TIME ebola

U.S. Ebola Survivor Donates Blood to Infected Journalist

Emory Hospital Releases American Aid Workers Treated For Ebola
Jessica McGowan—Getty Images Dr. Kent Brantly an Ebola patient at Emory Hospital during a press conference announcing his release from the hospital on Aug. 21, 2014 in Atlanta.

Dr Kent Brantly, who contracted the disease in west Africa, gives blood to help NBC journalist fight the disease

The first American flown back to the U.S. after contracting Ebola has donated blood to an NBC News freelance cameraman who was also diagnosed with the virus.

Photojournalist Ashoka Mukpo’s family told NBC News early Wednesday that Dr. Kent Brantly was contacted by the Nebraska Medical Center and asked to give plasma. Experts hope the survivor’s antibodies will kick-start Mukpo’s immune system.

Brantly was on a road trip from Indiana to Texas when he received a call from the medical center telling him his blood type matched Mukpo’s…

Read more from our partners at NBC News

TIME ebola

Dallas Ebola Patient’s Son: “Keep Praying”

Karsiah Duncan, Mike Rawlings, Saymendy Lloyd
Tim Sharp—AP Karsiah Duncan, center, son of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan speaks during a news conference while Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, left rear, and Saymendy Lloyd look on, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Dallas.

Thomas Eric Duncan’s son sent a message to his mom in quarantine: be strong

The son of the Liberian man fighting for his life in a Dallas hospital after contracting Ebola asked the community to keep praying for his family in a statement to the media Tuesday night.

“I just came out here because I feel like God was calling me to see my dad even though I got school still going on,” said Karsiah Eric Duncan, who is in college in West Texas and hasn’t seen his father, Thomas Eric Duncan, since he was three.

Karsiah has visited Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where his father is in critical condition and being treated with an experimental Ebola drug, but did not get to see him.

Duncan is the first person diagnosed with Ebola outside of Africa, though a nurse in Spain has since come down with the disease after treating two Ebola-stricken missionaries who had returned from Sierra Leone.

Karsiah thanked members of the community for their support, the hospital treating his father, and President Obama for deploying troops to join the fight against Ebola in West Africa. He also had a message for his mother, Louise Troh, who has been living under quarantine for a week so far to ensure that she has not contracted the disease.

“Be strong,” he said. “Even though it’s hard being in a house for 21 days and not knowing what’s going to happen after she gets out.”

Ebola can take up to 21 days to manifest symptoms.

The young man also had a request for the community at large. “Keep praying that my family is going to be okay and my dad makes it out safely,” he said. “I hope they find a cure for it.”

TIME Crime

Report: Number of NYPD Chokehold Complaints Highest in Decade

People and relatives attend the funeral ceremony of Eric Garner who died after NYPD cops put him in a banned chokehold,
Anadolu Agency/Getty Images People and relatives attend the funeral ceremony of Eric Garner who died after NYPD cops put him in a banned chokehold.

Report says the illegal restraining method isn't always properly investigated

The number of complaints against the New York Police Department’s use of illegal chokeholds in the past year is the highest in a decade, according to a civilian-run agency tasked with investigating complaints against the NYPD.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board released a report Tuesday stating that between July 2013 and June 2014 it received 219 chokehold complaints, a number previously unseen since 2010. From 2006-2010, the agency received over 200 chokehold complaints per year.

“These findings demonstrate that, at least from the point of view of the particular experience of the complainants, police officers continue to use choke holds and the persistence of this practice puts civilians at physical risk,” the CCRB said in a statement.

The board added that these complaints were often not investigated, and that police were often not disciplined for using the restraining that has been prohibited by the NYPD Patrol Guide for over 20 years, the report said.

According to NYPD policy, a chokehold includes but is not limited to “any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.”

The definition has led some police officers to believe that a restraint is a chokehold only if breathing is restricted, which the CCRB maintains is a too limited interpretation. As a result, the number of chokehold incidents are likely underreported or misclassified, which has led to police officers bypassing discipline and investigation, said the report, which recommended the creation of a group involving both CCRB members and police officers to ensure that chokeholds are prohibited.

The NYPD’s use of force has drawn criticism in recent months after a bystander filmed a video of officers restraining in Eric Garner in July as he was arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner died while he was pinned down, which the medical examiner’s office ruled a homicide. A grand jury will be convened to decide whether or not to charge the officers.

TIME Crime

Marijuana Police Accidentally Raid Man’s Okra Garden

Growing Okra
Joshua McCullough—Getty Images Growing Okra

They thought the gumbo ingredient was the illicit drug

Police flying in helicopters looking for marijuana plants last week tracked down a man who they believed was illegally growing cannabis. Yet they soon discovered the plants were actually okra, a gumbo ingredient that’s very much legal.

Dwayne Perry of Cartersville, Georgia, noticed that a helicopter was mysteriously flying low over his home, and soon learned of the cause when police and a canine unit showed up on his doorstep attempting to bust him for growing cannabis, according to CNN.

“It did have quite a number of characteristics that were similar to a cannabis plant,” Georgia State Patrol Capt. Kermit Stokes told CNN affiliate WSB. Both plants are green and leafy, but while a cannabis plant generally has seven or nine leaves, an okra plant has only five.

The Georgia police has since apologized to Perry and his neighbors, who had grown suspicious of the police near his home. Yet Perry remains frustrated that he was mistakenly targeted.

“Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing,” Perry told WSB.

Aerial police surveillance of cannabis plants has increased in the recent months, particularly in Northern California, “the capital of American cannabis cultivation.

TIME Crime

Federal Drug Agency Sued for Creating Fake Facebook Profile

A Facebook page for "Sondra Prince"
AP A Facebook page for "Sondra Prince"

Woman arrested on drug charges claims the agency made a fake profile of her to extract drug secrets from her friends

A federal agency responsible for enforcing drug law has been sued for creating a fake Facebook profile of a woman arrested on drug charges.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is accused of using photos and information Sondra Arquiett’s cellphone to create a false Facebook profile that was used to extract drug secrets from her friends, according to the Associated Press. Arquiett was arrested in New York in 2010 on charges that she was involved in a drug distribution network.

A Department of Justice spokesman said Tuesday that the government is now reviewing the incident and the practice, even though it previously defended itself, according to August court filings. In the documents, the DOJ argued that while Arquiett did not directly authorize a DEA agent to create a fake Facebook profile, she “implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cellphone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in … ongoing criminal investigations,” AP reported.

The trial is scheduled for next week.


TIME National Security

The FBI Wants Your Help IDing American ISIS Fighters

Federal Bureau of Investigation

“No piece of information is too small"

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has called on members of the public to help identify fellow citizens who have left or are planning to leave the United States in order to join militant jihadi groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS.

“We need the public’s assistance in identifying U.S. persons going to fight overseas with terrorist groups or who are returning home from fighting overseas,” said Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division said in a statement.

In addition to launching an online tip form, the agency released an edited ISIS video which shows a masked man fluently switching between English and Arabic. “We’re hoping that someone might recognize this individual and provide us with key pieces of information,” Steinbach said. “No piece of information is too small.”

The national outreach campaign comes on the heels of a targeted campaign in Minneapolis where agents distributed business cards to community leaders asking for tips about anybody with travel plans to foreign countries where they might join in armed combat.

TIME ebola

The Dallas Ebola Patient Is Getting Slightly Better

But he remains in critical condition

Ebola patient Thomas Duncan’s liver condition has improved, according to the Dallas hospital where he’s being treated, though he remains in critical but stable condition as of Tuesday.

Duncan’s liver function declined over the weekend, leading doctors at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to downgrade his status from serious to critical. Duncan is currently on a ventilator receiving kidney dialysis, while on Monday he begun taking the experimental Ebola drug brincidofovir, which the hospital says he will continue to receive.

While the slight uptick in Duncan’s status marks a sign of hope for his eventual recovery from the Ebola virus, Duncan’s doctors warn his liver function can still vary over the next few days. It’s also unknown whether the experimental drug is having an effect on Duncan’s status. It hasn’t been treated extensively on humans, so there’s little roadmap data available to which doctors can compare Duncan’s treatment. Like ZMapp, the other experimental drug given to some Ebola patients, it’s very difficult to suss out the impact of a drug that has not undergone human clinical trials. There’s no way to know for certain if a drug is helping, hindering, or irrelevant to a patient’s care.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a press conference Tuesday that progress in the global fight against Ebola is being seen in Texas and abroad. So far, the 48 people with whom Duncan had some level of contact in Dallas remain healthy, Frieden said.

Frieden also confirmed that the CDC will be bolstering airport screenings for travelers headed to or from areas known to be Ebola hotspots, most notably West Africa.

“We are working very intensely on screening,” Frieden said. “We are looking at that entire process and seeing what more can be done.”


Colorado Allows Clerks to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Same sex marriage licenses issued
John Leyba—Denver Post / Getty Images Jason Woodrich (L) and Ben Hauth share a kiss after signing their marriage license at the Denver County clerk's office where they began issuing same sex marriage licenses July 10, 2014.

County clerks who defied a state-wide ban cleared the last legal hurdle to issuing licenses

Colorado county clerks were free to issue same-sex marriage licenses on Tuesday shortly after Colorado’s Supreme Court lifted an injunction against the practice.

The Denver Post reports that three clerks challenged a state-wide ban on gay marriage in June, issuing roughly 350 same-sex marriage licenses despite cease and desist orders from the state’s Attorney General. A Colorado court placed an injunction against the clerks until their case had received a final ruling in the courts. That final decision came Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear all appeals on same-sex marriage cases, deferring to a lower court’s decision that Colorado’s clerks could rightfully defy the ban.

The removal of the injunction on Tuesday was the last legal hurdle for the clerks, several of whom jumped ahead of the decision and issued licenses as early as Monday afternoon.

[Denver Post]

TIME Crime

Indiana Couple Sues Cops After Traffic Stop Ends in Tasering

The driver's 14-year-old son captured disturbing footage of the encounter on his cellphone

An Indiana driver has produced disturbing cellphone footage to bolster a federal lawsuit against local police, alleging that the officers used excessive force during a routine traffic stop when one shattered the window of her car and shocked her boyfriend with a Taser in front of her children.

The cellphone footage, recorded by the 14-year-old son of Lisa Mahone from the backseat of the vehicle and first obtained by Fox 32 News, shows only the tail end of the encounter. The officer can be heard telling the passenger, Jamal Jones, to open the door, before suddenly smashing open the window and tasering Jones.

Lawyers for the couple alleged that the incident was evidence of a wider failure by the city to discipline officers for unlawful use of force. “The City has failed to adequately investigate allegations of officer misconduct, has failed to adequately discipline officers for the use of excessive force, and has failed to adequately train its officers on the proper use of force,” read a complaint filed on behalf of the plaintiffs.

The Hammond police department defended the officer’s conduct, telling Fox 32 News that the situation escalated after Jones refused to show identification or exit the vehicle. The couple filed suit against the police on Monday.

[Fox 32]

TIME Drugs

Colorado Governor: Legalizing Marijuana Was ‘Reckless’ Decision

Hickenlooper down in poll
RJ Sangosti—Denver Post/ Getty Images Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper talks to media near the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, September 17, 2014.

John Hickenlooper admonishes the 55% of his electorate that approved it

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper called the legalization of marijuana a “reckless” decision, reaffirming his longstanding opposition to the vote that legalized the recreational use and sale of marijuana in 2012.

Hickenlooper, who is seeking re-election in November, initially hesitated to use the word “reckless” for a law that received backing from 55% of the electorate, the Durango Herald reports.

“I’m not saying it was reckless because I get quoted everywhere,” the Democratic incumbent said during a Monday debate with Republican challenger Bob Beauprez. “I opposed it from the very beginning,” he continued. “What the hell. I’ll say it was reckless.”

Hickenlooper has previously warned that the legalization of marijuana could have unintended consequences for public health and has previously vowed in an interview with the Durango Herald‘s editorial board to “regulate the living daylights out of it.”

[Durango Herald]

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