National News

Army Says Troops Coming Back From West Africa Will Face 'Controlled Monitoring'

The United States Army announced on Monday that troops returning from West African nations facing outbreaks of Ebola will be placed under "controlled monitoring."

"The Army Chief of Staff [Raymond Odierno] has directed a 21-day controlled monitoring period for all redeploying soldiers returning from Operation United Assistance," the Army said in a press release. "He has done this out of caution to ensure soldiers, family members and their surrounding communities are confident that we are taking all steps necessary to protect their health."

U.S. Marines sit inside the cargo hold of a C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft headed to Kandahar.

In Photos: Last Of U.S., British Troops Leave Afghanistan's Helmand Province

Monday morning, the last of American and British troops left Camps Leatherneck and Bastion in Afghanistan's Helmand province. As we've reported, this is a big deal symbolically, because Helmand saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the 13-year American-led war.

Proponents of the taxes say that if the measures pass, the money would be directed, in San Francisco, toward childhood nutrition and recreation and, in Berkeley, into the city's general fund.

Soda-Makers Try To Take Fizz Out Of Bay Area Tax Campaigns

Again and again in the U.S., anti-soda crusaders looking to fight obesity have been stymied wherever they've tried to impose new laws on soda sales.

In New York, ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to limit soda size was tossed out by the state's highest court. Proposed taxes in the Northern California cities of El Monte and Richmond were voted down. And the Washington, D.C., City Council failed to pass an excise tax on soda.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (right) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo both insist on mandatory quarantine for healthcare workers who've had contact with Ebola patients. Christie wants them held in a medical facility; Cuomo says a home quarantine with outside monitoring would do.

Medical Journal To Governors: You're Wrong About Ebola Quarantine

The usually staid New England Journal of Medicine is blasting the decision of some states to quarantine returning Ebola healthcare workers.

In an editorial the NEJM describes the quarantines as unfair, unwise and "more destructive than beneficial." In their words, "We think the governors have it wrong."

The editors say the policy could undermine efforts to contain the international outbreak by discouraging American medical professionals from volunteering in West Africa.

We asked you to send in your embarrassing instant messenger handles from days gone by. Thanks for sharing, Blondsoccerplyr, AgentGiggleChunk and absofsteel3616!

What's More Embarrassing Than That Old Screen Name? Sharing It

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

Before Google Chat, before Facebook Messenger, there was AOL Instant Messenger. AIM still exists today, but it was hugely popular in the late 1990s. And for many young adults who grew up using AIM, those old screen names are a blast from the past they'd just as well forget.

Members of a cleaning crew clear the New York apartment of Dr. Craig Spencer, who has been diagnosed with Ebola, on Friday.

CDC Chief Announces New Shift In Ebola Protocols

In the latest tweak to America's plan to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leader Dr. Tom Frieden announced changes to the U.S. response to Ebola and the guidance federal agencies are giving to state and local governments.

A woman on the L train in New York City last week covers her face, fearful because a doctor with Ebola rode the train days earlier. Epidemiologists say people on the subway were not at risk.

New York's Disease Detectives Hit The Street In Search Of Ebola

A little-seen force has fanned out across New York City intent on stopping the spread of Ebola virus – disease detectives go looking for contacts who might be infected.

"They're just really good at finding people," says Denis Nash. He worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York City Health Department, tracing the spread of HIV and West Nile virus. He says these trained applied epidemiologists are experts at finding almost anybody, with only a vague description.

Caribous doing their business in mountain ice have left a viral record hundreds of years old.

Ancient Viruses Lurk In Frozen Caribou Poo

A careful examination of frozen caribou poop has turned up two never-before-seen viruses.

The viruses are hundreds of years old: One of them probably infected plants the caribous ate. The other may have infected insects that buzzed around the animals.

The findings prove viruses can survive for surprisingly long periods of time in a cold environment, according to Eric Delwart, a researcher at Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco.

U.S. Marines board a C-130 transport plane as they withdraw from Camp Leatherneck, their huge base in southern Afghanistan. This marked the biggest handover yet to the Afghan army, which is facing a tough fight with the Taliban in Helmand province and other parts of southern Afghanistan.

With Marines Gone, Can The Afghan Army Hold Off The Taliban?

The desert sun beat down on the U.S., British and Afghan troops gathered at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. The Marines rolled up their flag as it came down, along with the NATO and British banners.

With the ceremony on Sunday, the Afghan army is now in command of Camp Leatherneck and neighboring Camp Bastion, the former British base.

Step 1: Start getting disappointed.

Sandwich (Replacement) Monday: Soylent

My sister Natalie recently had a birthday, and a friend who hates her sent her a packet of Soylent, the powdered meal of the future containing all the boring nutrients we need to live.