glass just broke into a million pieces.”

The culprit of the shattered window was a deer who then proceeded to run through Emmert’s Simpson Furniture store.

“He started to go south in the store, and then turned, jumped over two sofas back-to-back and then went into an office where I think he thought he was going to get out,” Emmert said. “He rammed into another window but he didn’t fit and just kind of repelled off of it.”

Emmert believes the deer was trying to get to a creek that is outside the back of the store. She says deer are common in the 49,000-people-strong town of Cedar Falls, but they are not common in her store.

“The only other time was in 2010 when a deer got into our warehouse,” Emmert said. “Maybe now we’re going to have put up deer signs or deer deterrents.”

Though the deer made a grand entrance by shattering the window, he did not stay long in the store.

Less than three minutes after he entered, the deer let himself out of the store by literally opening the back door.

“He walked through the mattress section and walked right out the back door,” Emmert said. “He just pushed the door with his head and he just walked out.”

The deer did not cause any damage in the store besides the shattered window, according to Emmert.

The deer himself also did not appear to be injured, aside from shaking his antlers after he first entered to shake off the broken glass he brought in with him, Emmert said.

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Deer Crashes into Iowa Furniture Store, Shows Self Out Door

iStock/Thinkstock(CEDAR FALLS, Iowa) — Furniture store owner Deb Emmert was letting her usual, paying, human customers into her Cedar Falls, Iowa, store on Saturday morning when a four-legged animal suddenly showed himself in.

“I had just opened the door and let two ladies [in] and as a gentleman and his son were coming in the window exploded,” Emmert told ABC News. “There’s no other word for it. The glass just broke into a million pieces.”

The culprit of the shattered window was a deer who then proceeded to run through Emmert’s Simpson Furniture store.

“He started to go south in the store, and then turned, jumped over two sofas back-to-back and then went into an office where I think he thought he was going to get out,” Emmert said. “He rammed into another window but he didn’t fit and just kind of repelled off of it.”

Emmert believes the deer was trying to get to a creek that is outside the back of the store. She says deer are common in the 49,000-people-strong town of Cedar Falls, but they are not common in her store.

“The only other time was in 2010 when a deer got into our warehouse,” Emmert said. “Maybe now we’re going to have put up deer signs or deer deterrents.”

Though the deer made a grand entrance by shattering the window, he did not stay long in the store.

Less than three minutes after he entered, the deer let himself out of the store by literally opening the back door.

“He walked through the mattress section and walked right out the back door,” Emmert said. “He just pushed the door with his head and he just walked out.”

The deer did not cause any damage in the store besides the shattered window, according to Emmert.

The deer himself also did not appear to be injured, aside from shaking his antlers after he first entered to shake off the broken glass he brought in with him, Emmert said.

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Deer Crashes into Iowa Furniture Store, Shows Self Out Door

iStock/Thinkstock(CEDAR FALLS, Iowa) — Furniture store owner Deb Emmert was letting her usual, paying, human customers into her Cedar Falls, Iowa, store on Saturday morning when a four-legged animal suddenly showed himself in.

“I had just opened the door and let two ladies [in] and as a gentleman and his son were coming in the window exploded,” Emmert told ABC News. “There’s no other word for it. The glass just broke into a million pieces.”

The culprit of the shattered window was a deer who then proceeded to run through Emmert’s Simpson Furniture store.

“He started to go south in the store, and then turned, jumped over two sofas back-to-back and then went into an office where I think he thought he was going to get out,” Emmert said. “He rammed into another window but he didn’t fit and just kind of repelled off of it.”

Emmert believes the deer was trying to get to a creek that is outside the back of the store. She says deer are common in the 49,000-people-strong town of Cedar Falls, but they are not common in her store.

“The only other time was in 2010 when a deer got into our warehouse,” Emmert said. “Maybe now we’re going to have put up deer signs or deer deterrents.”

Though the deer made a grand entrance by shattering the window, he did not stay long in the store.

Less than three minutes after he entered, the deer let himself out of the store by literally opening the back door.

“He walked through the mattress section and walked right out the back door,” Emmert said. “He just pushed the door with his head and he just walked out.”

The deer did not cause any damage in the store besides the shattered window, according to Emmert.

The deer himself also did not appear to be injured, aside from shaking his antlers after he first entered to shake off the broken glass he brought in with him, Emmert said.

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