Good morning, and happy Wednesday! Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. NBC News freelancer free of Ebola
Ashoka Mukpo has been given a clean bill of health after getting diagnosed with the virus in Liberia earlier this month. The 33-year-old was working as a freelance cameraman at the time. He was transported to a Nebraska hospital, where officials said he will be allowed to leave Wednesday. “Recovering from Ebola is a truly humbling feeling,” the hospital quoted Mukpo as saying. “Too many are not as fortunate and lucky as I've been. I'm very happy to be alive.” Read more in HEALTH.
2. New airport rules for West African travelers
Beginning Wednesday, passengers coming from Ebola-stricken Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone must go through one of five approved airports when entering the United States. Officials at New York’s JFK, Newark, Washington-Dulles, Chicago-O’Hare and Atlanta international airports have already put in place enhanced security measures to halt the spread of the disease. The screening includes using a no-touch thermometer to determine a person’s temperature. More than 550 travelers have traveled through those five airports from the hard-hit West African countries, but so far, none has tested positive for Ebola. Read more in HEALTH.
3. NFL to revamp personal conduct codes
Players and coaches are to get advice on how to identify and prevent future attacks but it could take the NFL months to revamp personal conduct codes, NBC News has learned. “Changing the policy is far more complicated than I think people see,” said Lisa Friel, who was appointed to help the league with its domestic violence scandal. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said that an updated personal conduct policy would be in place by the Super Bowl on Feb. 1, 2015. Read more in SPORTS.
Meanwhile, the NFL is putting together public-service announcements on the issue:
4. Three U.S. girls may have wanted to join ISIS
The missing Colorado teens — two sisters and a friend — were stopped in Germany before trying to get into Syria, U.S. officials said, possibly in an attempt to join ISIS or another extremist group. The parents had reported the girls missing along with $2,000 in cash and their passports. The teens had already flown from Denver to Chicago and into Frankfurt on Saturday, officials said. Their final stop was Turkey. A U.S. official said the girls are back with their parents and that no charges have been filed. Read more in NEWS.
5. North Korea releases jailed American
Ohio man Jeffrey Fowle was back on U.S. soil Wednesday after being detained in North Korea for nearly six months. The 56-year-old father of three was released after awaiting trial for leaving a Bible at a nightclub — in violation of North Korean law. His release is seen as a positive development, the U.S. State Department said, although two other Americans remain held by the rogue nation. Read more in NEWS.
6. Steenkamp’s parents ‘don’t want revenge’
The parents of model Reeva Steenkamp said Wednesday that they’ve already forgiven South African sprinting star Oscar Pistorius for fatally shooting her. Their reaction came a day after Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison in the death of girlfriend Steenkamp. Barry and June Steenkamp said they are also satisfied with the sentence but still believe “there’s more to the whole story” than Pistorius gave in court. Read more in NEWS.
7. Legendary Washington Post editor dies
He was the newspaperman who helped bring the Watergate scandal to light. Ben Bradlee, who served as managing editor and later executive editor of The Washington Post, died Tuesday at age 93. The newspaper's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Watergate was chronicled in the movie “All the President’s Men,” making Bradlee — portrayed by Jason Robards Jr. — the most famous editor in American journalism. He shared the spotlight with his star reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Read more in NEWS.
... What's trending today?
Renee Zellweger is facing the questions about her new appearance. After showing up at an event Monday looking drastically different, Internet rumors went wild that the A-list actress must have had plastic surgery. But Zellweger, 45, responded that if she doesn’t seem the same, it’s because she’s happy and feeling healthy, telling People magazine that “I’m glad folks think I look different.”