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Almost 700 people have died, and more than a thousand have been infected, in the worst epidemic since the Ebola virus was discovered in 1976. So far, it’s confined to three impoverished West African countries with weak institutions, making its spread political as much as biological. We’ll hear about a horrific disease with no cure, and the widespread fear, not just of Ebola, but also of Western doctors and their unfamiliar procedures. US officials say it can be controlled if it ever gets here, but the epidemic is a massive challenge to the global effort to protect public health.

Also, the latest GDP report estimates economic growth at 4%, and is the fast-food industry on the path to unionization?

Banner Image: Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment centre in Kailahun July 20, 2014. Sierra Leone now has the highest number of Ebola cases, at 454, surpassing neighboring Guinea where the outbreak originated in February. Picture taken July 20, 2014. REUTERS/Tommy Trenchard

Strong Growth in GDP Report 6 MIN, 30 SEC

There's been a stunning report from the US Commerce Department, after many months of dismal news about the economy: growth, from April through June, is estimated at 4%, and economists are upbeat. Mark Zandi joins us from Moody’s Analytics.

Mark Zandi, Moody's Analytics (@dismalscientist)

The Worst Ebola Outbreak Ever 35 MIN, 1 SEC

Ebola was first discovered in 1976 — a virus that first causes flu-like symptoms that quickly evolve into vomiting, diarrhea and both external and internal bleeding. As many as 90% of those infected in previous outbreaks have died. Now Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia — three of the world’s poorest countries — are in the midst of the worst epidemic so far. At least 670 people have died; more than 1000 others have been infected, including doctors and other medical personnel.

Clair MacDougall, journalist (@ClairMacD)
William Fischer, University of North Carolina
Laurie Garrett, Council on Foreign Relations (@Laurie_Garrett)
Jeremy Youde, University of Minnesota Duluth (@jeremyyoude)

McDonald’s Ruling Could Pave Way For Workers to Unionize 8 MIN, 20 SEC

When fast-food workers demand higher pay from McDonald's, the corporate office says, "take that up with individual franchise owners; it’s not our problem." Now the National Labor Relations Board says the corporation is responsible after all. The NLRB general counsel has ruled that corporate McDonald’s is a “joint employer” along with its 14,000 franchisees. That comes after 20 months of complaints against franchises all over the country. If it’s upheld, it could ease the way for unionization nationwide. That’s according to Steven Greenhouse, labor and workplace reporter for the New York Times.

Steven Greenhouse, journalist and author (@greenhousenyt)

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