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Team seeks anyone who encountered Ebola patient
DALLAS (AP) - A nine-member team of federal health officials is tracking anyone who had close contact with a man being treated for Ebola in a Dallas hospital, the director of the nation's top disease-fighting agency said Wednesday. The team from the Centers for Disease Control is in Dallas to work with local and state health agencies to ensure that those people are watched every day for 21 days.


Liberia short on ambulances for Ebola patients
FREEMAN RESERVE, Liberia (AP) - The man with reddened eyes sat in his underwear outside his thatched home. He was weak from diarrhea, so his wife called the Ebola hotline for an ambulance. Now that it was here, though, he didn't want to go. "Have you been around someone who died? Ever been around any sick people?" asks Gordon Kamara, the first responder.


Questions and answers about the US Ebola case
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. health officials have warned for months that someone infected with Ebola could unknowingly carry the virus to this country, and there is word now that it has happened: A traveler in a Dallas hospital became the first patient diagnosed in the U.S. Texas health officials said there were no other suspected cases in the state, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immediately sought to calm fears that one case would spread widely.


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Senior congressman wants Secret Service chief out
WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior Republican lawmaker wants Secret Service Director Julia Pierson to leave her job, and a senior Democrat said Wednesday he is not comfortable with her leading the Secret Service but subsequently said he hasn't decided whether she should resign or be fired. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, unconditionally called for Pierson's ouster in a television interview Tuesday night, hours after a congressional hearing in which Pierson sought to explain an embarrassing White House security breach.


Hong Kong protesters threaten to occupy buildings
HONG KONG (AP) - Student leaders of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests warned that if the territory's top official doesn't resign by Thursday they will step up their actions, including occupying several important government buildings. By raising the stakes in the standoff, the protesters are risking another round of confrontation with police, who are unlikely to allow government buildings to be stormed. It also puts pressure on the Chinese government, which so far has said little beyond declaring the protests illegal and backing Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's attempts to end them.


High court weighs same-sex marriage cases
WASHINGTON (AP) - Same-sex couples in 11 more states would win the right to marry, but the issue would remain unsettled nationwide if the Supreme Court were to surprise everyone and decline to take up gay marriage right now. A decision by the justices to reject calls from all quarters to take up same-sex marriage would lead to gay and lesbian unions in 30 states and the District of Columbia, up from 19 states.


Why the bond market is more fragile than you think
NEW YORK (AP) - A bottleneck is building in the global market for bonds. Main Street investors have poured a trillion dollars into bonds since the financial crisis, and helped send prices soaring. As fund managers and regulators fret about an inevitable sell-off, the bigger fear is that when people go to unload, there won't be anyone to buy.


5 reasons bonds may be less safe than you think
NEW YORK (AP) - Burned by the stock-market crash during the financial crisis, investors have poured a trillion dollars into bond funds in the past six years. They like the interest payments that bonds throw off, and that their prices barely move day to day. But some experts say danger signs are flashing, and prices could fall fast.


Saudi overhaul reshapes Islam's holiest city Mecca
MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) - As a child, Osama al-Bar would walk from his home past Islam's holiest site, the Kaaba, to the market of spice and fabric merchants where his father owned a store. At that time, Mecca was so small, pilgrims could sit at the cube-shaped Kaaba and look out at the serene desert mountains where the Prophet Muhammad once walked. Now the market and the homes are gone. Monumental luxury hotel towers crowd around the Grand Mosque where the Kaaba is located, dwarfing it. Steep rocky hills overlooking the mosque have been leveled and are now covered with cranes building more towers in row after row.


Airstrikes launched amid intelligence gaps
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon is grappling with significant intelligence gaps as it bombs Iraq and Syria, and it is operating under less restrictive targeting rules than those President Barack Obama imposed on the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan and Yemen, according to current and former U.S. officials. The U.S. military says its airstrikes have been discriminating and effective in disrupting an al-Qaida cell called the Khorasan Group and in halting the momentum of Islamic State militants. But independent analysts say the Islamic State group remains on the offensive in areas of Iraq and Syria, where it still controls large sections. And according to witnesses, U.S. airstrikes have at times hit empty buildings that were long ago vacated by Islamic State fighters.