Good morning, and happy Thursday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Death of Texas Ebola patient raises questions
Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan died Wednesday morning after his condition slipped to critical over the weekend, Dallas hospital officials said. His death, however, raises several questions, from what will happen to his body to whether the hospital will face a lawsuit. Officials there said they admitted to initially releasing him despite knowing he was sick and had traveled from Ebola-stricken West Africa. Some experts say a successful lawsuit in Texas is unlikely against a hospital because the state is one of the most difficult to bring a medical malpractice suit against. Read more in HEALTH.
2. Majority of Americans want flights banned from Ebola-hit countries
About 58 percent of Americans want a ban on incoming flights from countries experiencing an Ebola outbreak, which would be the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The exclusive NBC News online survey comes as there’s a heightened awareness of Ebola cases, from Spain to the U.S. To help combat the virus’ spread, the CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wednesday announced new screening procedures at five American airports that see the most travelers from the stricken West African countries. Read more in NEWS.
3. Off-duty police shooting sparks St. Louis protest
The fatal shooting of an 18-year-old suspect by an off-duty police officer in St. Louis on Wednesday night triggered a fresh round of protests. Police say the suspect had shot at the officer who was working a side security job at the time. The incident occurred on the eve of demonstrations scheduled to take place in nearby Ferguson over the fatal shooting of another black teenager, Michael Brown, two months ago. A grand jury investigation is still determining whether to bring charges against the officer who killed 18-year-old Brown. Read more in NEWS.
4. ISIS seizes one-third of key Syrian border town
Despite a barrage of airstrikes, the terror network is not backing down from taking hold of the besieged border town of Kobani. According to a human rights group, ISIS has control of more than a third of the town. The siege on Kobani, which has left at least 400 dead and sent thousands more fleeing over the border, has put pressure on neighboring Turkey to join the military fight against ISIS — but it has been reluctant. Read more in NEWS.
Meanwhile, the mother of one of ISIS’s American hostages, Abdul-Rahman Kassig, reached out on Twitter to the extremists imploring for them to contact her:
5. Pennsylvania shooter’s journal reveals shooting
Passages from a journal belonging to alleged cop killer Eric Frein were released Wednesday, detailing the moment he gunned down one Pennsylvania state trooper and injured another. “He dropped. I was surprised at how quick. I took a follow-up shot on his head, neck area. He was still and quiet after that,” the chilling narrative read. Frein’s whereabouts in the woods of Pennsylvania remain a mystery. He has been spotted four times since Friday, but police were 150 yards away when they glimpsed him — too far to make the positive identification required to shoot at him. Read more in NEWS.
6. Powerful super typhoon takes aim at Japan
The strongest tropical cyclone of the year — Super Typhoon Vongfong — is barreling toward Japan, and is expected to hit some of the islands over the weekend before making landfall. “It’s safe to say Vongfong is the strongest storm on earth since Haiyan last year,” said Michael Lowry, a storm specialist for The Weather Channel, referring to the super typhoon that killed more than 6,000 people in the Philippines last November. U.S. military bases on Japan’s islands are already prepping for high winds and waves. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
This is one way for Google to get a street-view shot. The Internet giant decided to strap a camera onto a camel to capture a unique perspective of Liwa Desert in the United Arab Emirates.