With summer break over and elections ahead, a recharged Congress returns to Capitol Hill. Despite a shortened September session, pols are well aware they face a laundry list of must-do tasks to prevent a government shutdown. Despite lousy approval ratings hanging over their heads, Republicans and Democrats appear to once again be divided on the agenda at hand. Even House Speaker John Boehner told colleagues last week that his party is "set up to paint a very stark contrast between ourselves and the Democrats who run Washington - if we take advantage of it by getting our work done and getting our message out." While reaching across the aisle would be ideal, the Nov. 4 election will likely provide an obstacle, as it appears Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's goal is to get Democratic incumbents in key states back campaigning ASAP. Forget the NFL, the best game to watch is in politics.
Ebola isn't going away any time soon
When the Ebola virus first surfaced in West Africa, it seemed like the smartest thing to do was open treatment centers, help victims recover, shutter the doors once treatment was effective and move on. But what doctors didn't take into account was the idea that the sick and dying would travel for better care or go to be with their families, leaving one region and bringing the disease with them to another. Now, with more than 2,000 dead from the horrific epidemic, it goes without saying that the Ebola outbreak has spun out of control. People in areas who were thought to have beaten the disease have resurged as infection hot beds. "Everything we do is too small and too late," said Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. "We're always running after the epidemic."
For Ray Rice, the truth comes out
Remember the video that appeared to show Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rick dragging his then-fiancee, now wife, Janay Palmer, out of the elevator of an Atlantic City casino? Well, TMZ Sports has unloaded additional footage that appears to show what happened before Palmer was seen unconscious. The NFL jumped up from its seat to set the record straight that it never saw this footage until Monday. "We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press. "That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today." The Ravens are saying the same thing. The only silent party? Rice's lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, who refused to comment to the Associated Press. Whether or not the NFL will crack down on Rice with their new disciplinary rules remains to be seen.
Finding a home in ravaged Gaza
Seven weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel may have ended late last month, but life for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip hasn't exactly returned to normal. As Israeli airstrikes have rendered thousands of homes destroyed or severely damaged, residents have remained in the schools where they took refuge. With Gaza's rebuilding costs estimated at a whopping $6 billion and nearly 100,00 Palestinians having no home to go back to, it appears likely that the U.N.-run schools will not be vacated, even if the school year is scheduled to begin just one week from now.
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka dropped a big surprise on social media when they revealed they finally tied the knot. The couple, who have been together for ten years and engaged since 2011, married in a secret ceremony on Saturday in Italy. Both Harris and Burtka sported Tom Ford tuxedos, and Elton John performed at the party. If you're wondering why you didn't get an invitation, it probably just got lost in the mail.
For more on the other stories everyone's buzzing about, check out QUICK READ.
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Check out the Midday Mashup: In this edition, we highlight Meredith Vieira’s return as co-host of the “Today” show, Robin Meade stumbling over the pronunciation of Tropical Storm Norbert and Gayle King’s ideas for the new royal baby’s name.
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