Good morning, and happy Thursday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. U.S. will chase ISIS to the ‘gates of hell’
Vice President Joe Biden gave the strongest admonishment yet of the terror network ISIS on Wednesday, saying the U.S. won’t back down after the jihadists killed a second American journalist. “We take care of those who are grieving and when that’s finished, they should know we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice because hell is where they will reside,” he said. The State Department, meanwhile, confirmed that the killing of journalist Steven Sotloff appears to have happened on a different day than the earlier slaying of journalist James Foley. Sotloff’s family also remembered him Wednesday as a brave man who wanted to tell the stories of ordinary people in the Arab world. Read more in NEWS.
2. The North Carolina man who wants to join ISIS
What would drive an American to embrace the ideology of a marauding terror group? For Don Morgan, a former law enforcement officer and bodybuilder who grew up Catholic, it was more than just faith. Morgan spoke with NBC News in an exclusive interview this summer, before he was arrested in New York City on a weapons charge. Despite all his efforts, Morgan had been unsuccessful in getting into Syria, where he hoped to connect with ISIS. Read more in NEWS.
3. Ukraine crisis at forefront of NATO summit
The two-day event that kicks off Thursday in Wales is featuring President Obama and 27 other world leaders. While Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t be in attendance, his nation’s alleged meddling in Ukraine — where pro-Russian separatists continue to battle Ukrainian troops — will be at the top of the agenda. Russia’s foreign minister has already warned NATO not to extend its membership to Ukraine and for the United States to stay out of the conversation. “Some of our Western partners, including unfortunately the most influential players — the United States — want victory for NATO and a situation where America dictates its will to everyone,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. Read more in NEWS.
Obama, meanwhile, made time to visit a Welsh school along with British Prime Minister David Cameron:
4. Justice Department to probe Ferguson PD
A new investigation is expected to be announced Thursday to review the actions of the St. Louis suburb’s embattled police department — following a week of protests and arrests that captured the nation’s attention. Separately, the FBI and the Justice Department have been investigating last month’s fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a police officer. The Ferguson police have been the subject of a handful of lawsuits in recent years, and residents have complained that the force has failed to represent the city’s diversity. Read more in NEWS.
5. Third American infected with Ebola ID’d
Massachusetts doctor Rick Sacra is the third American who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, his employer announced Wednesday. He is also colleagues with the other two Americans, Dr. Kent Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol, who were infected but have since recovered. “My heart sank,” Writebol told NBC News after hearing the diagnosis on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a third possible Ebola vaccine will be tested on humans, Johnson & Johnson said Thursday, as the deadly virus continues to ravage countries in West Africa. Read more in HEALTH.
6. Joan Rivers transferred to private room
The 81-year-old comedienne and “Fashion Police” host has been on life support after throat surgery a week ago led her to stop breathing. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said Wednesday that she’s been moved to a private room at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, and didn’t comment further on her condition. Read more in POP CULTURE.
… What’s trending today?
The iPhone 6 hasn’t even been unveiled yet (that's expected to happen at Tuesday's media event), and already Apple die-hards are lining up in New York City for the device. Or are they fanatics? According to USA Today, the people camping outside of the flagship store on Fifth Avenue are actually being compensated to attract attention to various apps and websites — expecting to get more attention as the days go by.
They’ve been lining up since Sunday, and could be waiting for at least two weeks until the expected new phone goes on sale.