10 things you need to know today: September 20, 2014

 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Elsa / Getty Images

The Week

1. NFL admits mistakes, vows to implement new disciplinary policy
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday announced the league would craft a new disciplinary policy to offer “clear, consistent, and current” guidelines for punishing domestic abuse and other crimes in the wake of a series of scandals that have rocked the NFL. “I let myself down,” he said. “I let everyone down. And for that I’m sorry.” Hours after Goodell’s press conference, ESPN’s Outside the Lines published an explosive report suggesting the league and the Baltimore Ravens tried to cover up Ray Rices’s domestic abuse case, and that both parties engaged in a massive campaign of “misinformation and misdirection.” [The New York Times, ESPN]

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2. Turkey frees 49 hostages captured by ISIS
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday that 49 hostages captured by the Islamic militant group ISIS had been freed. It was not immediately clear how Turkey secured their release, though Davutoglu said they were “handed over” and then returned to Turkish soil. ISIS abducted the captives during a June raid on the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, Iraq. [CNN, The Guardian]

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3. Alibaba sets record-breaking IPO
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group raised a record-breaking $21.8 billion Friday in the most highly-anticipated initial public offering in recent memory. Initially priced at $68, shares skyrocketed 38 percent to $93.89 in one day, raising the company’s market value to $231.4 billion. [Bloomberg, Reuters]

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4. France launches first airstrikes against ISIS
France on Friday launched its first airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, becoming the first foreign country to join the U.S. in attacking the militant group. French jets “entirely destroyed” a depot containing fuel, weapons, and vehicles, the country said. The strikes came as President Obama prepared to authorize U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. [The Guardian, NBC]

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5. Pope Francis names moderate bishop to head Chicago Archdiocese
Pope Francis on Saturday will name Bishop Blase Cupich, of Spokane, Washington, to be the next archbishop of the Chicago Archdiocese. Cupich, considered to be part of the church’s progressive wing, will replace the more conservative Cardinal Francis George. It is the Pope’s most high-profile appointment in the U.S. to date. [The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune]

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6. White House evacuated after man jumps fence
The White House was temporarily evacuated Friday evening after a man scaled a perimeter fence and dashed across the lawn, barely making his way into the building before security tackled him. President Obama and his family had departed the White House minutes before, though security personnel with guns drawn ushered staffers and journalists out of the building. The Texas man who breached security, identified by Secret Service as Omar J. Gonzalez, was taken to a nearby hospital after complaining of chest pain. [The Washington Post, Politico]

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7. Ex-Connecticut governor convicted in corruption case
Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland was convicted Friday on seven federal corruption charges for conspiring to hide payments from two congressional campaigns. Rowland was accused of illegally classifying payments from one campaign as unrelated business consulting fees, and of trying to strike a similar deal with another candidate, who declined his services. Once considered a potential vice presidential candidate, Rowland resigned in 2004 and later served less than a year in prison for a separate corruption scandal. [The Associated Press, The New York Times]

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8. CDC: Ebola could infect 500,000 by next February
West Africa’s Ebola epidemic could result in a staggering half-million cases of infection by the end of January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The estimate comes from an ongoing report to be released next week, so the final tally could change. President Obama last week announced the U.S. would spend $750 million and send up to 3,000 troops to contain the virus’ spread. [The Washington Post]

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9. iPhone 6 sales begin in U.S.
Eager consumers waited in line for hours — or in some cases, days — to be among the first to snag Apple’s latest gizmos, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, when they went on sale Friday. Some stores quickly sold out of the new phones, and analysts estimate the company will sell up to 15 million of the devices over the weekend. Pre-order sales, which opened last Friday, set a single day record with four million sales in 24 hours. [Bloomberg, USA Today]

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10. New Queen album to feature Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson duet
A forthcoming compilation album from legendary rock band Queen will include a song featuring vocals by Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson. The band began working on the song, There Must Be More to Life Than This, 33 years ago, but never finished it. The album, Queen Forever, is set to be released November 11th. [Rolling Stone]

Fence Jumper Entered White House

CNN News: 9/19/2014 As it unfolded…

 

The Huffington Post

A man who jumped the White House fence on Friday evening prompting an evacuation was able to enter the North Portico doors of the White House, the Secret Service said.

He was apprehended just inside the doorways, and has been identified by the U.S. Secret Service as Omar J. Gonzalez. A law enforcement official said that the man’s breach of the premises was unacceptable and that the incident was under investigation, according to NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker.

ABC posted video of the intruder on the White House lawn.

More from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — WASHINGTON (AP) — A man jumped over the fence of the White House on Friday and made it into the presidential residence before officers managed to apprehend him, the U.S. Secret Service said. President Barack Obama and his family were not at home at the time.

Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, Texas, was taken into custody just inside the North Portico doors, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said. He was placed under arrest and was transported to a Washington hospital after complaining of chest pain.

Donovan said the suspect appeared to be unarmed to officers who spotted him jumping the fence, and a search of the suspect turned up no weapons.

The incident prompted a rare evacuation of much of the campus. White House staffers and Associated Press journalists inside the West Wing were evacuated by Secret Service officers, some with their weapons drawn.

Pennsylvania High School Suspends Student Editor For Refusing To Print The Word ‘Redskins’

The newsroom of the Playwickian, the student newspaper at Neshaminy High School just outside of Philadelphia.

The newsroom of the Playwickian, the student newspaper at Neshaminy High School just outside of Philadelphia | CREDIT: THE BERGEN COUNTY COURIER TIMES

Unimaginable…

Think Progress

School officials at Neshaminy High School in Pennsylvania have issued suspensions for the student editor and faculty adviser of the student newspaper there after the paper refused to print the word “Redskins,” the racist nickname of the school’s athletic teams.

Gillian McGoldrick, the paper’s student Editor-in-Chief, was suspended from the paper for a month. The paper’s faculty adviser Tara Huber was also suspended without pay for two days by district Superintendent Robert Copeland for failing to stop the students from moving ahead with their ban on the word.

Tensions between the school’s administration and the editors of Playwickian have been building for nearly a year. Twice the editors of the Playwickian announced they would not print the name of the school’s mascot because it is offensive to Native Americans, opting instead to run it as “R——-”, and twice principal Rob McGee threatened to discipline the paper and any editors who refused to print the word. McGee also reportedly confiscated copies of the paper during a meeting with McGoldrick in June, deducted $1,200 from the paper’s account, and attempted to block access to the paper’s social media accounts.

The case got so heated that it has attracted the attention of press freedom advocates at the Student Press Law Center, who stepped in last fall to help defend the editors in case school officials followed through with their threats. Any disciplinary action taken by the public school could leave the district open to legal action for violating students’ free speech, an attorney at the SPLC told Poynter in July.

That was not enough to stop administrators from issuing suspensions this week.

Numerous national news outlets have publicly stated that they would no longer print the offensive term when covering Washington, D.C.’s football team, the most prominent organization that still uses the mascot. And Phil Simms, who will be covering Washington’s nationally-televised Thursday Night Football game last week as the lead football analyst for CBS Sports, has stated that he will not use the word during the broadcast.

UPDATE

On Wednesday, a student newspaper in Ventura, California launched a campaignon crowdfunding site Indiegogo to help The Playwickian raise money to pay for the paper’s expenses. The donation page says that the $2400 goal will be split between the paper’s faculty advisor who was suspended without pay for two days this week and the paper itself, which lost $1200 when school officials deducted it from their account.

As of publication, the campaign has already raised 85 percent of their goal in just two days.

Watch Obama’s Top Science Advisor Repeatedly Shut Down Climate Deniers At House Climate Hearing

White House Science Adviser John Holdren | CREDIT: AP PHOTO/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE

How did I miss this one earlier in the week?

Think Progress

Wednesday had to have been a frustrating day for White House Science Advisor Dr. John P. Holdren.

Holdren, a lauded theoretical physicist, appeared before the Republican-led House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on Wednesday to testify about the Obama administration’s plan to fight climate change. But, as is true for all House Science committee hearings on climate change, much of the questioning focused not the content of the plan itself, but whether global warming is even real.

Additional lines of questioning included whether carbon dioxide actually harms human health, and whether the climate plan would lower global temperatures on its own — two questions with complicated answers that have been very thoroughly explained since the plan was introduced. One Congressmen accused Holdren of breaking the law by sending work e-mails from his personal account in 2013, while another said climate scientistsshouldn’t be trusted because of their dependence on the existence of climate change to make a living.

Fortunately, Holdren is a confident speaker who was able to succinctly explain the science to his climate denying questioners despite constant interruption. Here are a few of the best times he did just that.

Rep. Stockman’s Questions On “Global Wobbling”

After expressing his distaste for Obama’s Climate Action Plan, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) spoke about a recent trip to Maryland, where he apparently asked a NASA scientist what ended the last Ice Age. The scientist, Stockman said, credited “global wobbling,” or slight changes in the earth’s tilt and orbit that happen over tens of thousands of years.

What Stockman then wanted to know is, why isn’t “global wobbling” included in climate modelings?

“How can you take an element which you give to the credit for the collapse of global freezing and into global warming but leave it out of your models?” Stockman asked. “I’m a little puzzled because we still don’t have metrics of how to determine global wobbling.”

In the video, Holdren explains that global wobbling happens so slowly — on timescales of 22,000 years, 44,000 years, and 100,000 years — that it doesn’t impact the comparatively fast impacts of climate change. In fact, Holdren says because of previous wobbling, we should be in a cooling period as we speak. “But the warming inflicted by human activities has overwhelmed the effect of global wobbling,” he said.

Stockman also said he “can’t get answers” to how long it would take for the sea level to rise two feet. “Think about it, if your ice cube melts in your glass, it doesn’t overflow. It’s displacement. This is some of the things that they’re talking about that mathematically and scientifically don’t make sense.”

Holdren wasn’t given a chance to answer this question, but the answer is pretty simple. Stockman seems to be forgetting that not all melting ice is already in the sea. Melting land ice — glaciers, ice sheets, ice caps, and permafrost — are the major contributors to global sea-level rise as their water flows into the ocean. And even though melting sea ice doesn’t directly contribute to sea level rise, it does cause ocean temperatures to rise. This causes the ocean to expand and rise — a big component of sea level rise — and the added heat can ultimately cause more land ice to melt.

The exchange ends with an awkward silence over the length of ice ages, and Stockman eventually getting interrupted by the committee’s sitting chair to move on with the hearing.

Rep. Rohrabacher’s Questions On The Health Impacts Of CO2

The reason the Environmental Protection Agency is able to regulate carbon dioxide is because it is considered a threat to human health. In 2009, the EPA issued anendangerment finding which confirmed that carbon indirectly harms human health by contributing to climate change, which causes heat waves and increases in ground-level ozone pollution.

Still, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher — not shy at all about his climate denial — tried very hard on Wednesday to back both Holdren and EPA Office of Air and Radiation Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe into a corner by asking repeatedly about the direct health impacts of carbon dioxide. “At what level does carbon dioxide concentration become harmful to human health?”

It’s long been stated that if policies to tackle climate change are going to work, the biggest emitters from around the world are going to have to do their part (see term: “global” warming). No policy from any one country is going to do anything on its own; the point is, someone needs to start. As the second-largest emitter of carbon, and the country that has altogether emitted the largest amount of greenhouse gases, many think that the United States should be the one to take that step.
Holdren explains as much. “The limitation of carbon emissions in the United states is a very important first step for us to take on a longer trajectory to meet the President’s goals of a 17 percent reduction from 2005 by 2020, and ultimately an 80 percent reduction by 2050,” he said. “If the United States does not take that sort of action, it is unlikely that other major emitters in the world — China, India, Russia, Europe, Japan — will do so either. And the fact is, all of us need to reduce our carbon emissions if we are to avoid unmanageable degrees of climate change.”

Bucshon’s response: “Okay, fair enough.”

New York Times Television Critic Defends ‘Angry Black Woman’ Piece

“Scandal” writer Shonda Rhimes | no attribution

That particular stereotyping is extremely inaccurate and offensive.

How can anyone outside of the Black Community possibly know what makes a strong Black woman (often  wrongly characterized as an “angry Black woman)?

TPM LiveWire

In a profile that will be published in the paper’s print edition on Sunday, Stanley examined the career of screenwriter and producer Shonda Rhimes, whose hit shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” have featured “a powerful, intimidating black woman.”

Stanley, who is white, combined her subject’s history with the title of a new ABC drama that Rhimes’s company will produce to create a cringe-inducing lede.

“When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman,'” Stanley wrote.

The line drew an extremely negative reaction on Twitter, including from Rhimes.

Not only did Rhimes take umbrage to the title of the faux autobiography, she pointed out that Stanley, a journalist with a long history of factual errors, failed to credit Pete Nowalk as the creator of the new series, “How to Get Away With Murder.”

Stanley, however, told TPM in an email that she doesn’t think the opening sentence — or the ensuing Twitter criticism — does her profile justice.

“The whole point of the piece — once you read past the first 140 characters — is to praise Shonda Rhimes for pushing back so successfully on a tiresome but insidious stereotype,” she told TPM.

Here’s how the criticism of Stanley’s piece went down:

UPDATES:

VOX: Shonda Rhimes isn’t an angry black woman and neither are her characters

Slate: Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,”New York Times

Rachel Maddow Is Repulsed At Congress For Taking A Bajillion Days Off While New War Is Launched

MSNBC Screenshot 9-18-2014

All the more reason the leaders (and party) of this fiasco should be voted out of office…

The Huffington Post

Rachel Maddow has already teared into Congress over its handling of the conflict in Iraq and Syria, but a new move by the House and Senate has pushed the MSNBC host over the edge.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama made a speech praising Congress for quickly passing new legislation that will support his plan to arm and train Syrian rebels. That very same day, the House announced that members of Congress would be taking their five-week recess a week early, and would most likely not return until after congressional elections in November.

Maddow was visibly appalled by this, calling it the reason Americans find Congress so repulsive and “repellent.”

“Sixteen-hundred US military families have gotten the call that they’ve had their loved ones deployed to Iraq, they’re flying those missions right now,” Maddow said. “But Congress? Heading home for another seven week break, because they can’t be bothered to think about that right now. They’ve got more important business to tend to they’ve gotta get re-elected. Because that’s the most important thing they do, right?”

Watch the video for the full clip on MSNBC.

(h/t: Raw Story)

The Five Hits Bill Maher over Blaming Fox for Dividing U.S.

Fox News’ “The Five” screenshot

Mediaite

Fox News’s The Five on Thursday shot back at HBO Real Time host Bill Maher after he accused Fox News of being the sole reason for increased division in American politics.

“I feel like the reason people are so polarized is Fox News,” Maher said Friday.

The Five co-host Greg Gutfeld said Maher was simply frustrated that conservative voices on Fox News now compete with the plethora of liberal voices in the mainstream media.  (My emphasis)

Eric Bolling, another co-host, said Maher should welcome media that opposes his views. “It’s some of the most interesting stuff when you listen to the other side,” Bolling said.

 

Watch via Fox News:

Must-see morning clip: Jon Stewart explains why Joe Biden will never be president

Must-see morning clip: Jon Stewart explains why Joe Biden will never be president

Salon

“It’s like Biden hasn’t been out of the house since 1962,” the “Daily Show” host observed

Despite vice president Joe Biden’s pop cultural appeal and feminist attitudes, Jon Stewart does not think Biden will be the Democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential election because “It’s like Biden hasn’t been out of the house since 1962.”

Biden, known for his affable, old man quirkiness, used racist terms and stereotypes in recent speeches, referring to Asia as “the Orient” and also used the term “shylock.” While Biden has apologized for the offensive language, Stewart opines that the damage is done.

 

Rift widens between Obama, U.S. military over strategy to fight Islamic State

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Washington Post

Flashes of disagreement over how to fight the Islamic State are mounting between President Obama and U.S. military leaders, the latest sign of strain in what often has been an awkward and uneasy relationship.

Even as the administration has received congressional backing for its strategy, with the Senate voting Thursday to approve a plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a series of military leaders have criticized the president’s approach against the Islamic State militant group.

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who served under Obama until last year, became the latest high-profile skeptic on Thursday, telling the House Intelligence Committee that a blanket prohibition on ground combat wastying the military’s hands. “Half-hearted or tentative efforts, or airstrikes alone, can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” he said. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.”

Mattis’s comments came two days after Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the rare step of publicly suggesting that a policy already set by the commander in chief could be reconsidered.

Despite Obama’s promise that he would not deploy ground combat forces, Dempsey made clear that he didn’t want to rule out the possibility, if only to deploy small teams in limited circumstances. He also acknowledged that Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander for the Middle East, had already recommended doing so in the case of at least one battle in Iraq but was overruled.

 

The White House and Pentagon have scurried this week to insist there is no hint of dissent in the ranks, though in some cases their efforts have focused only more attention on the issue.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tried to reassure the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday that civilian and military leaders at the Pentagon were in “full alignment” and in “complete agreement with every component of the president’s strategy.”

Some lawmakers were skeptical. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, suggested that Obama should listen more closely to his commanders. “I think it’s very important that he does follow the advice and counsel that he receives, the professional advice of the military. They are the ones best suited to do that.”

“I realize he’s commander in chief, he has the final say and the final obligation and responsibility,” McKeon added. “I would also request that he not take options off the table.”

Obama’s strategy received a boost with the Senate’s passage of his plan to train and arm about 5,000 Syrian rebels to help fight the Islamic State, a jihadist movement that controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and has threatened to destabilize much of the region.

The 78-22 vote in the Senate came just a day after the House approved its own measure.

Since Aug. 8, the U.S. military has launched 176 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq. Obama has signaled the military will expand the strikes into Syria, but it is unclear when that new phase will begin.

Hagel testified Wednesday that he and Dempsey had approved a plan to conduct strikes against the Islamic State in Syria, and that Obama had received a briefing from Austin that same day at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa.

When asked if the president had endorsed the plan, however, Hagel acknowledged that Obama had not but did not elaborate.

Divisions between Obama and his generals have become a recurring feature of his presidency. In 2009, shortly after Obama took office, Pentagon leaders pressured the new president — who had run on a platform of ending the war in Iraq — to deploy a surge of troops to Afghanistan to rescue the faltering fight against the Taliban.

After a lengthy and tense internal debate, Obama did send more troops, but not as many as some commanders wanted. At the White House, Obama’s top aides privately expressed frustration that the Pentagon had tried to restrict his choices to get the result the military preferred.

At the Pentagon, military commanders expressed their own frustration last year as Obama weighed whether to take action in Syria following the determination that President Bashar al-Assad had employed chemical weapons against civilians. Although the Pentagon had internal disagreements about whether military action was warranted, there were widespread concerns that Obama was on the verge of ordering strikes without articulating goals or a clear strategy.

This time around, The White House and Pentagon agree on the basicoutlines of a strategy to attack the Islamic State — one that centers on arming and training proxy forces, including Syrian rebels, Kurdish fighters and the Iraqi army, backed by U.S. and allied air power.

But the Pentagon is eager to retain the option of deploying small numbers of Special Operations forces to the front lines to help the proxy troops or to call in airstrikes from close range.

Mindful of the president’s campaign pledge to end the last war in Iraq, which led to the withdrawal of all U.S. military forces in December 2011, Obama and his aides have insisted since May that he will not send Americans back into combat there.

But as the conflict with the Islamic State has deepened, and 1,600 U.S. troops have deployed to fill advisory and other roles, the White House has struggled to reconcile that reality with its prior statements that Obama would not put “U.S. boots on the ground” in Iraq.

Military leaders have increasingly suggested that Obama’s political promises are restricting their ability to fight. On Wednesday, former defense secretary Robert M. Gates, still an influential figure at the Pentagon, bluntly criticized his former boss.

“There will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy,” Gates said in an interview with CBS News, adding that “the president in effect traps himself” by repeating his mantra that he won’t send U.S. troops into combat.

There are signs that the White House is becoming more flexible. Antony Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, allowed Thursday that “there may be cases where American advisers would go with some of the forces on the ground” or help “to call in some air power” — the kind of leeway the Pentagon wants.

In an interview with MSNBC, Blinken insisted that such deployments would not amount to combat “where Americans are on the ground leading the fight. That is not going to happen. That’s not part of this campaign. The president’s been clear about that.”

10 things you need to know today: September 19, 2014

David Cameron is pleased.

David Cameron is pleased. (AP Photos/Lefteris Pitarakis)

The Week

Scottish voters reject independence, Congress votes to arm Syrian moderates against ISIS, and more

1. Scotland votes to stay in the United Kingdom
Voters in Scotland rejected independence on Thursday in a historic referendum that threatened to break apart the United Kingdom. Turnout was a record 85 percent. Fifty-five percent of the 3.6 million people casting ballots voted to preserve the 307-year union, while 45 percent backed secession. Ahead of what was expected to be closer balloting, leaders of the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties promised to give Scottish Parliament “extensive new powers” if Scotland remained part of the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “delighted” by the election’s result. [The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times]

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2. Senators approve arming anti-ISIS rebels in Syria
The Senate voted 78 to 22 on Thursday to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels as part of a stepped up effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. The Senate’s approval came a day after a bipartisan majority in the House signed off on the bill. Now it goes to President Obama for his signature. Obama, who last week announced expanded U.S. military involvement in the fight against ISIS, thanked Congress for its “speed and seriousness” in addressing the matter. [MSNBC]

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3. One man charged with arson as 10 California wildfires continue to burn
Authorities on Thursday accused Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, with starting the King Fire, one of the 10 wildfires burning in California, officials announced Thursday. Huntsman was charged with arson of forest land with aggravating factors — the injuries of two firefighters. He is being held in El Dorado County Jail in lieu of $10 million bail. Across the state, 6,600 firefighters are battling the wildfires, and Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a statewide emergency. [The Sacramento Bee]

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4. The U.N. and France add resources to the battle against Ebola
The United Nations Security Council declared Ebola a “threat to international peace and security,” and announced the creation of a special mission to combat the outbreak in West Africa. The death toll has now reached 2,630. France, the latest Western nation to increase its efforts to fight the disease, announced it was setting up a military hospital in a remote part of Guinea. “We must save lives,” French President Francois Hollande said. [Reuters]

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5. Home Depot says 56 million cards affected in hackers’ attack
Data from 56 million credit and debit cards were exposed in a cyber attack on the Home Depot payment system that was discovered more than two weeks ago, the home-improvement retailer said Thursday. The tally surpassed last year’s infamous data breach at Target, in which 40 million cards were affected. Home Depot said that the malware hackers used to get the information had been eliminated. Like Target, Home Depot is offering affected customers free identity protection and credit monitoring. [ABC News]

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6. France agrees to hit ISIS with airstrikes
France joined the growing coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Friday, launching its first airstrike against the Islamic extremist group. French Rafale fighter jets attacked a logistics depot controlled by ISIS in northeastern Iraq, leaving the facility “entirely destroyed,” according to a statement released by the office of French President Francois Hollande. “Other operations will follow in the coming days,” the statement said. [The Associated Press]

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7. ISIS releases video of another British hostage kidnapped in Syria
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria released a new video on Thursday showing a British hostage, John Cantlie, delivering what he said would be a series of messages telling “the truth” about ISIS’ kidnapping of Americans and Britons in Syria. Cantlie was kidnapped in Syria with American journalist James Foley, who was the first of three Westerners beheaded by ISIS in recent weeks. ISIS has threatened to kill another Briton, Alan Henning, because of the U.K.’s support for U.S. airstrikes against the group. [ABC News]

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8. Kansas Supreme Court lets Democrat drop off the November ballot
The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a setback to Republican Sen. Pat Roberts by ordering the removal of his former Democratic challenger, Chad Taylor, from the November ballot. Taylor ended his campaign this month, but the state’s Republican secretary of state had declined his request to scratch his name from the ballot. Now that he is off, the embattled Roberts will face a one-on-one contest against independent businessman Greg Orman, who no longer has to share the anti-Roberts vote with Taylor. [Los Angeles Times]

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9. Police say man killed six grandchildren and his daughter in murder-suicide
A rural Florida man allegedly shot and killed his daughter and six grandchildren, then turned the gun on himself after police arrived, Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz III said Thursday. Investigators identified the man as Donald C. Spirit. The victims were identified as Jonathan, Kylie, and Kaleb Kuhlmann, ages 8, 9, and 11, and Brandon, Destiny, and Alanna Stewart, ages 4, 5, and 2 months, as well as their mother, Sarah Spirit, 28. “There are certain things in life you can explain,” Schultz said, “and there are some things you can’t.” [Orlando Sentinel]

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10. Alibaba IPO bringing in $21.8 billion for the Chinese internet powerhouse
Alibaba priced its shares at $68 on Thursday, setting the stage for the giant Chinese company to raise nearly $21.8 billion Friday in the biggest U.S. initial public offering of stock ever. The IPO’s haul is bigger than those of Facebook and General Motors. Alibaba offers everything from e-commerce to cloud computing services, like a hybrid of Amazon and Google. The IPO share price gives the company a market value of $168 billion, more than eBay, Twitter, and LinkedIn combined. [The New York Times]