TIME weather

Eastern U.S. Set for Weekend Cold Snap, Record Lows

A car runs past fall foliage in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, on Oct. 28, 2014.
Yin Bogu—Xinhua Press/Corbis A car runs past fall foliage in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, on Oct. 28, 2014.

An arctic blast gave millions of people a real reason to shiver early Friday, bringing a deep chill to Halloween festivities from the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley through to the East Coast. Strong, freezing winds took hold across the Great Lakes and converted rain into the season’s first lake-effect snow. The southern Appalachians were also expected to get up to eight inches of snow by Saturday morning, forecasters said. Areas as far south as Miami faced record low temperatures this weekend.

“It’s certainly unusual,” Weather Channel lead meteorologist Michael Palmer said. “It’s early for snow in many areas and…

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

TIME ebola

Aid Groups See Fallout From Quarantine Debate

Kaci Hickox, a nurse who arrived in New Jersey on October 24 after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, seen in a hospital quarantine tent in Newark, New Jersey, Oct. 26, 2014.
Reuters Kaci Hickox, a nurse who arrived in New Jersey on October 24 after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, seen in a hospital quarantine tent in Newark, New Jersey, Oct. 26, 2014.

The fight over Ebola quarantines in the United States is already discouraging doctors, nurses and other health workers from signing up to go to Africa and battle the outbreak where help is needed most.

Would-be volunteers are worried about losing three additional weeks of work when they return to the United States, about still-evolving isolation rules and about being holed up in an unfamiliar place, aid organizations say.

They also worry about mistreatment generated by the public fear of Ebola, the organizations say.

“We have seen a big deterrence,” said Margaret…

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

TIME space

Operator in Rocket Blast Hit Self-Destruct When Problem Became Clear

The Antares rocket exploded and scattered debris over a wide area

The unmanned rocket that exploded seconds after liftoff Tuesday on its way to the International Space Station did so because the operator hit self-destruct once problems with the launch became apparent, the company that owns it said.

The Antares rocket, operated by Orbital Sciences Corp., crashed in a large fire Tuesday night, scattering debris over a wide area. It was carrying more than 5,000 pounds of scientific instruments, food and other supplies for the astronauts aboard the space station when down with the rocket. NASA says the space station is equipped with plenty of food to last while additional resupply missions are organized.

Orbital spokesperson Barron Beneski told CNN the crash was initiated by the flight termination system. Such an order is typically given after it’s clear the rocket will not meet its intended trajectory in order to ensure that it goes down over a relatively small and unpopulated area. No injuries were reported in the crash.

The problem occurred in the first stage of launch, Orbital said late Thursday, in a possible sign that its vintage, Russian-designed engines could have been the cause.

[CNN]

TIME Terrorism

U.S. Military Ups Vigilance as Fears Mount of Fresh ISIS-Inspired Attacks

William Mayville
Cliff Owen—AP Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., speaks about the operations to target the Khorasan Group in Syria on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, during a news conference at the Pentagon.

Defense officials are fearful that their personnel may be targeted after receiving public threats from terrorists operating in the Middle East

The American military is warning service members and their families to be a bit more vigilant amid threatens directed from or inspired by ISIS, according to a report on Thursday.

Law enforcement officers and service members were described by the Pentagon, in an internally circulated memo last week, as “legitimate targets” by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, the Military Times reports. The message came days after a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, killing one soldier.

The Marine Corps was also reported to send out an announcement that called on troops to report “even the most minor suspicious activity” and to be prudent when posting updates on social media. And officials at MacDill Air Force Base, overseeing the 6th Air Mobility Wing in Tampa, Fla., were said to have instructed troops to keep a low profile and avoid public affiliation with the military.

According to a dossier compiled for the U.N. Security Council, an estimated 15,000 individuals have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside ISIS and other militant organizations. The large number of fighters receiving training with such groups has raised fresh fears in the U.S. and abroad of domestic attacks should they return home.

[Military Times]

TIME Courts

Kimberly-Clark Faces $500 Million Lawsuit for Ebola Protection Claims

Law firm Eagan Avenatti says millions of the gowns have been sold since 2011, putting health care workers and patients at “considerable risk"

Kleenex tissue maker Kimberly-Clark Corp. is being sued for more than $500 million for allegedly falsely claiming their surgical gowns protect against Ebola.

California law firm Eagan Avenatti filed the suit Wednesday saying Kimberly-Clark continued to claim the ” Breathable High Performance Surgical Gown provided the highest protection, despite failing industry tests for protection against infectious diseases, including Ebola.

The law firm says millions of the gowns have been sold since 2011, putting health care workers and patients at “considerable risk,” reports Reuters.

“Kimberly-Clark needs to immediately recall these gowns and come clean with the FDA, CDC, healthcare professionals and the general public,” lead attorney Michael Avenatti said in a statement. “The risks associated with continued concealment of the truth are far too great.”

Eagan Avenatti is seeking a class-action lawsuit alleging fraud, false advertising, negligent misrepresentation and unfair business practices and is brought on behalf of lead plaintiff and surgeon Hrayr Shahinian and 500,000 others.

Kimberly-Clark has said it does not comment on ongoing litigation cases.

[Reuters]

TIME natural disaster

Hawaii Calls In National Guard as River of Lava Creeps Onward

Hawaii Kilauea Volcano Lava
US Geological Survey—Reuters The lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano burns vegetation as it approaches a property boundary near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii, on Oct. 28, 2014.

Intended to protect residents from looters

A delegation of 83 National Guard troops headed to Hawaii on Thursday to provide security for the Big Island community of Pahoa as a stream of lava from the Kilauea volcano continues to creep toward the small town.

Though the lava is traveling at less than 5 yd. per hour and has been approaching for the past several weeks, residents fear that looters will raid evacuated houses. Residents of about 50 houses in what officials are calling “a corridor of risk” have been told to be ready to leave, according to Reuters.

The Kilauea volcano has erupted persistently since 1983 from its Pu’u O’o vent. The latest flow of lava started on June 27.

[Reuters]

TIME justice

Philadelphia Cops Offer Safe Space for Craigslist Exchanges

Man handing woman US dollar banknotes, close-up
PM Images/Getty Images

Residents of the suburb of Conshohocken can swap their used futons for cash in the safe surroundings of their local police station

A police department in the Philadelphia suburb of Conshohocken is offering its lobby and parking lot as a venue to buy and sell items from Craigslist and other online marketplaces. The location is well-lit and has 24-hour surveillance so that you can feel safe exchanging your used futon for money.

“I figured there’s got to be a better place for people who don’t know each other to complete these transactions,”Conshohocken Police officer Steve Vallone said, the AP reports. “Why not allow people to complete their online transactions from here? It seems like the perfect match.”

The offer came shortly after an alleged rapist was charged with killing a local man he met through Craigslist, according to NBC News in Philadelphia.

Similar measures have been taken in Hillsborough County in Florida, where residents can visit four of the police station’s parking lots to engage in cash transactions.

[NBC]

TIME Accident

Kansas Airport Plane Crash Kills 4

Wichita Airport-Crash
Brian Corn—AP Firefighters try to put out a fire at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kan. on Oct. 30, 2014 shortly after a small plane crashed into the building killing several people including the pilot.

Approximately 100 people were in flight safety center when airplane plowed into it

A small airplane plowed into the top of a flight safety center at an airport in Kansas after losing engine power on takeoff Thursday, killing at least four people, injuring five and leaving four others missing, officials said.

The twin-engine Beechcraft King Air reported trouble after taking off from Mid-Content Airport in Wichita around 10 a.m. ET. It hit a two-story FlightSafety International building while trying to return to the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The crash sent up thick plumes of black smoke that could be seen for miles.

“There wasn’t a loud bang, there wasn’t a loud…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Education

Science Teachers Need Training Before Fiery Chemistry Displays, Panel Says

After three fires in the last two months

A federal board seeking to improve safety in science classrooms recommended Thursday that teachers undergo more training before performing fiery, explosive chemical experiments beloved of high schoolers.

After investigating three fires in the last two months, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board found that the teachers lacked safety training, used too much of the flammable chemicals, and did not put up see-through safety barriers between themselves and their pupils.

The three incidents, in Nevada, Colorado and Illinois, badly injured students and teachers but did not lead to any deaths. At the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno, 13 people received burns. All three cases involved demonstrations of flames using methanol.

The panel’s chairperson, Rafael Moure-Eraso, said it was not attempting to take the fun out of the classroom. “When performed safely these kinds of demonstrations can engage students and visitors and stimulate their interest in science,” he said. “But methanol… is classified as a highly flammable liquid, and users should adopt strict safety controls.”

TIME ebola

Nurse’s Bike Ride Defying Ebola Quarantine Could Set Legal Precedent

Kaci Hickox, Ted Wilbur
Robert F. Bukaty—AP Nurse Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine state trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, on Oct. 30, 2014

The standoff in Maine may influence policy around the nation

A morning bike ride in a rural Maine town may have set in motion a chain of events that could determine how state and local governments respond to outbreaks of contagious diseases.

Kaci Hickox — a Maine nurse who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa — has remained at odds with state health officials after she was placed under quarantine even though she tested negative for the virus and has not shown any symptoms.

On Thursday, Hickox defied Maine’s isolation order, leaving her Fort Kent home for a bike ride with her boyfriend. They were trailed by state police, but the officers were powerless to stop her.

That’s because the quarantine issued by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is considered “voluntary,” meaning the state needs a court order to prevent Hickox from actually leaving her home. State officials have filed an order to make it mandatory, and on Thursday, Governor Paul LePage tried to broker a compromise when he told ABC News that the state would drop the quarantine if Hickox submitted to a blood test for the disease. By Thursday evening, however, LePage announced that negotiations between Hickox and state health officials had failed.

“As a result of the failed effort to reach an agreement, the governor will exercise the full extent of his authority allowable by law,” LePage’s office said in a statement released Thursday. “Maine statutes provide robust authority to the state to use legal measures to address threats to public health.”

The episode could set a precedent for how infectious diseases are dealt with in the future. Public-health experts say that depending on how the court decides, the case could either further establish that states have wide latitude in deciding who can be quarantined, or bolster the argument that the civil liberties of those who have no symptoms cannot be unduly restrained, even in a time of a public health emergency.

“The court could be plowing new legal ground,” says Robert Field, a professor of law and public health at Drexel University. “The decision would only be binding in Maine, but it could influence the thinking of courts around the country.”

A court order would force the state to show that Hickox’s confinement is justified and based on medical science, but that could be difficult considering Hickox has yet to show symptoms of Ebola. She says she has been tested twice since her return to the U.S. on Oct. 24 and the result came back negative each time.

Emory University law professor Polly Price says if the court decides in favor of the Maine health officials, other states may “feel free to post armed guards outside of asymptomatic people’s houses, or confine them in an institution.”

If a judge finds in favor of a mandatory quarantine, Hickox can still appeal based on her constitutional right of due process, and her lawyers have pledged to do so.

Either way, some experts fear that the case may also have a more short-term impact on Americans still looking to help Ebola patients in West Africa, where almost 5,000 people have died from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s a knee-jerk reaction that won’t do very much to protect the people of Maine or the U.S.,” says Susan Kim, a Georgetown University law professor. “It will, however, hurt efforts to contain the epidemic in West Africa if we treat returning health care workers like pariahs.”

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com