U.N. opens headquarters for battle against Ebola

DAKAR, Senegal — The U.N. mission to combat Ebola opened its headquarters Monday in Ghana, where it will coordinate international assistance to West Africa to combat the accelerating crisis.

This outbreak has spiraled into the worst ever for Ebola. The World Health Organization said it is had linked more than 3,000 deaths to the disease. Even that figure is most likely an underestimate of the true toll, said WHO. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been hit hardest. Senegal and Nigeria have also been touched but have not reported a new case in weeks.— AP

Court blocks independence vote in Catalonia region

MADRID — An independence vote set for November in Spain's powerful Catalonia region was halted Monday by the nation's constitutional court after the central government mounted a legal case saying the planned referendum would be illegal.

Polls indicate that Catalans are roughly evenly split on independence.

The court's unanimous decision to hear the government's case automatically stopped the Nov. 9 vote from going forward until the court hears arguments and makes a decision, a process that could take years, a court spokeswoman said. — AP

Kim reportedly hospitalized after ankle surgery

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been hospitalized after surgery on both ankles earlier this month, a South Korean newspaper reported.

The Chosun llbo cited a recent visitor to North Korea it didn't identify. The person said Kim is recovering at Bongwha Clinic, an exclusive hospital for high-ranking party members.

Kim has not been seen in public in almost a month. He missed a session of Parliament on Sept. 25 for the first time since coming to power almost three years ago. — Bloomberg News

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