World briefs

Alix Sommers and Megan Root, Staff Writer and News Editor

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ISIS 

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State, is a radical Islamist group with a declared mission to create an Islamic State, a nation with Islamic law and government, according to BBC News.

The Huffington Post estimates at least 13,000 square miles are under ISIS control, meaning about eight million people are living fully or partially under ISIS’s interpretation of Sharia law.

The United Nations recently released a report detailing the human rights abuses perpetrated by ISIS, including child abduction, rape and the execution of civilians.

A female ISIS fighter was interviewed by CNN. “At the start I was happy with my job. I felt that I had authority in the streets. But then I started to get scared, scared of my situation. I even started to be afraid of myself,” she said.

President Barack Obama recently outlined the U.S. plan to fight ISIS militants, which entails air strikes, support for local military forces and humanitarian aid.

U.S. Midtern Elections 

The mid-term elections, which will take place on Nov. 4, are held every two years after the Presidential elections and are a sign that the United States is on the road to the 2016 presidential elections.

People have associated the mid-term elections as the “Seinfeld election – a campaign about nothing,” according to The Washington Post. In an interview with The New York Times, Gary C. Jacobson, a scholar of Congressional elections at the University of California-San Diego stated, “Modest economic growth, divided government, a midterm election in a president’s second term – it’s kind of a recipe for not much happening.” However, there will still be big competition.

Using the past to predict the future, election forecasts have shown that Republicans are favored to control both the Senate and the House, according to The Washington Post. It is predicted that after the mid-term elections, seven more seats will be occupied by Republicans in the Senate and 10 more seats will be occupied by Republicans in the House, also according to The Washington Post.

Ebola

As of Sept. 30, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated the Ebola hemorrhagic fever ravaging Western Africa has killed over 3,400 people and infected nearly 7,500. What is now the largest Ebola outbreak in history is concentrated in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

According to National Geographic, the disease has spread so rapidly in part because the affected countries don’t have the medical resources to deal with the crisis.

Doctors Without Borders described an urgent need for more treatment centers and qualified personnel.

According to a White House press release, the U.S. has committed 4,000 troops and $750 million to the effort, but most of those resources have yet to arrive. The U.N. is in the process of establishing its first “emergency health mission,” headed by Westport resident Anthony Banbury, to fight the outbreak.

Globally, concern is growing about the spread of Ebola to other countries through traveling doctors and citizens. The U.S. reported its first Ebola case on Sept. 30 after a citizen who was infected in Liberia returned to Dallas, Texas. The first case contracted outside of Africa was reported in Spain on Oct. 6, when a nurse was infected after treating a priest who was in quarantine upon returning from Africa.

Infectious disease specialists say that there is little chance of large-scale outbreaks in the U.S. or Europe.

Nevertheless, President Barack Obama says he is considering extra screening at U.S. airports for people arriving from the worst-affected countries in West Africa, according to BBC News.

On Oct. 6, in a CNN interview, President Obama stated, “As I’ve said from the start of the outbreak, I consider this a top national security priority. This is not just a matter of charity…This is an issue about our safety.”