Thomas Duncan, the first person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with Ebola had his condition downgraded to "critical" over the weekend. Duncan caught the virus in Liberia and is being treated in isolation in a Dallas, TX hospital (BBC News). An NBC News freelance cameraman was flown to a Nebraska hospital to be treated for the same disease today. He became ill while working in Liberia. The virus is spread through contact with the bodily fluids (blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva, semen) of a person who is infected (Yahoo! News.)
The Supreme Court rejected gay marriage appeals from 5 states this morning (Huffington Post,) declining to decide whether or not states could ban gay marriages (Reuters). The justices declined to hear the 7 cases from the 5 states, which allows the circuit court decisions to stand - politics lesson: by the highest court rejecting the appeals case, the lower-court rulings remain intact.
What does it mean? It means the delay for gay couples to marry in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin is no more, and same-sex marriages are legal there.
It takes just four of the nine justices to vote to hear a case, but it takes a majority of at least five for an eventual ruling. Today's order did not indicate how the justices voted. The action of the Supreme Court means no national ruling on this issue is imminent, and litigation in states where same-sex marriage is still banned is likely to continue.
For more in Keeping up with the Supreme Court, the AP has published a list of cases that will be heard this term, which started today. See it here.
Protests in Hong Kong slowed today. The protests began after China said it would pre-screen candidates for Hong Kong's next leader. The mostly student led and mostly peaceful protests demanded the right to choose their own political leader in the 2017 elections without Beijing's help (Huffington Post). Protestors ignored requests from authorities to disperse entirely, and at this point it is unclear when the protests will end.
Hewlett-Packard confirmed today it will split into two companies (USA Today,) with its computer and printing business separated from its technology services business. This comes days after eBay and PayPal did something similar. CNBC reports lately Hewlett-Packard has struggled in adapting to the shift toward mobile computing. The split won't happen overnight though, the move is expected to be completed by the end of the fiscal year 2015, and both companies will be publicly traded.
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded today to three scientists: American-British neuroscientist John O'Keefe, and two Norwegian scientists May-Britt Moser and Edward Moser (Huffington Post). What did they do? Reuters reports they "discovered the brain's navigation system, giving clues as to how strokes and Alzheimer's disrupt it"... this is known as the inner GPS. The honor came with a cash prize of over a million dollars.
The Huffington Post is reporting too much pumpkin this season can change your skin! Dermatologist Whitney Bowe says too much food with an orange tone to it will start to tint your skin slightly orange as well. The change is due to the food's ability to increase beta carotene levels in your blood. Bowe says the coloring usually shows up first in palms and feet so check there first if you're concerned this applies to you.
If this doesn't apply to you or you're opting to live on the wild side, Thrillist has published a list of the best 21 pumpkin beers in order. The author/taster ranked the beers on a scale of 1-10 and rated them in the following categories: originality,"pumpkinyness", smoothness, overall flavor, and whether or not he'd drink it again. Sounds pretty scientific to me.