Morning Reads

Good morning — and happy Friday! Given the current chaos, it seems almost tragic to mention that today is Iraq Day, commemorating its liberation from the UK in 1932. It’s also German Unity Day — celebrating the 24th anniversary of German reunification at the end of the Cold War. 

Chronic, insidious” –> Gabrielle Canon reports for MoJo that the agencies tasked with helping West African countries combat Ebola have seen their “ability to respond” significantly degraded due to budget cuts and the 2013 sequester. ALSO: An NBC cameraman working in Liberia has contracted Ebola and is being transported back to the states for treatment. The whole crew will be quarantined, according to Llloyd Grove at The Daily Beast.

Hack –> The NYT reports: “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.”

War –> The Islamic State’s advance on Kobane, a town on the Syrian border with Turkey, has continued “despite US-led air strikes seeking to halt its two-week offensive,” according to the BBC.  Turkey has pledged to do whatever is necessary to counter the threat. Around 160,000 refugees, mostly Kurds, have already fled over its border. AND: Agence France Presse reports that the friends of a French man wanted for terrorism after joining IS are shocked, remembering him as a happy, easy-going person who smoked marijuana and went out to nightclubs.

No-bid contracts –> The Center for Public Integrity has Daniel Wagner’s second piece on how Wall Street gouges the families of prison inmates. This time, Wagner looks at how megabanks like JPMorgan Chase and BofA have “locked up” the market for prisoners’ financial services with no-bid contracts from the federal government.

Extreme –> Tara Culp-Ressler reports for ThinkProgress that Alabama’s “radical” new abortion law will put “minors on trial and give their fetuses a lawyer.” AND: Two-thirds of Texas’ abortion clinics will likely close after a federal appeals court ruled that the state can enforce its back-door regulatory ban. Maria La Ganga has the details at the LAT.

Anti-Occupy mob…” –> Liam Fitzpatrick reports for Time that “a progovernment mob, hundreds strong, destroyed one of Hong Kong’s democracy-protest sites Friday afternoon local time, attacking students, trashing student tents and hurling obscenities.”

Good question –> At Slate, Seeta Peña Gangadharan asks, “will the FCC actually pay attention to the three million public comments on Net neutrality?”

Not so fast –> Yesterday, we shared Jesse Singal’s piece in NY Mag’s “The Science of Us” about how researchers are finding ways to communicate the threat of global warming that seem to be effective with some conservative “skeptics.” At Grist, David Roberts disagrees, writing that experimental results don’t hold up “in a blooming, buzzing real-world context, surrounded by an ideologically supportive set of peers and influencers, exposed to multiple media streams intent on delivering opposing messages.”

Ferguson –> Four  more people who claim to have been brutalized by Ferguson police during recent protests have joined a lawsuit seeking damages for “illegal and excessive use of force.” Reuters has the story (via The Raw Story). ALSO: Voter registrations in Ferguson have “surged” since the shooting of Michael Brown. At USA Today, Yamiche Alcindor writes that it “may mean the city of 21,000 people is ready for a change.”

PANIC!!!!! –> Stephen Colbert looks at the Ebola “deathpocalypse” as it’s now being portrayed by the hysterical cable news nets…

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