Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 11, 2014

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Sarah Eberspacher
Health care workers carry the body of a person suspected to have died from the Ebola virus, in West Africa. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

1.

WHO: Ebola death toll passes 4,000 people

The World Health Organization raised the number of people who have died from the Ebola virus outbreak to at least 4,033 on Friday. Eight people have died of Ebola in Nigeria, one in the United States, and the rest have all died of Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The United Nation's special envoy for Ebola warned the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that the number of those infected is likely doubling every month. "It will be impossible to get this disease quickly under control," unless the international community provides a much larger response, David Nabarro said. [The Associated Press]

2.

Kmart stores become latest victims of data breach

Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Kmart, announced on Friday that an undisclosed number of customer credit and debit cards used at some Kmart retailers may have been vulnerable to a malicious software attack that began in early September. It was discovered by Kmart's IT team on Thursday, but Kmart was quick to note that no personal information, such as debit PIN card numbers, email addresses, or social security numbers appeared to have been compromised. The company is offering shoppers who have used their debit or credit cards at a Kmart over the past month free credit monitoring. [Fortune, The Wall Street Journal]

3.

Study: Black males 21 times more likely to be shot by police

A ProPublica analysis of federal data released on Friday shows that young black males face a 21 times greater risk of being shot by police than their white peers. Of 1,217 deadly police shootings between 2010 and 2012, 31.17 black males aged 15 to 19 were killed per million, versus just 1.47 white males per million. A co-director of the Violence Research Group said the data is "certainly relevant," but further study requires a larger sample. Still, "no question, there are all kinds of racial disparities across our criminal justice system," Colin Loftin said. "This is one example." [ProPublica]

4.

Sayreville football players charged with sexual assault of teammates

Less than a week after Sayreville High School, in New Jersey, canceled the remainder of its football season following allegations of "serious bullying and harassment" of players, seven members of the team were charged in connection to the locker room hazing incidents. The charges range from aggravated sexual assault to hazing for engaging in an act of sexual penetration on one victim. No coaches or other school officials have been charged. [NJ Advance Media]

5.

Dallas Ebola patient's temperature hit 103 degrees at first ER visit

Medical records obtained by The Associated Press show that Thomas Eric Duncan's temperature rose to 103 degrees on his first visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Duncan, who became the first person to die from the Ebola virus in the United States earlier this week, was sent home following his initial checkup. The hospital has since backtracked on several points concerning Duncan's treatment and the timing therein. [The Associated Press]

6.

War on ISIS projected to add $40 billion per year to U.S. military spending

A new estimate from military analysts puts the annual cost of the United States' war on ISIS at about $40 billion per year, a figure experts expect could rise if operations besides airstrikes are implemented. Those costs will be added to the Pentagon's 2015 budget, which is $496 billion, plus an additional $58.6 billion "Overseas Contingency Operation" fund that pays for America's other Middle East operations. [The Fiscal Times]

7.

Study finds cancer drugs could be more effective during sleep

A study published in the journal Nature Communications on Friday says some cancer drugs may be more effective while a person is sleeping. Researchers at the Weitzmann Institute found that mice treated with the anti-cancer drug lapatinib at night had "significantly smaller tumors," than those treated with the drug during the day. Scientists speculated that lower nighttime hormone production contributed to the drug's increased effectiveness. [Time]

8.

'Software bug' incorrectly inflated Nielsen's TV ratings

Nielsen Ratings blamed a "software bug" for more than seven months of inflated ratings for broadcast networks, the company said on Friday. Nielsen tracks the size and demographics of television audiences, and its reports can impact how much networks are able to charge advertisers for commercials. The company said an internal investigation had found that an error had affected the ratings of broadest and syndicated television shows since March, but that "98 to 99 percent" of the ratings were affected by less than .05 percent of a point. [Variety]

9.

Angelina Jolie receives honorary damehood from Queen of England

Actress Angelina Jolie has received an honorary damehood from Queen Elizabeth II for her humanitarian work seeking to end war-zone sexual violence. Jolie's selection for the honor was announced in June, and she officially received the title during a private audience with the Queen on Friday. However, because Jolie is a U.S. citizen, protocol says she cannot be addressed as "Dame Angelina." [BBC News]

10.

Katy Perry to perform at Super Bowl XLIX

Pop singer Katy Perry will perform during Super Bowl XLIX's halftime show, sources confirmed on Thursday. Perry was reportedly on a shortlist that included Coldplay and Rihanna, and the news came following a "pay-to-play" controversy, in which the NFL reportedly wanted artists to pay for the honor of performing at the game. Perry addressed that idea earlier this week, saying she's "not the kind of girl who would pay to play the Super Bowl." [Billboard, Page Six]