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News Wrap: WHO projects ‘exponential increase’ for Ebola

September 8, 2014 at 6:02 PM EDT
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JUDY WOODRUFF: A chilling new warning today on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The World Health Organization projected an exponential increase in new cases.

In a statement, the U.N. agency said, “Many thousands of new cases are expected in Liberia over the coming three weeks.”  More than half of all the cases so far have been in Liberia. The U.S. military now plans to assist setting up isolation units and providing security.

Hundreds of American children in 10 states have fallen ill with a severe respiratory ailment in recent weeks. The Centers for Disease Control reports that nearly 500 kids were treated at a single hospital in Kansas City, and many required intensive care. Symptoms can include heavy coughing, fever and asthma-like breathing trouble.

In Ukraine, the cease-fire between government forces and separatists appeared to be holding after sporadic violations over the weekend. That word came as President Petro Poroshenko made a surprise visit to the key coastal city of Mariupol. Rebel forces have moved close, but in a speech, Poroshenko declared it will stay Ukrainian.

PRESIDENT PETRO POROSHENKO, Ukraine (through interpreter): We are ready to defend our state. Our armed forces, national guard, border guards, keep the powder dry. But speaking of political decisions, we will do all we can for a process of a peaceful settlement.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The Ukrainian president said also that nearly 1,200 prisoners of war have been released by the rebels under the cease-fire.

Nigeria’s military reported today that it has recaptured a key town from Islamist militants of Boko Haram. A senior government official said that forces took back the town of Bama in northeast Borno state and blocked the militants’ advance toward the state capital. Over the weekend, however, Boko Haram captured several other towns.

The Iraqi parliament took a giant step this evening toward putting a functioning government in place. Lawmakers officially named Haider al-Abadi as prime minister and approved most of a new cabinet. Abadi asked for another week to fill the key security posts of defense and interior ministers. The goal is a more inclusive government to bring Sunnis back into the fold.

Rescuers in India and Pakistan are struggling to save thousands of people trapped by flooding. More than 320 have died in the disaster across the divided territory of Kashmir and northern and eastern Pakistan. Today, Indian air force helicopters airlifted more people to safety. People in the region’s main city of Srinagar waded through flooding streets over the weekend with cattle and belongings, waiting to be rescued.

BLA CHANDRA, Air Commodore, Indian Air Force: From the second half of yesterday, we started focusing over the Srinagar city, where the water level has been continuously rising, and it has risen up to a considerable level, almost up to the second floor, and people are stranded on rooftops.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The disaster put tensions between the two countries on hold for now. The Indian and Pakistani prime ministers offered Sunday to assist each other in relief efforts.

Widespread thunderstorms from the remnants of Hurricane Norbert sparked flash flooding in parts of Arizona this morning. In Phoenix, a record-breaking three inches of rain fell by daybreak, wreaking havoc on the morning commute. Portions of major interstates were closed and dozens of vehicles lay stalled in window-high water. The storm also triggered flooding in Southern California over the weekend.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 26 points to close at 17,111; the Nasdaq rose nine points to close at 4,592; and the S&P 500 slipped six to finish at 2,001.

And some happy news this evening from the British royal family. Prince William and the duchess of Cambridge are expecting a second child.

Tim Ewart of Independent Television news reports.

TIM EWART: He had not wanted the world to know so soon, but Prince William had no choice. Kate should have been with him here in Oxford today, but a bout of severe morning sickness kept her at home and forced him to approve the announcement that they have another child on the way.

QUESTION: Congratulations. How’s Catherine feeling?

PRINCE WILLIAM, Duke of Cambridge: She’s feeling OK. It’s been a tricky few days, week or so, but obviously we’re immensely thrilled. It’s great news. Early days. We’re hoping just things settle down and she feels a bit better.

TIM EWART: Kate hasn’t been seen in public since the World War I commemoration at the Tower of London last month. The announcement of her first pregnancy also had to be brought forward. On that occasion, morning sickness was so severe that she was taken to hospital.

Prince George, now 1, was born seven months later. Today, it was confirmed he will have a brother or sister by next spring.

DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, United Kingdom: And on behalf of the whole country, I’m sure the house will want to join me in congratulating them on this fantastic news and wishing them well in the months ahead.

TIM EWART: So, as he was greeted by one small well-wisher today, Prince William’s thoughts were very much with his own family and the wife he was forced to leave at home.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The baby will be fourth in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George.

Still to come on the “NewsHour”: what the U.S. and its allies can do to destroy the Islamic State group; why politicians aren’t talking about immigration before November’s elections; deep political divides over fracking for oil and gas in Colorado; and the NFL suspends running back Ray Rice indefinitely for domestic violence.

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