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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), October 31, 2014 | Go to article overview

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LIBERIA OPENS EBOLA TREATMENT CENTER

MONROVIA, Liberia - Liberia's president opened one of the country's largest Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia today, remembering "the dying, the sick, the dead who could not picked up on time" as officials hope the disease is on the decline in this West African country.

American and U.N. officials as well as Cuban doctors were among the crowd as President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf opened the treatment center, which can currently hold 200 patients and could eventually treat as many as 300. With the opening of the center, an Ebola treatment unit at JFK Medical Center has been closed. Many people with other diseases had been nervous about going to the nation's largest referral hospital, and officials hope they will now come back.

The opening comes as fewer people are showing up for treatment at various centers. Officials are not sure how to interpret that. Some believe it's a sign that the Ebola outbreak is finally on the wane in Liberia, but others believe Ms. Sirleaf's order that the bodies of Ebola victims in the capital be cremated has led to people with symptoms hiding at home, because cremation violates traditions.

UKRAINE HAS GAS DEAL WITH RUSSIA

MOSCOW - Russia will resume shipping natural gas to Ukraine after Kiev pays off its first debt installment for past supplies of gas next week, officials said today.

Alexei Miller, chief of Russia's state-controlled Gazprom natural gas giant, made the statement hours after Russia, Ukraine and the European Union thrashed out a $4.6 billion deal that will guarantee Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and on to the EU.

The deal eased fears that Europe will end up shivering this winter like it did in 2009, when a spat over Ukraine's gas bill prompted Russia to cut off energy supplies to Europe for nearly two weeks.

The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine hailed the deal in a conference call today as an "important step toward ensuring uninterrupted gas transit to Europe," the Kremlin said.

Moscow had cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in June over unpaid debts, a move that followed the ouster of Ukraine's Russia-friendly leader and the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea in March. Talks dragged on for five months amid fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian insurgents and government troops. But the looming onset of winter - a fierce, freezing season in Ukraine - had given the talks increasing urgency.

ARMY TAKES OVER IN BURKINA FASO

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - An army general took power in Burkina Faso today after President Blaise Compaore stepped down, ending his 27 year rule of the West African country.

Army Gen. Honore Traore, the joint chief of staff, has assumed power, state radio announced.

Mr.Compaore was forced out of office by a burst of violent protests in which parliament was set ablaze. The protesters refused to accept anything short of Mr. Compaore's immediate resignation.

Opposition protesters gathered in a square in the capital burst into cheers when they heard the announcement of Mr. Compaore's resignation on hand-held radios. They had been massing for a second day to push for him to leave after their unrest had already persuaded the longtime leader not to run again for election.

"I declare that I'm leaving power in order to have a free and transparent election in 90 days," said Mr. Compaore in a statement read out on television and radio stations. "For my part, I think I have fulfilled my duty."

Mr. Compaore, 63, said he decided to leave power "in light of the severely deteriorated sociopolitical situation and the threat of division in our national army and out of a desire to preserve the peace."

SURVIVORS SUE OVER MISSING AIRLINER

KUALA LUMPUR - Two Malaysian teenage boys today filed a negligence case against the state-owned Malaysia Airlines and the government over the disappearance of flight MH370, their lawyers said. …

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