The Issue: Ebola
The first case of Ebola has been confirmed in the United States. A man from Liberia tested positive for the disease in Dallas, and the BBC reports that 50 people the man, Thomas Duncan, had been in contact with are being monitored for signs of the virus. The only other cases in the country were of medical professionals being flown here for treatment.
There have been other suspected cases of the disease besides Duncan. The New York Times said there was a suspected case in Washington, D.C., where a patient who had been in Nigeria was isolated at Howard University Hospital but was eventually determined to not have the virus. Another man who flew from Brussels to Newark Airport went to the hospital with Ebola-like symptoms.
With this influx of Ebola cases, the Obama administration “believe(s) that screening of passengers in the affected countries in Africa, by taking their temperature and requesting information about their activities, is the best way to prevent the virus from spreading to the United States,” the New York Times reported.
It has been rumored Duncan knew he had the disease and did not file the proper documentation while flying from Liberia. According to the BBC, Liberian officials said they would “prosecute Mr. Duncan for lying on an Ebola questionnaire form.”
The BBC reports the disease has killed an estimated 3,400 people in West Africa. There have been 7,178 confirmed cases, most in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
The Issue: ISIL
On Friday, ISIL released yet another video of militants apparently beheading a hostage, this time a British man named Alan Henning. This is the fourth hostage the group has killed.
Henning was a former taxi driver in Britain who was “moved by the plight of the Syrian people,” the New York Times said. The BBC reports Henning was on his fourth aid mission to Syria in December, when he was kidnapped minutes after arriving in the county.
Along with the beheading, the militants threatened American hostage Peter Kassig, whom National Security Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden confirmed the militants were holding, the Associated Press reported.
Kassig, a former Army Ranger, was travelling through Syria working for the relief organization he founded, Special Emergency Response and Assistance, when he was captured in October of 2013, the AP reports. While in captivity, Kassig converted to Islam. He now goes by Abdul-Rahman.