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.

German hospital says UN worker who contracted Ebola in Liberia has died (Yahoo, AP, BBC)

In the News

  • Frieden: “Not be surprised” at more Ebola cases
  • NIH director: Budget cuts slowed vaccine
  • Ebola puts nurse Nina Pham in spotlight
  • Obama & foreign military leaders today: ISIS
  • Kobani: “Hundreds” of decapitated corpses
  • ISIS justifies enslavement of women
  • Hagel: Climate change a “threat multiplier”
  • Ferguson: “Weekend of resistance”
  • Midterm madness: Kentucky / Texas
  • Snapchat snaps leaked online
  • Alaska same-sex ban struck
  • Man steals train! “Bad day”


Frieden: “Not Be Surprised” at More Ebola Cases
• CDC Director Dr Tom Frieden said Monday he didn’t know how many workers at a Dallas hospital had been exposed to the Ebola virus, but estimated it was a “relatively large number.” About 70 staffers cared for Duncan, according to records obtained by AP

• “We’re concerned, and unfortunately would not be surprised if we did see additional cases in healthcare workers who also provided care to the index patient,” Frieden said. He said the CDC is beginning to “rethink” its strategy for controlling Ebola and called even a single infection “unacceptable.” “The care of Ebola is hard.” (Reuters, CNN, AP, Fox, Politico, Hill, NYT, WaPo, me)

• A national nurses union accused Frieden of trying to “scapegoat” 26-year-old nurse Nina Pham, who contracted the disease in Dallas while caring for Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan

• Frieden said, “I spoke about a breach in protocol, because that’s what we speak about in public health when we talk about what needs to happen. Some interpreted that as finding fault with the hospital or the healthcare worker. I’m sorry if that was the impression given. That was certainly not my intention.”

• Frieden said the nurse is hospitalized, isolated and clinically stable. She has been talking with officials, going over her steps and actions when she was in that same isolation unit with Duncan. Frieden suggested that a critical moment may have occurred as she exited and shed her gown, face shield and other gear

• OMG graphic: Instructions the CDC gives caregivers for how to take off the protective gear that caregivers wear when treating patients with deadly diseases. It’s 21 items long (Vox)

NIH Director: Budget Cuts Slowed Vaccine
• “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready,” NIH Director Dr Francis Collins said in an interview with HuffPo published Sunday (AP, Reuters, WaPo, Politico, HuffPo, Hill, CNN, me)

• Louisiana’s AG Buddy Caldwell has filed a temporary restraining order to prevent the personal items of Thomas Eric Duncan, who died on Wednesday, from being buried in a local landfill, even after being incinerated (not that he’s panicking or anything)

• President Obama huddled Monday afternoon with national security adviser Susan Rice, HHS Sec Susan Burwell and Lisa Monaco, his top aide on homeland security and counterterrorism issues. Tom Frieden, CDC Director, joined the meeting by phone

• The CDC is investigating not only how health workers in Dallas took off protective gear, but also dialysis and intubation – the insertion of a breathing tube in a patient’s airway. Both procedures have the potential to spread the virus

• Officials said nurse Pham’s 1-year-old King Charles Spaniel, Bentley, would be kept safe while she was in the hospital and will be watched for any potential illness. That contrasts with Excalibur, the dog of the Spanish health care worker, who was killed out of fear he could spread the disease – he had no symptoms and wasn’t tested

• Vid: Democrats hit back on Republican attacks on President Obama’s handling of the Ebola issue: “Republican Cuts Kill” will air in Kentucky – it’s brutal (NYT, me)

Ebola Puts Nina Pham in the Spotlight
• Nina Pham spends her days in isolation inside the same hospital where she contracted the Ebola virus working as a critical care nurse. She discusses her care plans with doctors, said Jennifer Joseph, a friend who has corresponded with her. She reads, video-chats with her family and keeps in touch with friends through texts and emails (NYT, me)

• Joseph, who until recently worked with Pham at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, called Pham, 26, a conscientious and careful nurse who double-checked her charts and never seemed to make a mistake, a description that deepens the mystery of how a nurse garbed in protective gear contracted Ebola

• Pham received a transfusion of plasma Monday from the blood of Dr Kent Brantly of Fort Worth, who contracted Ebola in Liberia and recovered. Pham was the third Ebola patient to receive a transfusion from Dr Brantly

• In interviews and news reports, friends have described Pham as a compassionate and caring nurse who loved her job, was grounded by her Catholic faith and cherished her King Charles Spaniel, Bentley. In photos, Pham is invariably smiling. “She is able to make friends in any setting, any scenario,” Joseph said

• The daughter of political refugees from Vietnam, she grew up in the Bentley Village subdivision of Fort Worth. Neighbors said that the family was exceedingly private and quiet. Her family could not be reached for comment

• Sen John McCain (R-AZ) became the latest – and highest-ranking – Republican to call for an Ebola “czar” on Sunday. McCain was immediately slammed after he’s previously compared Obama’s “czars” to the reign of Russian imperialists (Hill, me)
Obama & Foreign Military Leaders Today: ISIS
• President Obama will hash out a strategy to counter ISIS today with military leaders from some 20 countries including Turkey and Saudi Arabia amid growing pressure for the U.S.-led coalition to do more to stop the militants’ advance (Reuters, me)

• Some three weeks before U.S. congressional elections viewed largely as a referendum on Obama’s leadership, the president will aim to show the U.S. public and allies abroad that he’s committed to a plan to “degrade” and “destroy” the group that has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria

• “It is part of ongoing efforts to build the coalition and integrate the capabilities of each country into the broader strategy,” said Alistair Baskey, spox for the WH National Security Council. However, Sen John McCain (R-AZ) said Sunday that “they’re winning and we’re not,” referring to ISIS

• Having Turkey at the table will be key. Ankara has come under some pressure to send its own ground troops into Syria against ISIS forces. The country could announce after the meeting that it will join Saudi Arabia in training moderate Syrian rebels

• Turkey has not reached a new agreement to let the U.S. use its Incirlik air base in the fight against ISIS but reached an agreement with Washington on training Syrian rebels, sources at the Turkish PM’s office told reporters Monday, without saying who would train the insurgents or where (bit vague)
• ISIS fighters on Monday seized control of an army base in Anbar province in western Iraq, the third to fall in three weeks, as Iraqi forces in the region appeared close to collapse despite U.S.-led airstrikes. The province may be 85% under ISIS control. A lot of corruption and desertion in the Iraqi ranks (WaPo)

Kobani: “Hundreds” of Decapitated Corpses
• Refugees in Suruc, Turkey, have told how relatives and neighbors in Kobani were beheaded by ISIS militants. Friday, the UN Syria envoy warned that hundreds still trapped in Kobani will be “massacred” by militants if (when) the town falls. More than 200,000 have already fled to Turkey, but up to 700 remain in the town (Reuters, AP, MSNBC, Daily Mail, Independent, me)

• Amin Fajar, 38, a father of four who made it to Suruc, said, “I have seen tens, maybe hundreds of bodies with their heads cut off. Others with just their hands or legs missing. I have seen faces with their eyes or tongues cut out – I can never forget it for as long as I live.”

• Belal Shahin, another Kobani refugee in Suruc, said, “ISIS came into the villages. They beheaded people as well as animals. They took animals and girls; they left nothing. Even animals don’t do what ISIS is doing. They are doing these things and it’s not acceptable.”

• “But the whole world has blocked their ears in order not to hear. And they’ve become dumb. There’s nothing to stop them,” Shahin said. As night fell on Sunday, Kobani was under heavy artillery and mortar fire
ISIS Justifies Enslavement of Women
• ISIS has boasted in an English-language propaganda magazine, Dabiq, that it’s enslaved women and children from the Yazidi minority to use as concubines, considering them spoils of war, after they were captured as the militants seized their towns and villages in northern Iraq in August. As many as 1,000-1,500 may be held (WaPo, CNN, me)

• One 15-year-old, interviewed after she had escaped, told the group that a Palestinian ISIS militant had bought her for $1,000. “The enslaved Yazidi families are now sold by the
[ISIS] soldiers,” Dabiq said

• The articles argued that although Christians and Jews can be offered the chance to pay a tax or convert, Yazidis, as polytheists, can be enslaved if captured during war. It boasts that it is the largest mass-enslavement since the early days of Islam

• “One should remember that enslaving the families of the [nonbelievers] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of Islamic law,” the magazine said. “Their creed is so deviant from the truth that even cross-worshiping Christians for ages considered them devil worshipers and Satanists.”

• The rejection of slavery has led to an increase in adultery and fornication, it said, because men who couldn’t afford marriage found themselves surrounded by temptation, including by maids. “If she were his concubine, this relationship would be legal,” it said (how about keep it in your pants and don’t blame the woman for your own pathetic lust)
• Kim Jong Un spotted! KCNA news agency said today that Kim “gave field guidance” at a newly-built scientists’ residential district. He used a cane as he inspected the site. The pics are stills so nobody knows how easily Kim is walking (BBC, me)


Hagel: Climate Change a “Threat Multiplier”
• “Climate change is a ‘threat multiplier;’ because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today – from infectious disease to armed insurgencies – and to produce new challenges in the future,” SecDec Chuck Hagel said to a conference of military leaders in Peru, as the Pentagon issued a new climate report (Hill, AP, me)

• The new report – described as a Pentagon roadmap – identifies four things that it says will affect the U.S. military: rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more extreme weather and rising sea levels

• The four items identified will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe

• The report calls on the dept and the military services to identify specific concerns, including possible effects on the more than 7,000 bases and facilities, and to start putting plans in place to deal with them. “Our militaries’ readiness could be tested and our capabilities could be stressed,” said Hagel to the conference

• The report asserts that climate change will affect the Pentagon’s ability to “defend the nation” and “poses immediate risks to U.S. national security,” which is why the dept is factoring impacts into everything from “war games” to “defense planning scenarios.”

• Hundreds of police have used chainsaws and bolt-cutters to dismantle barricades put up by pro-democracy activists near govt offices in Hong Kong. Monday, scuffles broke out as men wearing surgical masks charged at the barricades and tried to remove them (BBC)
Ferguson: “Weekend of Resistance”
• Arms raised high in a chilly rain, waves of clergy, some standing, some on bended knee, pressed their bodies into a line of police officers Monday in the parking lot of the Ferguson Police Dept (WaPo, me)

• Hours earlier, shortly before midnight, young protesters shut down a St Louis intersection, playing hopscotch and jumping rope before joining others in a silent march to Saint Louis University, where, ultimately, numbering nearly 1,000, they staged a sit-in at the heart of campus

• The coordinated acts of civil disobedience called for the indictment of Darren Wilson, the white police officer who in August fatally shot Michael Brown, 18, black and unarmed. Police say Brown struggled with Wilson for his gun. Witness have said Brown had been trying to surrender when he was killed

• Monday’s actions were part of a “weekend of resistance” that organizers dubbed Ferguson October. Led by Ferguson residents and others from the St Louis area, the four-day event has served as something of a calling card for many who want Brown’s death to be more than another tragedy

Arrests / Stand-Offs
• By early evening Monday, the St Louis County PD said 43 arrests occurred during the protest at the Ferguson PD. It included scholar and activist Cornel West, who told activists over the weekend that he had come to town to be arrested. There were 17 arrests at a sit-in at a gas station on Sunday morning

• As protesters marched to the university, they were met by officers in helmets and body gear who held cans of pepper spray and smacked their shin guards with batons. Officers stood on the sidewalk and street, threatening arrest. A local minister called out, “Can you stop beating your sticks so you can talk to and hear the people you protect?”

• Protest leaders demanded they be allowed to proceed on the public sidewalk. “This is an unlawful assembly,” an officer yelled. “No, it’s not,” protesters responded. “This is a peaceful group of people silently walking on the sidewalk.” The standoff lasted about 20 minutes before officers stepped aside

• Nearly a dozen actions unfolded across the St Louis area, including at several Walmarts, a Rams game and a political fundraiser. “We are committed to do whatever it is we have to do until this stuff changes. It has to change,” said the Rev Kevin McKoy

Midterm Madness: Kentucky / Texas
• The only Kentucky Senate debate between Sen Mitch McConnell (R) and secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) took place Monday night. It was pretty lively (Hill, Politico, WaPo, me)

• McConnell said he wouldn’t mind keeping the popular state healthcare insurance exchange Kentucky Kynect, which he called “a website.” “The website can continue but in my view the best interests of the country would be achieved by pulling out ObamaCare root and branch.” – Most Kentuckians who’ve benefited have done so through expansion of Medicaid – Obamacare!

• Grimes said, “The only person Washington’s been benefiting is Sen McConnell and the millionaires and billionaires that have bankrolled [him]. “He’s gotten rich while consistently voting to keep Kentucky poor.”

• McConnell fumed that his personal assets were “the result of an inheritance my wife got when her mother passed away.” He said his opponent’s father “made more money off the govt in the last ten years than I’ve been paid in a salary during all my time in the Senate.”

• Meanwhile, Texas state Sen Wendy Davis (D) has doubled down on her controversial wheelchair ad against Texas AG Greg Abbott (R), who is confined to a wheelchair. “Greg Abbott got his justice. Why doesn’t he believe that a rape survivor or a person with a disability or a victim paralyzed forever … should get justice too?” (this ad’s not working)

• Pics: NH state Rep Steve Vaillancourt (R) – see pic – blogged last week that U.S. Rep Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) – see pic – will likely lose her reelection bid because she’s “as ugly as sin.” He’s compared her to a “drag queen.” He’s not running against her BTW. (show of hands in the uglier one stakes? – – – yes, I thought so, too)

Snapchat Snaps Leaked Online
• Widely popular photo-sharing service Snapchat has denied that it was hacked after private images and videos from as many as 200,000 people were posted online. Instead, Snapchat has blamed the release on outside companies that users rely on to store their photos (Hill, me)

• But Snapchat’s under new pressure from privacy advocates just months after it settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges it misled consumers about its data collection, (it did) and only weeks after an unrelated leak of hundreds of celebrities’ nude photos

• Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Foundation, said in an email that the FTC should open an investigation to see if Snapchat has breached the consent order, and should also determine whether Snapchat’s “lax security practices” allowed the breach and was therefore an unfair and deceptive business practice

Multiple Images of Underage Users
• The photos and videos of Snapchat users were allegedly stolen from Snapsaved, a service that allowed people to store unopened Snapchat photos – which otherwise disappear in a matter of seconds after being viewed  – without the senders’ knowledge. Over the weekend, Snapsaved claimed that it had been hacked

• Many were released on the online message board 4chan. The photos had reportedly been collected over several years and included multiple images of underage users. Snapchat is incredibly popular among teenagers

• When Snapchat settled with the FTC, the agency noted that although the company promised that photos and videos would “disappear forever,” the images could often be stored by using a third-party company much like Snapsaved

• A Snapchat spox said it expressly prohibits the use of outside companies in its terms of service and has actively tried to shut them down. The spox said Snapchat has “succeeded in getting dozens of these removed.” Not all, though. Will the FTC enforce its five-month old order?

• Vid: Vermont gubernatorial debate was pretty wacky. Here’s candidate Cris Ericson (Loopy Party) in sequins and a big hat asking about an alleged $5 million snow blower (C-Span, me)

Alaska Same-Sex Ban Struck
• A federal judge on Sunday struck down Alaska’s first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages, saying the ban violated the U.S. constitutional guarantee of due process and equal protection

• The Supreme Court Friday night denied a request from Idaho Gov Butch Otter (R)  to delay same-sex marriages so the state could continue its appeals – thus clearing the way for gay marriages to begin. The court gave no reason for the action (WaPo, Politico, Hill, me)

• In a fast-moving legal landscape, it’s hard to know exactly how many states allow gay couples to marry. But it’s clear that a majority of Americans live in places where such unions are legal and that 35 states are covered by federal appeals courts that have said bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional

• The dramatic action began on Monday with a surprising decision by the Supreme Court not to review rulings of three federal appeals courts that had collectively overturned bans in five states – Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin
• Pic: Esquire magazine declares Penelope Cruz its sexiest woman alive. She’s on the cover of its November issue which is out 21 October

Man Steals Train: “Bad Day”
• Derek Skyler Brux, 22 was charged Friday with just about everything after he allegedly stole a train from North Antelope Rochelle mine in Wyoming and drove it 13 miles before plowing into another train. It started when Brux, a utility coal operator for Rail Link, allegedly became upset about his supervisor’s response to working conditions, according to an affidavit

• Brux then unhooked some cars and drove the locomotive around what’s described as a “loop” at the site and “pretty much squashed the **** outta their scales,” Brux said. Brux then called up his supervisor and asked her if she wanted to play chicken. He hung up, called rail dispatch, and said he was going onto the main rail line – (all from affidavit)

• Brux said he estimated he was going 60 mph for about 15 minutes before plowing through switch 1. He told deputies he didn’t know where he was going and that he wanted to make Rail Link pay. The jaunt continues, then – – –

“Trying to Prove a Point”
• Brux told deputies he blew his horn while passing a construction area and said that there were “a lot of workers there.” When asked if he scared the workers, Brux said, “they were probably **** scared. They probably **** themselves. Whatever.”

• During the ride, Rail Link employees tried contacting Brux on his employee phone, Brux told investigators. He got mad and said he was not an Apple fan and smashed his phone for something to do

• He took the train to Nacco Junction before backing out onto the main line and approaching a train near an oil field crossing. Brux finally crashed the train into another train at Nacco Junction. “I wanted to see what it was like to hit something, so I hit at it,” Brux said. Brux then backed up and hit the train again

• Brux then fled on foot toward a treeline before being caught by deputies. He stated that he was having a bad day and trying to prove a point. When asked if he had thought about taking his own life, Brux replied, “a couple of times.” Brux would do so by hitting “another train, putting possible other lives in danger.” (Gillette News Record, me)

• Vid: Ohio’s Shaker Heights Class of 1969 45th Reunion: Event features TRNS Bureau Chief Ellen Ratner, former Ohio Lt Gov Lee Fisher and Federal Judge Dan Polster. Several panels, including: “If I could change one thing in the U.S. now” (TRNS)

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Victoria Jones


The Talk Radio News Service is the only information, news booking and host service dedicated to serving the talk radio community. TRNS maintains a Washington office that includes White House, Capitol Hill and Pentagon staffed bureaus, and a New York office with a United Nations staffed bureau. Talk Radio News Service has permanent access to every breaking newsevent in the Washington, D.C. area and beyond.