10.22.14:  Red Cross official: 6 months to contain Ebola


BEIJING (AP) — A top Red Cross official says he is confident the Ebola epidemic can be contained within four to six months.


The secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Elhadj As Sy, told a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday that the time frame is possible if there is “good isolation, good treatment of the cases which are confirmed, good dignified and safe burials of deceased people.”


The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people since it emerged 10 months ago. Most of the deaths have been in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.


The humanitarian network is holding its four-yearly Asia Pacific regional conference in the Chinese capital.

10.22.14:  American detained in NKorea arrives home in Ohio


CINCINNATI (AP) — An American man just freed from North Korea has arrived in his home state of Ohio this morning.


Jeffrey Fowle was detained for nearly six months after leaving a Bible at a nightclub.


The 56-year-old had been awaiting trial. Fowle was flown out of North Korea yesterday on a U.S. military jet.


Two other Americans who have been convicted of crimes in the North are still being held.

10.21.14:  Ebola workers get new guidelines


ATLANTA (AP) — Federal officials have released new guidelines for health care workers taking care of Ebola patients.


Health workers had been pushing for guidance since two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas were infected by a Liberian man with Ebola who eventually died.


The guidelines call for being covered head to toe with face shields, hoods, boot covers, and training and monitoring of putting on and taking off protective equipment.


The CDC cannot require hospitals to follow the guidance; it’s merely official advice.

10.21.14:  Pistorius gets prison time in shooting death


LONDON (AP) — The International Paralympic Committee says Oscar Pistorius will be ineligible to compete during his five-year prison sentence.


The double-amputee South African runner, who has won six Paralympic gold medals, was given a five-year jail term Tuesday for killing Reeva Steenkamp.


Although Pistorius could be released after 10 months to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest, the IPC says its rules bar him from running in Paralympic events for the full five years.


That would rule the 27-year-old Pistorius out of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.


In 2012, Pistorius became the first double-amputee sprinter to compete at both the Olympics and Paralympics in London.

10.20.14:  After arms drop, US coalition strikes IS group


BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists say the U.S.-led coalition has launched new airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Kobani, following overnight airdrops of weapons to Kurdish fighters in the Syrian border town.


The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a “large amount of weapons and ammunition” have reached the main Kurdish militia in the town, near the Syrian-Turkish border.


The activists say there were five airstrikes in Kobani, beginning Sunday night and continuing until early today.


The Observatory, which has activists on the ground in Syria, says the latest round of fighting between Kurdish militiamen and extremists in Kobani killed at least eight members of the Islamic State group.

10.17.14:  Search continues in Nepal


KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Rescuers have widened their search for trekkers in Nepal’s northern mountains who were stranded in a series of blizzards and avalanches in the Himalayas early this week. At least 29 people were killed.


Trekkers are still stranded in small lodges and huts along the Annapurna trail and hiking is difficult because of up to waist-deep snow and difficulty in following the trail.


Rescuers already have pulled out 78 trekkers since rescue efforts began in two districts on Wednesday.

10.17.14:  Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo bearing down on Bermuda


MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Gonzalo is roaring toward Bermuda as a powerful Category 4 storm, and forecasters are warning that the British island territory would likely be hit with damaging winds and life-threatening storm surge in coming hours.


The eye of Gonzalo is expected to strike near Bermuda by this afternoon or evening.


There are still some 1,500 homes without power from Tropical Storm Fay a few days ago.


Half a world away, a powerful Pacific storm is expected to grow to hurricane force today as it brushes past Hawaii.

10.16.14:  Category 4 Hurricane Gonzalo aims for Bermuda


HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — Bermuda’s government says it’s closing the international airport tonight, as Hurricane Gonzalo moves closer to the island.


Gonzalo grew stronger overnight, going from a Category 3 hurricane to a Category 4, with top sustained winds of 140 mph.


Bermuda’s residents already are coping with the aftermath of Sunday’s Tropical Storm Fay.


10.16.14:  New district in Sierra Leone gets Ebola


FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — The Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone says deadly Ebola has come to the last untouched district in the nation.


The Emergency Operations Center says there are two reported Ebola cases in the Koinadugu district, in Sierra Leone’s far north.


Ebola is rampant in Sierra Leone with 425 new cases reported last week.


The World Health Organization reports 4,249 infections in Sierra Leone with 2,458 fatalities.


10.15.14:  Avalanche and blizzard kills 12 in Nepal’s mountains


KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A dozen people have been killed in an avalanche and blizzard in Nepal’s mountainous north.


The dead include foreign trekkers. Officials say an avalanche today buried four Canadians and one Indian trekker and it will take days to dig them out. Three villagers were killed Monday. Four trekkers caught in a blizzard died yesterday. Rescuers recovered the bodies of the two Poles, one Israeli and one Nepali trekker.


Army rescuers from nearby training camps were able to reach some trekkers and bring them to safety.


The weather has cleared, allowing rescuers and trekkers to reach safer grounds.