TRNS News Notes is brought to you by Victoria Jones. Victoria Jones is the Chief White House correspondent and global analyst of the Washington DC based Talk Radio News Service, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.

Breaking: The Nobel Peace Prize has been won by Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi

In the News

  • Ebola: Dallas hospital on defense
  • HHS sec: “There may be other cases”
  • WH blows off Colombia prostitution report
  • Police shooting of black teen: Tense clashes
  • St Louis shooting: Different stories
  • Courts strike WI and TX voter ID laws
  • Kobane: Air strikes “halt ISIS advance”
  • Paltrow to Obama: “You’re so handsome”
  • NSA won’t release what it’s already leaked to media!
  • DC upskirter not guilty!?
Ebola: Dallas Hospital Defends Care
• Texas Health Dallas pushed back Thursday about what it said were “misconceptions” about the treatment of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., who died of the disease Wednesday (WFAA, me)

• “Our care team provided Mr Duncan with the same high level of attention and care that would be given any patient, regardless of nationality or ability to pay,” a rep of Texas Dallas Health, also known as Texas Presbyterian Hospital, said in a press release Thursday

• “Mr Duncan did not receive the same type of serum transfusion as the patient in Nebraska because his blood type was not compatible with the serum donors,” the release said. Duncan received the antiviral drug Brincidofovovir, the same drug given to Ashoka Mukpo, “as soon as his physicians determined that his condition warranted it.”

• When Duncan first came to the hospital on 25 September, the statement says, he was evaluated for four hours and given “numerous tests” that day. He was placed in isolation after a return to the hospital on the 28th (hmmm – what about why he was sent away in the first place?)

• Duncan requested that the hospital not perform chest compressions, defibrillation or cardioversion to prolong his life, the release says. Texas Dallas Health called Duncan’s treatment “professional and compassionate.” A team of more than 50 people cared for him, the release says (the whole thing screams lawsuit. Q – who will file for Duncan?)

• The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the Ebola epidemic in “the homeland” today at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
HHS Sec: “There May Be Other Cases”
• Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell said at a media breakfast Thursday, “We had one case and I think there may be other cases, and I think we have to recognize that as a nation.” “What’s most important is we know how to contain. And that is: detect, contact, tracing, isolation and treatment.” (WashExam, AP, Hill, Politico, Buzzfeed, TRNS, TRNS, me)

• CDC Director Dr Thomas Frieden said Thursday, “In the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS. We have to work now so this is not the world’s next AIDS.” Frieden was speaking at an Ebola summit at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund

• Addressing the summit by video from Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma said, “Our people are dying. Koroma described “devastating effects” of “this evil virus” – children made orphans, doctors and nurses dying, an overwhelmed medical system that can’t keep up with the need. The presidents of Guinea and Liberia also spoke

• At the event, UN SecGen Ban Ki-moon called for a 20-fold surge in international aid to fight the outbreak. A World Bank report this week estimated that the economic toll of the largest Ebola outbreak in history could reach $32.6 billion if the disease continues to spread in West Africa through next year

• Separately, the House Appropriations Committee Thursday approved an additional $750 million in federal funding for the multi-agency effort to combat the Ebola crisis in West Africa. The committee made approval of additional money contingent on the Pentagon providing it with a detailed plan of how the money would be spent + plans for safety of U.S. troops in Liberia
• Three health workers were vaccinated in Mali in a “critical first step” in the evaluation of the medicine. Experts hope a working vaccine will encourage more health workers to help fight the disease in the area (NBC News)
WH Blows Off Colombia Prostitution Report
• The WH Thursday dismissed a report in WaPo implicating a WH advance team member in a 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia and denied allegations the team member’s involvement had been covered up (Reuters, Hill, WaPo, me)

• WaPo reported Thursday that records suggested a law student volunteering on the WH advance team may have hosted a prostitute in his Cartagena, Colombia hotel room at the time of an April 2012 prostitution scandal involving Secret Service agents. The Post said the info wasn’t thoroughly investigated

• WH spox Eric Schultz told reporters traveling on Air Force One there had been no cover-up and “a lot of this was reported over two years ago.” (strategy: nothing new here, move on). Records show a woman gave her ID card to be photocopied so she could be registered to stay overnight in his room. That woman, according to WaPo, advertised online as a prostitute

• But Schultz said officials had “considered this evidence and found no other corroborating material to suggest this volunteer engaged in inappropriate behavior.” He said a similar record was found for a Secret Service agent who was investigated and later exonerated (one thing is not necessarily another thing; no logic)

• Schultz said, “We stand by the review,” adding that it had been conducted in an “aggressive, thoughtful” way. Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has asked the WH to turn over details of that internal review to him by 24 October. Schultz sidestepped questions on whether the WH would comply with Chaffetz’s request
• For the first time in three years, Kim Jong-un’s name wasn’t on a list of those who marked the ruling of his party’s anniversary. Has he been fed to the dogs? South Korea thinks he’s still in control of North Korea. There’s speculation he may have gout, diabetes – or even an addiction to imported cheese… (AP, BBC, me)
Police Shooting of Black Teen: Tense Clashes
• In St Louis Thursday, demonstrators angry about the conduct of law enforcement officers in the region staged a peaceful, if disruptive, protest throughout the evening,. The protesters, some of whom burned or stomped on American flags, chanted demands for justice (NYT, TPM, WaPo, TRNS, me)

• Around 10 pm, the protest grew chaotic as officers clutching riot shields and pepper spray canisters rushed into the crowd. It wasn’t immediately clear what provoked the abrupt response. At least two people were arrested and an officer sustained minor injuries, police said

• A state senator and other black leaders on Thursday called for the Justice Dept to investigate the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white St Louis police officer, an incident that some protesters are likening to the death of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson

• Police said that, after an altercation, 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers shot at the off-duty officer Wednesday night and the officer returned fire, shooting 17 times. The shooting led to an angry protest. Syreeta Myers told AP by phone Thursday that her son wasn’t armed. She said he was holding a sandwich when he was killed, not a gun

St Louis Shooting: Different Stories
• The officer had been driving when he saw three men and one of them began to run, the police said (legal to run?). He turned his vehicle and all of them began to run, the police said. After a pursuit, police said, Myers fired three rounds with a stolen handgun toward the officer before the gun malfunctioned

• The officer returned fire with 17 shots. Police said they recovered evidence that showed Myers had opened fire, but family members disputed that and said he was unarmed. He was carrying a sandwich, they said

• At a presser Thursday, state Sen Jamilah Nasheed said, “This here was racial profiling turned deadly.” The St Louis Democrat said that in addition to requesting a DoJ investigation, she will ask Gov Jay Nixon (D) to appoint a special panel to look into concerns about racial profiling and police use of deadly force

• In Ferguson, police are expected to start dealing with some of the largest demonstrations since the Brown shooting, with a series of protests scheduled today through Sunday called “Ferguson October: A Weekend of Resistance.” Large crowds, including people from out of state, are expected

• Hundreds of protesters have been arrested since August for violating unwritten rules and committing minor offenses, such as failure to disperse or unlawful assembly, and for violating a noise ordinance. Many have been taken to jail without being told what charges they may face and are often released without any paperwork, WaPo reports
• Graphic vid: Despite editing her campaign ad to remove footage from American journalist James Foley’s beheading, Arizona GOP congressional candidate Wendy Rogers’ original ad was still available online as of Thursday morning – hideous to use that footage for political gain (TPM, me)

Courts Strike WI and TX Voter ID Laws
• The Supreme Court Thursday night blocked Wisconsin from implementing a controversial voter ID law in next month’s election. The justices vacated a decision by a panel of the appeals court in Chicago that ruled the law could go ahead. Three justices – Scalia, Alito and Thomas – dissented (NYT, WaPo, me)

• At the same time, a federal judge in Texas struck down that state’s voter ID law. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said the law amounted to an “unconstitutional poll tax” and put a disproportionate burden on minority voters

• The strict WI requirement had been blocked by a federal trial judge, who said it would “deter or prevent a substantial number of the 300,000-plus registered voters who lack ID from voting” and would disproportionately affect black and Hispanic voters

• The Supreme Court gave no reason for its WI decision. But one cause of concern was that some mail-in ballots had already been cast, and for them to count, the voter would have to show up later to produce the proper ID

• Thursday’s ruling from TX found that the state’s voter ID law “creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose.” The TX AG’s office said it would immediately appeal
• Hong Kong’s student protest leaders have called on supporters to stage a major rally later today after the govt canceled planned talks. The two sides were supposed to be meeting today. But Thursday the govt said it would be “impossible to have a constructive dialogue.” (BBC)
Kobane: Air Strikes “Stall ISIS Advance”
• U.S.-led forces have continued air strikes against ISIS militants near the besieged Syrian Kurdish border town of Kobane. A senior local official said ISIS had been pushed back toward the edge of the town as a result of the strikes and advances by the town’s defenders (BBC, Reuters, me)

• Earlier reports said the militants had controlled almost a third of Kobane, on the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkey has ruled out a ground operation on its own against ISIS in Syria. Its FM renewed calls for the creation of a no-fly zone along the Syrian side of the border in talks in Ankara with new NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg

• The U.S. military said Thursday it had conducted nine more air strikes near the town, damaging ISIS positions and destroying vehicles and buildings. The UN’s special envoy in Syria said Wednesday that everything possible had to be done to save Kobane, and the town’s fall would threaten Turkey itself

• The bad blood in Turkey between the Turks and the Kurds runs deep, BBC analyst says. Yasin Aktay, the vice-chairman of the governing AKP party in Turkey, said to the BBC: “There is no tragedy in Kobane as cried out by the terrorist PKK
[Kurdistan Workers’ Party]. There is a war between two terrorist groups.”

• That’s the suspicion of many – that the Turkish govt is content to see fighting rage in Kobane as ISIS and the Kurdish militia attack each other. Turkey fears an autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria could reignite Kurdish separatism back home. And if the fall of Kobane would mean those territorial ambitions crumble too, so be it
• WSJ reports today that the WH is drafting options that would allow President Obama to close Guantanamo by overriding a congressional ban on bringing detainees to the U.S., senior admin officials said (pols of both parties will go ballistic) (WSJ, me)
Paltrow to Obama: “You’re So Handsome”
• President Obama attended a star-studded fundraiser at the home of Academy Award-winning actor Gwyneth Paltrow in California Thursday night during a three-day swing through the state. “I am one of your biggest fans, if not the biggest,” said Paltrow. “You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.” (Hill, WaPo, Politico, Reuters, NBC, me)

• During his speech, Obama said: “I want to assure everybody that the likelihood of an [Ebola] epidemic here in the U.S. is extraordinarily small, but there’s a humanitarian crisis that’s happening right now in West Africa where children not much older, and in some cases, younger than, Apple and Moses [Paltrow’s] are dying on the streets alone.”

• During a town hall in LA earlier, Obama addressed immigration reform. “It’s anybody’s guess how Republicans are thinking about this. If they were thinking long-term politically, it is suicide for them not to do this.”


• Net neutrality: “I made a commitment very early on that I am unequivocally committed to net neutrality. I think it’s what has unleashed the power of the internet and we don’t want to lose that or clog up the pipes.”

• “You’re offering me a job?” Obama asked, when Ariel Jalali, a tech entrepreneur, used a question to “offer you your next gig.” But Obama got into it: “The idea of being able to dabble a little bit in the issues of the day while being in sweatpants and a baseball cap sounds pretty attractive.” Jalali’s company is sushi. Obama wondered how he could get some nigiri

Today, Obama will declare a large swath of the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles a national monument. Some 350,000 acres of land from Santa Clara to San Bernardino will be set aside. Supporters say it will protect water access rights and public recreation, while leaving the land pristine. Opponents say the public was cut out of the process

• OMG vid! KY Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes refuses to answer a straight question: Did she vote for President Obama?  (Buzzfeed, me)

NSA Won’t Release What It’s Already Leaked to Media
• Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ govt secrecy project, had asked the NSA for a copy of any notifications sent to Congress in the last year about authorized leaks of intelligence info to the media (Hill, me)

• By law, intel officials are required to notify Congress if they intentionally give reporters classified info. But the NSA said it couldn’t tell Aftergood what it had already told other reporters “because its disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.”

• In denying the request, the NSA pointed to a section of a 2009 executive order that allows the agency to classify documents that “could reasonably be expected to cause identifiable or describable damage to the national security” if made public

• Additionally, the spy agency is legally authorized to “protect certain information concerning its activities,” it said, which the list of authorized leaks would compromise. Aftergood appealed the denial this week. In a blog post on Thursday, Aftergood let loose

• “If something is classified, how can its disclosure be authorized – without declassification? And if something is disclosed by an official who is authorized to do so, how can it still be classified? And yet, it seems that there is such a thing.”
• Sen Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who’s in a tough reelection fight, dancing at a Southern University tailgate last weekend. She’s got some moves on her. Called “wobbling” – a line dance
Creepoid Upskirter Not Guilty…
• A Washington DC judge ruled Thursday that a man who took pictures up women’s skirts at the Lincoln Memorial didn’t violate their privacy. Judge Juliet McKenna wrote that Christopher Cleveland didn’t have to go to “extraordinary lengths” to take the pictures (WJLA, WaPo, TPM, me)

• When an officer approached him, Cleveland became nervous and tried to remove the memory card from his camera, according to a warrant. Officers detained him after a struggle and found images of women’s buttocks on the camera and hundreds of shots from comparable outings on a computer in his car

• “This Court finds that no individual clothed and positioned in such a manner in a public area in broad daylight in the presence of countless other individuals could have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” McKenna wrote in her ruling dismissing the case against Cleveland

• “The images captured were not ‘incidental glimpses’ and in fact were images that were exposed to the public without requiring any extraordinary lengths whatsoever, to view.” McKenna wouldn’t allow prosecutors to use Cleveland’s statement to police or the evidence collected from his camera

• McKenna did note that his behavior was troubling. “The fact that the defendant was intentionally photographing publicly exposed areas of women’s clothed and unclothed bodies … is repellent and disturbing.” (bet you wouldn’t want him up your skirt). What’s under the skirt is private. That’s why we wear clothes. This man will do something worse
• Rocking into the weekend with “The Hand That Feeds” – Nine Inch Nails, one of the bands just nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Green Day, Lou Reed, Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Smiths, Kraftwerk, Sting, War, Bill Withers, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and others are also up  (Rolling Stone, me)

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Victoria Jones

TRNS’ Leah Schwarting, Luke Vargas and Paayal Zaveri contributed to this report