This Week in News

With Alumni Weekend under our belt, and mid-terms looming in our future, there was little time between studying and catching up with old friends to get up to date with what was happening this week in the world. This week’s news sounds like something out of an apocalyptic movie; Ebola is spreading, spiders attacked a house, and the walking dead is back.

1. Ebola infects Texas healthcare worker

A Texas healthcare worker tested positive for Ebola last Friday after reporting a low-grade fever to the hospital at which she worked. The worker was one of the medical personnel to have treated the now deceased Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national and the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Despite having worn full protective gear while treating Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the nurse contracted Ebola, the first person to do so in the United States.

This infection is worrisome to medical officials as a breach in protocol is blamed for the nurse’s infection. The hospital at which she worked is not one of four hospitals in the United States specifically trained for large infectious disease outbreaks. Medical professionals are worried about other hospitals’ preparedness in the event of a nationwide spread of the disease.

2. The return of the Walking Dead

The Walking Dead returned for its fifth season at nine pm E.T. on AMC Sunday night. After a six month break. fans of the show were delighted to see a perfect balance between gore, action, and emotional plot building scenes. The general reaction to the premiere is a positive one, with fans excited to see what the rest of the season has in store.

3. Malala Yousafzai becomes youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Noble Peace Prize winner in August 2014 (Photo courtesy of Ida Mae Astute/ABC)

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in August 2014 (Photo courtesy of Ida Mae Astute/ABC)

On Friday, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. An activist for girls’ education, Yousafzai, 17, was in a classroom when she received news of the honor. Yousafzai shares the award with Kilash Satyarthi, 60, of India. Both were recognized “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education,” by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunman two years ago in her home country of Pakistan for asserting that girls have the right to an education. She has since become a worldwide activist for education rights, operating out of Birmingham, England. This is her second Nobel nomination and first time winning the award.

4. Spiders invade home in St. Louis

A family living in suburban St. Louis was forced out of their house by a brown recluse spider infestation. Estimates taken during the winter, the recluse’s non-active season, by a biologist estimated between 4,500 and 6,000 spiders were living in the home. The family reported having spiders fall from the ceiling and “started bleeding from the walls.” Several failed attempts were made to exterminate the spider population but failed. The house, now owned by the Federal National Mortgage Association, was covered in nine tarps this past week and sprayed with gas that permeated the walls to kill the spiders and their eggs.

5. Alaska turns over gay marriage ban

On Sunday, a federal judge struck down a 16 year-old constitutional ban preventing gay marriages in Alaska. The 1998 ban, the first of its kind in the country, defined marriage as between one man and one woman, easily destroying the ability for gay couples to marry. The state plans to appeal the decision, despite the positive feedback from the people of the state. The ban was found to be in violation of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

6. Maine hayride turns into lethal accident

Gates to the Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride at the Harvest Hills Farm in Mechanic Falls, Maine where 20 were injured and 1 killed in a hayride accident (AP Photo/Patrick Whittle).

Gates to the Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride at the Harvest Hills Farm in Mechanic Falls, Maine where 20 were injured and 1 killed in a hayride accident (AP Photo/Patrick Whittle).

Over 20 people were injured and one was killed when a mechanical problem caused a Jeep towing a wagon full of people to slide down a steep hill and collide with a tree during a Halloween-themed hayride in Mechanic Falls, Maine last Saturday night. The crash threw everyone on board off the wagon causing multiple injuries. Seventeen year-old Cassidy Charette died of head injuries from the crash.

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