Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Ebola: “The number of people known to have died amid the worst Ebola outbreak on record has topped 4,000, the World Health Organization said Friday. The Geneva-based United Nations agency said the virus had killed 4,033 people out of 8,399 cases over seven months in seven countries by Oct. 8.”
* Well deserved: “Reaching across gulfs of age, gender, faith, nationality and even international celebrity, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2014 peace prize on Friday to Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India. The award joined a teenage Pakistani known around the world with an Indian veteran of campaigns to end child labor and free children from trafficking.”
* “Today’s announcement is a victory for all who strive to uphold the dignity of every human being,” President Obama said in a statement. “In recognizing Malala and Kailash, the Nobel Committee reminds us of the urgency of their work to protect the rights and freedoms of all our young people and to ensure they have the chance to fulfill their God-given potential, regardless of their background, or gender, or station in life.”
* Iran: “A spectacular explosion on Sunday night outside Tehran took place deep inside the Parchin military base, where Iran produces crucial elements of its missiles and other munitions, raising new questions about whether the blast was an accident or sabotage.”
* North Korea: “Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, who has been absent from public view for more than a month, skipped an important annual ritual on Friday, a development likely to fuel further speculation about his whereabouts and even about his grip on power.”
* Secret Service: “Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Friday named two former Obama administration officials and two who served under President George W. Bush to a panel that will conduct an independent review of the Secret Service in the wake of a series of major security lapses.”
* A new monument: “President Obama declared on Friday a large chunk of the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument during the final day of a Southern California visit that will include a signing ceremony in the wilderness northeast of downtown Los Angeles.”
* No wiggle room: “President Barack Obama said Thursday that he’s ‘unequivocally’ committed to net neutrality…. Obama said his administration was going to make sure net neutrality remains untouched.”
* Maybe he’s suffered enough? “Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., wasn’t going to be in the Senate for much longer anyway. But he stuck around long enough to suffer one final indignity. On Friday, the U.S. Army War College announced that it had formally revoked Walsh’s Masters degree, following a months-long investigation into allegations that he had plagiarized his thesis paper.”
* A great piece from Attorney General Eric Holder: “The GAO’s nonpartisan report could represent a breakthrough in the discussion around voting restrictions imposed in states across the country. It can no longer be disputed as mere assertion that voter ID laws are obstacles to citizens who wish to exercise their fundamental right to vote; as this report shows, it is clearly a fact.”
* And we’re still working on our new Whip Count project. We’re keeping a running tally of members of Congress who want to return to session – cutting their vacation short – in order to vote on authorizing military intervention against ISIS. I hope you’ll take a look and keep us posted.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.