News Briefs: National news


Obama discusses travel ban to West Africa

In his weekly address Saturday, President Obama re-iterated his opposition to implementing a travel ban on West Africa to control the spread of Ebola, according to a Fox News article. He also encouraged Americans not to yield to hysteria as the situation in the United States is not the same as the crisis in West Africa. He asked Americans to help calm fears regarding the disease.

“We have to be guided by the science,” said Obama. “We’re a nation of more than 300 million people. To date, we’ve seen three cases.”

On Friday, the president appointed Ron Klain, a former White House adviser, to head the national response to Ebola.

Some health experts oppose a ban because it would impede the transportation of medical personnel and supplies into West Africa, potentially triggering a worse outbreak. Meanwhile some politicians, both Republican and Democrat, are calling for a travel ban.

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Supreme Court rules in favor of Texas voter ID law

The United States Supreme Court ruled Saturday that Texas can enforce a voter identification law, which has been the subject of some controversy, a CNN article stated. The ruling also generated mixed reactions. Civil rights advocates, such as Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, vigorously opposed this law and ruling.

She said, “Today’s decision means hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in Texas will be unable to participate in November’s election because Texas has erected an obstacle course designed to discourage voting.”

Meanwhile, Lauren Bean, spokesperson for the Texas attorney general’s office, hailed the ruling and described this law as “protect(ing) the integrity of elections.”

There was no stated reason for the outcome of the ruling. But it supports a recent ruling of the federal appeals court that said voting practices should not be altered this close to an election.

President Obama’s administration has also opposed this law.

You can read the full story, here.

Personnel appointed to lead Obama’s efforts to contain Ebola

Ron Klain, former chief of staff to vice presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, was appointed Friday to head the Obama administration’s endeavors to contain Ebola. According to USA Today, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Klain was selected for “his management experience and contacts throughout the government.”

Some Republicans as well as some public health officials were not pleased with the appointment, one reason being that Klain lacks a healthcare background.

However, Earnest said, “This is much broader than a medical response.”

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