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Q&A: Gas price, foreign aid, isolation units

When gas was this cheap

Gas prices keep falling. When was the last time gasoline was under $3 a gallon?

It's been almost four years since the average price of a gallon of gasoline has been less than $3. In December 2010, average prices were just under the $3 mark in the Tampa Bay area and across the United States.

The average price for a gallon of fuel in the Tampa Bay was $3.20 on Wednesday, according to AAA. Across Florida the average was $3.34, and it was $3.44 across the United States.

AAA said demand is down, which drives prices down. It also estimates that the cost could be close to $3 a gallon by the holidays, though any number of things could keep that from happening: a hurricane or even the threat of a hurricane, a refinery outage or a world crisis.

U.S. military aid to Israel

Each year we give Israel about $3 billion in foreign aid. Israel isn't a poor country, so what form does this foreign aid take? Could it be when we see explosions in Gaza the munitions used were paid for by U.S. taxpayers?

Yes. Israel, which is generally regarded as one of the top 30 or so wealthiest nations in the world, receives a little more than $3 billion a year in assistance from the United States.

According to the Congressional Research Service, "almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance. Strong congressional support for Israel has resulted in Israel receiving benefits not available to any other countries; for example, Israel can use some U.S. military assistance both for research and development in the United States and for military purchases from Israeli manufacturers."

The United States has provided more than $120 billion in aid, both military and economic, to Israel since the nation was established in 1948.

Biohazard hospitals

We have heard that Emory University Hospital in Atlanta is one of four facilities that have the highest level of isolation units for the most dangerous pathogens. What are the other three facilities?

The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Mont., and the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha are the other three facilities with high-level biocontainment patient care units.

Emory is where Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol were treated for the Ebola virus, which both contracted in Liberia. Both have recovered and been released. Hospital officials have said both are now "immune" and unable to infect anyone else with Ebola.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email jbooth@tampabay.com.

Q&A: Gas price, foreign aid, isolation units 08/21/14 [Last modified: Friday, August 22, 2014 6:23pm]
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