ATLANTA (AP) — A CDC staff member who worked in close proximity to someone infected by the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa has been flown by charter jet back home to Atlanta to monitor potential symptoms, officials said Thursday.
The staffer had "low-risk" contact with someone who later tested positive for the virus in Sierra Leone, said Tom Skinner, a spokesman at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control.
"The worker is not sick, not showing symptoms, not showing any signs of illness whatsoever," Skinner said.
The staffer worked within three feet of the ill international health worker in the same room for a prolonged period of time, according to a CDC statement. The staffer practiced "good personal infection control," according to the CDC. The agency did not identify the worker.
The CDC staffer arrived in Atlanta on Wednesday and is at home, Skinner said. The worker is expected to check for fever twice each day for 21 days as a precaution, Skinner said.
A specially-equipped jet that was used to transport American aid workers Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly to Atlanta after they tested positive for Ebola was not used for the CDC staffer, Skinner said. Instead, he said, the staffed flew on a more standard charter plane. Writebol and Brantly were released from Emory University Hospital this month.
The World Health Organization said Thursday that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa eventually could exceed 20,000 cases, more than six times as many as are now known.
To fight the outbreak, more than 60 CDC personnel are in the region, though the numbers fluctuate as staffers rotate in and out of hard-hit areas, according to the agency.
Tyson Foods, Inc. and The Hillshire Brands Company today announced the successful completion of Tyson’s tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Hillshire Brands for $63.00 per share in cash, without interest. The tender offer expired at 12:00 midnight at the end of August 27, 2014.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) A firearms company affiliated with reality TV star Will Hayden is distancing itself from him after his arrest on rape charges.
In a statement on its website, Red Jacket Firearms LLC says it has legally separated from Hayden.
The Baton Rouge-based company says it will remain in business.
The Discovery Channel canceled "Sons of Guns" after Hayden's arrest on Tuesday. Discovery says it killed the show due to "the serious and horrific nature of the charges" against Hayden. The show featured Hayden and his firearms business.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office says Hayden was arrested on aggravated rape charges involving a child. He already faced child molestation and aggravated crime against nature charges.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Hayden had an attorney.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that Israel achieved a "great military and political" victory over Hamas in the latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip has met with skepticism from many Israelis, according to a poll published Thursday.
The poll, published in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, shows that 54 percent of those surveyed believe there was no clear winner in the 50 days of war. The fighting killed 2,143 Palestinians, most of them civilians, according to Palestinian health officials and U.N. officials. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers, five civilians and a Thai worker were killed.
The poll underscores the unease pervading Israeli society after the third round of fighting between Israel and Gaza-based Islamic militants in the seven years since Hamas took control of the densely populated coastal strip.
Some of Netanyahu's detractors, including ministers in his own government like veteran security hawk Uzi Landau, believe that the prime minister and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon did not go far enough in pursuing the war, insisting that they should not have stopped until Hamas was destroyed or pleaded for peace.
Others, particularly residents of hard-hit agricultural communities abutting the Gaza border, fear that without a clear political roadmap for the Palestinian territory's future, a resumption of the rocket and mortar fire that caused such considerable disruption to their lives for most of the summer is not so much a question of if, but rather of when.
Still, calm has prevailed since the two sides agreed on Tuesday to an open-ended truce, settling for an ambiguous interim agreement in exchange.
Hamas, though badly battered, remains in control of Gaza with part of its military arsenal intact. Israel and Egypt are to continue to control access to the blockaded coastal strip despite Hamas' long-running demand that the border closures imposed in 2007 be lifted.
A former director of Israel's Shin Bet security service, Yuval Diskin, said the war's results "were disappointing and were accompanied by what some have described as a sense of sourness."
"The cease-fire that was achieved with Hamas has left the Israeli public frustrated," Diskin wrote in a commentary published in the popular Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on Thursday.
The Haaretz poll questioned 464 Israelis on Wednesday and had a margin of error of 4.6 percent. While 54 percent said there was no clear-cut winner, some 25 percent of respondents said Israel had won the war, while 16 percent believed Hamas had prevailed. The remaining 5 percent of those surveyed were undecided. The paper did not say how the survey was conducted.
Later that night in a nationally televised speech, Netanyahu said that Israel had dealt Hamas "a heavy blow."
"With the implementation of the cease-fire, I can say that there is a great military and political achievement here for the State of Israel," Netanyahu said. "Hamas was hit hard and it received not one of the demands it set forth for a cease-fire, not one."
Netanyahu also said Israel "will not tolerate" any more of the Hamas rocket fire that started the war on July 8, and would respond "even harder" if attacks resume.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, a low level that signals employers are cutting few jobs and hiring is likely to remain strong.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 299,750, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's just 6,000 higher than four weeks ago, when the average fell to the lowest level in more than eight years.
"The downward trend ... is now clear and strong," said Ian Shepherdson, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Shepherdson forecasts that employers added 250,000 jobs this month.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When employers hold onto their workers, it suggests they are more confident in the economy and could step up hiring.
The applications data is the latest sign that the job market is steadily healing. Employers have added an average of 230,000 jobs a month this year, up from an average of 195,000 in 2013. Average job gains since February have been the best in eight years.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2 percent in July from 6.1 percent in June. But that was because more Americans began looking for work. Most didn't immediately find jobs, but the rising number of job seekers suggests that people are growing more confident about their prospects.
And employers in June advertised the most monthly job openings in more than 13 years, the government said earlier this month.
A total of 2.5 million people received benefits in the week ending Aug. 16, the latest data available, up 25,000 from the previous week. But that figure has fallen from nearly 3 million a year ago.
Rising optimism about jobs and hiring helped boost consumer confidence to nearly a seven-year high in August, the Conference Board, a research group, said earlier this week.
The percentage of respondents who said jobs were "plentiful" rose to 18.2 percent from 15.6 percent in July. That's the highest level since 2008. Consumer perceptions generally track the unemployment rate over time.
But hiring has yet to boost wages by much. Wage growth has barely outpaced inflation since the recession ended more than five years ago. Still, more people with jobs means more paychecks, which could drive consumer spending and growth.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Audubon Society is hosting a tour of five sites that draw birds in the metro area.
The tour includes two community sites and three private home gardens on an 18.5 mile route between Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Peachtree Corners and Berkeley Lake.
The event is on September 13, and you can purchase tickets ahead of time at the Audubon Society's website. Tickets are $15 for members, $20 for nonmembers and kids younger than 12 can participate for free.