Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The latest from Dallas: “No one who was around Thomas Duncan, the Ebola patient in Dallas, has shown any indication of having contracted the virus, authorities said Thursday. Judge Clay Jenkins, the top elected official in Dallas County, told reporters: ‘This is a matter that we have a high degree of confidence we can control.’”
* Related news: “Texas health officials said Thursday that there are ‘about 100’ people who may have had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the man being treated in a Dallas-area hospital for Ebola.”
* Hong Kong: “The leader of Hong Kong refused on Thursday to resign, defying a deadline set by pro-democracy protesters. He told thousands of people massed in the city center that ‘the consequences are serious’ if they surround or attack government buildings.”
* ISIS: “Islamic State fighters pressed their assault on two key towns in Syria and Iraq on Thursday as defenders on both fronts prepared for possible street-by-street battles and appealed for intensified U.S.-led airstrikes, reports and witnesses said.”
* Afghanistan: “Two suicide attacks targeting military transport vehicles here on Wednesday killed seven Afghan soldiers and wounded nearly 20 others, officials said, one of the deadlier strikes on security forces in the capital since the summer fighting season began.”
* More on this tomorrow: “President Barack Obama went into defensive mode Thursday afternoon during a speech about the U.S. economy at Northwestern University, near Chicago. ‘I have laid out my ideas to create more jobs and grow more wages,’ Obama told students and staff during his nearly hour-long speech at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. ‘A true opposition party should have the courage to lay out theirs.’”
* Nigeria: “Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau dismissed Nigerian military claims of his death in a new video obtained by AFP on Thursday and said the militants had implemented strict Islamic law in captured towns.”
* Paying less at the pump: “Crude oil prices accelerated their decline on Thursday, with the main international benchmark falling about 2 percent and the American equivalent dropping below $90 a barrel.”
* Colorado: “Students in Jefferson County, Colorado have planned a rally before a county school board meeting Thursday to protest a recent proposal that students say would whitewash one of their American history classes. Students from 17 district high schools are set to gather and deliver 40,000 petition signatures to the board.”
* It’s hardly a big surprise that actual experts are unimpressed: “Historians and biographers of General George S. Patton are panning Bill O’Reilly’s theory that the World War II commander was assassinated by the Soviet Union, calling the tale implausible and lacking evidence.”
* 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.