Five things PR pros need to know on Friday, 10.17.2014

Obama considers ebola-response czar; Twitter experiments with users' feeds; Biden son discharged from Navy Reserves.

1. Nina Pham, the first nurse infected with ebola while treating patient Thomas Duncan at a Dallas Hospital, released a video Thursday night thanking her colleagues on the medical center’s staff before she was transported to Bethesda, Maryland. "Come to Maryland, everybody," Pham joked.

President Barack Obama said Thursday that he is considering appointing a czar to oversee the federal government’s response to US ebola cases. Hours before, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden testified in front of a House of Representatives committee that harshly criticized the government’s reaction. Many lawmakers are continuing to push for a travel ban to African countries where the disease is widespread.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas pushed back on Thursday against accusations that it left its medical professionals ill-prepared to deal with ebola, both in terms of protective gear and methods used. The medical center hired Burson-Marsteller last Friday for communications support.

2. Twitter is experimenting with placing tweets into news feeds based on users’ general interests, even from accounts a user does not follow.

"Choosing who to follow is a great first step — in many cases, the best tweets come from people you already know, or know of," said Twitter product management director Trevor O’Brien in a company blog post. "But there are times when you might miss out on tweets we think you’d enjoy."

3. Hunter Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden, has reportedly been discharged from the Navy Reserves after failing a drug test for cocaine. He is also a managing partner at an investment company.

4. Google revealed disappointing third-quarter financials on Thursday, missing analyst expectations despite a 20% jump in revenue. Shares fell 6% in after-hours trading. Said Google Chief Business Officer Omid Kordestani, according to The New York Times: "I think we just need to keep innovating and experimenting here to get it right."

5. Jurgen Klinsmann, coach of the US Men’s National Soccer Team, tried to downplay on Thursday earlier comments he made where he expressed disappointment that some of his players had switched from European leagues to US-based Major League Soccer. MLS executives were not pleased

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