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Saturday Night Live interns settle NBCUniversal wage lawsuit
 By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thousands of former interns at NBCUniversal, including on the late-night TV show "Saturday Night Live," have reached a $6.4 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit claiming they should have been paid for their work. The settlement resolves claims that NBCUniversal, a unit of Comcast Corp, violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws in New York, California and Connecticut by classifying the plaintiffs improperly as "non-employee interns," exempt from applicable wage and hour requirements. "It was probably a good idea for NBCUniversal to settle," said Marcia McCormick, an employment law professor at Saint Louis University School of Law. "NBCUniversal ran the risk that its decision not to pay interns might be viewed by a court as willful, which could result in much higher damages." NBCUniversal denied wrongdoing in agreeing to settle.

Nurse Nina Pham Ebola Free, Glad to Go Home to Her Dog
 Nurse Nina Pham has been declared Ebola-free.

WHO says Ebola vaccine plans accelerating as trials advance

Kieny WHO assistant Director General gestures during news conference on Ebola candidate vaccines in GenevaBy Stephanie Nebehay and Kate Kelland GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) - Trials of Ebola vaccines could begin in West Africa in December, a month earlier than expected, and hundreds of thousands of doses should be available for use by the middle of next year, the World Health Organization said on Friday. Vaccines are being developed and made ready in record time by drugmakers working with regulators, the U.N. health agency said, but questions remain about their safety and efficacy which can only be settled by full clinical trials. ...

NYC mayor says officials retracing steps of Ebola patient, urges calm
 NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday health officials are retracing all the steps taken by a doctor who is being treated for Ebola at a city hospital. De Blasio said New Yorkers should not worry and that they should not alter their daily routines. (Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

New York Ebola patient is in stable condition, city official says
 NEW YORK (Reuters) - The doctor being treated for Ebola in a New York City hospital is in stable condition, the city's health commissioner said on Friday. Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, the health commissioner, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had also confirmed the diagnosis of Ebola for Dr. Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old New Yorker who had recently returned from Guinea in West Africa. (Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Second US nurse is cured of Ebola: hospital

A view of Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on August 1, 2014, where Amber Vinson, a nurse who was infected with the Ebola virus received treatmentWashington (AFP) - A second US nurse has been cured of Ebola but is not yet ready to leave the Atlanta, Georgia hospital where she is being treated, Emory University Hospital said Friday.

New York Ebola patient is awake and talking with relatives
 NEW YORK (Reuters) - The doctor being treated for Ebola in a New York City hospital is awake and talking to family and friends on a cell phone, the city's health commissioner said on Friday. Dr. Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old New Yorker who was recently working with Ebola patients in West Africa, did not have an increased temperature before Thursday morning, Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, the health commissioner, said at a news conference. (Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Baxter's blood disorder drug gets FDA approval
 (Reuters) - Drugmaker Baxter International Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved its drug for treating bleeding episodes in adults with a rare bleeding disorder. The drug, Obizur, has been approved for use in patients with acquired hemophilia A, which usually affects older adults, Baxter said in a statement. The drug will be launched in the United States in the coming months and is being reviewed by European and Canadian regulators, the company said. Obizur will compete with Biogen Idec Inc's Eloctate, which was approved in June. Both the drugs are long-acting treatments. ...

Autonomy, cost are key in decisions on long-term care insurance
 By Shereen Lehman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Family discussions that emphasize older parents’ independence and their desire to avoid being a burden to adult children could stimulate interest in buying long-term care insurance, researchers say. In focus groups with older adults and their middle-aged children, certain themes dominated parents’ decisions about whether or not to purchase coverage for themselves. Tapping into those themes could help families talk about aging parents’ needs and everyone’s expectations, according to the researchers. ...

Cholera sickens nearly 1,000 people in Niger
 DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Doctors Without Borders says a cholera outbreak in the West African country of Niger killed 20 people and has sickened nearly 1,000 people.

Suspicious powder sent to western consulates in Istanbul: officials

A member of the Turkey's disaster management agency disinfects the garden of German Consulate in IstanbulBy Jonny Hogg ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Packets of an unidentified yellow powder were sent to five western consulates in Istanbul on Friday, officials said, prompting security alerts following two militant attacks in Canada this week. Consulates of the United States, Canada, France, Germany and Belgium received suspicious packages, the officials said. It was not immediately clear what the powder was and Turkish officials said results of tests on them were due on Monday. ...

Fear and indifference leave West Africa desperate for Ebola staff

A health worker fixes another health worker's protective suit in the Aberdeen district of FreetownBy David Lewis DAKAR (Reuters) - When Australia offered more than $2 million last month to the medical charity leading the fight against Ebola in West Africa, Medecins Sans Frontieres bluntly rejected it. What was urgently needed from rich Western countries, MSF said, was not more money but doctors and nurses. Despite warnings that hundreds of thousands may die, foreign governments and organizations are still hesitating to dispatch highly trained civilian and military personnel to fight the worst ever outbreak of the deadly virus. Even in the highly controlled environments in the West, two ...

New York City to check daily with people returning from West Africa
 NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City's health department will actively monitor anyone who arrives in the city from one of the three West African countries affected by Ebola, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Friday. He said health officials would make daily checks on those people, typically by telephone, for 21 days after their return to make sure they are not displaying Ebola symptoms, in keeping with new protocols by the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. (Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by James Dalgleish)

How New Yorkers Are (Irrationally) Freaking Out About Ebola
 New Yorkers are on edge after learning the city's first Ebola patient rode the subway, took an Uber and went bowling in Brooklyn before he was diagnosed.

Florida Republicans in all-out drive for Hispanic vote

Florida Governor Rick Scott visits a campaign office in the Miami, Florida suburb of Hialeah, heart of the Cuban American communityBy David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - When Florida's Republican governor, Rick Scott, walked into a bustling campaign field office late last month in Hialeah, a heavily Hispanic suburb of Miami, he was mobbed by volunteers hoping to be photographed with the candidate. "Hey, beautiful, I got a lot of votes for you today," called out Rosa Peralta, a retired Cuban immigrant with accented English sitting by a phone bank with a plate of Cuban pastries. Scott's campaign is making an unprecedented push for Hispanic votes in this year's gubernatorial race in the nation's largest swing state. ...

Ebola-Free Nurse Nina Pham Visits Obama
 Nurse Nina Pham has been declared Ebola-free.

Mali Ebola patient traveled while contagious, risk of exposures: WHO
 DAKAR (Reuters) - The World Health Organization said on Friday the first confirmed Ebola patient in Mali had traveled by bus through the country while showing symptoms and there had been multiple opportunities for exposure involving many people. The WHO also called on Mali to accelerate the completion of an isolation facility in the capita, Bamako, and keep the public informed of the situation as it evolves. (Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Alison Williams)

Texas man charged with raping two children, infecting them with HIV
 AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - A Houston man has been arrested on charges of sexually assaulting two girls, ages 14 and 2, and infecting them with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, police said on Friday. The man admitted to sexually assaulting the teenage victim multiple times, police said in a statement. A lawyer for the man was not immediately available for comment. The suspect, a registered sex offender, is being held without bond, police said. He "has destroyed their lives ... ...

WHO vaccines boss signs up as Ebola trial guinea pig
 By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The woman overseeing the rush to develop an Ebola jab has become one of the first volunteers to sign up to test the safety of candidate vaccines being developed. Marie-Paule Kieny, the World Health Organization's assistant director general for health systems and innovation, told Reuters that she signed up because it was the right thing to do. "I've never been a guinea pig in any medical trials but the result of these clinical trials are absolutely crucial. We need to know if they are safe and we need to know which dose should be used," she said. ...

NY doctor with Ebola a serious student with funny side, friends say
 By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) - The young doctor diagnosed with Ebola in New York City is a big-hearted man with a serious interest in international emergency medicine and a flair for languages, yet his friends call him "a goofball." Craig Spencer, originally from the Detroit area, has specialized in International Emergency Medicine at the highly respected Columbia University-New York Presbyterian Hospital since 2011, according to his online LinkedIn resume. ...

Worst Ebola outbreak on record tests global response
 (Reuters) - Global health authorities are struggling to contain the world's worst Ebola epidemic since the disease was identified in 1976. The virus has killed more than 4,500 people. (Interactive graphic on Ebola: Here is a timeline of the outbreak: March 22: Guinea confirms a previously unidentified hemorrhagic fever, which killed more than 50 people, is Ebola. March 30: Liberia reports two Ebola cases; suspected cases reported in Sierra Leone. ...

As Ebola hits, New Yorkers maintain wary calm

Commuters depart an L train during the morning commute a day after an announcement that the subway system had been used by a doctor now testing positive for Ebola in New YorkBy Edward McAllister NEW YORK (Reuters) - News of New York's first case of Ebola was met with worry and even anger on Friday, but for this city of eight million residents, seasoned by everything from terror attacks to superstorms, there was little sign of panic. Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, was moved with elaborate precautions from his Harlem apartment to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan with a fever and tested positive for Ebola on Thursday, sparking concern about the spread of the disease in the country's most populous city. ...

Elton John lends star power to US war on AIDS

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets with Sir Elton John to discuss PEPFAR and the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation October 24, 2014 at the State Department in Washington, DCRock star Elton John teamed up with the Obama administration Friday to launch a new $7 million fund to provide access to HIV services in South Africa. The British pop music icon lent star power to the State Department when he met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in his private offices to discuss the roll out of the project, part of efforts to create a world free of AIDS. The singer and his partner David Furnish were in the US capital ahead of being guests of honor at the Human Rights Campaign annual gala on Saturday. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is teaming up with the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to expand HIV-related services as part of a new South African program called Health4Men.

Dallas nurse Amber Vinson free of Ebola virus: hospital
 (Reuters) - A second Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola is now free of the virus, Emory University Hospital in Atlanta said on Friday. Amber Vinson, one of two nurses from a Dallas hospital infected with Ebola after treating the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the United States, is still receiving supportive care at Emory and no release date has been set. But tests no longer detect the virus in her blood, the hospital said in a statement. The other nurse, Nina Pham, also was declared virus-free on Friday and left the Maryland hospital where she had been treated. ...

Tracing Path of Ebola-Infected Doctor From Coffee Stand to Bowling Alley
 Officials are retracing the steps an Ebola-infected doctor, investigating a number of sites including a bowling alley, restaurant and coffee stand in an effort to stop the deadly virus from spreading further.

Two US nurses are declared cured of Ebola

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci (2nd L) hugs Nina Pham (5th L), the nurse who was infected with Ebola from treating a patientTwo American nurses were declared cured of Ebola on Friday, and one was healthy enough to leave the hospital and meet President Barack Obama for a hug. The good news for the nurses, who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas, came as the city of New York was dealing with its first case of the deadly virus. Nina Pham smiled often and appeared healthy, wearing a turquoise shirt and dark business suit, as she addressed reporters outside the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. "I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," Pham said.

Showing cell phone callers the road might improve driver safety
 By Shereen Lehman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Providing a caller with views of the driver and the road ahead might reduce cell phone distraction for the driver, suggests a new study. Researchers used a driving simulator and video phones to examine how a driver’s conversation partner – either on the phone or in the car – could affect their safety on the road. At any given time, about 5 percent of drivers in the U.S. are using their cell phones, but the devices are cited as a cause of distraction in 18 percent of crashes, say the authors. ...

Republicans question federal response on Ebola

Dr. Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Health and Human Services Department, appears on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, before the House Oversight Committee hearing as lawmakers examine the government's response to the Ebola outbreak. In a prepared statement Thursday, Dr. Lurie said the likelihood of a significant outbreak of Ebola in the U.S. is remote, while assuring Congress that government agencies are preparing for any contingency. However, her statement came before news broke late Thursday of a fourth Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S. — a doctor in New York City who had treated patients in Guinea. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — The new Ebola infection in New York City exposed flaws in the system and raised new concerns, lawmakers said Friday, as they criticized the federal response to the outbreak and questioned top officials' credibility.

Kansas court upholds conviction in abortion doctor's murder

Police booking photograph of Scott RoederBy Kevin Murphy KANSAS CITY Kan. (Reuters) - The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday upheld a man's conviction in the 2009 slaying of a late-term abortion doctor but sent the case back to a lower court for resentencing. Scott Roeder was convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for at least 50 years in the shooting death of George Tiller at a Wichita church. Tiller was one of the few doctors in the country to perform late-term abortions and his Wichita clinic was a focal point for anti-abortion protests. ...

Obama gives big hug to U.S. nurse who survived Ebola

U.S. President Obama hugs Dallas nurse Pham at the Oval Office in WashingtonWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama gave a big hug on Friday to Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who survived a bout with Ebola. Obama met Pham in the Oval Office shortly after her release from a nearby hospital after recovering from the virus. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama brought Pham in for a meeting to recognize her for doing her job at a Dallas hospital, where she fell ill while caring for an Ebola-stricken patient who eventually died. ...

U.S. officials considering quarantines for returning healthcare workers

An exterior view of Bellevue Hospital in New York CityBy Sebastien Malo and Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Obama administration is considering quarantines for healthcare workers returning from Ebola-ravaged West African countries, an official said on Friday, as authorities in New York retraced the steps of a doctor with the disease. In Washington, President Barack Obama hugged a Dallas nurse who survived Ebola after catching it from a patient. ...

New York 'fully prepared' to handle Ebola case

Hazmat crews unload barrels to take into the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, October 24, 2014 in New YorkNew York's mayor said Friday that the city's health system is fully equipped to handle Ebola after a doctor who had been infected in West Africa was hospitalised in America's largest city. Doctor Craig Spencer, 33, was in stable condition in isolation at Bellevue Hospital Center after testing positive for the illness, which has killed nearly 4,900 people in West Africa. He was rushed to the hospital with fever and gastrointestinal symptoms on Thursday, a week after returning from treating Ebola patients in Guinea with the charity group Doctors Without Borders. "There is no cause for alarm," Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference.

Mali's first Ebola case, a two-year-old girl, dies: officials
 By Tiemoko Diallo and Adama Diarra BAMAKO (Reuters) - A two-year-old girl who was Mali's first case of Ebola has died, officials said on Friday, shortly after the World Health Organization warned she had potentially exposed many people to the disease by traveling across the country while ill. The two-year-old had traveled with her grandmother hundreds of kilometers by bus from Guinea via Mali's capital to the western town of Kayes, where she was diagnosed on Thursday. Health workers were scrambling to trace hundreds of potential contacts in a bid to prevent Ebola taking hold in Mali. ...

Republicans take aim at U.S. Ebola response after fourth case emerges
 By David Morgan and Toni Clarke WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans with an eye on next month’s congressional elections ratcheted up their criticism of President Barack Obama’s response to Ebola on Friday after the emergence of a fourth U.S. case heightened public anxiety about the disease spreading outside of West Africa. Darrell Issa, a California Republican who is a constant critic of Democrat Obama’s administration, said the response had been inept, characterized by over-confidence and ill-considered procedures to protect U.S. ...

U.S. considering quarantine for returning Ebola health workers: CDC

Staff of the emergency medical services in France (SAMU) wear Ebola virus protection outfits during a press presentation at the Necker Hospital in ParisBy David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is considering quarantining healthcare workers returning to the United States from the Ebola hot zone of West Africa, after a New York doctor who treated Ebola patients there tested positive for the virus. Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Reuters on Friday that quarantine is one option being discussed by officials from across the administration. ...

Wall St. boosted by earnings, S&P posts best week in nearly two years

A woman carries an umbrella as she passes by the New York Stock Exchange on Broad St. in New York's financial district during the morning rushBy Yasmeen Abutaleb NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed out their best week in nearly two years on Friday, helped by earnings from Microsoft and Procter & Gamble and as concerns eased over the possible spread of Ebola in the United States. The S&P 500 was up 5.5 percent from its low on Oct. 15 and had its best weekly gain in nearly two years, boosted by solid corporate earnings reports. News of the first case of Ebola diagnosed in New York City hit futures late on Thursday, but the markets shook off those concerns on Friday. ...

Ex-Bank of New York Mellon employee pleads guilty to insider trading

A BNY Mellon sign is seen on their headquarters in New York's financial districtBy Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Bank of New York Mellon Corp employee on Friday pleaded guilty to insider trading based on tips from a former Merck & Co Inc employee about potential pharmaceutical mergers. Federal prosecutors in New York said David Post, 41, a product manager at the bank, received nonpublic information from a former Rutgers Business School classmate about three companies: Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Ardea BioSciences and ViroPharma Inc . Prosecutors did not name the classmate, but on Oct. ...

Dallas nurse receives thanks, hug from Obama

President Barack Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in Washington. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus. The 26-year-old Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center. She had been flown there from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Pham's mother Diana, center, and sister Cathy watch. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — A nurse who caught Ebola while caring for a Dallas patient who died of the disease walked out of a Washington-area hospital virus-free Friday and into open arms.

Ebola case in NYC brings demands for quarantines

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2014, file photo, Bellevue Hospital nurse Belkys Fortune, left, and Teressa Celia, Associate Director of Infection Prevention and Control, pose in protective suits in an isolation room, in the Emergency Room of the hospital, during a demonstration of procedures for possible Ebola patients in New York. A doctor who recently returned to New York City from West Africa is being tested for the Ebola virus. The doctor had a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms and was taken Thursday to Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says a team of disease detectives tracking the movements of a New York City doctor diagnosed with Ebola will soon detail their findings.

New York, New Jersey will exceed CDC requirements in Ebola screening
 NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York and New Jersey will bolster screening for Ebola beyond federal requirements for travelers from West Africa arriving at the area's airports, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has agreed that states have the right to exceed federal requirements, Cuomo told a joint news conference with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Travelers from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa will undergo interviews upon arrival at one of the New York City-area airports and may face quarantine orders, Cuomo said. ...

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