CDC issues health alert on Ebola
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that the risk of Ebola spreading to the United States was low, but it nevertheless issued a Level 2 health alert, advising U.S. health workers to be vigilant. The Ebola virus has spread across the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since first detected in March, with more than 670 deaths, according to the CDC. Two Americans working in Liberia were diagnosed with the virus last week. That raised fears that the virus could be spread to the United States by those traveling from the region. But the CDC played down the possibility.
Gay marriage ban in Va. loses again
Adding to a year of courtroom victories by proponents of same-sex marriage, a federal appeals court on Monday struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex unions, upholding a lower court's declaration in February that the state's restrictive laws were a violation of basic constitutional freedoms. The 2-1 decision by a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond follows similar rulings this summer by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Denver, striking down bans on same-sex marriage in Utah and Oklahoma. Judge Henry Floyd, writing for the majority, said denying same-sex couples the right to marry "prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the 14th Amendment cannot countenance." Floyd cited the landmark 1967 Supreme Court ruling in Loving vs. Virginia, which overturned the state's law against interracial marriage. That and subsequent decisions described a fundamental "right to marry," Floyd wrote, that "may stretch to accommodate changing societal norms."
Spain's new king works on image
Spain's royal palace accounts will be subject to external audits and the results made public under a series of measure ordered by new King Felipe VI in an apparent bid to clean up the royal family's tarnished image. A palace statement said Monday that the measures include plans for a new code of good conduct, a ban on immediate royal family members working outside the palace and greater control of gifts to the royal family.