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News Wrap: U.S. nurses rally for improved Ebola protections

In our news wrap Wednesday, American nurses staged rallies and strikes in parts of the U.S. to call for better protection for medical workers who may treat Ebola patients. Also, NOAA, the federal agency that oversees the National Weather Service, was hacked in recent weeks. The Washington Post reported that Chinese hackers were responsible for the cyberattack.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    The Ebola death toll in West Africa has now surpassed 5,100, out of more than 14,000 cases. The World Health Organization announced the new figures today. Meanwhile, nurses in parts of the U.S. staged rallies and strikes, demanding better protection for medical workers. The National Nurses Union organized the effort.

    It came as the secretary of health and human services asked a Senate panel for emergency funding.

    SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, SECRETARY OF Health and Human Services: We have trained over 250,000 people. What we need to do now, and that's part of what this request is about, is to make sure that that training continues and extends, and we need to measure it. We are working with the manufacturers. They are producing 24/7 right now and we are working with them and working with the states to make sure that those who have the greatest need and we will most likely treat get that equipment.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Also today, relatives of Thomas Eric Duncan reached a settlement with a Dallas hospital where the Liberian man was initially sent home and later died. The family's attorney said Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital will pay an undisclosed sum, and establish a charitable foundation.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    A blast of early winter pushed farther south and east today, sending temperatures tumbling. Readings fell more than 30 degrees overnight in Illinois, dropping from 58 yesterday to 26 today. Parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula were buried under three feet of snow, with more still to come. And freeze warnings were issued as far south as Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The federal agency that oversees the National Weather Service has been hacked. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today four of its Web sites were hit in recent weeks. The Washington Post reported Chinese hackers were behind the cyber-attack. It said NOAA had to seal off data on disaster planning, aviation and shipping.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    NATO charged today that Russia has moved tanks, troops and equipment into Ukraine in recent days. The alliance's supreme commander, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, confirmed reports by international observers. He said — quote — "There is no question any more that Russia's military is operating inside Ukraine."

  • GEN. PHILIP BREEDLOVE, NATO Supreme Allied Commander:

    What worries me the most, I have said before, is that we have a situation now where the former international border, the current international border of Ukraine and Russia is completely porous, it is completely wide open. Forces, money, support, supplies, weapons are flowing back and forth across this border completely at will.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The Russian Defense Ministry denied the claim, but Ukraine's government said it's redeploying troops amid fears that Russian-backed rebels will launch a new military offensive.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In Iraq, nearly two dozen people died in a wave of suicide attacks and car bombings in and around Baghdad today. The targets were mainly security forces and police. Iraqi officials blamed Islamic State militants.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    U.S. airstrikes in Syria have killed more than 700 Islamic State fighters, but they have also killed 50 civilians. The figures came today from a Syrian human rights group based in Britain.

    Meanwhile, Kurdish fighters in the town of Kobani, near the Turkish border, said they have cut a supply route to Islamic State forces besieging the town.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The United States, Britain and Switzerland fined five major banks more than $3 billion today over manipulating foreign exchange markets. The settlement includes Citibank, J.P. Morgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, and UBS. Regulators said their employees gamed the system at the expense of clients.

  • MARTIN WHEATLEY, Chief Executive, Financial Conduct Authority:

    We expect firms to put conduct and their consumers at the heart of their business. Firms need to take responsibility for fixing the cultural weaknesses that have led to the problems from the sales floors to the trading desk. And we're playing our role in trying to improve standards across financial services.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In a related probe, the U.S. comptroller of the currency fined J.P. Morgan/chase Bank of America and Citigroup another $950 million.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    A harrowing scene played out today at the brand-new One World Trade Center in New York. Two window washers had to be rescued from 69 stories up. Firefighters smashed a glass panel to bring them inside after they'd dangled for more than an hour. A building spokesman said one of the cables on the large scaffolding broke and left it hanging at a sharp angle. One World Trade Center replaced the buildings that were destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Wall Street mostly ran out of steam today after a series of record closings. The Dow Jones industrial average lost two points to close at 17,612; the Nasdaq rose 14 points to close at 4,675; and the S&P 500 dropped a point, finishing at 2,038.

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