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Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014.  Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in her country and has brought it to "a standstill," noting that Liberia and two other badly hit countries were already weakened by years of war. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

Nigeria declared Ebola-free

Monday, October 20, 2014

ABUJA, Nigeria — Water laced with salt and sugar, and gallons of the nasty-tasting stuff. Doctors who survived Ebola in Nigeria credited heavy doses of fluids with saving their lives as the World Health Organization declared the country Ebola-free Monday, a rare victory in the battle against the disease that is ravaging West Africa. In the end, Nigeria — the …

Suspect in Va. abduction charged in DC-area rape

Monday, October 20, 2014

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — The suspect in the disappearance of a University of Virginia student was charged Monday with abducting and raping a woman in suburban Washington, D.C., in 2005. The indictment against Jesse L. Matthew Jr. was handed up by a Circuit Court grand jury in Fairfax County and includes a charge …

Comet Siding Spring gives Mars close call

Monday, October 20, 2014

Comet Siding Spring sailed past Mars on Sunday, coming 10 times closer to the Red Planet than any comet on record has come to Earth. At the time of the comet’s closest approach at 2:27 p.m. ET, it was just 87,000 miles from Mars. That’s less than half the distance between Earth and the moon. Jim Green, director of planetary science for NASA, …

Iraq imposes curfew in Ramadi, fearing advance by ISIS militants

Friday, October 17, 2014

BAGHDAD — Iraq imposed a curfew in the western city of Ramadi on Friday amid fears that the Islamic State group was looking to advance on the strategically important city as attacks in Baghdad killed 28 people, officials said. The curfew, which began before dawn, is part of …

Smith Vocational serves up breakfast and talk about its future for area politicians

Friday, October 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Student cooks at the Oliver Smith Restaurant at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School served up breakfast Friday morning to nine legislators while officials discussed possible changes in the way the school operates. Superintendent Jeffrey Peterson …

Are bans on plastic bags making a dent?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest on efforts to ban plastic bags? How many U.S. locales have instituted some kind of ban, and have these initiatives made a dent in the amount of plastic litter? — Melinda Clarke, New …

Fla. man gets life in loud music killing

Friday, October 17, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida man convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a teenager in an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole. The life sentence …

US still seeks credible allies in Syria fight

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — Despite years of diplomacy and a CIA operation to vet and train moderate rebels, the U.S. finds itself without a credible partner on the ground in Syria as it bombs the Islamic State group. That’s a …

Nepal avalanche death toll at 27; dozens rescued

Thursday, October 16, 2014

KATMANDU, Nepal — Search teams rescued dozens of stranded foreign trekkers and recovered 10 more bodies Thursday in the wake of a series of blizzards and avalanches that battered the Himalayas in central Nepal, leaving at least 27 …

Hong Kong police clear protest zone

Thursday, October 16, 2014

HONG KONG — Riot police moved in on a Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks. Hundreds of …

Mars comet excites space watchers

Thursday, October 16, 2014

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The heavens are hosting an event this weekend that occurs once in a million years or so. A comet as hefty as a small mountain will pass mind-bogglingly close to Mars on Sunday, approaching …

NOAA: No polar vortex sequel

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — If you thought last winter was a horror show, with cold blasts from the polar vortex and a lack of California rain, here’s some good news: No sequel is expected this year, federal forecasters say. Mike …

Calls for travel ban resisted

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — Warning that Americans are losing faith in their government’s ability to stop Ebola, Republican lawmakers on Thursday pressed for a ban on travel to the U.S. from the West African outbreak zone. The White House said …