Good morning, and TGIF! Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. NBC News cameraman diagnosed with Ebola
A freelancer working with an NBC News crew covering the Ebola epidemic in Liberia has been diagnosed with the virus. The freelancer, Ashoka Mukpo, 33, was hired Tuesday to be a second cameraman for NBC News chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman. “The doctors are optimistic about his prognosis,” the cameraman’s father said in a message to family and friends. Mukpo, an American, will be treated in the United States, and out of precaution, the rest of the news team will fly back on a private charter flight and place themselves under quarantine for 21 days. Read more in HEALTH.
2. Hospital denies human error in patient release
The revelation that Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was initially allowed to leave the hospital after complaining of Ebola-like symptoms a week ago has been roundly criticized. But officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital say it was a software flaw and not human error that led to the error. “We have identified a flaw in the way the physician and nursing portions of our electronic health records (EHR) interacted in this specific case,” the hospital said. Meanwhile, the apartment where Duncan, a Liberian national, had been staying in North Dallas remains under quarantine. Duncan’s stepdaughter told NBC News that she’s worried his interaction over the weekend with the family’s children has put them all at risk. Duncan also faces possible prosecution for allegedly lying on an airport health questionnaire before leaving Liberia. Read more in HEALTH.
3. Turkey, Australia agree to join fight against ISIS
Turkish Parliament voted overwhelmingly Thursday to launch military incursions into Syria and Iraq — joining a U.S.-led coalition to root out the terror network. Turkish leaders are especially worried about ISIS’s plot to create an Islamic State, and the country has seen a flood of refugees poor into its borders. The exact role Turkey will play in the fight remains unclear. Australia, meanwhile, also says it will take part in airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. It will have eight Super Hornets involved in the operation, leaders said. Read more in NEWS.
4. Hong Kong leader agrees to talks with protesters
In a possible breakthrough, Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, has agreed to have his team meet directly with the mostly student protesters who’ve been clogging streets demanding government change. Leung’s decision has helped to ease the protests — a so-called “Umbrella Revolution” named after the protesters’ penchant for umbrellas — that have been happening for the past week. It’s unclear, however, when both sides will finally sit down. Read more in NEWS.
5. JPMorgan Chase discloses customer data breach
The financial giant has revealed that some 76 million households and 7 million small businesses were impacted by a security breach over the summer. But JPMorgan Chase says it hasn’t seen any “unusual customer fraud” related to the breach, and that sensitive information such as social security numbers and account numbers were not compromised. Government agencies are looking for the perpetrators of the breach. Read more in BUSINESS.
6. Tornadoes, severe storms rip through heartland
Two tornadoes were reported in Arkansas and Missouri as a line of powerful storms swept through the Midwest and South on Thursday. About 250,000 homes and businesses were left without power in Texas. Dallas and the surrounding region were hit especially hard, with powerful gusts snapping power lines and knocking down buildings. The nasty weather is expected to continue moving eastward. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
Florida cops are looking for a pair of bumbling beer bandits who could barely get out the door with their 12-packs. The two men were caught on surveillance at an Oakland Park convenience store struggling to carry their haul, with one of the thirsty thieves running into the door and slipping, and another one falling down outside. Both eventually made a getaway in a green 1996 Honda.