Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 10.29.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* White House: “President Barack Obama repeated his message that America needs to support those treating the Ebola outbreak in Africa, saying ‘the world owes them a debt of gratitude’ – even as authorities in Maine weighed whether to enforce a quarantine on a nurse there.”
 
* Liberia: “World Health Organization officials on Wednesday said they see ‘glimmers of hope’ in Liberia, the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic, with strong evidence that the rate of new cases is declining for the first time since the crisis began.”
 
* Kaci Hickox: “The nurse who was quarantined after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa has given the State of Maine until Thursday to let her move freely, setting up what could be a test case of whether state quarantines are legal.”
 
* Pentagon: “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered Wednesday that all U.S. troops who deploy to West Africa as part of the force assisting in the Ebola virus crisis be put in quarantine-like monitoring for 21 days, even though none are expected to treat patients directly.”
 
* The end of QE3: “An upbeat Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that the economic recovery was chugging along and that it would end its latest-bond buying campaign on schedule at the end of the month. The Fed, in a statement issued after a two-day meeting of its policy-making committee, said the bond-buying program had served its purpose by contributing to stronger job growth.”
 
* What happened to the Antares rocket? “Authorities on Wednesday started investigating what caused an unmanned U.S. supply rocket to explode in a fireball moments after liftoff from a Virginia launch pad, destroying supplies and equipment bound for the International Space Station.”
 
* ISIS: “Watching the news, you could be forgiven for thinking that ISIS is an unstoppable juggernaut, sweeping Iraq and Syria in an unending, unstoppable, terrible blitzkrieg. But you’d be wrong. The truth is that ISIS’s momentum is stalled: in both Iraq and Syria, the group is being beaten back at key points.”
 
* Ferguson: “Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the need for ‘wholesale change’ in the Ferguson, Missouri, police department was ‘pretty clear.’”
 
* The twists and turns of a bizarre story: “The investigator who led the Department of Homeland Security’s internal review of the Secret Service’s 2012 prostitution scandal quietly resigned in August after he was implicated in his own incident involving a prostitute, according to current and former department officials.”
 
* DHS: “The Department of Homeland Security is strengthening security at federal buildings in response to a growing number of attacks on law enforcement and other government officials in the United States and abroad, the agency said Tuesday. The announcement by Jeh Johnson, the secretary of homeland security, did not specify what safeguards were being added, but it said the changes were necessary because of recent ‘acts of violence targeted at government personnel and installations in Canada and elsewhere.’”
 
* Open enrollment is coming right up: “Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell met with leading health insurance executives on Wednesday to discuss ObamaCare’s second open enrollment period. Twelve executives met with Burwell, including two representatives of the industry’s trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the department said.”
 
* UPS: “This week United Parcel Service sent a memo to employees announcing a change in policy for pregnant workers: starting January 1, the company will offer temporary light duty positions not just to workers injured on the job, which is current policy, but to pregnant workers who need it as well.”
 
* In case anyone’s forgotten: “When it comes to crackpot economic ideas, the gold standard is, well, the gold standard. It’s a barbarous relic that has nothing to recommend it today. Pegging the dollar to the price of gold, you see, is just a doomsday device for turning recessions into depressions.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 10.29.14