Nurse quarantined for Ebola in New Jersey tests negative, released
Kaci Hickox, the nurse who had been quarantined at a hospital in New Jersey since her arrival from West Africa, was released on Monday after testing negative for Ebola. Hickox was serving in Sierra Leone for Doctors Without Borders, and was the first to be held under the new protocols in New York and New Jersey which require a mandatory 21-day quarantine on travelers from West Africa who have had contact with patients. Hickox was held for three days without displaying any symptoms. She said she was not given an explanation for her detention and was not told how long she would be held. Her criticism of the treatment has raised concerns about whether the steps being taken to prevent travelers from carrying Ebola into the United States are being carried out in a way that violates civil rights.
Midterm elections to take place next Tuesday
Midterm elections will be held next Tuesday, Nov. 4. Pundits expect that Republicans will keep control of the House and may very well take the Senate as well. However, according to The Atlantic, a Republican-held Senate would likely have little effect on hot topics like the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which most Republicans have given up on, and the U.S. response to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Ebola, which is not deeply divided along partisan lines. What a flip in the Senate would affect is president Obama’s ability to use his executive power to implement key regulatory peforms. According to the New York Times, the three closest toss-ups in the race for the Senate are in Kansas, Georgia and Iowa. Yesterday, President Obama began a rare campaign to support Democratic candidates. Most Democrats have tried to distance themselves from the President this year and his approval ratings remain low.
U.N. coalition seeks to send North Korea to court for crimes against humanity
A broad coalition of 43 countries is calling for the United Nations to send North Korea to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. A detailed report commissioned by the United Nations six months ago detailed crimes of “extermination,” murder, enslavement, torture and rape. The new calls for prosecution of Pyongyang are a victory for human rights organizations, which have long called for the international community to move beyond North Korea’s nuclear activities and address the government’s human rights violations. A U.N. investigator said on Tuesday that North Korea has shown greater willingness to discuss its human rights situation in the wake of the U.N. inquiry, although the government has dismissed the inquiry itself as a U.S. plot to undermine the North Korean system. Diplomats say that should the Security Council attempt to carry out the resolution, China would likely veto it.
Incumbent wins second term in Brazilian presidential elections
Brazil’s hotly contested election ended with President Dilma Rousseff just barely winning her second term with 51.6% percent of the vote. Rousseff has declared her top priority to be “dialogue,” in an effort to reunite a population that was deeply divided along economic and geographic lines during the runoff election. While Rousseff remained popular in the poorer northern states for her government welfare reforms, her opponent drew more support from the more developed southern states. Rousseff has been accused of corruption and was criticized for her management of public funds during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Acknowledging the public backlash in her last term, Rousseff declared that she wanted to be “a much better president.” She has promised a rigorous campaign against corruption but faces a fractured and right-leaning Congress and must convince the business community of her ability to tackle Brazil’s economic woes.