TIME ebola

U.S. to Grant Temporary Protection Status for People From Ebola-Hit Nations in West Africa

Liberia Battles Spreading Ebola Epidemic
A mother and child stand atop their mattresses in a classroom now used as Ebola isolation ward on Aug. 15, 2014, in Monrovia, Liberia John Moore—Getty Images

People from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone who were in the U.S. as of Thursday

The United States will issue a temporary protected status to people residing in the country from the three nations hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, homeland security officials said in a report Thursday.

Reuters reports that people from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone who were in the U.S. as of Thursday would be eligible for deportation protection for at least 18 months and could also apply for work permits. The 8,000 people estimated to be eligible will be unable to visit home and return in a bid to prevent more Ebola cases arriving in the U.S.

Any extension of the protection will be reassessed after 18 months based on how severe the Ebola outbreak remains in West Africa, the report adds. More than 5,000 people have died from the virus in the worst outbreak in recorded history, the World Health Organization reports.

Read more at Reuters

TIME remembrance

See Mike Nichols’ Legendary Career in Photos

Famed director dies at 83

Mike Nichols, whose many accolades include the Academy Award for Best Director for The Graduate, died on Wednesday at 83.

The German-born comedian, writer and director made a name for himself across film, television and theater during his career spanning more than five decades. Nichols, who was married to ABC’s Diane Sawyer, directed a range of titles including the 1966 film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the 1971 comedy-drama Carnal Knowledge and the 2007 biopic Charlie Wilson’s War.

He said in a 1996 interview with the Associated Press that, on advice from Orson Welles, he didn’t try to interpret common themes in his work. “Leave it to the other guys, the people whose whole job it is to do that, to make patterns and say what the thread is through your work and where you stand,” Nichols recalled being told by Welles. “Let somebody else worry about what it means.”

TIME 2016 Election

Jim Webb Announces Exploratory Committee for a Presidential Run

Then Sen. Jim Webb at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, in 2012.
Then-Sen. Jim Webb at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, in 2012. Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

And so it begins.

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb announced late Wednesday that he was forming an exploratory committee to run for President.

The Senator, a Vietnam veteran who was elected in 2006 for a single term as a Democrat, had announced in 2012 that he was retiring from politics. Now, he’s the first potential candidate to announce an exploratory committee, which will allow him to raise funds and test the waters for a run for the White House.

“We desperately need to fix our country, and to reinforce the values that have sustained us, many of which have fallen by the wayside in the nasty debates of the last several years,” Webb says in a 14-minute video explaining his decision, in which he brandishes his cross-aisle experience working in the Reagan administration. “I hope you will consider joining me in that effort.”

The Senator raised his national profile in 2006, weeks after taking office, when he gave his party’s response to President George W. Bush’s State of the Union.

TIME Crime

Protesters Arrested in Ferguson as Grand Jury Nears Its Decision

It marked the first such arrests in about a week.

Several people were arrested at a protest in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday night calling for the officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen in August to be charged by a grand jury.

The protesters tried to block a street outside the city police station during a demonstration that drew dozens of people in sub-freezing temperatures, Reuters reports. The arrests were the first in a week, and came amid heightened security as the grand jury nears its decision after some three months of deliberating.

Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on Monday, in anticipation of the public response to the grand jury decision about whether Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson will be charged in the August 9 killing of Michael Brown.

[Reuters]

TIME faith

Pope Francis Is Selling His Fiat Car in a Raffle for the Poor

Pope Francis Attends His Weekly Audience In St Peter's Square
Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the end of his weekly audience on November 19, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. During his speech Pontiff appealed for peace in the Middle East. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images) Franco Origlia—Getty Images

The Vatican said it is raffling off objects that the Pontiff has received as gifts

Pope Francis’ four-wheel-drive Panda Fiat is just one of a collection of items the Vatican is raffling off to raise money for charity.

Posters around the Vatican announced the raffle will also include his Homero Ortega brand hat, bicycles, and an espresso coffee machine, Reuters reports, among 13 objects and 30 unspecified “consolation prizes.”

Tickets on sale at the Vatican will cost $12.50, and the winner will be announced on Jan. 8. The Vatican announced last week that Pope Francis, who has made fighting poverty a priority, was building bathrooms for the homeless in the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica.

[Reuters]

TIME Aviation

JetBlue Is Cutting Legroom From Its Planes

JetBlue Airways Corp. planes sit docked at the gates of Terminal 5 as another of the company's jets lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Jan. 28, 2014.
JetBlue Airways Corp. planes sit docked at the gates of Terminal 5 as another of the company's jets lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Jan. 28, 2014. Craig Warga—Bloomberg/Getty Images

And the base fare will not include a checked bag

Jetblue said Wednesday it will reduce leg room and add bag fees for fliers who buy tickets on base fares.

The traditionally low-cost airline, under pressure from investors to boost profits, announced in a call with analysts that it is adding fare levels next year. The new base fare will not include a checked bag.

The airline also said it will reduce average legroom from 34.7 inches to 33.1 inches—still, it says, an industry leader—to allow it to add 15 seats to its standard A320 aircraft beginning in 2016.

JetBlue and Southwest Airlines have until now been the only large U.S. airlines that provide a free checked bag for all fliers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

TIME Retail

Most People Won’t Like Their Holiday Gifts, Survey Says

People carry shopping bags in New York, Nov. 14, 2014.
People carry shopping bags in New York, Nov. 14, 2014. Justin Lange—EPA

But Americans are still expected to spend some 14 hours picking them out

When struggling to feign interest in that unwanted gift this holiday season, take solace in knowing that most Americans are in the exact same position.

Almost three-quarters of Americans probably won’t like the gift they receive this holiday season, according to a survey from the Japan-based online retailer Rakuten. More than a third of respondents said they will regift unwanted gifts, another 27% will donate it to charity, and 14% will sell it.

And yet Americans are still stressing over what to buy (in fact, 45% of respondents said they find the holiday season stressful). According to the survey, they will spend an average of 14 hours shopping for gifts.

“The holiday season is a time to spend with family and loved ones,” George Chang, senior vice president at Rakuten.com, said in a statement. “Yet, we all spend too much time worrying whether we have bought the perfect gifts.”

Shopping Secrets Rakuten

TIME Smartphones

U.S. Warns Apple Users About iOS ‘Masque Attack’

Security weakness allows a hacker to replace an iOS app with malware

The U.S. government warned Apple gadget owners Thursday to look out for hackers exploiting a newly revealed vulnerability in the mobile operating system iOS.

The so-called “Masque Attack” was disclosed earlier this week by the network security firm FireEye and allows a hacker to replace an iOS app with malware, according to an alert posted on the website of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security.

MORE: How to Avoid the ‘Biggest’ iPhone Malware App Attack Yet

“This technique takes advantage of a security weakness that allows an untrusted app—with the same “bundle identifier” as that of a legitimate app—to replace the legitimate app on an affected device, while keeping all of the user’s data,” the warning states. “This vulnerability exists because iOS does not enforce matching certificates for apps with the same bundle identifier.”

The agency warns iOS users not to install apps from sources other than Apple’s official app store or their own organizations, among other precautions.

TIME Immigration

Report: Obama Set to Go It Alone on Immigration

Sara Ramirez, of Gaithersberg, Md. rallies for comprehensive immigration reform outside the White House in Washington D.C. on Nov. 7, 2014.
Sara Ramirez, of Gaithersburg, Md., rallies for comprehensive immigration reform outside the White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7, 2014 Jacquelyn Martin—AP

The White House could make the move as early as next week

President Barack Obama is poised to unilaterally overhaul American immigration policy, according to several reports Thursday, in a long-anticipated move that would ignore his Republican critics and could allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay in the country.

The New York Times, citing unnamed Administration officials, reports that Obama intends as early as next week to announce plans to substantially refocus immigration enforcement involving some 12,000 agents and reduce the risk of deportation for millions of immigrants.

As many as 3.3 million parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents would be able to obtain legal work documents under the plan, the Times adds. Many immigrants with high-tech skills or who came to the U.S. as children could also be affected by the plan.

Obama has infuriated Republicans by pledging executive action on immigration if Congress does not pass a comprehensive reform bill. TIME’s Alex Altman wrote this week on the widely expected move, as well as the likely pushback from the soon-to-be Republican-controlled Congress:

The pressure on Obama to delay executive action is likely to build. Republican leaders say that skirting Congress to go it alone would ignite a controversy that jeopardizes the chances for cooperation between the President and the new GOP Congressional majority on a host of issues. “It’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull,” Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said. Immigration will be a touchstone in confirmation hearings for Loretta Lynch, Obama’s pick for Attorney General. Tea Party conservatives in the Senate signaled they plan to use the hearings to press Lynch on her views of the President’s executive authority on immigration.

Enacting sweeping changes to immigration law just weeks after the party was rebuked by voters at the polls could spark a blowback from voters. In one recent survey, conducted by Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, 74% of respondents said they preferred Obama to work with Congress to retool a broken immigration system rather than maneuvering around the legislative branch.

Even some seasoned Democrats seem a bit skittish about the idea. Over a sea-bass lunch Friday with congressional leaders in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, Obama told Boehner that his patience in waiting for the House to act on immigration had run out. At that point, according to a source familiar with the meeting, Vice President Joe Biden piped up to ask how long Republicans would need to craft immigration legislation — prompting the President to shoot Biden a look that closed the discussion.

Read more at the New York Times

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