10 things you need to know today: October 15, 2014

(Image credit: (AP Photo/LM Otero))

1. Supreme Court blocks Texas abortion regulation

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Texas cannot enforce a strict new abortion law that had required clinics performing abortions to meet the same standards of ambulatory surgical clinics. The regulation had forced all but seven of the state's clinics offering abortions to close. An appeals court had ruled in favor of the state, but the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, reversed that ruling without explaining why.

Austin American-Statesman

2. Second Texas health worker tests positive for Ebola

A second person who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., has tested positive for the deadly virus, Texas authorities reported Wednesday. The news came hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that it would set up a rapid-response team to get help to hospitals "within hours" after they start treating a patient with Ebola. Nurse Nina Pham, the first of Duncan's caregivers — and the first person in the U.S. — to contract Ebola is reportedly doing well.

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Reuters The New York Times

3. Hurricane Gonzalo gets stronger as it heads for Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo gained strength in the Atlantic on Tuesday as it headed toward Bermuda from the Eastern Caribbean. The storm, already blamed for one death in St. Maarten, had maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour late Tuesday, when it was 685 miles south of Bermuda and heading northwest. Forecasters said Gonzalo could have top sustained winds over 130 mph by Friday. "Folks in Bermuda are going to need to start paying attention to this thing," a National Hurricane Center meteorologist said.

The Associated Press

4. Ebola could strike 10,000 more West Africans a week by December

The Ebola virus could infect as many as 10,000 new patients per week in West Africa by December 1, a World Health Organization official said Tuesday. Despite signs of progress in the first hard-hit areas, the disease has been spreading over a wider area, threatening to jump borders into new countries, and it remains rampant in big cities. Bruce Aylward, who is leading the WHO Ebola response, said the virus was killing 70 percent of those stricken, an increase from earlier estimates that said half of those contracting Ebola were dying.

The Washington Post

5. Appeals court reinstates Texas voter ID law for November elections

A federal appeals court on Tuesday temporarily reinstated a Texas voter ID law that the Justice Department has called an attempt to suppress minority voter turnout. A lower court ruled the tough Texas law unconstitutional. A panel of three judges from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said that disrupting the elections process so close to the October 20 start of early voting would do more harm than enforcing the ID, so the panel said the state could enforce the law in November balloting.

The Associated Press

6. Libertarian Senate candidate dies in Iowa plane crash

Iowa Libertarian Senate candidate Doug Butzier, 59, died late Monday night when the plane he was piloting crashed. Butzier, an emergency-medicine doctor, was polling with less than 2 percent of the vote in a field dominated by Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst, who are in a competitive contest to replace long-time Democratic Sen. Thomas Harkin, who is retiring. Butzier's plane was making its second landing attempt in rainy weather when it crashed.


7. Alleged Mexican drug lord reportedly kills himself as police close in

A reputed Mexican drug-gang leader, Benjamin Mondragon Pereda, reportedly killed himself with his own gun on Tuesday after police surrounded him in the city of Jiutepec in Morelos state. "When he saw that there was no escape, he shot himself," said Gonzalo Ponce, a government spokesman. Authorities say Mondragon was head of Guerrero Unidos, a gang suspected in last month's disappearance of 43 students at a rural teaching college in Guerrero state.

Los Angeles Times

8. Alabama church sues fired pastor who won't leave

The board of an Alabama church, Shiloh Missionary Baptist, has filed a lawsuit against its pastor, Juan McFarland, who is refusing to step down despite having confessed to using drugs and having sex with church members after contracting AIDS. Board members, who have already voted to oust McFarland, are accusing McFarland of changing the locks at the Montgomery church and putting its bank accounts in his name. McFarland has given no public comment on the case.

New York Daily News

9. David Greenglass, a key figure in the Rosenberg spy case, dies

David Greenglass, a key witness in the Cold War-era Rosenberg atomic espionage case, has died in New York. He was 92. Greenglass, an Army sergeant who spied for the Soviets, testified against his sister, Ethel Rosenberg, and her husband Julius. Greenglass served 10 years in prison as a co-conspirator in the case, but the Rosenbergs' supporters accused him of lying to save his own wife and ensuring the execution of the Rosenbergs for passing atomic secrets to the Soviets.

Los Angeles Times

10. Tech giants offer egg-freezing for female employees

Facebook and Apple are offering to cover the cost of egg freezing for women who work for them to help them avoid having to choose between motherhood and their careers. Apple will launch the perk in January 2015; Facebook has been covering up to $20,000 for egg freezing since January. Some experts say the coverage could be as influential as birth control in helping women balance work and family, but others say paid family leave, child care, and flexible work conditions would be more impactful than helping women delay pregnancy.

BBC News The New York Times

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.