MONDAY, OCTOBER 6 This week of daycare heroin, teenaged Nobel Prize winners, and fatal Ebola in the U.S. kicked off in Washington D.C., where the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear challenges to lower-court rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage, thus clearing the path for full marriage equality in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana, and six other states covered by the circuit courts whose rulings the Supremes allowed to stand. “It will not be lost on anyone that the Supreme Court of the United States, thought to be conservative over all, has allowed rulings to stand that continue to spread equality for gays and lesbians in this country,” wrote Richard Socarides for The New Yorker. “[Today] was the biggest day for marriage equality yet in the history of this crusade.” Tomorrow, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will issue its own pro-marriage equality mandate, bringing marriage equality to Nevada and Idaho and paving the way for the same in Montana, Arizona, and Alaska. “[Tuesday’s] decision from the Ninth Circuit brings to 35 the number of freedom to marry states, and 64% of the American people now live in a state where gay people will soon share in the freedom to marry,” said Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson. “We now have more states that have ended the exclusion of gay couples from marriage than had ended bans on interracial marriage when the Supreme Court brought the country to national resolution in Loving v. Virginia.” Congratulations to America and all its forthcoming newlyweds.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7 The week continued in Delaware, where authorities say a 4-year-old girl inadvertently caused a scene at a Selbyville day care center by handing out packets of heroin. “Police say the girl unknowingly brought the heroin to the center when she switched backpacks,” reported the Associated Press. “Police say the backpack contained nearly 250 packets of heroin, all labeled ‘Slam.’" Lucky for all, investigators said none of the packets were actually opened before they were confiscated. Unlucky for one, the AP reports that “[t]he girl's mother, 30-year-old Ashley Tull of Selbyville, was charged with child endangerment and maintaining a drug property.”
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8 In worse news, the week continued at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, which played host to the first Ebola death in the United States, as Thomas Eric Duncan, a 42-year-old Liberian man visiting family in Texas, succumbed to the Ebola virus. Appearing at a press conference today, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced that none of the 48 people who had contact with the now-deceased patient have developed any definite symptoms. “Now officials will face the question of how to handle Duncan’s remains,” reported CNBC. “Doctors know that the body of someone who’s just died of Ebola is dangerous: The virus can live in bodily fluids and tissue so long as they stay wet and room temperature. Many deaths have been linked to the handling of bodies in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The CDC recommends that anyone at the hospital who is handling the body of someone who died of Ebola must wear personal protective equipment, including a scrub suit, cap, gown over the suit, eye protection, face mask and two pairs of gloves. The body must be wrapped in a plastic shroud. It should not be washed. It must be put into a leak-proof plastic bag that zips closed, and then into another one right away. This whole package should be disinfected and then the room disinfected. The body should then either be cremated or put into a hermetically sealed casket immediately so that family members can safely have a funeral, according to the CDC.”
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9 In blessedly lighter news, the week continued with an update on the most diverting Last Days story since the last time a crappy politician publicly confirmed their garbagey stature (Larry Craig?). We’re speaking, of course, of The Palin Family Brawl™, in which a big wad of Palins—parents Sarah and Todd, and children Bristol, Track, Willow, Kegstand, Hymen, Gaspedal, and Skoal—attended the house party of a family friend outside Anchorage and wound up in a big, drunken, headline-making fight. “According to the police report, the violence erupted when Bristol went after a woman who had allegedly shoved her younger sister Willow,” reported TMZ. “Bristol told police the homeowner, Korey Klingenmeyer, shoved her to the ground, dragged her around, and started calling her a slut and a c**t.” However, Korey Klingenmeyer and several witnesses told police that Bristol punched Klingenmeyer in the face multiple times before he grabbed her first and pushed her backwards, sending her reeling to the ground. Whatever the case, what followed was “an all-out brawl…witnesses say Track and 3-4 other people came running to defend Bristol and all hell broke loose, with the Palins, including dad Todd, taking on all comers,” reported TMZ. “One witness says Todd got jumped by 4 people, and Track jumped in to help his father. He emerged from the scrum with a torn shirt and bloody mouth. Bristol says she was uninjured, though one cop described her as having ‘dirt on her knees.’” And oh yeah: Police described almost everyone at the party as being “intoxicated,” and daughter Willow told cops that several guests at the party were chanting “Fuck the Palins!” As for Sarah: With her loved ones under attack, she did what any proud, self-identified mama grizzly would do: hid in the car. “The [police report] says she was sitting in a limo outside the party,” reported TMZ. “She’s not mentioned at all in the fight.”
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10 In actual news, the week continued in Norway, where today the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the joint winners of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize: Kailash Satyarthi, the Indian child rights activist who’s credited with saving thousands of children from lives of factory labor, and Malala Yousafzai, the 17-year-old activist for girls’ education in Pakistan, where she famously took a Taliban bullet defending her cause and lived to become the youngest Nobel prizewinner in history. “It is an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and extremism,” said the Nobel Committee in a press release, praising the pair for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” Ms. Yousafzai and Mr. Satyarthi will share the $1.11 million prize, which will be awarded in Oslo in December.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11 In worse news, the week continued at a Halloween-themed corn maze in Northwestern Idaho, where festivities were canceled after the accidental death of an 18-year-old man who was pretending to be a zombie and wound up crushed by a bus. As Reuters reports, the deadly trouble centered around the "Zombie Slayer Paintball Bus," a modified school bus mounted with paintball guns, which riders use to slay "attacking zombies." The 18-year-old victim was one of these zombies, who rushed from the corn maze wearing a mask and hockey gloves when he stumbled and fell under the bus's rear wheels. Condolences to all.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12 Nothing happened today, unless you count football, in which case we should mention the clobbering of the Seattle Seahawks by the Dallas Cowboys, an event that, according to Last Days' Cowboys-loving brother, "banished the ghost of Tony Romo's botched snap of 2007, which essentially reversed the directions of both teams. But now it's clear: Cowboys > Seahawks."
Send hot tips to email@example.com and follow me on Twitter @davidschmader.