The dreaded illness has spread in Texas. A nurse who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan — the first Ebola patient to be diagnosed and die on U.S. soil — has tested positive. She joins nearly 400 medical professionals infected this year in West Africa and a nurse in Spain. If that isn’t scary enough, she contracted the virus while wearing protective gear — prompting the CDC to blame an unknown protocol breach and warn that more cases are likely to crop up soon.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Turkish leaders have finally granted the U.S. and allies access to air bases near the Syrian border, caving to Western pressure, protests over inaction and a flood of Syrian Kurd refugees. The game-changing decision means U.S. planes can now bomb Islamic State positions from nearby. Turkey will also train several thousand Syrians to fight the militants. If the border town of Kobane falls to IS, the UN fears massive casualties, and Kurdish separatists vow they will make Turkey pay for simply watching it happen.
World economies are in decline, and experts aren’t sure what to do about it. Oil prices have decreased 20 percent, the Dow Jones has retreated and slowdowns are affecting countries from the Eurozone to Brazil, from China to South Africa. Equity and commodity prices are feeling the hits, and governments have few tools left to spark recovery after dealing with years of stagnation. The U.S. employment market offers hope, but in the face of sluggish global growth, the Fed worries whether America is up to the job.
St. Louis police in riot gear arrested 17 at a convenience store sit-in, while thousands more protesters took part in mostly peaceful “Ferguson October” demonstrations over the weekend. Last week’s police-shooting death of black teenager Vonderrit Myers Jr. further inflamed a town already riled by the killing of Mike Brown by a cop in nearby Ferguson. The St. Louis police chief claims the sit-in demonstrators threw a rock at a police officer and tried to storm the store, but protesters dispute the charges.
’Blade Runner’ in South African court for sentencing. (BBC)
Hong Kong protesters clash with men tearing down barricades. (DW)
The Vatican moves toward more tolerance of gays, remarriage. (NYT)
China inks gas deal with Russia. (TASS)
Cyclone slams India, killing at least eight. (AP)
France has landed another Nobel in the form of Jean Tirole, who studies oligopolies — aka markets controlled by a handful of companies. His key theory? That the same policy rules impact industries differently, and he blames the credit crisis on insufficient regulation. The biggest question for the Toulouse academic isn’t whether his theories have merit — the Nobel folks hailed how well his work relates to the real world — but whether governments are listening.
The hottest song on Liberian Radio? “Ebola is Real” — with lyrics advising folks that “it’s time to protect yourself, protect your family, protect your community.” Penned by local artists and a UNICEF communication specialist, the tune aims to quash rumors that the deadly virus is a political scam. Liberians rely on radio more than the Internet for information, so taking to the airwaves with lifesaving advice — the song’s in rotation on more than 50 stations — is music to health workers’ ears.
”Alzheimer’s in a Dish” may sound like a restaurant critique gone wild, but it’s what scientists are calling their petri dish of human brain cells that, for the first time, replicates the disease. The achievement is considered “a real game changer” that will allow researchers to quickly, cheaply and easily test drugs intended to halt dementia in its tracks. The lead researcher, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, is starting to test 1,200 on-the-market and 5,000 experimental drugs — a process that will now take months, not years.
From Russia, with love: The NSA whistleblower warned that to avoid online snoops, we should turn off Dropbox, Facebook and Google. The U.S. exile also said that no cell phone is entirely safe from surveillance in his video interview for The New Yorker Festival, conducted virtually from his Moscow hideout — yes, he acknowledged the irony. The interviewer also shared the trailer for the new Snowden documentary Citizenfour, which reveals that another whistleblower is leaking information about government surveillance to journalists.
Last night the Cardinals’ blazing bats avenged Saturday’s shut-out at the hands of the Giants. Four home runs, capped by Kolten Wong’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth, gave St. Louis a 5-4 win. The National League Championship Series, tied 1-1, continues tomorrow in San Francisco, home to the last payroll giants standing in this year’s low-budget playoffs.
The animated FX comedy spy show is dumping the name for its made-up organization – ISIS – rather than sharing the acronym with the murderous Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq. Workers are seen carting out a giant “International Secret Intelligence Service” sign in January’s sixth season premiere. Archer’s fictional spies now must answer to a fictional CIA. The bad news? The network is left with lots of “ISIS” merchandise, which FX will likely drop — along with the name — right into a landfill.