On Friday, the World Health Organization declared that the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is an international public health emergency.
The organization says that 932 people have died from the virus since March, the worst outbreak known to occur since Ebola was discovered nearly 40 years ago. The majority of the cases are in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, with five infections reported in Nigeria.
The WHO is not calling for global travel or trade bans, The New York Times reports, but it does believe that if an Ebola outbreak has happened in a country, its head of state needs to declare a national emergency. "A coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola," the organization said in a statement.
You just can't keep Spider-Man down. Just three years after Sony launched The Amazing Spider-Man series — itself a reboot of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy — Marvel and Sony have entered talks with Drew Goddard, the writer/director behind The Cabin in the Woods, to re-reboot the superhero franchise.
Under the terms of a deal between Sony and Marvel, the new Spider-Man will be introduced in a movie set in Marvel's Cinematic Universe, which includes movies like The Avengers, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and the upcoming Ant-Man. The Hollywood Reporter adds that the studio is actively looking for a lead actor to take on the role of Spider-Man, with a story likely set during the webslinger's high school years.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a gun fight on the Mexican border in 2010 by gang members who were using weapons later determined to have originated from the Justice Department's botched "Fast and Furious" gun running operation. Today, Fox News reports, a statue at the renamed Brian Terry Patrol Station in Bisbee, Arizona, reminds Americans of Terry's sacrifice.
The statue depicts Brian carrying one of his BordTac team members on his shoulders. His cousin, Robert Heyer, said at the unveiling that the likeness "represents everything good about Brian, his strength, his determination, his attention to detail, his love for the Border Patrol, and his love for his fellow agents."
Since his death, Terry's family established the Brian Terry Foundation in honor of the fallen agent to assist fellow border agents and their families financially and to offer emotional support.
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, promoted as part of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative against childhood obesity, has been the subject of much criticism since its unappetizing meals debuted in public schools across the country. It even spawned its own hashtag, #ThanksMichelleObama, which took Twitter by storm.
Public school kids protesting the strict standards have found an ally in Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who has proposed the "Healthy School Meals Flexibility Act" aimed at giving schools more flexibility in complying with the USDA's regulations.
The Hill reports that Hoeven's bill would "allow schools to revert back to 2012 standards," when the USDA's requirements for acceptable amounts of sodium and whole grains were much more lenient. Hoeven made similar strides in 2012 when he succeeded in persuading the USDA to alter some of its limits regarding grains, starches, and protein.
The Hill also notes the expense of the Healthy Hungry-Free Kids Act: Complying with the requirements will cost districts $1.2 billion in additional food and labor expenses this year, with more than half of schools predicting a budgetary loss, and only 18 percent expecting to break even.
A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that antipsychotic drugs are overprescribed for older men and women with dementia, and the drugs could contribute to earlier deaths.
The GAO report, published Monday, found that roughly one-third of older adults with dementia who lived in nursing homes in 2012 were prescribed antipsychotics. Fourteen percent of older adults with dementia who didn't live in nursing homes in 2012 were also prescribed antipsychotic drugs. The GAO used data from Medicare's prescription drug program to reach its conclusions.
As Time notes, the use of antipsychotic drugs may increase the risk of death for dementia patients. In the report, the GAO encouraged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to "expand its outreach and educational efforts" toward reducing antipsychotic use among older adults and educating caregivers who work outside of nursing homes. The GAO recommended the HHS work to lower antipsychotic use in patients outside of nursing homes, as well as those who reside in them, and according to the report, HHS "concurred with this recommendation."
Los Angeles police fatally shot a homeless man Sunday after the man "forcibly grabbed" an officer's gun, according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
Offering an update Monday on the fatal shooting, Beck said forensic evidence — including an examination of the officer's gun, and a review of footage captured by police body cameras — was "indicative of a struggle over the weapon." However, Beck would not comment on whether the altercation justified the use of deadly force, saying only that an investigation was underway.
"This is an extreme tragedy," he said.
Already finished with House of Cards season 3? Never fear — Netflix has plenty of new shows on the horizon. Today, the streaming service announced the premiere dates for three new shows (and one returning favorite):
- Between (May), a sci-fi drama about a small town beset by a mysterious disease that kills everyone over the age of 21
- Sense8 (June 5), a sci-fi drama about eight strangers who suddenly develop an inexplicable mental link
- Orange is the New Black (June 12), the third season of the acclaimed dramedy about a women's prison
- Wet Hot American Summer (July 17), a sitcom prequel to the cultishly beloved movie of the same name
The new shows will join a roster of already announced 2015 programs that includes Bloodline (March 20), Daredevil (April 10), and Grace & Frankie (May 8). Set your binge-watching calendars accordingly.
It's time to step up your fruit game, and we don't mean honing those Fruit Ninja skills. According to Time, the healthiest foods to eat are fruits. Specifically bananas, which top the list with their potassium goodness and mood-lifting properties. They're also one of the few foods that boast all six major vitamin groups, including vitamin B6, which scientists say makes you smarter.
Unsurprisingly, the rest of the list of 50 largely consists of vegetables and proteins. But never fear, a healthy life isn't an entirely ascetic life: Red wine clocks at No. 50. Read the full list at Time.
Jumping out of a plane flying thousands of feet in the air seems scary enough. But one unfortunate skydiver had an even more terrifying time when he suffered a seizure during freefall.
Christopher Jones was skydiving from 12,000 feet in Australia when he was suddenly stricken with a seizure and lost consciousness for 30 seconds. Thankfully, Jones' instructor was able to pull his ripcord around 4,000 feet, and Jones regained consciousness at 3,000 feet and safely landed on the ground. In the video captured by Jones' instructor's helmet cam, Jones can be seen beginning to seize around the 1:15 mark.
"Part of our training is to look after students," Jones' instructor Sheldon McFarlane told The Guardian. He added that if he hadn't been able to reach Jones, his parachute would have automatically deployed. Watch the video of what Jones called the scariest moment of his life, below. —Meghan DeMaria
Have you managed to avoid joining Orphan Black's sizable cult of viewers? Then you're likely to be baffled by the first trailer for the sci-fi drama's third season, which doubles down on the thorny, conspiratorial narrative with a brand-new new set of male clones:
Orphan Black's third season will premiere on BBC America on April 18.
At last, police have identified two men who built a 30-foot tunnel in Toronto that was discovered in January.
Toronto police spokesman Victor Kwong told Toronto's CP24 that the space was created as a "man cave." "It is simply two guys who just wanted to dig a cave," Kwong told CBC News. "That really is what our investigation has led to... They just wanted to dig a cave to hang out."
2 men ID'd who built mysterious tunnel in Toronto. No criminal intent. Investigation closed. Thanks for help ^sm pic.twitter.com/5mRgmUBdYi
— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) March 2, 2015
During the investigation of the tunnel, police found a gas-powered generator, food and drink containers, and a sump pump. Police said the tunnel was not built with criminal intent and is not a threat to Toronto residents. No charges were filed, and police told CBC News the men, who are in their 20s, were "very apologetic" for building it.