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News Wrap: Obama warns against quarantine policies that could hamper Ebola fight

In our news wrap Tuesday, President Obama urged states not to institute quarantine rules that might undermine efforts to help stop the spread of Ebola. Meanwhile, another Dallas nurse was declared free of the disease. Also, thousands of Canadian mourners offered their respects at the funeral of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a soldier killed in an attack by a gunman in Ottawa.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    From President Obama today, a new call for caution in the response to Ebola.  He urged states not to enforce policies that suggest the U.S. is shying away from the fight.  The warning came as another Dallas nurse was declared free of the deadly disease.

    Amber Vinson was all smiles at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital this morning.

  • AMBER VINSON, Ebola Survivor:

    As a nurse, and now as someone who has experienced what it’s like to be cared for through a life-threatening illness, I am so appreciative and grateful for your exceptional skill, warmth and care.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The 29-year-old Vinson is the second of two Dallas nurses to be cured of Ebola.  They caught the virus from Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died at a Texas hospital.

    Dr. Bruce Ribner oversaw Vinson’s care at Emory, but he concedes, there are still unanswered questions.

  • DR. BRUCE RIBNER, Emory University Hospital:

    OK.  We are not aware of the specific details of what occurred in the Dallas facility or how transmission occurred in that environment.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Equally unclear, just how Vinson recovered so quickly.  To that, the doctor said, “The honest answer is, we’re not exactly sure.”

    Another nurse, Kaci Hickox, was back in Maine today after being held in an isolation tent at a Newark, New Jersey, hospital.  She treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, but has shown no symptoms herself.  Authorities in Maine said she will remain quarantined at home, but her attorney insisted no such arrangement is in place.

    Leading health officials have warned that quarantines may deter doctors and nurses from going to West Africa to help.

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

    America cannot look like it is shying away because other people are watching what we do.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    At the White House today, President Obama said the medical volunteers should be applauded and supported, but he also defended the decision to quarantine U.S. soldiers who serve in the Ebola zone.

  • BARACK OBAMA:

    Well, the military is in a different situation, obviously, because they are, first of all, not treating patients.  Second of all, they are not there voluntarily.

    It’s part of their mission that’s been assigned to them by their commanders and ultimately by me, the commander in chief.  So, we don’t expect to have similar rules for our military as we do for civilians.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In addition, the Pentagon said the Joint Chiefs are recommending that all service branches quarantine their troops who serve in West Africa.

    Overall, the World Health Organization estimates 10,000 people have been infected there, but the head of the U.N. Ebola mission warned today the true number could be far higher.

  • Anthony Banbury told the Associated Press:

    “Unfortunately, we don’t have good data from a lot of areas.  We don’t know exactly what is happening.”

    In the face of that uncertainty, the president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, appealed anew for outside help.  She said the world must recognize that Ebola poses a global threat.

    President Obama plans to meet tomorrow with public health workers who’ve been to West Africa or plan to go.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Thousands of mourners in Canada paid respects today to Corporal Nathan Cirillo, the soldier killed in last week’s shooting attack in Ottawa.  Crowds lined the streets of Hamilton, Ontario, as throngs of military personnel somberly escorted Cirillo’s coffin to the funeral service at an Anglican cathedral.

    There, Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined in remembering the soldier’s life and sacrifice.

  • PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER, Canadia:

    Our hearts are broken at his loss, but our spirits are grateful for his memory.  Corporal Cirillo knew what all those men and women who died before him also knew.  The only values really worth living for are those worth dying for.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Corporal Cirillo was one of two soldiers killed in separate attacks last week by what police said were Islamist radicals.  The funeral for the other victim, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, will be Saturday in Quebec.  Secretary of State John Kerry met today with Prime Minister Harper to convey American condolences.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    One week after the attack in Ottawa, security is being increased at U.S. government buildings.  The Homeland Security Department said today it is a response to calls by terror groups to attack American interests and to what happened in Canada.  The move affects unspecified sites in Washington and other cities.

    A college friend of the accused Boston Marathon bomber was convicted today of lying to FBI agents.  A federal jury found Robel Phillipos guilty of not telling the truth about being in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room three days after the bombing.  Two other friends of Tsarnaev removed a backpack containing evidence.  Phillipos faces up to 16 years in prison.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Kurdish Peshmerga fighters from Iraq are now headed to Syria, hoping to slow the advance of Islamic State forces.  The Kurds deployed today from Irbil in Northern Iraq.  They will cross Turkish territory en route to the besieged town of Kobani just inside Syria.

    A large convoy with heavy weapons was seen driving through Irbil today.  Kurdish officials in Syria said the force also includes about 150 fighters.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Yard by yard, a slow-moving stream of lava closed in on homes today on Hawaii’s Big Island.  The molten rock began oozing from Kilauea volcano in June.  The flow has consumed roads and burned vegetation along its way, and, today, it crossed onto residential property in the village of Pahoa.  Evacuation orders have gone out, and officials plan to close several schools.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    On Wall Street, stocks racked up new gains on the strength of improved corporate earnings and consumer confidence.  The Dow Jones industrial average was up nearly 188 points to close at 17,005.  The Nasdaq rose 78 points to close at 4,564.  And the S&P 500 added 23 to finish at 1,985.

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