Monday’s Mini-Report, 10.20.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Texas: “More than three dozen people who were monitored for the last three weeks for possible contact with the Ebola virus were cleared Monday to return to work or school, leaving 133 others still being watched for symptoms of the disease, Dallas County officials said.”
 
* The so-called Ebola Cruise: “In the end, there was never any risk of the Ebola virus aboard what became known as the Ebola Cruise.”
 
* Ugh: “In Hazelhurst, Mississippi, a crowd of parents pulled their middle school students from class Friday after learning that the school’s principal recently had traveled to attend a family funeral in Zambia, which is in southern Africa and about 3,000 miles from the outbreak in West Africa.”
 
* Turkey “will allow Iraqi Kurdish forces, known as pesh merga, to cross its border with Syria to help fight militants from the group called the Islamic State who have besieged the Syrian town of Kobani for more than a month, the Turkish foreign minister announced Monday.”
 
* Iraq: “Militants unleashed a flurry of deadly attacks against Shiite targets in Iraq on Monday, including a quadruple car bombing near two of the holiest shrines in Shiite Islam and a suicide attack inside a mosque, officials said.”
 
* Syria: “The cost of turning against the Islamic State was made brutally apparent in the streets of a dusty backwater town in eastern Syria in early August. Over a three-day period, vengeful fighters shelled, beheaded, crucified and shot hundreds of members of the Shaitat tribe after they dared to rise up against the extremists.”
 
* Impressive results in Nigeria: “The World Health Organization declared Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, officially free of Ebola infections on Monday, calling the outcome the triumphal result of ‘world class epidemiological detective work.’”
 
* Maybe we should do something: “The Earth is getting hotter. The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) released a new report Monday that showed the planet is on track to have its hottest year on record. The temperatures from January through September of this year tied with the highest period on record, previously reached in 1998.”
 
* Try not to be surprised: “If Republicans gain the Senate majority in November, President Barack Obama could face pressure from Congress to send ground troops into Iraq and Syria. ‘Frankly, I know of no military expert who believes we are going to defeat ISIS with this present strategy,’ Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said at a Pacific Council on International Policy conference on Saturday.”
 
* Good move: “President Obama signed an executive order on Friday to strengthen security on federally issued credit cards and government payment systems, part of a push to protect Americans from identity theft and fraud after several large-scale data security breaches this year.”
 
* Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’s “very hopeful” about the 2016 presidential election. If her political prognostication skills turn out to be mistaken, however, her legacy – and our future – is in severe jeopardy.
 
* The Washington Post recently ran a controversial piece on a prostitution scandal. Michael Calderone takes a closer look at the paper’s problematic reasoning.

* 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.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 10.20.14