NBC News

Morning Maddow 1-12-15

Morning Maddow

France to deploy thousands of forces to protect Jewish schools and ‘sensitive sites’. (New York Times)Sec. of State Kerry dismisses criticism of lack of top U.S. leaders at unity rally. (NBC News)

Hayat Boumeddiene’s trail led from Turkey to the Syrian border. (NBC News)

Video shows Paris gunman pledging allegiance to ISIS. (New York Times)

Fmr. spiritual adviser to Charlie Hebdo gunman is now a nurse in training at a Paris hospital. (AP)

NYPD Inspector General finds cops’ use of banned chokeholds ‘alarming’. (New York Daily News)

Supreme Court could decide to take up same-sex marriage today. (Christian Science Monitor)

Eric Holder won’t say if David Petraeus will be indicted. (MSNBC)

Iowa GOP votes to preserve the straw poll. (Des Moines Register)

Christmas finally arrives at the International Space Station. (AP)

What are you reading this morning? Let us know in the comments, please. 

How Fox News Covers Right-Wing Cop Killers

Fox News Screenshot

Media Matters

When Political Violence Doesn’t Warrant Collective Blame

Claiming to be acting under the bloody “banner of Liberty and Truth,” Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda, entered CiCi’s Pizza in Las Vegas on Sunday right before noon and executed two local policemen on their lunch break. Authorities say Jerad approached one officer while he was refilling his soda cup and shot him in the head from behind, before he and Amanda opened fire on his partner.

While patrons scrambled to safety, one of the shooters reportedly shouted that the “revolution” had begun. The duo then stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition and badges, and covered them with cloth that featured the “Don’t tread on me” Gadsden flag, which has recently been adopted as a symbol of the tea party movement. The couple also left a swastika on one of the officers.

Six days earlier, the right-wing shooter had posted a manifesto of sorts on Facebook where he announced “we must prepare for war.” Jerad Miller, who traveled to Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch this spring to join the militia protests against the federal government, declared that in order to “To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished with bloodshed.”

The Facebook rant was just one of many clues about the shooters’ radical political leanings. Jerad Miller “left behind social media postings that show his concerns over Benghazi, chemtrails, gun control laws, and the government’s treatment of rancher Cliven Bundy,” Raw Story reported. (One of the viral images Miller shared online carried the caption, “Jeez, it’s no wonder liberalism’s regarded as a mental disorder.”) The shooter had talked to his neighbor about his “desire to overthrow the government and President Obama and kill police officers,” according to NBC News.

After murdering two police officers, Miller and his wife, carrying large duffle bags, set upon a nearby WalMart, killed a shopper who attempted to confront the couple with his concealed handgun, exchanged gunfire with law enforcement, and then died in an apparent suicide pact.

The politically motivated ambush represents just the latest in a long line of recent far-right, anti-government acts of violence in America. From neo-Nazi killers, to a string of women’s health clinic bombings and assaults, as well as bloody assaults on law enforcement from anti-government insurrectionists, acts of right-wing extreme violence continue to terrorize victims in the U.S.

In fact, the deadly, and premeditated, gun rampage in Las Vegas came just two days after Dennis Marx, member of the “sovereign citizen” anti-government movement, tried to lay siege to a courthouse outside of Atlanta. Sovereign citizens are militia-like radicals who don’t believe the federal government has the power and legitimacy to enforce the law. The FBI has called the movement “a growing domestic terror threat to law enforcement.”

Arriving outside the courthouse in a silver SUV, Marx immediately opened fire on law enforcement, shooting a deputy twice in the leg, before being shot and killed by police, capping a wild three-minute gun battle. The shooter came supplied with an assault weapon, “homemade and commercial explosive devices,” as well as “a gas mask; two handguns; zip ties and two bulletproof vests,” according to the Associated Press.

The chilling details of Sunday’s Las Vegas ambush produced public shock and intense media coverage. One major news outlet seemed to lag behind, though: Fox News.

Primetime hosts Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity both ignored the shocking cop-killer story last night, while Megyn Kelly devoted four sentences to it. (By contrast, the story covered extensively during CNN and MSNBC’s primetime.) Fox talkers on Monday were still far more interested in debating the prisoner swap of Bowe Bergdahl than they were examining the political ambush in Las Vegas.

For Fox News, the Las Vegas killing spree represents a toxic mix of guns, far-right insurrectionism, tea party implications, and the Cliven Bundy ranch standoff. For Fox News, the story about right-wing gun violence and the seeds of a bloody political revolution present all kinds of problems for the channel and its outspoken hosts, some of whom have previously championed limitless gun rights, insurrectionism, the Tea Party, and racist rancher Bundy.

In the 36 hours after the shooting, Fox News tread lightly around the Las Vegas story, producing regular news updates about the crime spree. But Fox provided almost no commentary, no context, and certainly no collective blame for the executions.

And that’s how Fox News deals with right-wing domestic terrorism in America, when it even bothers to acknowledge the killings and the crimes. (The channel barely covered Georgia’s courthouse siege last week.) At Fox, the deadly and disturbing events are treated as isolated incidents that are mostly void of politics. And more importantly, on Fox the perpetrators are always portrayed as lone gunmen (and women) who do notrepresent any cultural or political movement.

But when Fox covers breaking U.S. news events involving terror acts by Arabs or Muslims? Recall that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing last year it was a Fox talker who suggested American mosques bebugged and other Constitutional rights for Muslims be eliminated. And it was on Fox that viewers were told, “not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” It’s where there was a concerted effort to blame the larger Muslim community for the isolated event.

The obvious double standard is not only unfair but it’s misguided, as homegrown right-wing terrorists in America have proven to be a deadlier threat over the last decade. As CNN’s Peter Bergen reported earlier this year, since 9/11, “extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology.”

That fact may be one reason why the Department of Justice last week announced it is “reviving a law enforcement group to investigate those it designates as domestic terrorists,” according to Reuters.

Sadly, Fox has had too much practice in recent years looking the other way when right-wing radicals target American police officers.

On April, 2009, 22-year-old Richard Poplawski put on a bulletproof vest, grabbed his guns, including an AK-47 rifle, and waited for the police to respond to the domestic disturbance call his mother had placed. When two officers arrived at the front door, Poplawski shot them both in the head, and then killed another officer who tried to rescue his colleagues. He was convinced the government wanted to take away his guns, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

On May 20, 2010, two West Memphis, Ark., police officers were shot and killed by a father-son team of AK-47-wielding sovereign citizens during a routine traffic stop. The killers had ties to white supremacy groups and posted anti-government rants on YouTube.

Two months later, dedicated Glenn Beck fan Byron Williams strapped on his body armor, stocked a pickup truck with guns and ammo, and set off up the California coast to San Francisco in order to start killing employees at the previously obscure Tides Foundation in hopes of sparking a political revolution. (Beck had brought the Tides Foundation into the spotlight by routinely vilifying the organization on his Fox and radio shows.) Instead, en route to his target Williams got into a 12-minute firefight with California Highway Patrol officers.

The pressing domestic terror threat, CNN’s Bergen wrote, is obvious:

Today in the United States, al Qaeda-type terrorism is the province of individuals with no real connection to foreign terrorists, aside from reading their propaganda online. Given this, it becomes harder to explain, in terms of American national security, why violence by homegrown right wing extremists receives substantially less attention than does violence by homegrown jihadist militants.

That’s not a story Fox News wants to tell.

NBC’s Brian Williams Thanks ‘Nightly News’ Viewers: ‘We’ve Been Meeting Like This for 10 Years’

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 9.03.40 PM

TV Newser

At the end of Tuesday evening’s “Nightly News”, anchor and managing editor Brian Williams took a moment to note the decade he’s led the network’s flagship newscast. “A check of the calendar today revealed we’ve been meeting like this now for ten years,” Williams said. “And my thanks go to you. Without you, there would be no ‘Nightly News’.”

Williams thanked his “work family” at NBC News, and said “most nights, we wish we had better news to report. I can only promise to continue to do our dead level best at reporting the news.”

Watch it, after the jump:

Morning Maddow 11-25-2014

Fires burn in Ferguson after officer not indicted | Today Show

Morning Maddow

Here’s why Michael Brown was killed, according to Darren Wilson. (NY Magazine)

What’s next? Ferguson officer not out of the woods yet. (NBC News)

Missouri Governor orders additional guardsmen to Ferguson. (KSDK)

Congressional Black Caucus slams grand jury decision on Ferguson. (BuzzFeed)

Thousands rally across the U.S. after Ferguson decision. (AP)

Inside Sec. Hagel’s sudden firing. (Daily Beast)

Rep. Trey Gowdy reappointed to lead House Benghazi inquiry. (NY Times)

What are you reading this morning? Let us know in the comments, please.

10 things you need to know today: November 10, 2014

Smoke rises after an airstrike hits an ISIS position in Kobani, Syria. 

Smoke rises after an airstrike hits an ISIS position in Kobani, Syria. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The Week

An airstrike wounds ISIS’ leader, an Alaskan storm sends record cold south, and more

1. ISIS leader reportedly wounded in airstrike
An airstrike on a meeting of Islamic State militants in western Iraq wounded the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Iraq’s Defense and Interior ministries reported Sunday. Iraqi officials said they did not know the extent of Baghdadi’s injuries. President Obama said in an interview broadcast by CBS on Sunday that the battle against ISIS was entering a “new phase” with the addition of 1,500 U.S. troops to help train Iraqi security forces battling the Islamist group. [The Associated Press, CNN]

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2. Alaskan storm sends first winter blast to lower 48
A massive storm that hit parts of Alaska with hurricane-force winds drove arctic air eastward on Sunday, sending the first harsh winter blast toward two-thirds of the U.S. Montana and the Dakotas were the first Western states hit with heavy snow on Sunday. Forecasters said the storm would gain strength and dump as much as 18 inches of snow in the Great Lakes region on Monday, with parts of the nation due for record low temperatures. [NBC News]

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3. Obama says failure to sell Democrats’ policies led to midterm loss
President Obama took the blame for Democrats’ loss in last week’s midterm elections, saying in an interview broadcast by CBS on Sunday that his administration failed to sell voters on the benefits of his policies. “It’s not enough just to build a better mousetrap,” Obama said in the interview, aired as he was leaving for a high-stakes three-country Asia tour. “We’ve got to sell it.” Sizing up Tuesday’s results, which returned the House to GOP control, Obama said, “we got beat.” [The New York Times]

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4. George W. Bush says brother Jeb is torn on whether to run for president
Former president George W. Bush told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that his brother, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, was “still wrestling with the decision” on whether to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. “I think it’s 50-50,” the former president said. “He knows exactly, you know, the ramifications on family, for example. He’s seen his dad and his brother go through the presidency. I’d give it a tossup.” [The Associated Press]

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5. American Airlines flight attendants narrowly turn down contract
American Airlines and US Airways flight attendant crews rejected a joint labor contract on Sunday by just 16 votes out of 16,376 cast. American Airlines said it was “disappointed” in the result, which would have marked the first joint contract for the two companies’ workers since the merger in December 2013. The stewards will work under their old contracts while the two sides enter binding arbitration. [Reuters]

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6. Suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber kills 47 in Nigerian school
A suicide bomber attacked a school assembly in northern Nigeria on Monday, killing at least 47 people and wounding 79. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but police suspect Boko Haram, an Islamist group that has declared Western-style education a sin. The attack took place at 7:50 a.m., local time, outside the principal’s office, where students were awaiting a daily speech. [CNN]

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7. Germans celebrate 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Berlin on Sunday to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A nine-mile string of 8,000 illuminated helium balloons traced the footprint of the former barrier, which divided Germany and served as a symbol of the Cold War. The balloons were released into the night sky one at a time, symbolizing the moments when crowds first breached the Wall in 1989. [BBC News]

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8. Pastor and motivational speaker Myles Munroe killed in Bahamas plane crash
Bahamian evangelical minister Myles Munroe, an internationally known motivational speaker, and his wife, Ruth, were among nine passengers killed Sunday when their Lear jet crashed while trying to land at Grand Bahamas International airport. The group was traveling to Monday’s Global Leadership Forum, hosted by an organization Munroe, 60, founded, Bahamas Faith Ministries. Munroe wrote more than 100 best-selling inspirational books. [The Washington Post]

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9. Catalan voters back independence in symbolic referendum
Voters in the Spanish region of Catalonia overwhelmingly backed breaking away from Spain in a non-binding — and, according to the government, illegal — referendum held Sunday. Eighty percent of the two million casting ballots were in favor of secession, although turnout was low. Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala called the vote “useless,” while Catalan leader Artur Mas said it was a great success. [BBC News]

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10. Britons applaud Queen Elizabeth after foiled terror plot
British crowds greeted Queen Elizabeth II with applause on Sunday as she left her residence in central London to lead Remembrance Day ceremonies honoring the nation’s war dead. The spontaneous demonstration of appreciation on a day traditionally marked with silence came days after London police, in overnight raids on Thursday, foiled an alleged plot by Islamist terrorists to attack the queen on Remembrance Sunday. [Daily Mail, CTV News]

Landrieu Stands By Comments On Race And The South: ‘This Is The Truth’

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Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) | AP Photo / Melinda Deslatt

This is yet another case of Republicans not wanting anyone to air their dirty laundry in public…

TPM LiveWire

Landrieu had told NBC News that one of the reason President Barack Obama struggles politically in the South, along with his energy policies, is the issue of race.

She held firm in a statement later on Friday, saying that “[e]veryone knows this is the truth.”

“The main reason the President has struggled here is because his energy policies are not in line with the people of Louisiana. We are a pro-drilling, pro-oil, gas state. The offshore moratorium was extremely unpopular and, in my opinion, wholly unwarranted. It made a lot of people angry and put many businesses at risk. In addition, the south has not always been the friendliest or easiest place for African Americans to advance, and it’s been a difficult place for women to be recognized as the leaders we are,” the senator said. “Everyone knows this is the truth, and I will continue to speak the truth even as some would twist my words seeking political advantage.”

Landrieu is facing a strong reelection challenge from Republican Bill Cassidy.

Report: NBC Actively Pursued Jon Stewart To Host ‘Meet The Press’

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Comedy Central | screen grab

I haven’t watched MTP for years.  If Jon Stewart had accepted the job, I would have watched every week…

TPM LiveWire

Before settling on Chuck Todd, NBC executives seriously considered tapping Jon Stewart to serve as the new moderator of “Meet the Press,” according to a report from New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman.

Sherman cited “three senior television sources” who said that NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with the “Daily Show” host to take over the longtime Sunday morning program. The negotiations did not bear fruit, but it apparently wasn’t for lack of trying by NBC, Sherman reports:

One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually “anything” to bring him over. “They were ready to back the Brinks truck up,” the source said. A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment. James Dixon, Stewart’s agent, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Turness did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.

Todd debuted as moderator of “Meet the Press” last month after the show’s ratings had slipped precipitously under David Gregory. The show saw an initial ratings boost after Todd took over, but has since slipped back to third place behind rival programs on CBS and ABC.

Todd, for his part, tried to make light of the news on Twitter with a reference to the sign-off for both “Meet the Press” and the “Daily Show.”
If it’s Sunday, it’s your moment of zen.
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) October 8, 2014

10 things you need to know today: October 6, 2014

A man walks to work in Hong Kong as protesters sleep.

A man walks to work in Hong Kong as protesters sleep. (AP Images/Kin Cheung)

The Week

A fifth U.S. Ebola patient returns for treatment, Hong Kong protests enter a new phase, and more

1. Fifth Ebola patient flies home to the U.S. from Africa for treatment
A fifth U.S. Ebola patient was flown out of Africa on Monday to receive treatment in the U.S. The man, Ashoka Mukpo, 33, became ill last week while working as a freelance cameraman for NBC News. He will start treatment in an isolation unit in Nebraska as Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to develop symptoms after returning from West Africa to the U.S., takes a turn for the worse. Health officials said Duncan did not appear to be receiving experimental drugs. Supplies of one, ZMapp, were “all gone.” [The Associated Press, Reuters]

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2. Hong Kong deadline passes with some demonstrators still in the streets
Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong removed some of their barricades near the government’s downtown headquarters ahead of a Monday deadline to clear the streets. Crowds of demonstrators thinned near the government buildings as the deadline passed, although students vowed to maintain a long-term presence at another protest site near the Chinese-controlled city’s financial center. Student protest leaders have been meeting with a recently appointed representative of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. [The Washington Post, Voice of America]

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3. Brazilian president faces runoff in reelection bid
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff finished far ahead of her rivals in a Sunday election, but she did not get the majority she needed to avoid a runoff. Rousseff, a champion of the country’s left, will face pro-business rival Aecio Neves, who surged ahead of environmentalist Marina Silva — briefly considered a contender to win — to finish second. The second round is scheduled for Oct. 26. Rousseff, who is touting her ambitious social programs, is expected to beat Neves, who is calling for greater austerity. [Reuters]

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4. Parents release letter from hostage threatened by ISIS
The parents of a humanitarian worker threatened with beheading by ISIS issued a statement pleading for his life, and released a letter in which he said he was “pretty scared to die” but at peace after converting to Islam in captivity. Kassig was kidnapped in Lebanon by ISIS in October while providing aid to Syrian refugees. He wrote that his parents should be comforted knowing he “went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.” [Fox News]

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5. Typhoon batters Tokyo
A powerful typhoon briefly battered Tokyo, Japan’s largest city, Monday with winds up to 112 miles per hour before heading out back to sea. The storm, Typhoon Phanfone, cut off power to thousands of people, and forced the country’s two largest airlines to suspend flights. Phanfone had already killed at least one U.S. airman and left two others missing after they were pulled into the surf while taking photos on the island of Okinawa, where the U.S. has a military base. [BBC News]

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6. Eight bodies found in Mexico after attack on teaching students
Mexican authorities found at least eight bodies in clandestine graves over the weekend in the southern Mexican city of Iguala, officials in Guerrero state said Sunday. A government spokesman said it was not yet clear whether the bodies were those of some of the 43 teacher trainees who disappeared in an attack a week earlier that killed six students and left another 25 wounded. Relatives of the missing students are calling for a nationwide march to demand a speedier and more thorough investigation. [Fox News Latino]

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7. Nobel Prize for medicine honors work on the brain’s navigating system
The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded on Monday to John O’Keefe of the U.K., and May-Britt and Edvard Moser of Norway for their work on cells that form a positioning system likened to GPS for the brain. The Nobel Committee said in a statement that O’Keefe 1970s work identifying so-called place cells that register locations, and the Mosers’ discovery of grid cells used for navigation solved the mystery of how the brain maps the world around it. The next Nobel — for physics — will be awarded Tuesday. [CNN]

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8. HP to split into two companies
Computer-maker Hewlett-Packard announced early Monday that it will be splitting itself into two companies. HP’s personal computer and printer division will make up one of the new entities, and its computer hardware, software, and services for businesses will make up the other. The move comes as many tech giants are reorganizing to remain competitive as consumers shift from personal computers to mobile devices and cloud services. [The New York Times]

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9. Michael Phelps enters treatment program after DUI
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps said Sunday that he was entering a six-week treatment program after his DUI arrest, and putting his comeback on hold. “Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual,” Phelps said in a tweet. The 29-year-old, 18-time gold medalist came out of retirement early this year to begin training for a bid to make the 2016 Olympic team. [The Baltimore Sun]

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10. Peyton Manning throws his 500th touchdown pass
The Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning on Sunday threw his 500th touchdown pass, becoming only the second NFL quarterback to reach the milestone. The score came when Manning hit tight end Julius Thomas with a seven-yard bullet in the first quarter of the Broncos’ 41-20 defeat of the St. Louis Cardinals. Manning is now in position to surpass all-time leader Brett Favre’s record of 508 TD throws in the next month or two. [CBS Sports]

10 things you need to know today: October 3, 2014

An ambulance waits outside of the Dallas apartment where an U.S. ebola patient was staying.

U.S. journalist in Liberia is stricken with Ebola, Appeals judges uphold Texas abortion rule, and more

The Week

1. U.S. journalist in Liberia stricken with Ebola
An American freelance journalist working for NBC News in Liberia has been diagnosed with Ebola, the network said Thursday. The 33-year-old man, whose name is being withheld at his family’s request, began showing symptoms on Wednesday, one day after NBC hired him as a second cameraman for NBC News Chief Medical Editor and Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The rest of the crew members, including Snyderman, are being monitored but have shown no symptoms of Ebola. [New York Daily News]

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2. Appeals judges uphold Texas abortion rule, forcing 13 clinics to close
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Texas can enforce a law requiring abortion clinics to be built according to the same standards as hospitals, effectively ordering 13 of the state’s 21 remaining abortion clinics to shut down immediately. The law had been struck down as unconstitutional in August and placed on hold pending appeals. Abortion rights activists said the latest decision “gutted Texas women’s rights” to safe abortion. State officials said it vindicated lawmakers trying to ensure that clinics are safe. [Los Angeles Times]

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3. 76 million JPMorgan Chase customers’ data exposed to hackers
A cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase that was disclosed in July exposed personal information from 76 million households, the company said in papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The information included names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Data from seven million small businesses also was compromised. JPMorgan said it found no evidence that the hackers had acquired account information, such as account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. [USA Today]

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4. Health officials place Ebola patient’s family in isolation
Authorities have placed four relatives of Thomas Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S., in isolation after they allegedly failed to comply with an order to stay home. The apartment where Duncan stayed before he was admitted at a Dallas hospital still had not been cleaned, and sheets and towels had not been taken out, out of fear of contagion. Health officials are trying to find at least 80 people who might have come into contact with Duncan since he arrived on a flight from Liberia last week. [The New York Times]

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5. Turkey joins the coalition against ISIS
Turkish lawmakers on Thursday voted to authorize the country’s military to attack Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants. Turkey also will let other members of the international coalition against ISIS use its soil. The decisions came as ISIS forces advanced to within a mile of the predominantly Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobani. “Most civilians have left the city, and any minute Isis will be inside Kobani,” said Rami Abdulrahman of the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. [The Guardian]

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6. Four suspects arrested in killing of 920 chickens during farm break-in
California authorities have arrested four teenage boys for the slaughter of 920 chickens at a poultry farm. Some of the birds were beaten to death with golf clubs during a break-in last month at a Foster Farms facility in Fresno County. One of the suspects, 18-year-old Gabriel Quintero, was charged with burglary and felony cruelty to animals. The other three — all juveniles — were not immediately publicly identified but were booked on the same charges. [Reuters]

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7. Hong Kong leader agrees to meet with democracy advocates
Fewer pro-democracy demonstrators showed up in the streets of Hong Kong on Friday, after the city’s Beijing-backed chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, agreed to meet with protest leaders. Thunderstorms and fatigue after a week of protests also reportedly contributed to the dwindling crowds, so it was unclear whether the crowds would grow again over the weekend. Leung, however, refused to resign, as protesters have demanded, or to guarantee that 2017 elections to pick his successor will be free of the Chinese government’s influence. [The Associated Press]

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8. Two suspects charged with killing two British tourists in Thailand
Two unidentified workers from Myanmar have been arrested for the murders of two British tourists on the resort island of Koh Tao last month. The bodies of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were discovered Sept. 15 on the beach not too far from their hotel. Witheridge had been raped. Police said DNA evidence linked the two suspects from neighboring Myanmar, or Burma, to the crime scene. Thai police have pinned crimes on migrants in the past, but one official said they wouldn’t dare try “bringing in a scapegoat” in such a high-profile case. [CNN]

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9. Google threatened with $100-million lawsuit over leaked nude celebrity photos
Google responded on Thursday to the threat of a $100 million lawsuit for allegedly facilitating the posting of leaked nude photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities. A Hollywood entertainment lawyer representing affected celebrities sent Google a letter accusing it of not trying to remove the pictures from search results even though it knew they were stolen private property. Google said it had removed tens of thousands of photos from its websites within hours of being notified they were there. [The Hollywood Reporter, The Telegraph]

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10. Royals accuse paparazzi of harassing 14-month-old Prince George
Lawyers for Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are threatening legal action against a photographer if he doesn’t “cease harassing” Prince George. The palace said in a statement that the paparazzi, Niraj Tanna, appears to have placed the 14-month-old royal baby “under surveillance” and monitored his daily activities to plot opportunities to snap photos to sell. Tanna’s lawyers say he is “fully entitled” to take pictures of George in a public park. [BBC News]

David Gregory’s time on ‘Meet the Press’ is almost up

David Gregory on the set of “Meet the Press” in Washington Photo: AP

Yes…

Page Six – N.Y. Post

David Gregory’s time is nearly up at “Meet the Press,” sources told Page Six, and he could be replaced as moderator of the nation’s longest-running TV show soon after the November midterm elections.

While NBC News President Deborah Turness has publicly supported the embattled Gregory, there are serious concerns about the losing battle to turn around the show’s sinking ratings.

Viewership is down a whopping 43 percent compared to when Gregory ascended to the moderator’s chair in December 2008, after the death of Tim Russert. The show finished in third place behind CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC’s “This Week” in the second quarter of 2014.

An NBC source said, “The discussion is whether to make a change before or after the midterm elections. Just after the midterms would give the new moderator time to settle in.”

According to insiders, NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd is the rightful heir to Gregory, but he has not been officially offered the job.

Other names said to be in the frame include “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie, who comes from a political background but is unlikely to be released from the flagship morning show where she’s hugely popular. Guthrie is also due to give birth to her first child next month and will return to “Today” after maternity leave.

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” team of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have also been said to be angling for a Sunday slot, but NBC insiders said there are concerns about putting a partisan host in charge of “Meet the Press,” as Scarborough is a former Republican congressman.

After the Washington Post recently reported that NBC had commissioned a “psychological consultant” to interview Gregory’s wife and friends, NBC publicly stood by Gregory, who denounced the psychologist claim as “gossip reporting gone wild.”

An NBC spokesperson told us Tuesday night, “We heard the same false rumors and suggest you take them with a grain of salt, as we did.”