Midday Roundup: Brantly donates blood to fellow Ebola victim

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 9/12/14, 11:35 am

Gift of life. Doctors have treated Rick Sacra, a missionary doctor who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia, with serum extracted from blood donated by Kent Brantly, a fellow physician who survived the disease. With no approved medications to treat Ebola, virus-fighting antibodies from the body of a survivor could help Sacra heal more quickly. Brantly received a similar treatment from an African Ebola survivor before he was evacuated to Emory University Hospital this summer. Sacra’s wife, Debbie, said in a statement that her husband is slowly recovering at Nebraska Medical Center.

Best buddies. Could two Senators from different sides of the aisle live together for a week? What if they were on a deserted island? Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., did it, and they have video proof. The Discovery Channel documented their week on a remote Pacific island for the show Rival Survival, which will air later this fall. Flake is a veteran survivalist who invited Heinrich along to show that Republicans and Democrats can work together. Neither is up for re-election this year, but control of the Senate is up for grabs. “Whoever is going to lead the Senate going forward is going to do so with a very slim margin,” Flake told The Washington Post. “The parties are going to need to work together, so we wanted to get this out before the election, now’s a good time to show it.”

Internet security. The U.S. government strong-armed Yahoo into handing over user data to the National Security Agency (NSA), the company claims. Yahoo tried to fight the NSA’s demands and was threatened with fines of $250,000 a day for refusing to comply. The company lost the battle on appeal in the U.S.’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, which oversees requests for surveillance orders. Yahoo general counsel Ron Bell wrote on the company’s Tumblr page that the Internet giant thought the NSA’s request amounted to “unconstitutional and overbroad surveillance.” It plans to publish documents from the court proceedings that were recently declassified.

Incomprehensible. Two tragic cases of child abuse and neglect are making national headlines today. A Blackstone, Mass., woman was arrested Thursday night after authorities found the remains of three babies hidden in her filthy, vermin-infested home. Four children were recently removed from the home and placed in state custody. In South Carolina, a single father has been charged with murdering his five children, driving around the South with their bodies in his Cadillac Escalade, and burying them in Alabama.

The verdict is in. As expected, South African Judge Thokozile Masipa found Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. On Valentine’s Day 2013, Pistorius shot Steenkamp multiple times through a closed bathroom door in his home. He claimed he thought there was a burglar in the bathroom. Masipa agreed Pistorius did not mean to kill Steenkamp, but still caused her death with his irresponsible behavior. He will be sentenced Oct. 13. He could receive up to 15 years in prison, but probably will get a lighter sentence because of his lack of prior convictions. Pistorius was the famous “Blade Runner” of the 2012 London Olympic Games, so-named because of the shape of his prosthetic legs. 

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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