Friday’s Mini-Report, 10.3.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* ISIS “claims it has executed another one of its hostages, British taxi driver Alan Henning. On Friday afternoon, the terrorist group released a video allegedly showing Henning’s death by beheading. The United States government has yet to authenticate the video.”
 
* Corporal Jordan Spears: “A U.S. Marine who went into the sea from a V-22 Osprey during a flight mishap over the northern Gulf this week was the first American killed in U.S. military operations against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.”
 
* Dallas: “Hazmat trucks pulled up outside the apartment where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan had been staying in Dallas, five days after he was admitted to the hospital and days after relatives, including children, were confined there by state officials.”
 
* From Texas health officials: “Public health officials say ‘approximately 10 people’ who had contact with the Ebola patient in Texas are considered at higher risk, though they emphasized Friday that none of these people had exhibited any Ebola symptoms.”
 
* U.S. response: “The United States Army announced on Friday that it will more than double the number of soldiers it is sending to West Africa, to 3,200, to help contain the Ebola virus as White House officials prepared to confront concerns about the chaotic response to the disease’s arrival in the United States.”
 
* Hong Kong: “Pro-democracy demonstrations in two of Hong Kong’s most crowded shopping districts came under attack on Friday from unidentified men who assaulted protesters and tore down their encampments, as the Beijing-backed government sent sharply conflicting messages about how to grapple with the unrest.”
 
* Global partners: “Turkey appeared to take a big political step toward joining the American-led campaign against the militants of the Islamic State when its Parliament voted Thursday to authorize expanded military operations in Iraq and Syria and to allow foreign forces to launch operations from its territory.”
 
* Australia: ”Australian special forces troops will be deployed in Iraq to assist in the fight against ISIS militants, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday. Its aircraft will also join U.S.-led coalition strikes.”
 
* U.S. economy: “The U.S. trade deficit shrank for the fourth straight month in August, falling to the lowest level since January as exports rose to an all-time high.”
 
* Another Secret Service misstep? “An unidentified man posing as a member of Congress made it into a secure area backstage at President Barack Obama’s appearance at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards dinner in Washington Sept. 27, according to a White House official.”
 
* Guidance from the guy who won’t say whether he believes in evolution: “Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) urged the Obama administration on Friday to ban U.S.-bound flights arriving from nations where Ebola has been found.”
 
* That’s a lot of people: “A cyberattack this summer on JPMorgan Chase compromised the accounts of 76 million households and seven million small businesses, a tally that dwarfs previous estimates by the bank and puts the intrusion among the largest ever.”
 
* Kansas: “A former Republican member of the Kansas Senate said Thursday that an FBI investigation into a close ally of Gov. Sam Brownback remained active and that voters should take into account allegations of malfeasance as they weighed options in the November election.”
 
* Biden being Biden: “Vice President Joe Biden joked to Harvard Institute of Politics on Thursday evening about the post of vice president. ‘Ain’t that a bitch,’ Biden said to a student who identified himself as the vice president of the student body.”
 
* Readers were a big help with our recent Whip Count project, and I hope you’ll be equally eager to lend a hand with our new 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.
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 10.3.14