TIME weather

Hurricane Gonzalo Charges Toward Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo NOAA

The Category 4 storm is scheduled to hit the island Friday afternoon

A dangerous weather system named Hurricane Gonzalo is expected to slam into Bermuda Friday afternoon, where officials warn it could cause serious damage and lead to significant coastal flooding.

The National Weather Service predicts the Category Four hurricane will hit Bermuda with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph with stronger gusts, alongside rain accumulations of between three and six inches. A “dangerous and life-threatening storm surge” is expected to hit the island, causing flooding and large, destructive waves along the coast.

The eye of the storm is projected to pass near Bermuda Friday afternoon or evening.

TIME ebola

Nurse With Ebola Releases Tearful Video From Isolation

Nina Pham asked that a video of her taken in isolation be shared with the world

A Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola after treating a patient with the disease asked that a video taken from inside her Texas hospital isolation unit be shared publicly.

“I love you guys,” says Nina Pham to her treating physician Gary Weinstein and another person, both of whom are wearing full protective gear.

In the video shot by Weinstein, the doctor thanks Pham for her work caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, who died of the disease Oct. 8.

“Thanks for getting well. Thanks for being a part of the volunteer team to take care of our first patient. It means a lot,” Weinstein says. “This has been a huge effort by all of you guys. We’re really proud of you.”

Pham was diagnosed with Ebola after helping to treat Duncan, who fell ill with the disease in Dallas after traveling to the U.S. from Liberia, one of three West African countries hardest hit by the recent global Ebola outbreak. Since the video was taken, Pham has been moved to a National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland for further treatment.

TIME ebola

Hospital Staffer Who May Have Had Ebola Contact Left U.S. on Cruise Ship

The Texas hospital employee has shown no indications of becoming sick

Updated Friday, Oct. 17

An employee of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who may have come in contact with specimens taken from an Ebola patient left the United States aboard a cruise ship, the State Department said Friday. The revelation raises further questions about travel policies regarding health workers involved in treating Ebola patients after it came to light that a nurse later diagnosed with the virus was allowed to fly earlier this week despite self-reporting an elevated temperature.

The employee on the cruise did not have direct contact with the patient, is not contagious, and has shown no indication of having contracted the illness in the 19 days since she came into contact with the Ebola patient’s fluid samples. The individual is nonetheless being monitored by doctors aboard the ship and has remained along with a traveling partner in voluntary isolation in a ship cabin.

The hospital employee, who is a lab supervisor at the hospital where she works, according to Carnival Senior Cruise Director John Heald, left aboard a commercial cruise ship from Galveston, Texas, on October 12, before learning of new monitoring requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are working with the cruise line to bring them back to the United States out of an abundance of caution,” the State Department said in a statement.

In a Facebook post published Friday, Heald said the cruise line learned that the guest was aboard the ship on Wednesday.

“It is important to reiterate that the individual has no symptoms and has been isolated in an extreme abundance of caution,” Heald said in his post. “We are in close contact with the CDC and at this time it has been determined that the appropriate course of action is to simply keep the guest in isolation on board.”

TIME ebola

A Dallas Hospital Worker Self-Monitoring for Ebola Left Texas on a Cruise

Health Care Worker In Dallas Tests Positive For Ebola Virus
A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing treats the sidewalk in front of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides, in Dallas, Texas. Mike Stone—Getty Images

The staffer does not have any symptoms of illness and is in self-imposed quarantine in a cabin

A Dallas hospital employee, described as possibly having come into contact with fluid samples from the deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, left the U.S. on a cruise ship on Sunday, the State Department said early Friday morning.

The news follows the announcement of plans to keep at home all health care workers flagged as having encountered Duncan or his fluid samples, in an aggressive effort to contain the virus’ spread in the U.S. after a Dallas nurse was allowed to take a commercial flight just before getting diagnosed with Ebola, the Guardian reports.

Seventy-five staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas—where Duncan was treated and died—have been asked to sign legally binding agreements not to go out in public, Clay Jenkins, the Dallas County judge, told reporters on Thursday.

Any of the workers who refuse the sign the agreement would be subject to a legal control order, Jenkins said, though he added: “These are hometown healthcare heroes…They’re not going to jail.”

The State Department said the hospital employee who boarded a cruise ship from Galveston, TX, did not have direct contact with Duncan, but “may have processed the since deceased patient’s fluid samples.”

The unidentified employee, who was checked by a doctor on the cruise ship and is self-monitoring, does not have any symptoms of illness, according to the State Department. The employee and his traveling companion have agreed to a self-imposed quarantine in their cruise cabin.

“We are working with the cruise line to safely bring them back to the United States out of an abundance of caution,” read the statement.

The employee would have come into contact with the sample 19 days ago, according to the White House. Ebola symptoms can appear 2 to 21 days after initial exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but on average they manifest 8 to 10 days after the illness is contracted.

U.S. officials have been rushing to contain the spread of Ebola after two Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurses who treated Duncan, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, tested positive for the illness.

Numerous parties have been trading barbs over where to put blame for the infection of the two nurses and for the growing number of people who are believed to have come into contact with them and Duncan.

National Nurses United, a union not affiliated with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, has excoriated both the hospital and the CDC for failing to enact proper standards for treating the contagious patient and for keeping the hospital’s nursing staff safe.

Daniel Varga, senior vice president of Texas Health Resources, which owns Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, on Thursday apologized to a House committee for the hospital’s failure to diagnose Duncan with Ebola sooner.

But the hospital has bristled at charges that it failed to protect its nurses and in a statement on Thursday put fault with the CDC for constantly changing its guidelines and failing to set clear protocols for treating Duncan.

U.S. lawmakers at the House hearing on Thursday also chastised the CDC for allowing Vinson, the second Dallas health worker to test positive for Ebola, to fly from Cleveland to Dallas after she self-reported a mild fever but had not yet been diagnosed with the virus.

Meanwhile, the international community is still reeling over how to contain the worldwide spread of Ebola, which has killed 4,493 people and is believed to have infected 8,997 in seven countries, according to the most recent WHO estimates.

The situation in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, is “deteriorating, with widespread and persistent transmission,” the WHO said Wednesday, in its latest status update. Cases have been spiking in the Guinean capital of Conakry, the health organization said.

On Thursday, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon urged U.N. member states to donate to the world body’s trust fund for Ebola, which currently stands at a lowly $100,000—all of it from just one nation, Colombia, and a pathetic fraction of the $1 billion the U.N. has said it needs to stop the outbreak, the BBC reports.

World governments have in total pledged just $20 million to the fund.

Read next: Here’s Who’s Blaming Who for Ebola

TIME weather

1934 Dust Bowl Drought Was North America’s Worst in a Millennium

More than 70% of western North America was affected

The 1934 drought that helped kick off the Dust Bowl era was the worst to hit North America for the past 1,000 years, according to a new study.

Scientists from NASA and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory reconstructed the history of droughts in the U.S. using modern practices and tree-ring records from the years 1000 to 2005.

They found that the 1934 drought covered more than 70% of western North America and was 30% severer than the next worst, which struck in 1580.

“It was the worst by a large margin, falling pretty far outside the normal range of variability that we see in the record,” said Ben Cook, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and the study’s lead author.

Cook says a high-pressure system during the west coast’s winter that kept rains at bay, combined with poor land management practices, led to dust storms in the spring.

The study is due to be published in the Oct. 17 edition of Geophysical Research Letters.

TIME technology

FBI Director Implies Action Against Apple and Google Over Encryption

FBI Director James Comey testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" on Capitol Hill in Washington
FBI Director James Comey testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" on Capitol Hill in Washington May 21, 2014. Kevin Lamarque—Reuters

The law enforcement chief made it clear, however, that he was speaking only for his own agency and not others

FBI Director James B. Comey has expressed exasperation at the advanced data encryption technologies that companies like Apple and Google say they will offer their customers, and implied that the government might attempt regulations to ensure a way around them.

“Perhaps it’s time to suggest that the post-Snowden pendulum has swung too far in one direction — in a direction of fear and mistrust,” Comey told the Brookings Institution in a speech Thursday. Comey also spoke of the need for a “regulatory or legislative fix” to hold all communications companies to the same standard, “so that those of us in law enforcement, national security and public safety can continue to do the job you have entrusted us to do, in the way you would want us to.”

But in response to questions from reporters and Brookings experts, the FBI director made it clear that he was only talking on behalf of his own organization and thus could not speak for the NSA or other intelligence agencies, reports the New York Times.

This is not the first time that Comey has spoken out against Apple and Google’s move to give users complete control over data encryption, but the implications of legislative action against these companies is a step forward in government efforts to thwart it.

While Apple and Google have not commented on Comey’s latest remarks, technology companies have previously said that the move toward personal data encryption will not slow down, and will in fact probably be stepped up.

“I’d be fundamentally surprised if anybody takes the foot of the pedal of building encryption into their products,” Facebook’s general counsel Colin Stretch told the Times. He added that encryption was a “key business objective” for technology companies.

TIME Education

How the iPad Helped Bring Down the Los Angeles Schools Chief

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy speaks at a news conference in Los Angeles on April 11, 2014.
John Deasy resigned as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District on Oct. 16, 2014. Lucy Nicholson—Reuters

John Deasy resigned after a bungled effort to give an Apple tablet to every student in the district

For all that an iPad might be able to offer a growing mind, the device is missing a component many students would consider essential for coursework: a keyboard. A failure to recognize the importance of that omission is just one of many things that went wrong when the head of the Los Angeles public schools embarked on a plan in 2013 to get iPads in the hands of all 650,000 students in the system.

Two months after abandoning the heavily-publicized effort, John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, stepped down Thursday. The school board reportedly sent him packing with $60,000 in severance pay and appointed an 82-year-old former superintendent to run the second largest school district in the country in his place.

Deasy’s tenure had been troubled for some time. Test scores and graduation rates went up under his leadership, but his aggressive push for more teacher accountability rankled the teacher’s union. And recent municipal elections left him with fewer allies on the school board. Beyond the political backdrop, however, Deasy’s downfall can be traced, in part, to his devotion to the cult of Cupertino.

When Deasy promised to give every public school student under his care an iPad, it earned him hopeful, glowing praise. The iPad proposal seemed like a forward-thinking, even glamorous, way to transcend the socioeconomic barriers to academic achievement.

As critics have since pointed out, however, iPads are more expensive than many tablets from other manufacturers that are used by school districts. They also lack keyboards and other components many students find useful—like drives and USB ports—that are available on laptops. When some iPads were distributed to students during an early phase of the LAUSD program, some hacked the devices — which the district had said were meant solely for academic work — to enable more general use. And when the program began, some schools did not yet have proper wifi infrastructure that would allow all their students to be online at the same.

As more school districts adopt digital technology, Apple is pushing hard to become the go-to vendor for the products they need to make it happen. Deasy lent a hand to this effort, appearing in a 2012 Apple promotional video touting the iPad’s potential as an educational tool. In July, the company announced it had sold 13 million iPads for educational use worldwide.

But to critics, Deasy’s enthusiasm for Apple crossed a line when it was revealed earlier this year that he had been in close contact with Apple and Pearson, which makes software that was to be installed on hundreds of thousands of LAUSD iPads, long before the companies secured LAUSD contracts as part of an effort that was to cost the district more than $1 billion. The relationships between Deasy, one of his a deputies and executives at the companies were revealed in e-mails released to local media outlets. In one 2012 email before Apple was awarded an initial $30 million contract to provide iPads to LAUSD students, Deasy wrote to the CEO of Pearson, “I had an excellent meeting with Tim at Apple last Friday,” referring to Apple CEO Tim Cook. “The meeting went very well and he was fully committed to being a partner.”

Deasy recused himself from the formal bidding process because he owned Apple stock and has said communication with potential vendors is common and not wrong. The L.A. district attorney’s public integrity division investigated and found no criminal charges were warranted. Still, critics said the whole episode left the impression that LAUSD was biased in favor of awarding a contract to Apple, leaving bids from competing technology companies at a disadvantage.

This summer, under intense pressure over the Apple and Pearson deals, Deasy suspended LAUSD’s contract with Apple and said the district would restart its bidding process. In a memo to the school board, Deasy said the decision to halt LAUSD’s contract with Apple would “enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances.”

It proved to be too little, too late, for a hard-charging education reformer with a soft spot for shiny tech.

Read next: Apple Unveils Its Thinnest iPad Ever

TIME

Pictures of the Week: Oct. 10 – Oct. 17

From Malala Yousafzai winning a Nobel Peace Prize and the return of Kim Jong Un to Ebola diagnoses in Dallas and Angelina Jolie becoming a Dame, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

Read next: The Most Beautiful Wildfire Photos You’ll Ever See

TIME Religion

Pastor Accused of Affairs Temporarily Banned

Pastor-Adultery Accusations,  pastor Juan D. McFarland, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church
Rev. Juan McFarland walks into the courthouse for a hearing on Oct. 16, 2014, in Montgomery, Ala. Brynn Anderson—AP

(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) — A minister who confessed to having sex with church members and neglecting to tell them he had AIDS was temporarily banned from acting as pastor on Thursday.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price issued a preliminary injunction, as sought by deacons and trustees of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. Price ruled that the Rev. Juan McFarland, 47, must turn in his church keys and his church Mercedes vehicle and then stay away from the church he led for 24 years.

Church members hugged and prayed after the ruling. “Now we’ve got the church back, and the healing can begin,” said Lois Caffey, a member for 21 years.

The judge scheduled a hearing Dec. 1 to decide whether to issue a permanent injunction.

Lee Sanford, chairman of the board of trustees, said the challenge now is to reunite the 170 active members of the congregation. “I’m confident with God’s help we will be able to do that,” he said.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that the congregation voted to fire McFarland after his confessions but that he refused to leave and changed the church’s locks and control of church bank accounts.

McFarland said nothing inside or outside the courtroom Thursday during two hearings. He attended without an attorney.

The boards of deacons and trustees sued both McFarland and church parliamentarian Marc Anthoni Peacock, who was involved in changing the locks and bank accounts. Peacock resigned from the church after testifying in court Thursday and was dropped from the suit.

One of the plaintiffs, Deacon Nathan Williams Jr., said church leaders had no suspicions about McFarland until he delivered sermons in in August and September, during which he confessed to having sex with church members in the church building, but not in the sanctuary; having AIDS but not telling sex partners; and using illegal drugs. Williams and Sanford said McFarland told the congregation that God directed him to make a public confession.

Williams testified that the congregation first tried to help the pastor but that when it didn’t work, members took a vote during a service Oct. 5 to fire him.

Parliamentarian Marc Anthoni Peacock testified that the meeting wasn’t officially called as part of the Sunday service and described it as “holy hell.” Peacock was originally a defendant in the lawsuit but resigned from the church Thursday and was dropped from the litigation.

Price said the courts have no role in religious matters, but they sometimes have to step in when congregations can’t settle their differences over control of buildings and money. “If it could be resolved in the church, it would have been already,” the judge told the courtroom packed, with more than 100 people.

Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church is more than 90 years old and is part of the National Baptist Convention. Church members on both sides of the pastoral dispute said the convention gives churches autonomy in personnel decisions.

TIME

Here’s Who’s Blaming Who for Ebola

A guide to the Ebola blame game

Correction appended at 8:35 p.m. ET

The Ebola crisis in Texas has resulted in the death of one patient, the infection of two health care workers, and an endless round of finger-pointing—all of which is yielding a flurry of conflicting news accounts and a very confused public.

Here’s a rundown of who has been blaming who, and when.

The player: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Who they’re blaming: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, an infected nurse, and the CDC itself

  • CDC Director Tom Frieden on Sunday blamed a “breach in protocol” for allowing the infection of nurse Nina Pham.
  • Frieden admitted on Tuesday the CDC could have done more: “We did send some expertise in infection control but think in retrospect, with 20-20 hindsight, we could have sent a more robust hospital infection control team, and been more hands on at the hospital on day one about exactly how this [case] should be managed. We will do that from now on any time we have a confirmed case.”
  • Frieden, commenting on the infection of the second nurse, Amanda Joy Vinson, said: “She should not have flown on [a plane].”
  • But a CDC spokesman later explained to TIME that the agency had actually asked Vinson to travel: As officials widened the net of people who needed to be monitored, Vinson was in Ohio and the CDC told her to go back to Dallas. Her temperature was 99.5°F, the spokesperson said. “Most doctors would call that a slight temperature, not a fever,” he said. “At that point, she was asked by CDC to come back to Dallas so she could be monitored, and she came back.”

The player: Dallas nurse Amber Joy Vinson
Who they’re blaming: The CDC

  • Vinson said she was cleared by the CDC for travel, which a spokesman later confirmed. She traveled to Cleveland to plan her wedding.

The player: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital
Who they’re blaming: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and National Nurses United

  • The hospital originally released Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed in the U.S., who later died. Later, after his diagnosis, the hospital offered a number of reasons for not treating him immediately. At first, the hospital said a computer glitch was responsible for his travel history not being communicated to staff, and then said a nurse did not provide Duncan’s travel history to a physician. Finally, the hospital admitted it made a mistake.
  • The hospital refuted claims from a nurses’ union that nurses weren’t adequately trained: “The assertions [of National Nurses United] do not reflect actual facts learned from the medical record and interactions with clinical caregivers. Our hospital followed the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and sought additional guidance and clarity.”

The player: Doctors Without Borders
Who they’re blaming: The CDC

  • A Doctors Without Borders representative questioned the CDC’s preparation in the New York Times: “I’ve seen the CDC poster. It doesn’t say anywhere that it’s for Ebola. I was surprised that it was only one set of gloves, and the rest bare hands. It seems to be for general cases of infectious disease.”

The player: Emory University Hospital
Who they’re blaming: The CDC

  • Sean G. Kaufman, who oversaw infection control at Emory University Hospital, told the New York Times that the CDC’s guidelines are “absolutely irresponsible and dead wrong,” and that he tried to warn that they were not stringent enough and “they kind of blew me off. I’m happy to see they’re changing them, but it’s late.”

The player: National Nurses United
Who they’re blaming: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the CDC

  • A statement from the union cites “confusion” and “frequently changing policies and protocols” at the hospital: “No one knew what the protocols were or were able to verify what kind of personal protective equipment should be worn and there was no training.”
  • RoseAnn DeMoro, the union’s head, contested the CDC’s claim that nurses didn’t follow protocol: “The protocols that should have been in place in Dallas were not in place, and that those protocols are not in place anywhere in the United States as far as we can tell.”

The player: Republicans
Who they’re blaming: Frieden, an open border, Democrats, President Barack Obama

  • Mitt Romney, the 2012 presidential candidate: “Look this administration couldn’t run the IRS right, and it apparently isn’t running the CDC right. And you ask yourself what is it going to take to have a president who really focuses on the interests of the American people.”
  • Republican Rep. Thom Tillis, a Senate candidate in North Carolina: “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got an Ebola outbreak, we have bad actors that can come across the border. We need to seal the border and secure it.”
  • New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown addressing his opponent’s record: “I think it’s naive to think that people aren’t going to be walking through here who have those types of diseases and/or other types of intent, criminal or terrorist. And yet we do nothing to secure our border. It’s dangerous. And that’s the difference. I voted to secure it. Senator Shaheen has not.”

The player: Democrats
Who they’re blaming: Republicans

  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in an ad targeting GOP congressional candidates: “Republicans voted to cut CDC’s budget to fight Ebola.”

The player: Dallas Nurse Briana Aguirre
Who they’re blaming: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital

  • Aguirre told NBC that she “can no longer defend [her] hospital at all.” She said infection control was far too lax, waste was not properly taken care of, and the hospital didn’t provide any mandatory education or information about Ebola outside of an optional seminar before Thomas Eric Duncan arrived at the hospital.

The player: National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins
Who they’re blaming: Budget cuts, Congress

  • “NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Huffington Post. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

Read next: U.S. Scrambles to Contain Ebola

The original version of this story misstated the first name of Amber Joy Vinson.

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