Review Category : National News

Ebola Scare Creates ‘Utter Panic’ on Caribbean Cruise Ship

Jeremy Malone saw 30 to 40 crew members with buckets of disinfectant who were lined up on along his hallway as they prepared to clean the ship Courtesy Jeremy Malone(NEW YORK) — There is “utter panic” on the Carnival cruise ship where a Dallas hospital employee who helped care for an Ebola patient who died has been put in quarantine. The ship is now being sent back to Texas after being turned away from both Belize and Mexico, one of the passengers said.

“People are scared,” passenger Jon Malone told ABC News as the Carnival Magic cruise ship was waiting miles off shore from Cozumel, Mexico. “I’ve seen people crying.”

The chaos started Friday morning when there was an announcement on the ship’s intercom saying “that someone who worked in the lab who handled the person in Dallas’ blood was on the ship,” Jon’s brother and fellow passenger Jeremy Malone told ABC. The cruise line said the woman is in isolation on board the ship.

“You’re using the same buffet line as someone else, the same waiters, the folks that clean the state rooms. If someone was cleaning their state room and cleaned yours right after, the exposure that you have there to elevators…” he said. “It’s very tight quarters and a lot of interaction. It’s really difficult to control any type of virus that’s on a cruise ship. It’s like a floating petri dish. It spreads very rapidly.”

Though the cruise line has not released the name of the passenger or her location, the Malones fear that her room may be on their floor because when Jeremy walked outside his room Friday morning, he saw a group of 30 to 40 workers gathered with buckets of what looked like cleaning chemicals.

“Some of them had masks on,” Jon Malone said.

“They had a pink liquid in clear spray bottles and they had little wagons that had grey containers — like mop buckets — filled with chemicals,” he said. “They’re cleaning elevators. I’ve seen people with pink liquid cleaning the bar area and the handrails.”

The workers wouldn’t answer questions about what room or floor the hospital employee was staying on, but Jeremy said that he fears that she was on the 11th floor because the workers “kind of looked at each other and smiled. They didn’t know what to say.”

The first signs of trouble emerged Thursday night when they did not leave Belize at 6 p.m. as intended to make their way to Cozumel.

“The ship wasn’t going anywhere. We were parked maybe 10 miles from the shore, so that was unusual,” Jeremy Malone said. “Several hours go by and we still haven’t moved and they hadn’t made any announcements or anything.”

The first word they received came while attending a comedy show on board when an employee indicated that a passenger was ill and needed to be taken off the ship, but made no mention of Ebola.

Carnival released a statement Friday confirming the presence of a lab supervisor from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on board the ship, but said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deemed the woman “low risk.”

“At no point in time has the individual exhibited any symptoms or signs of infection and it has been 19 days since she was in the lab with the testing samples,” the statement said. The incubation period for Ebola is believed to be two to 21 days.

Neither Carnival nor any government officials from Belize, Mexico or the United States have confirmed the reported change of travel plans, but the Malones shared a letter that they received from Carnival Friday morning that the ship planned to arrive in Cozumel at 10 a.m. and depart at 6 p.m.

Jeremy Malone said the captain and cruise director have subsequently made another announcement saying they are headed back to Galveston, Texas.

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Ebola Scare Creates ‘Utter Panic’ on Caribbean Cruise Ship

Jeremy Malone saw 30 to 40 crew members with buckets of disinfectant who were lined up on along his hallway as they prepared to clean the ship Courtesy Jeremy Malone(NEW YORK) — There is “utter panic” on the Carnival cruise ship where a Dallas hospital employee who helped care for an Ebola patient who died has been put in quarantine. The ship is now being sent back to Texas after being turned away from both Belize and Mexico, one of the passengers said.

“People are scared,” passenger Jon Malone told ABC News as the Carnival Magic cruise ship was waiting miles off shore from Cozumel, Mexico. “I’ve seen people crying.”

The chaos started Friday morning when there was an announcement on the ship’s intercom saying “that someone who worked in the lab who handled the person in Dallas’ blood was on the ship,” Jon’s brother and fellow passenger Jeremy Malone told ABC. The cruise line said the woman is in isolation on board the ship.

“You’re using the same buffet line as someone else, the same waiters, the folks that clean the state rooms. If someone was cleaning their state room and cleaned yours right after, the exposure that you have there to elevators…” he said. “It’s very tight quarters and a lot of interaction. It’s really difficult to control any type of virus that’s on a cruise ship. It’s like a floating petri dish. It spreads very rapidly.”

Though the cruise line has not released the name of the passenger or her location, the Malones fear that her room may be on their floor because when Jeremy walked outside his room Friday morning, he saw a group of 30 to 40 workers gathered with buckets of what looked like cleaning chemicals.

“Some of them had masks on,” Jon Malone said.

“They had a pink liquid in clear spray bottles and they had little wagons that had grey containers — like mop buckets — filled with chemicals,” he said. “They’re cleaning elevators. I’ve seen people with pink liquid cleaning the bar area and the handrails.”

The workers wouldn’t answer questions about what room or floor the hospital employee was staying on, but Jeremy said that he fears that she was on the 11th floor because the workers “kind of looked at each other and smiled. They didn’t know what to say.”

The first signs of trouble emerged Thursday night when they did not leave Belize at 6 p.m. as intended to make their way to Cozumel.

“The ship wasn’t going anywhere. We were parked maybe 10 miles from the shore, so that was unusual,” Jeremy Malone said. “Several hours go by and we still haven’t moved and they hadn’t made any announcements or anything.”

The first word they received came while attending a comedy show on board when an employee indicated that a passenger was ill and needed to be taken off the ship, but made no mention of Ebola.

Carnival released a statement Friday confirming the presence of a lab supervisor from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on board the ship, but said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deemed the woman “low risk.”

“At no point in time has the individual exhibited any symptoms or signs of infection and it has been 19 days since she was in the lab with the testing samples,” the statement said. The incubation period for Ebola is believed to be two to 21 days.

Neither Carnival nor any government officials from Belize, Mexico or the United States have confirmed the reported change of travel plans, but the Malones shared a letter that they received from Carnival Friday morning that the ship planned to arrive in Cozumel at 10 a.m. and depart at 6 p.m.

Jeremy Malone said the captain and cruise director have subsequently made another announcement saying they are headed back to Galveston, Texas.

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Air Force Reusable Spacecraft Lands After Over 600 Days in Orbit

USAF(NEW YORK) — After nearly two years in space, the mysterious U.S. Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday.

The Air Force has never specifically said what the unmanned, reusable spacecraft did in space.

“The OTV-3 conducted on-orbit experiments for 674 days during its mission extending the total number of days spent on-orbit for the OTV program to 1367 days,” an Air Force press release says.

The program’s manager said that the landing “marks a hallmark event for the program.”

“The mission is our longest to day and we’re pleased with the incremental progress we’ve seen in our testing of the reusable space plane,” the program manager added.

The Air Force described the X-37B as the “newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft.”

A fourth X-37B mission is expected to be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 2015.

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Michael Dunn Sentenced to Life in Prison for Loud Music Shooting

Thinkstock(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Michael Dunn, the Florida man convicted of first-degree murder in the fatal 2012 shooting of a teen over loud music was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

Dunn was found guilty of attempted murder and firing a gun into a car in February, but jurors could not initially agree on whether he was guilty of the first-degree murder charge. He was convicted on the murder charge in a second trial that began in September.

Dunn got into an argument with Jordan Davis, 17, in November 2012, in the parking lot of a Florida gas station, during which he asked Davis and his friends to turn down the music playing from their vehicle. Dunn said he felt threatened, and that he thought he saw Davis point a gun at him, before firing nine bullets into the vehicle, killing Davis.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Dunn apologized to Davis’ family prior to his sentencing on Friday. Davis’ family also addressed the court.

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Ebola Scare Creates ‘Utter Panic’ on Caribbean Cruise Ship

Jeremy Malone saw 30 to 40 crew members with buckets of disinfectant who were lined up on along his hallway as they prepared to clean the ship Courtesy Jeremy Malone(NEW YORK) — There is “utter panic” on the Carnival cruise ship where a Dallas hospital employee who helped care for an Ebola patient who died has been put in quarantine. The ship is now being sent back to Texas after being turned away from both Belize and Mexico, one of the passengers said.

“People are scared,” passenger Jon Malone told ABC News as the Carnival Magic cruise ship was waiting miles off shore from Cozumel, Mexico. “I’ve seen people crying.”

The chaos started Friday morning when there was an announcement on the ship’s intercom saying “that someone who worked in the lab who handled the person in Dallas’ blood was on the ship,” Jon’s brother and fellow passenger Jeremy Malone told ABC. The cruise line said the woman is in isolation on board the ship.

“You’re using the same buffet line as someone else, the same waiters, the folks that clean the state rooms. If someone was cleaning their state room and cleaned yours right after, the exposure that you have there to elevators…” he said. “It’s very tight quarters and a lot of interaction. It’s really difficult to control any type of virus that’s on a cruise ship. It’s like a floating petri dish. It spreads very rapidly.”

Though the cruise line has not released the name of the passenger or her location, the Malones fear that her room may be on their floor because when Jeremy walked outside his room Friday morning, he saw a group of 30 to 40 workers gathered with buckets of what looked like cleaning chemicals.

“Some of them had masks on,” Jon Malone said.

“They had a pink liquid in clear spray bottles and they had little wagons that had grey containers — like mop buckets — filled with chemicals,” he said. “They’re cleaning elevators. I’ve seen people with pink liquid cleaning the bar area and the handrails.”

The workers wouldn’t answer questions about what room or floor the hospital employee was staying on, but Jeremy said that he fears that she was on the 11th floor because the workers “kind of looked at each other and smiled. They didn’t know what to say.”

The first signs of trouble emerged Thursday night when they did not leave Belize at 6 p.m. as intended to make their way to Cozumel.

“The ship wasn’t going anywhere. We were parked maybe 10 miles from the shore, so that was unusual,” Jeremy Malone said. “Several hours go by and we still haven’t moved and they hadn’t made any announcements or anything.”

The first word they received came while attending a comedy show on board when an employee indicated that a passenger was ill and needed to be taken off the ship, but made no mention of Ebola.

Carnival released a statement Friday confirming the presence of a lab supervisor from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on board the ship, but said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deemed the woman “low risk.”

“At no point in time has the individual exhibited any symptoms or signs of infection and it has been 19 days since she was in the lab with the testing samples,” the statement said. The incubation period for Ebola is believed to be two to 21 days.

Neither Carnival nor any government officials from Belize, Mexico or the United States have confirmed the reported change of travel plans, but the Malones shared a letter that they received from Carnival Friday morning that the ship planned to arrive in Cozumel at 10 a.m. and depart at 6 p.m.

Jeremy Malone said the captain and cruise director have subsequently made another announcement saying they are headed back to Galveston, Texas.

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Michael Dunn Sentenced to Life in Prison for Loud Music Shooting

Thinkstock(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Michael Dunn, the Florida man convicted of first-degree murder in the fatal 2012 shooting of a teen over loud music was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

Dunn was found guilty of attempted murder and firing a gun into a car in February, but jurors could not initially agree on whether he was guilty of the first-degree murder charge. He was convicted on the murder charge in a second trial that began in September.

Dunn got into an argument with Jordan Davis, 17, in November 2012, in the parking lot of a Florida gas station, during which he asked Davis and his friends to turn down the music playing from their vehicle. Dunn said he felt threatened, and that he thought he saw Davis point a gun at him, before firing nine bullets into the vehicle, killing Davis.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Dunn apologized to Davis’ family prior to his sentencing on Friday. Davis’ family also addressed the court.

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‘I Know I Didn’t Shoot a Gun,’ Husband Testifies in Utah Murder Trial

iStock/Thinkstock(PROVO, Utah) — A Utah man accused of shooting his wife to death after a night of drinking and watching the TV show Dexter was expected back on the stand Friday morning to face questioning from prosecutors.

Conrad Truman was adamant about his innocence in court Thursday.

“Did you shoot your wife?” a defense attorney asked.

“No,” he said.

“Did you kill your wife?”

“No.”

Truman, 32, is accused of shooting Heidy Truman in the head. Much of the trial has focused on his demeanor that night: from shrieking and speaking incomprehensively in his 911 call, to his behavior around her body, to reports from detectives that he threatened to kill them if they didn’t save his wife.

“I was just confused,” he said in court Thursday. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

Truman also addressed police allegations that he changed his story, previously saying that his wife might have shot herself by accident, or that a gunshot may have come from outside the house. While Truman says he isn’t sure who pulled the trigger, he says it wasn’t him.

“Well, I know I didn’t have a gun. I know I didn’t shoot a gun,” he said.

Truman’s lawyer asked to have the case dismissed Thursday, saying there’s no evidence Truman fired a shot, but the judge refused.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams is intrigued by the decision to have Truman testify.

“The strongest prosecution point is that the medical examiner found that the shooting was not an accident, so if the defense didn’t think he’d be a good witness, it would have been perfectly reasonable not to put him on the stand, and keep pointing out there’s no clear evidence against him,” Abrams said.

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Ebola Nurse Nina Pham Goes from Good to Fair After Trip to NIH

The Pham Family(BETHESDA, Md.) — The condition of nurse Nina Pham, who has become known as Ebola nurse No. 1, has been changed from “good” to “fair, stable” after being transferred to a specialized hospital in Maryland.

But her doctors denied that her health has deteriorated and one doctor was more upbeat saying she’s “doing quite well.”

Pham, 26, and Amber Vinson, 29, are both nurses who have contracted the lethal virus after helping to care for Thomas Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola in a Dallas hospital.

Vinson has been transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Pham arrived Thursday night at the National Institutes for Health facility in Maryland.

Pham was listed in good condition when she left Dallas, and shared a YouTube video in which she joked with her doctor.

But Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said Friday “her condition is fair, stable.. she’s resting comfortably.”

Fauci declined to say why she was listed in fair condition, but said she had endured a long trip from Dallas.

“She’s not deteriorating,” Fauci said. He said she is sitting up and “she still has some symptoms” of Ebola.

“She’s very fatigued. This is a disease that wreaks havoc on you…This virus knocks you out,” he said.

Dr. Richard Davy added, “She’s interacting with the staff, she’s eating…I really think she’s doing quite well.”

Meanwhile, authorities have placed travel restrictions on 75 health care workers in Dallas who are being monitored for symptoms, Texas health department officials said.

People who entered Ebola patient Thomas Duncan’s hospital room are being directed not to go to public places such as grocery stores, or travel by plane, ship or train for 21 days after exposure, officials said Thursday night.

The travel restriction was instituted because of Vinson’s situation, authorities acknowledged.

“The direction comes after a health care worker involved in Duncan’s care had been on a flight shortly before diagnosis of the disease,” a statement by the Texas Department of State Health Services reads.

Vinson took a Frontier Airlines plane from Dallas to Cleveland Oct. 10. Three days later, she returned to Dallas on another Frontier Airlines flight. Because of a slightly elevated temperature — 99.5 degrees — she reported the condition before boarding, but it fell below the 100.4 reading for a fever, so she was allowed to board. A fever is one of the symptoms of Ebola, along with diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Vinson arrived at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Tuesday morning with a fever and was diagnosed with Ebola in the early hours of Wednesday. She was relocated to Emory University Hospital’s isolation unit in Atlanta Wednesday night.

The situation has prompted Frontier Airlines to contact passengers on seven flights, two flights the nurse took, and five other flights involving the same planes.

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‘I Know I Didn’t Shoot a Gun,’ Husband Testifies in Utah Murder Trial

iStock/Thinkstock(PROVO, Utah) — A Utah man accused of shooting his wife to death after a night of drinking and watching the TV show Dexter was expected back on the stand Friday morning to face questioning from prosecutors.

Conrad Truman was adamant about his innocence in court Thursday.

“Did you shoot your wife?” a defense attorney asked.

“No,” he said.

“Did you kill your wife?”

“No.”

Truman, 32, is accused of shooting Heidy Truman in the head. Much of the trial has focused on his demeanor that night: from shrieking and speaking incomprehensively in his 911 call, to his behavior around her body, to reports from detectives that he threatened to kill them if they didn’t save his wife.

“I was just confused,” he said in court Thursday. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

Truman also addressed police allegations that he changed his story, previously saying that his wife might have shot herself by accident, or that a gunshot may have come from outside the house. While Truman says he isn’t sure who pulled the trigger, he says it wasn’t him.

“Well, I know I didn’t have a gun. I know I didn’t shoot a gun,” he said.

Truman’s lawyer asked to have the case dismissed Thursday, saying there’s no evidence Truman fired a shot, but the judge refused.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams is intrigued by the decision to have Truman testify.

“The strongest prosecution point is that the medical examiner found that the shooting was not an accident, so if the defense didn’t think he’d be a good witness, it would have been perfectly reasonable not to put him on the stand, and keep pointing out there’s no clear evidence against him,” Abrams said.

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LA Schools Superintendent Quits over Tech Problems

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Embattled Los Angeles Schools Superintendent John Deasy stepped down Thursday over two bold technology projects that failed to take flight.

Deasy was the driving force behind a $1.3 billion iPad initiative that screeched to a sudden halt last summer when it was alleged that he and others had links to Apple and Pearson, the suppliers for the iPads’ curriculum materials. The program is now under investigation.

Meanwhile, another project called MisSIS, a $130 million student record system, didn’t get off the ground either. As a result, students at one high school were left in academic limbo for weeks this fall before they eventually got their class assignments.

Another issue that may have compelled Deasy to quit was his battle with the teacher’s union over his support of a court ruling that effectively did away with tenure in the state.

In his resignation letter, Deasy chose to focus on his accomplishments since being hired in 2011, citing improved graduation and attendance in Los Angeles schools and higher math and English scores.

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