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‘Russian Invasion’ of Ukraine Prompts Emergency Meeting of UN Security Council

‘Russian Invasion’ of Ukraine Prompts Emergency Meeting of UN Security Council

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KIEV, Ukraine) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko cancelled a trip to Turkey on Thursday, citing the ongoing “Russian invasion,” prompting a United Nations Security Council meeting.Heavy fighting was reported in the southeastern Ukrainian town of Novoazovsk Thursday as pro-Russian rebels allegedly opened up a new military front. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called for the U.N. Security Council meeting, noting the “growing military threat from Russia,” and claiming that “Putin started a war in Europe.”The U.N. Security Council expressed outrage at the latest actions by Russia. In a statement, the spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the international community “cannot allow the situation to escalate further, nor can a continuation be allowed of the violence and destruction that the conflict has wrought in eastern Ukraine.”The U.S. ambassador for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe released a harsh statement on Thursday as well, calling the crisis “man-made” and blaming the Kremlin for showing “disregard for international law.” Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, called the latest tensions a “military invasion” in a statement. Calling the latest actions anything else, they said, “is to inhabit President Putin’s Orwellian universe.” “This is a moment to speak and act with clarity,” the senators said, “a sovereign nation in the heart of Europe is being invaded by its larger neighbor. This runs completely contrary to the civilized world that America and our partners have sought to build since World War II.”Also on Thursday, President Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the situation in Ukraine. According to a readout of the call, the two agreed that Russia is to blame for the latest violence. They also agreed that the U.S. and the European Union must consider additional sanctions while working towards a diplomatic solution.
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Hillary Clinton Breaks Her Silence on Ferguson

Hillary Clinton Breaks Her Silence on Ferguson

State Department(SAN FRANCISCO) — Just off a three-week vacation in the Hamptons, Hillary Clinton used her first day back on the speaking circuit Thursday to address the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, applauding President Obama for his response to the protests and calling for a nationwide effort to improve racial inequalities that she said still persist in the American justice system.”Watching the recent funeral for Michael Brown, as a mother, as a human being, my heart just broke for his family,” Clinton said during her prepared remarks at a tech conference in San Francisco.”Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone. Not in America. We are better than that,” she added, referencing “dramatic, terrible” pictures she watched on television.Brown, 18, was killed when a police officer in Ferguson evidently shot him six times after a confrontation in the street on Aug. 9, setting off two weeks of protests and clashes with police.Until now, Clinton was silent on the situation.”Imagine what we would feel and do if white drivers were three times more likely to be searched than black drivers…if white offenders received prison sentences longer than black…if a third of all white men went to prison during their lifetime. Imagine that,” Clinton told an audience of Silicon Valley tech employees. “That is the reality of the lives of so many of our fellow Americans and the communities in which they live.”The former secretary of state and likely 2016 presidential candidate praised Obama for sending Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson, saying it was “necessary” to find out what happened during the shooting and “see that justice is done.”Clinton, on vacation most of this month, has faced criticism for her silence during the unrest, particularly last week, when she ignored questions on the subject from two reporters at a book signing on Long Island, NY.
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UN Peacekeepers Kidnapped in Syria

UN Peacekeepers Kidnapped in Syria

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(GOLAN HEIGHTS, Syria) — The United Nations said Thursday that three peacekeepers were detained by an armed group in the Golan Heights area of Syria.The kidnapping occurred “during a period of increased fighting…between armed elements and Syrian Arab Armed Forces,” the U.N. said. A U.N. statement also noted that 81 more peacekeepers with the U.N.’s Disengagement Observer Force were “restricted to their positions.”The U.S. State Department later confirmed that the group that kidnapped the peacekeepers was Jahbat al-Nusra, which has been designated a terrorist group by the U.N. Security Council. The U.S. condemned the action, demanding the “unconditional and immediate release of all U.N. peacekeepers.” UNDOF forces are in Syria as a means of helping to maintain a cease-fire between Syria and Israel, agreed to after their 1973 war. The mission’s mandate was recently extended through the end of December. Peacekeepers from the same U.N. group were held by armed elements in March 2013 and May 2013 and were safely released. The UNDOF encompasses 1,223 peacekeepers from six nations.
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Missing NJ Teen Found Dead in Jerusalem Forest

Missing NJ Teen Found Dead in Jerusalem Forest

iStockphoto/Thinsktock(JERUSALEM) — The body of a missing American teenager has been found in the hills near Jerusalem.
Israeli police confirm they found the body of Aharon Sofer, a yeshiva student from Lakewood, New Jersey. Sofer had gone for a hike on Friday in Ein Kerem and never reunited with his friend.
New Jersey State Senator Bob Singer said it’s too soon to say what happened.
While Israel police could not yet say the cause of death, they had earlier cast doubt on the family’s fear of a kidnapping.
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Instagram Dealing with Server Issues, Users Upset

Instagram Dealing with Server Issues, Users Upset

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Instagram crashed Thursday afternoon, leaving Internet denizens without a place to post pictures of pets and food.In a tweet, the company acknowledged the problem, saying that they are “experiencing some technical difficulties.”

Instagram is experiencing some technical issues. We’re aware and working on a fix.
— Instagram (@instagram) August 28, 2014

 
The website “Is It Down Right Now” shows that Instagram’s server is not responding.The social media service’s mobile app seemed to properly load older photos, but was unable to reload the service. The web client returned a “500 Internal Server Error” that prevented users from accessing the website. On Twitter, the phrase “Why is instagram” was briefly trending worldwide, as users sought other means of sharing their selfies and Throwback Thursday photos.
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Joan Rivers Hospitalized for Cardiac Arrest

Joan Rivers Hospitalized for Cardiac Arrest

Charles Sykes/Bravo(NEW YORK) — Joan Rivers has been rushed to a New York City hospital after an emergency call that she was in cardiac arrest, according to a law enforcement source. According to the New York City Fire Department, Rivers is in critical condition.
Rivers was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital Thursday morning after receiving a call that a woman was in cardiac arrest at an Upper East Side clinic, ABC News confirmed.TMZ reported earlier that Rivers was having surgery on her vocal chords at the clinic.
Rivers’ rep had no other information immediately available when contacted by ABC News.
Later on Thursday, E! Online tweeted that Rivers was in “critical but stable condition.”Rivers, 81, had been hard at work of late, co-hosting her E! TV show Fashion Police and doing stand-up comedy. According to Ticketmaster, she had seven shows planned across the U.S. for November.”Ignore aging: Comedy is the one place it doesn’t matter. It matters in singing because the voice goes. It matters certainly in acting because you’re no longer the sexpot. But in comedy, if you can tell a joke, they will gather around your deathbed,” she wrote in The Hollywood Reporter in 2012. “If you’re funny, you’re funny. Isn’t that wonderful?”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

VA Scandal Taking Center Role in 2014 Political Ads

VA Scandal Taking Center Role in 2014 Political Ads

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Judging by candidates’ ads, the hottest issue in House and Senate midterm elections this year is easily care for America’s veterans.This month alone, 23 House races and 10 Senate races have seen over 13,000 airings of television ads on the topic of veterans’ healthcare or veterans’ benefits, according to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG).The number of ads focusing on veterans’ care and benefits has been steadily climbing in both House and Senate races. In May of this year there were 3,405 airings of TV ads, in June 6,366 airings, in July just over 8,000.Elizabeth Wilner, senior vice president at Kantar Media Intelligence, said the number of political ads on the issue of veterans swamps every other issue.”I’m struck by how many veterans-themed ads are popping up and really cannot think of any other issue this year… that started resonating in such a widespread way across so many races,” Wilner said.Serving in the military has always been something candidates tout, especially in what is known as a “bio ad,” or the ad that introduces the candidate to the viewer. This year voters saw GOP nominee Dan Sullivan’s first general election ad telling Alaskans, “The Marine Corps shaped who I am.” Rep. Tom Cotton, running for Senate in Arkansas, touts his service, saying in an ad that the values he learned in the Army is what he’ll bring to Washington. “Serious times deserve serious leaders,” Cotton says.The VA scandal, though, has given a reason for candidates running that perhaps don’t have a military background to mention their care for veterans. Some are using service members in their ads explaining why the candidate will help fellow veterans.Republicans have especially taken advantage of the scandal, using it to criticize the Obama administration and their Democratic opponents. The first ad to mention the scandal was the Karl Rove-backed group Crossroads GPS; the ad aired in Alaska in May. “A national disgrace,” the narrator says. “Veterans died waiting for care that never came,” with the spot reminding viewers their “Senator Mark Begich sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee.” Begich then aired two ads of his own featuring veterans, calling the attack ads false, and stressing his efforts to help Alaska veterans get the healthcare they need.An audit by the VA’s Office of Inspector General released this week, however, found that no veterans died because of delayed care at VA facilities.Democrats have been more cautious in using the issue in ads. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is running an ad in Louisiana accusing Republican nominee Bill Cassidy of putting “millionaires before veterans.”In Iowa, where Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley is in one of the tightest Senate races this cycle against National Guardsman Joni Ernst, a Braley ad features another National Guardsman saying, “We were the longest serving unit in the history of the Iraq conflict,” and because of the extended stay is entitled to extra pay which he says Braley “fought for us” to get. A Crossroads ad then aired hitting Braley on the veterans’ care issue directly, saying he missed meetings of the Veterans’ Affairs committee.In House races, some candidates are lumping the VA scandal in with other administration crises or other issues. In the fight for New Hampshire’s second congressional district, state Rep. Marilinda Garcia says in an ad the “IRS and Benghazi scandals, the VA disaster, and Obamacare’s broken promises” are all reasons “we need a new generation of conservative leaders” in Washington. In Florida’s 18th district, Democratic incumbent Rep. Patrick Murphy is in a tight toss-up race in the Palm Beach County area. His first general election ad features him talking to elderly veterans and stressing his work on their behalf, as well as “hold(ing) the VA accountable for excessive wait times.”Labor Day weekend is considered the unofficial kick-off to the midterm season, and it’s only after the summer finally dwindles away that Americans really start paying attention to the campaigns. If that’s true, it’s possible we may see even more ads stressing the VA scandal and mentioning veterans as we get closer to November.
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Immigration Sit-In Outside White House Results in About 100 Arrests

Immigration Sit-In Outside White House Results in About 100 Arrests

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — For the second time in a month, progressive activists disillusioned with the Obama administration’s immigration policies intentionally had themselves arrested outside the White House in what they called an act of “civil disobedience.”The highly choreographed sit-in, organized by a coalition of labor, immigration reform and religious groups, featured roughly 100 demonstrators who sat down on the sidewalk outside the president’s residence in an area already cordoned off by law enforcement. After several warnings from law enforcement officers on standby, the scores of protesters were peacefully detained for obstructing sidewalk traffic.The demonstrators are demanding the federal government cease an estimated 1,000 deportations a day of undocumented immigrants, a number likely to rise as the administration grapples with a surge of thousands who have overwhelmed Southwest states in the last several months, creating a humanitarian crisis. The migrants come mostly from Central America, fleeing violence and epidemic poverty.
Hundreds of their supporters looked on, waving picket signs that read “Don’t deport my dad,” and, “Immigration reform is obstructed by racism.”A mile away at a pre-rally outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency headquarters, organizers said the undocumented “would have justice.””Seventeen American citizen children, today, will be losing their moms or dads for a senseless deportation system that ICE does on daily basis,” said AFL-CIO executive vice president Tefere Gebre. “The president can and will stop this. Yes, we can!”Other groups present included CASA de Maryland, the National Organization for Women and the Sisters of Mercy.Arrests were made by the National Park Service Police, which has jurisdiction over the park land adjacent to the White House compound. Officers were prepared with tents and foldout tables to quickly process those who were arrested.Staged arrests inside the nation’s capital are not an uncommon occurrence, and several of the groups present Thursday were veterans of the tactic, used to draw attention to their cause. Typically, detained demonstrators are handed over to the city’s metropolitan police force for processing and released after a few hours, with no fine or further punitive action. Even members of the U.S. Congress have been known to participate.In June, President Obama announced he would exercise his executive authority to circumvent congressional intransigence on long-term immigration reform. Senior officials told ABC News a decision would come by mid-September, but the end result will likely not be as sweeping as many progressive activists have hoped.Early summer reports suggested the administration was considering measures that would allow millions of the undocumented to remain in the U.S. without deportation. Now, with the fall midterm elections rapidly approaching, red state Democrats fear comprehensive reform could tip a precariously balanced battle for majority control against them, particularly in the Senate.
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Wall Street Posts Losses After Hot Start to Week, Labor Department Releases Positive Unemployment Numbers

Wall Street Posts Losses After Hot Start to Week, Labor Department Releases Positive Unemployment Numbers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — After a strong start to the week, Wall Street posted losses on Thursday, while a Labor Department report indicated slightly improved unemployment numbers.The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,079.57, down 42.44.The Nasdaq finished at 4,557.70, a drop of 11.92 from Wednesday’s close, while the S&P 500 slipped 3.38 to 1,996.74, finishing below 2,000 for the first time since it broke that mark earlier this week. The Labor Department’s weekly report indicated a slight decrease in jobless claims last week. The department also noted that there were no “special factors” that helped to decrease the figures.Also on Thursday, the investigation into a cyberattack against JPMorgan Chase continued. Wednesday night, the FBI and Secret Service announced the investigation, though they were unable to definitively determine whether customer information was at risk due to the attack.
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Apple Sends Invitations for Mysterious Sept. 9 Event

Apple Sends Invitations for Mysterious Sept. 9 Event

Apple Press(CUPERTINO, Calif.) — The wait is almost over.Apple sent out mysterious invitations on Thursday for a Sept. 9 media event in Cupertino, California.Much of the speculation has centered around the possible release of an iPhone 6 and a wearable device, however Apple isn’t commenting on what it has up its sleeve.A gray and white invitation sent out to members of the media on Thursday teases, “Wish we could say more.”
The event will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, at 10 a.m. PT.It will be the first time Apple has held an event at the 2,405-seat theater since 1999, when it launched a new iMac, according to Mashable.
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Woman Dies at Burning Man Festival in Nevada Desert

Woman Dies at Burning Man Festival in Nevada Desert

iStock/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) — A woman has died at this year’s Burning Man, a weeklong art festival in the Nevada desert.
Authorities say 29-year-old Alicia Louise Cipicchio, from Jackson, Wyoming, fell under a bus early Thursday morning and was killed.
Organizers say this is the first death at the festival in seven years.
The festival, which takes place in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada, will continue as planned.
Cipicchio’s death remains under investigation.
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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Married Saturday in France

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Married Saturday in France

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are now husband and wife, a spokesperson for the couple confirms.The couple tied the knot in Chateau Miraval, France last Saturday in a private, civil ceremony attended by friends and family.Pitt, 50, and Jolie, 39, announced their engagement in 2012.  A spokesperson says they obtained a marriage license from a judge in California, who also conducted the marriage ceremony in France.  Jolie and Pitt’s children were participants in the ceremony, said the spokesperson. The bride was walked down the aisle by sons Maddox, 12, and Pax, who’s 10.  Daughters Zahara and Vivienne, 9 and 5 years old, respectively, threw flower petals, while daughter Shiloh, 7, and son Knox, 5, served as ring bearers.
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Lockheed Martin Joins Australian Firm to Track Space Junk

Lockheed Martin Joins Australian Firm to Track Space Junk

Most orbital debris is in low Earth orbit, where the space station flies. NASA(NEW YORK) — A proposed new facility in Western Australia will provide a clearer picture of just how much space junk is orbiting earth. The facility, which is a partnership between Lockheed Marin and Australia’s Electro Optic Systems, will use lasers and optical systems, like those found in telescopes, to detect and learn more about man-made space junk. This includes how fast the debris is moving, what direction its spinning and what it’s made of. The space junk facility won’t act as a space janitor — but will instead make sure government and commercial organizations are aware of the location of junk so they can protect their investments in space, according to Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Space junk, or as NASA calls it, “orbital debris,” can range from items as small as flecks of paint released by thermal stress to as large as pieces from satellite explosions and collisions, according to NASA’s Orbital Debris Programs Office. More than 21,000 pieces of space junk larger than 10 centimeters are known to exist, according to figures released by NASA in 2012. There are an estimated half-million pieces of debris that range in size between one and 10 centimeters, while the number of particles smaller than the size of a fingernail is estimated to be more than 100 million.
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Husband of Whitney Houston’s Daughter Arrested for DUI

Husband of Whitney Houston’s Daughter Arrested for DUI

Imeh Akpanudosen/WireImage(ROSWELL, Ga.) — Bobbi Kristina Brown’s husband has been arrested and charged with DUI, police said. Nick Gordon attempted to change lanes in a BMW sedan Thursday morning in Roswell, Georgia, when the vehicle struck a curb and overturned, police told ABC News. Afterward, Gordon was arrested for DUI, failure to maintain a lane and driving with a suspended license. Brown, 21, announced last year that she was married to her childhood friend, Gordon, who had a longtime relationship with her family. They announced their engagement in 2012. This is not the first time Gordon has been in trouble with the law. In 2012, he was arrested for reckless driving and speeding. A rep for Brown has not yet responded to a request for comment.
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Homer Simpson Accepts the Ice Bucket Challenge

Homer Simpson Accepts the Ice Bucket Challenge

FOX via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Even animated characters are accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.In a new video released online, a shirtless Homer Simpson takes on the challenge. He nominates his neighbor Ned Flanders — twice — his co-worker Lenny and Donald Trump before spilling a glass of water on his head.However, Bart then dumps gallons of water, plus penguins, a bear, hockey players, a snowman, Santa Claus, an ice cream truck and more, on his unsuspecting dad from a helicopter.  The 26th season of The Simpsons premieres on Fox on September 28. You can catch up on previous seasons by tuning in to the ongoing Simpsons marathon on FXX, which concludes on Labor Day.Elsewhere in celebrity Ice Bucket Challenge news, Bridesmaids actor Chris O’Dowd got drenched in a video in which he nominated “Baby O’Porter,” thus revealing that he and wife Dawn O’Porter are expecting a child. Dawn is seen pouring water on her baby bump.So far, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised $94.3 million for the ALS Association.
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WATCH: Reese Witherspoon’s Inspiring Message to Boy with Cancer

WATCH: Reese Witherspoon’s Inspiring Message to Boy with Cancer

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Reese Witherspoon transformed into “Pink Lady” Elle Woods from her hit movie Legally Blonde to send a hopeful message to a four-year-old boy battling cancer.The Oscar-winning actress sent the message to four-year-old Will after learning that he was a big fan of Legally Blonde.“This is for one of the strongest little four-year-olds I can imagine. Will — I hear that you’re fighting so hard and strong against cancer and that in the hospital you’ve been watching a lot of Legally Blonde and loving it. I hope it makes you laugh!”Witherspoon captioned an Instagram photo of herself holding a sign with the hashtag “Team Will.”“I wanted you to know that I made this sign in your honor — and I’m sending a big big hug and my hope and prayers. Just know — I’m a really big fan of YOURS!” Witherspoon wrote. “PS anyone else – feel free to make your own sign for Will and post it with the hashtag #TeamWill so he can see it. …I’m sure he’d love that!”In addition, the mother of three made a short YouTube video titled “The Pink Lady’s Message To Will.”
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Gillibrand Recalls ‘Porky’ Crack by Male Colleague

Gillibrand Recalls ‘Porky’ Crack by Male Colleague

Office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand(WASHINGTON) — In her upcoming book Off the Sidelines, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., reveals she was the subject of insensitive comments about her weight from male colleagues in the House and Senate.According to an excerpt posted by People, Gillibrand details an incident in her book where a male colleague saw her in the gym said, “Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” According to the Huffington Post, Gillibrand responded, “”Thanks, a–hole.”Gillibrand also discussed an episode where a senator commented on her weight after she lost 50 pounds. The senator grabbed her stomach and said, “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!”The New York senator has talked about struggling with her weight after giving birth to her sons, saying she’s fluctuated between a size 6 and size 16. 
In her book, Gillibrand brushes off the comments from her male colleagues.“It was all statements that were being made by men who were well into their 60s, 70s or 80s,” she writes. “They had no clue that those are inappropriate things to say to a pregnant woman or a woman who just had a baby or to women in general.”
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Titans Reward Jurrell Casey with Contract Extension

Titans Reward Jurrell Casey with Contract Extension

National Football League(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — After a breakout season in 2013, the Tennessee Titans have rewarded defensive lineman Jurrell Casey with a four-year extension.
ESPN reports Casey’s deal will pay him $36 million over those four years, with $20.5 million guaranteed.
“We are excited to come to an agreement on an extension with Jurrell,” Titans general manager Ruston Webster said in a statement. “This is something Jurrell has earned not only with his play on the field but his work ethic as well. We appreciate Jurrell’s professionalism through this process and look forward to many good years to come.”
Even though the team has moved from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4, the team has assured Casey he will still be able to play like he’s used to at the pro level.
Casey is entering his fourth season with the Titans after the team selected him in the third round back in 2011. After accumulating 5.5 sacks his first two seasons, Casey exploded for 10.5 sacks in 2013 to go along with 55 total tackles.
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US to Test Ebola Vaccine Amid Growing Outbreak in West Africa

US to Test Ebola Vaccine Amid Growing Outbreak in West Africa

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. scientists will begin testing an Ebola vaccine in humans next week, health officials announced Thursday. But it could take 11 months to learn whether the vaccine is safe as the virus’ toll in West Africa continues to rise. More than 3,000 people have contracted Ebola since March, a number projected to swell to 20,000 in the next six months, according to the World Health Organization. The virus has killed at least 1,500 people in Ebola Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The experimental vaccine, co-developed by the National Institutes of Health and GlaxoSmithKline, “performed extremely well in protecting nonhuman primates from Ebola infection,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s infectious disease branch, said. Now it will be tested in 20 healthy adults to make sure it’s safe and effective in mounting an immune response. “A vaccine will ultimately be an important tool in the prevention effort,” Fauci said in a statement, adding that the phase 1 study is “the first step in a long process.” The 20 subjects will be followed for 48 weeks but initial safety results are expected later this year, according to an NIH statement. The vaccine works by delivering fragments of genetic material from two Ebola strains into a healthy person’s cells. The cells then transform that genetic material into a protein found on the virus, and that protein triggers an immune response that should fend off the infection. “It is important to know that the Ebola genetic material contained in the investigational vaccine cannot cause a vaccinated individual to become infected with Ebola,” the NIH said in a statement.
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Early Morning Fire Destroys Pocatello Barn

Early Morning Fire Destroys Pocatello Barn

  (POCATELLO, ID) — A fire destroys a barn early this morning at 1748 Falcon Circle South in a rural neighborhood west of the Pocatello Regional Airport. The barn owner, Gary Bowlin, tells the Idaho State journal that no livestock was in the barn and no one was injured. Bowlin says he had  four-wheelers, a riding mower, tools, and […]

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