News Briefs

<strong>U.S. doctor who survived ebola donates blood to infected Texas nurse</strong>

A Dallas nurse who was infected by the ebola virus while treating an infected man in Dallas has received a blood transfusion donated by a doctor who beat the virus.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, ebola has killed more than 4,000 people in an outbreak the World Health Organization called, &ldquo;the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times,&rdquo; in a <em>National Post</em> article. This epidemic has reached new levels, forcing the federal government to train medical workers to deal with the infected.

The Dallas nurse, Nina Pham, was infected while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, a United Nations medical worker. Pham was among about 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Duncan. Texas Health Presbyterian claims Pham and other health care workers wore protective gear, including gowns, gloves, masks and face shields &mdash; and sometimes full-body suits &mdash; when caring for Duncan, but Pham became the first person to contract the disease within the United States. Duncan died last Wednesday.

The plasma donation for Pham came from Kent Brantly, the first American to return to the U.S. from Liberia to be treated for ebola. Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the nonprofit medical mission group Samaritan&rsquo;s Purse, confirmed that the plasma donation came from Brantly. Brantly received an experimental treatment and fought off the virus. He has donated blood for transfusions for three others, including Pham.

Brantly said in a recent speech that he also offered his blood to Duncan, but&nbsp; their blood types didn&rsquo;t match.


<strong>North Korea&rsquo;s Kim Jong Un makes first public appearance after 40 days</strong>

According to <em>CNN</em>, North Korea&rsquo;s leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance amid rumours of deposition. The leader made his first appearance Tuesday morning for the state media after six weeks. Kim was seen using a walking cane, fuelling the speculation rumours of his deteriorating health.

The sudden resumption of the field guidance tours that had been a regular part of Kim Jong Un&rsquo;s public persona, before he stopped showing up in media reports for 40 days, allowed the country&rsquo;s massive propaganda apparatus to continue&nbsp;&nbsp; glorifying the third generation of Kim&rsquo;s dynasty.

After Kim&rsquo;s disappearance, international media outlets feared about his future and it was reported&nbsp; that he was suffering from gout, diabetes, a brain hemorrhage,&nbsp; a heart ailment, and a leg injury that required surgery from a French doctor. There were also rumours of a coup by the country&rsquo;s top leaders.

Part of the interest in Kim&rsquo;s absence also stemmed from worries about what would happen to the country if the leader died without securing a succession.

Kim&rsquo;s two older brothers, for whatever reasons, were deemed unfit to rule by Kim Jong-il, and little is known about Kim&rsquo;s sister.


<strong>Russian hackers take advantage of Microsoft flaw to spy on NATO and its allies</strong>

A Russian hacking group working for the government has been exploiting a previously unknown flaw in Microsoft&rsquo;s Windows operating system to spy on NATO, the Ukrainian government, a U.S. university researcher, and other national security targets, according to a news report that surfaced on <em>BBC</em>.

The group has been active since at least 2009, according to research by iSight Partners, a cyber security firm. iSight Partners began monitoring the hackers&rsquo; activity in late 2013 and discovered the vulnerability, known as&nbsp; &ldquo;zero-day&rdquo;,&nbsp; in August. The flaw is present in every Windows operating system from Vista to 8.1, he said, except for Windows XP, which is not affected.

The Ukrainian government was targeted in September, during a period coinciding with the NATO summit in Wales, where member states discussed Russia&rsquo;s actions in Ukraine. Using a technique called spearphishing, the group sent emails to targets that appeared to come from legitimate sources but included attachments that, when opened, enabled the hackers to gain access to their computers.


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