Weekend: October 24 – 26

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October 24th, 2014
03:39 AM ET

From Guinea to the U.S.: Timeline of First Ebola Patient in New York City

A doctor who recently returned from Guinea has tested positive for Ebola - the first case of the deadly virus in New York City.

Here is a timeline of Craig Spencer's movements since he got back from the West African nation:

When did he return from Guinea?

Spencer came back to the United States last week after treating Ebola patients in Guinea, where he worked for Doctors Without Borders.

He completed his work in Guinea on October 12 and left the country two days later via Brussels.

He arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on October 17, but he exhibited no symptoms of the virus until Thursday morning, said Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, New York City's health commissioner.

The physician, who works at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, was checking his temperature twice a day. He has not seen any patients since his return.

Did he have any symptoms?

The 33-year-old did not have any symptoms after his return, but developed a fever, nausea, pain and fatigue Thursday morning. He began feeling sluggish a couple of days ago, and his fever spiked to 100.3 degrees Thursday, authorities said.

How many people has he been in contact with?

Spencer was in contact with four people after he started exhibiting symptoms, authorities said. Ebola isn't contagious until someone has symptoms.

Three people - his fiancée and two friends - are being placed on quarantine and monitored, health officials said. The fourth person is a car service driver who had no direct contact with him and is not considered at risk.

Spencer also went for a three-mile jog and visited a bowling alley in Brooklyn prior to feeling symptomatic, according to Bassett.

The bowling alley closed Thursday as a precaution, but it said in a statement that health officials have determined there are no risks to customers.

He also traveled on three subway lines. "At the time that the doctor was on the subway he did not have fever ... he was not symptomatic," Bassett said.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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October 23rd, 2014
04:11 AM ET

'Terrorist' Murdered Soldier 'In Cold Blood,' Canada's Prime Minister Says

First a soldier guarding a hallowed war memorial was gunned down in Canada's capital. Then shots erupted in the halls of the country's Parliament minutes later.

The two shootings in Ottawa Wednesday left lawmakers barricaded inside offices and parts of the city on lockdown for hours as police searched for suspects.

Ottawa Police lifted the lockdown Wednesday night and said there was no longer a danger to the public.

But many questions remain about the shootings: Who was the gunman? Why did he open fire? And was he acting alone?

"It appears there was just one shooter, and that shooter is dead," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "But it has been a traumatic experience, obviously, for not only our city but the country."

Investigators haven't provided any possible motives for the shooting. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn't provide details about the investigation in a televised address to the nation Wednesday night.

"In the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had, but this week's events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere in the world," Harper said. "Let there be no misunderstanding: We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated."

It is unclear whether additional suspects were tied to the shootings or whether additional arrests have been made. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said more information would be provided in a press conference Thursday.

As authorities continued to investigate, details began to emerge about the man they suspect was behind the shooting.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was identified by Canadian officials to their American counterparts as the suspected gunman, multiple U.S. officials told CNN.

Bibeau, who was born in 1982, was a convert to Islam and had a history of drug use before he converted, two sources said.

His passport had been confiscated by Canadian authorities when they learned he planned to go fight overseas, a U.S. law enforcement official told CNN's Susan Candiotti. The official said it was not clear when that happened.

Canadian broadcaster CBC reported that Bibeau had a record of drug arrests going back 10 years.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

October 22nd, 2014
05:54 AM ET

Washington Post's Ben Bradlee Dies

Ben Bradlee, the zestful, charismatic Washington Post editor who guided the paper through the era of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate and was immortalized on screen in "All the President's Men," has died. He was 93.

Bradlee began end-of-life care at his home last month after suffering from Alzheimer's disease and dementia for several years. He was the executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968 to 1991, during which time the paper covered the downfall of President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal.

"He was diagnosed a while ago, but it became obvious that he had a serious problem about two years ago," his wife, Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn, said in a recent C-SPAN interview.

In November, President Barack Obama awarded Bradlee the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor awarded to civilians.

"Ben was a true friend and genius leader in journalism," Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein - the Post duo who broke and pursued the Watergate story - said in a statement. "He forever altered our business. His one unbending principle was the quest for the truth and the necessity of that pursuit."

Bradlee was, in his way, Washington royalty: friend to John F. Kennedy, overseer of the capital's most important newspaper, a mover and shaker in a tailored suit. In one era, when politicians and journalists were chummier, he kept the capital's secrets; in another, he exposed them. He was descended from Boston Brahmins and easily hobnobbed with the wealthy and eminent.

Still, even as he became one of them, Bradlee always maintained his skepticism of Washington power players. And it only grew stronger over time.

In a 1995 interview with CNN's Larry King, Bradlee said he had observed "an enormous increase in not telling the truth, lying" during his career covering government. Asked whether it was Democrats or Republicans who lied more, Bradlee said, "Well, the whole mob."

It was a pair of scandals that made Bradlee a national figure.

In 1971, the Post and The New York Times decided to publish thePentagon Papers, leaked classified documents that showed that the war in Vietnam was not going as political leaders and the military brass portrayed it. Bradlee, publisher Katharine Graham and the Post fought the objections of Richard Nixon's administration all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld the newspapers' right to publish the documents.

The editor said the fight propelled the Post into the upper echelons of American journalism.

"The Post was still looking for a seat at the big table," he recalled. "We weren't at the big table yet. We very much wanted to go there."

A year later, Post reporters Bernstein and Woodward led the way in unraveling Watergate, the story of the break-in and coverup that ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

See more on this story on CNN.com

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October 20th, 2014
05:53 AM ET

U.S. Airdrops Weapons to Fighters in Kobani

The U.S. military has airdropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish fighters in the Syrian city of Kobani to beef up the defense against ISIS forces, the Pentagon said.

"The aircraft delivered (items) that were provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq and intended to enable continued resistance against ISIL's attempts to overtake Kobani," the U.S. Central Command said Sunday.

(The administration refers to the group as ISIL, the acronym for "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant." CNN refers to it as ISIS; the group recently started calling itself the Islamic State.)

The move was partly humanitarian but also aimed at shoring up the Kurdish defenders of Kobani, senior Obama administration officials said - acknowledging it was a shift in the administration's tactics to date.

"This is a part of the President's larger strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL wherever they are," one official said.

The gear was delivered by three C-130 cargo planes and appeared to have been received on the ground by Kurdish fighters, senior Obama administration officials.

There have been reports that ISIS may have anti-aircraft missiles, but the officials said they had no evidence to back those reports and that the cargo planes flew in unescorted.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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October 17th, 2014
05:57 AM ET

Nurse May Have Had Symptoms of Ebola Longer Than First Thought

A nurse with Ebola may have shown symptoms of the virus as many as four days before authorities once indicated, meaning that she might have been contagious while flying on not just one, but two commercial flights, officials said Thursday.

Amber Vinson was hospitalized Tuesday, one day after she took a Frontier flight from Cleveland to Dallas. Tests later found that Vinson - who was among those who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, at Dallas' Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital - had Ebola.

Authorities indicated Vinson had a slightly elevated temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which was below the fever threshold for Ebola, but didn't show any symptoms of the disease while on her Monday flight. This is significant because a person isn't contagious with Ebola, which spreads through the transmission of bodily fluids, until he or she has symptoms of the disease.

But on Thursday, Dr. Chris Braden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters in Ohio that "we have started to look at the possibility that she had symptoms going back as far as Saturday. ... We can't rule out (that) she might have had the start of her illness on Friday."

"So this new information now is saying we need to go back now to the flight that she took on Friday the 10th and include them in our investigation of contacts," said Braden.

The CDC announced later Thursday that is "expanding its outreach to airline passengers now to include those who flew from Dallas-Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142" last Friday - which is how Vinson got to Ohio, from Texas, originally.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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October 17th, 2014
04:16 AM ET

See John Berman's Journey to Amsterdam to Solve a Family Mystery

Could John Berman be related to the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, noted as the Prince of Philosophers?

Berman travels to Amsterdam, the country where his ancestors, the Spinozas, lived for 140 years in search of his “inner Spinoza”… and the truth.

To see more familiar faces of CNN share their own stories, visit CNN.com/Roots.

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RELATED: 10 Things You Didn't Know About John Berman

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October 16th, 2014
05:20 AM ET

Texas Hospital Apologizes for Ebola Mistakes: 'We Are Deeply Sorry'

A hospital official apologizes for blunders in handling Ebola. Schools close for fear of possible exposure. And health officials consider putting 76 hospital workers on a no-fly list after an infected nurse flew on a plane with a fever.

Here's the latest on the Ebola in the United States:

Hospital official: 'We are deeply sorry'

The Texas hospital where an Ebola patient died and two nurses became infected is apologizing for mistakes made when first confronted with the deadly virus.

Dr. Daniel Varga said the hospital mishandled the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who was originally sent home from Texas Presbyterian Health Dallas hospital even after he had a fever and said he was from Liberia.

"Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes," Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Services, said in written testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry."

Days after Duncan returned to the hospital, he died from the virus.

But Varga did outline a timeline of the hospital's preparation, saying hospital staffers were given guidance on looking for Ebola symptoms several times over the summer.

He said the hospital has made several policy changes, such as updating the emergency department screening process to include a patient's travel history and increasing training for staffers.

CDC considers grounding Texas hospital workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now considering putting 76 health care workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas on the Transportation Security Administration's no-fly list, an official familiar with the situation said.

The official also said the CDC is considering lowering the fever threshold that would be considered a possible sign of Ebola. The current threshold is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The idea came after news that Amber Vinson, a nurse who cared for Duncan, flew home from Cleveland to Dallas after reporting a fever.

Vinson called the CDC to report an elevated temperature of 99.5 Fahrenheit. She informed the agency that she was getting on a plane, a federal official told CNN, but she wasn't told to stay grounded.

Vinson, 29, is now being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which has successfully treated two other patients.

Staffing issues at the hospital were behind the decision to transfer Vinson to Emory, a federal official told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

"What we're hearing is that they are worried about staffing issues and a possible walkout of nurses," the official said.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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October 15th, 2014
06:06 AM ET

Second Health Care Worker Tests Positive for Ebola

A second health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for Ebola, the state's health department said Wednesday.

The worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated, health department spokeswoman Carrie Williams said.

The preliminary Ebola test was done late Tuesday at the state public health laboratory in Austin, and the results came back around midnight. A second test will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

"Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored," the health department said. "The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus."

But the pool of contacts could be small, since Ebola can only be transmitted when an infected person shows symptoms. Less than a day passed between the onset of the worker's symptoms and isolation at the hospital.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com.

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October 15th, 2014
04:07 AM ET

Follow Christine Romans on Her Journey to Trace Her Roots

“As a journalist, I interview and write about newsmakers – but in my family, the real newsmaker was just an ordinary girl who had the courage ... to leave everything she knew and start all over again in America." – Christine Romans

See Romans trace her history from Iowa back to Denmark where she learns her great-great-grandmother was a risk taker and a giver.

The Danish Archives collects and stores historic sources and makes them available to the public.

Almost all of the documents revealed on Christine Romans journey is found online.

If you have lineage that dates back to Denmark, go online to www.sa.dk for more information!

And for more history from other familiar faces of CNN, visit CNN.com/Roots

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RELATED: 10 things you didn't know about Christine

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October 14th, 2014
05:43 AM ET

Nursing 'More Than a Career' for Ebola Patient

She tackled one of the toughest jobs any nurse could take - treating a highly contagious Ebola patient. And somehow along the way, she contracted the deadly virus herself.

Now, as Nina Pham tries to recover in the same hospital where she works, details of her life and career are beginning to emerge.

Here's what we know about the 26-year-old Texan:

She's Vietnamese-American

Pham grew up in a Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, Texas.

She didn't go far away for college, attending Texas Christian University in the same city. Pham graduated with a nursing license in 2010.

And just two months ago, Pham received certification in critical care nursing, which deals specifically with life-threatening problems.

She's very religious

"She is a very devoted Catholic, and always puts the other people's interests ahead of her own," said family friend Tom Ha, who has known Pham since she was in 8th grade.

Ha taught Pham in Bible class at his church.

"She comes from a family that is (of) a very strong faith. So I don't surprised that she (did) more than her duty called for in order to make sure the patient had a chance to survive," Ha said.

When Pham called the church to let members know she contracted Ebola, "everybody at the church were crying at that moment."

She loves her job

Ha, the family friend, said nursing isn't just a job for Pham - it's a calling.

"I think that she take it (as) more than a career. I think it's a vocation, because her family, from the time that we met, they always serve other people," he said.

When she was accepted into nursing school, she was really excited, a family friend told the Dallas Morning News. "Her mom would tell her how it's really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful," the friend told the paper. "But she was like, 'This is what I want to do.'"

She's a good teacher

Not only is Pham skilled in proper nursing techniques, she was a scrupulous teacher, too.

Jennifer Joseph trained under Pham at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Though she now works at another hospital, she remembers the guidance she received from Pham.

"Knowing Nina, she's one of the most meticulous, thorough, effective nurses," Joseph told CNN affiliate KTVT. "She taught me infection control and hand hygiene and protocol. I learned so much of that from her."

Joseph said she also has faith those taking care of her now will help their colleague recover.

"I have full confidence they'll be able to get her through this."

She has a sense of humor

Among the boards she set up on her Pinterest account are two filled with funny e-cards: "Laughter is the best medicine" and "Nurse things."

"I hate the questions that start with, 'So you're a nurse, let me ask you ..." read one of the pins she posted.

She adores her dog

Many of Pham's photos on social media feature her King Charles spaniel, Bentley.

After Spanish authorities euthanized an Ebola patient's dog last week, many in Dallas feared Pham's dog might face the same fate.

But Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed said Bentley is safe and being cared for in quarantine.

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