Senior Staff Writer
After much criticism, President Obama said on Thursday that he may designate a point person to oversee his administration’s response to the spread of the Ebola virus.
“It may make sense for us to have one person, in part just so that after his initial surge of activity we can have a more regular process just to make sure that we’re crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s,” said President Obama.
Republican lawmakers in Congress are pushing for such a point person, or “Ebola czar,” as well as travel restrictions from virus epicenters in West Africa. President Obama is open to a travel ban, but has noted that there is no immediate need for one at the present time.
That same day, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden was criticized at a hearing before a congressional hearing on Ebola by lawmakers of both parties over what they characterized as an insufficient response to the virus’s arrival in the United States.
The chief spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban and five regional commanders declared allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Tuesday.
“I show allegiance to the commander of faithful, Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Qureshi al Hussaini, and will listen and obey every order of you and will follow your orders regardless of what circumstances may be,” said the Pakistani Taliban spokesman.
The announcement signals the first major contingent of Taliban forces who have renounced fealty to the Afghan Taliban and its leader Mohammad Omar.
The previous week, two additional Pakistani Taliban factions also expressed support for the Islamic State, but later clarified that they were not severing their long-held ties to the Afghan Taliban and its leader.
Serbia & Albania
In a soccer match between Serbia and Albania on Tuesday, a drone carrying a flag displaying historically Albanian territories few over the field just minutes before half-time, igniting nationalist violence below.
Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic pulled down the drone and Albanian players approached in protest, with a melee ensuing.
Nationalist outcry infused with decades of political and ethnic tensions from both sides lead to an on-the-field brawl between players and spectators. The match, which was a qualifier for the 2016 European Championship, was cancelled as a result.
Serbian-Albanian relations are so hostile that the Union of European Football Associations banned Albanian soccer fans from attending Tuesday’s match against Serbia in Belgrade.