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News Wrap: First U.S. Ebola case diagnosed in patient infected in Liberia

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    We begin with breaking news this evening.

    For the first time, Ebola has been diagnosed inside the United States. Dr. Tom Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control announced late this afternoon the patient was infected in Liberia and is now in an isolation unit at a Dallas hospital.

  • DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual, a family member or other individual, could develop Ebola in the coming weeks, but there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    U.S. hospitals have treated several other patients who contracted Ebola in West Africa, but were diagnosed before returning home.

    There has been another breech of presidential security, this time in Atlanta. The Washington Post reports that a security guard with a gun got on an elevator with President Obama during his visit two week ago. It turned out the man also had three convictions for assault and battery. A supervisor fired him on the spot, and that’s when agents discovered that he was armed.

    Lawmakers from both parties went after the head of the Secret Service today over security breaches at the White House. Julia Pierson was grilled for three-and-a-half-hours and said she takes full responsibility.

    Pierson had hardly settled into her seat before House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa bore in.

  • REP. DARRELL ISSA, Chair, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:

    This failure has once again tested — has tested the trust of the American people in the Secret Service, a trust we clearly depend on to protect the president.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The failure in question came when Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez jumped the White House fence on September 19 and made it well inside the mansion.

    Today, Pierson, a 30-year Secret Service veteran, issued a mea culpa.

  • JULIA PIERSON, Director, Secret Service:

    It is clear that our security plan wasn’t executed properly. This is unacceptable. And I take full responsibility, and I will make sure that it does not happen again.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    What’s publicly known about what happened has changed dramatically in the 11 days since the intrusion. The Secret Service initially said Gonzalez sprinted across the front lawn and past a guard booth and dogs, but was stopped just after entering the North Portico door.

    It’s now known that, in fact, he continued to run through the central hall and into the ornate East Room before he was tackled by an off-duty Secret Service agent, who, it turns out, just happened to be there. The Secret Service has said agents showed tremendous restraint and discipline in apprehending Gonzalez.

    But Republican Jason Chaffetz of Utah argued today that’s nothing to be proud of.

  • REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, (R) Utah:

    I want it to be-crystal clear. You make a run and a dash to the White House, we’re going to take you down. I want overwhelming force. Would you disagree with me?

  • JULIA PIERSON:

    I do want all our officers to use appropriate force for someone trying to challenge or breach the White House.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    There were also questions about why agents failed to take action after Virginia police found guns and a map with the White House circled in Gonzalez’s car in July.

  • Massachusetts Democrat John Tierney:

  • REP. JOHN TIERNEY, (D) Massachusetts:

    You didn’t take any action. You didn’t have him arrested. You didn’t have him continue to be under observation, did you?

  • JULIA PIERSON:

    Mr. Gonzalez at the time denied any interest or any intent to harm anyone. He indicated that his information relative to the map in his car was given to him by another individual who had recommended places in Washington, D.C., to sightsee.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Pierson was also asked to explain revelations in The Washington Post that it took the Secret Service four days to realize a gunman hit the White House seven times back in 2011.

    Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings cited one of several agents who decided against contradicting their bosses’ view that the shots were not directed at the White House.

  • REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) Maryland:

    She didn’t challenge her supervisor, for fear of being criticized, she later told investigators.

    Now, Director Pierson, as a former agent, and as the head of the agency, that has to concern you tremendously; is that right?

  • JULIA PIERSON:

    Yes, sir, it does. It’s unacceptable.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    But another Massachusetts Democrat, Stephen Lynch, charged that Pierson’s overall responses were simply evasive.

  • REP. STEPHEN LYNCH, (D) Massachusetts:

    I wish to God you — you protected the White House like you’re protecting your reputation here today.

  • JULIA PIERSON:

    Let me be clear. The United States Secret Service doesn’t take any of these incidents lightly. They are…

  • REP. STEPHEN LYNCH:

    With all due respect, that’s my point. As a casual observer to what has happened here, I don’t think the Secret Service is taking it — their duty to protect the American president and his family at the White House, I don’t think you’re taking it seriously.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Still, the White House said again today the president is confident the Secret Service will implement any reforms need.

    The accused fence-jumper, Omar Gonzalez, was indicted today on federal and state charges.

    President Obama hosted India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, in a bid to repair strains in relations between their nations. The two leaders focused heavily on resolving trade disputes and improving economic ties.

    And the president praised Modi’s policies.

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, United States:

    I have been impressed with the prime minister’s interest in not only addressing the needs of the poorest of the poor in India and revitalizing the economy there, but also his determination to make sure that India is serving as a major power that can help bring about peace and security for the entire world.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Modi was once barred from entering the U.S. after Hindus killed more than 1,000 Muslims in the state where he was governor.

    Across Central Iraq, car bombings and other attacks killed at least 47 people today, most of them Shiites, while, to the West, Iraqi and Syrian Kurds drove Islamic State militants from a key border crossing into Syria, with help from Sunni fighters. In Syria, Kurdish fighters and their allies battled to hold Kobani, near the Turkish border.

    The conflict has sparked an exodus, as the United Nations heard today.

  • VALERIE AMOS, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs:

    Over the past two weeks, ISIL forces have advanced in northern Aleppo and over 160,000 people, mostly women and children, fled into Turkey in just a few days. Their fear was so great that many people crossed heavily mined fields to seek refuge.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Also today, British jets launched their first attacks against Islamic State targets in Iraq. They joined the latest round of strikes by U.S. jets.

    The world has lost half its wildlife population since 1970, that stark finding today from the World Wildlife Fund. It reported a 52 percent decline, centered in several thousands of species, and it said humans are largely to blame, through fishing, hunting and pollution. Most of the new wildlife losses were in Latin America.

    California will impose the first statewide ban of single-use plastic bags. Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation today. It’s designed to cut down on bags getting into waterways. The ban applies to large grocery stores next year and expands to smaller stores later. More than 100 American cities already have such bans.

    A decision today by the Federal Communications Commission will be welcome news for many sports fans. The FCC voted to drop a decades-old rule that bans showing hometown games on TV if they’re not sellouts. It was meant to protect ticket sales, especially of NFL games, but the FCC found that rule is outdated.

    On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 28 points to close below 17,043. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to close at 4,493. And the S&P 500 slipped 5 to 1,972.

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