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Violence on the field is why millions of Americans tune in to watch the National Football League. But today, in the wake of its handling of the Ray Rice assault on his then-fiancee, the NFL is under increasing pressure to change its attitude toward violence off the field—especially violence against women. The fallout has spurred a national conversation about attitudes toward domestic abuse victims, and the culture of misogyny in sports. We’ll explore whether it’s possible to change that culture, and what this incident says about the game, its players, the front office, and the fans.

Also, the World Health Organization looks to the international community to contain the Ebola outbreak. Plus: Put your wallet away and just swipe your phone—mobile payment is about to hit the big time.

Banner Image Credit: Josh Hallett

WHO Pleads for Help to Contain Ebola Outbreak 6 MIN, 30 SEC

The deadly Ebola virus continues to spread faster in West Africa than authorities can manage and the World Health Organization says stemming the outbreak will require hundreds more health workers. Its general director told reporters in Geneva today that the death toll is now more than 2,400 people. The epidemic is growing so fast in Liberia that patients are dying on the doorstep of hospitals. That country now has only 250 doctors to serve a population of 4,000,000. Makiko Kitamura covers health and science in Europe for Bloomberg News.

Makiko Kitamura, Bloomberg News (@maki_kitamura)

NFL Fallout and the Domestic Violence Discussion 36 MIN, 9 SEC

This is the second full weekend of the National Football League’s 2014 season… but nobody’s talking about the games. Outrage continues to pour forth after the release this week of a videotape taken inside an elevator where Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is seen punching his then-fiancee, now-wife, in an Atlantic City hotel back in February.

It’s the prelude to a tape published by TMZ four days after the assault that showed him dragging her out of that elevator. Prosecutors offered Rice a plea bargain of no jail time if he went to anger management counseling.

In late July, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice for two games, prompting a flurry of criticism that the punishment was too lenient. In August, Goodell admitted to NFL owners that he "didn’t get it right," and instituted a mandatory six-game suspension for first-time domestic abusers.

When the new video came to light this week, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely, and came under renewed fire over what he knew and when he knew it, including calls for his resignation. The topic of domestic abuse now stands front and center—on the 50-yard-line, if you will—in any discussion of the NFL.

Today on the program: Misogyny in sports, blaming the victim, and where fans fit in the implicit condoning of violence as entertainment.

Nancy Armour, USA Today (@nrarmour)
Kim Gandy, National Network to End Domestic Violence (@Kim_Gandy)
Leslie Morgan Steiner, author, 'Crazy Love'
Steve Almond, author, “Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country.”

Armour: NFL can't spin its way out of Ray Rice mess
Armour: NFL has dug itself into a hole
Why Terminating Ray Rice From The Baltimore Ravens Won’t Solve The NFL’s Domestic Violence Problem
In wake of Ray Rice case, NFL’s troubles weigh on fans
Hey NFL Fans: Ray Rice Isn’t the Problem. You Are.

Crazy Love

Leslie Morgan Steiner

Is Apple Pay the Future of Mobile Payments? 7 MIN, 23 SEC

Remember that Seinfeld episode where George Costanza stuffs so much into his wallet that his pants rip?

Well if Apple has its way, that episode could become as obsolete as the horse and buggy.

This week the tech giant joined the likes of Google and other smaller services in the effort to get us all to switch to mobile payment. That’s where you just swipe your cellphone at the checkout line—and that’s it. Consumers haven’t fully embraced the technology yet, in part because of tech glitches, security concerns and just plain lack of interest.

But that could change with Apple Pay, a mobile payments service that uses a chip embedded in the tech company’s new smartphones and smart watch. Maria Aspan is a senior editor for Inc. magazine.

Maria Aspan, Inc. magazine (@mariaaspan)

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