1. Obama delivers speech about U.S. going to war with ISIS, kind of
In a weirdly convoluted live address on Wednesday night, the President laid out America’s strategy against the militant extremist group’s rising influence in Iraq and Syria. Stressing that this would not be a repeat of the Bush administration’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama laid out plans to send 475 military advisors to Iraq and conduct targeted airstrikes in Syria. He then went on to say a bunch of vague stuff about defending America and freedom and whatnot. We’re not really feeling the assurance here, Barack. [New York Times]

2. Woman has been living without a cerebellum since birth
In China, a 24-year-old showed up at the hospital with feelings of dizziness and nausea. The culprit? She’s missing a huge chunk of her brain. Amazingly, the woman has been able to function relatively normally her entire life without a cerebellum, which controls little things like speech, balance and coordination. No big deal. [New Scientist]

3. SNL brings on first African-American “Weekend Update” host
The bad: Cecily Strong is stepping down from the co-anchor chair opposite Colin Jost—though she’ll still be a regular castmember. The good: Stand-up comedian, SNL writer and sometime Daily Show correspondent Michael Che will take her place, making history as the first black “Weekend Update” host in the show’s four-decade history. Took you long enough, Lorne! [Mic.com]

4. Ebola epidemic outpacing WHO’s efforts to curb it
With a death count of more than 2,400 and rising, the amount of Ebola cases continues to skyrocket in West Africa—and the World Health Organization is outgunned. The org has called for health workers across the globe to join in ground efforts, particularly in underserved countries like Liberia. [Reuters]

5. Sportscaster decries domestic violence in the NFL
Football season is off to a rough start, with the recent release of surveillance footage showing the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice punching his fiancée unconscious in an elevator. Props to CBS’s James Brown for opening Thursday Night Football on a sobering note, calling for “the NFL community and all men” to take a stand against domestic abuse and the misogynistic culture that allows it to thrive.

6. Rob Ford pulls out of Toronto mayoral race
Current Toronto mayor and all-around horrifying human being Rob Ford has withdrawn his reelection bid after being diagnosed with an abdominal tumor. He announced that his brother, Doug, will run in his place. During his tenure in office, Ford has been slammed with every allegation under the sun, including soliciting prostitutes, smoking crack, abuse against his staff and copious drunkenness. [The Wire]

7. Younger generation read more books than the olds
Stop drafting that think-piece about the death of literature right now, buddy! According to a Pew Research survey, 88 percent of Americans between 16 and 30 have read a book in the past year, compared to only 79 percent of those 30 and above. Fingers crossed that the tome in question wasn’t Twilight. [Guardian]

8. Long-vanished shipwreck discovered in Arctic
Canadian divers have uncovered the sunken remnants of explorer Sir John Franklin’s doomed expedition to the Northwest Passage. Franklin’s two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, disappeared without a trace shortly after setting off in 1845. Though evidence of the crew members’ fates have been found since, the fate of the vessels has remained a mystery until now. Neato. Can we do Amelia Earhart next? [BBC]

9. Teen petitions to use laser-cat portrait yearbook photo
We totally would’ve been friends with this kid in high school. Schenectady, New York’s Draven Rodriguez has a simple dream: to use a pretty incredible photo of himself and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, surrounded by tasteful laser beams, as his senior photo in the yearbook. The school district says no, but the Internet says yes—Rodriguez has launched an online petition that already has more than 5,000 signatures. [Daily Gazette]

10. Megachurch to close branches after pastor calls women “penis homes”
Meet Pastor Mark Driscoll, founder of evangelical church Mars Hill. He’s been a creepy sexist homophobe for some time now, but the nail in the coffin came from a message board post Driscoll wrote that maintains that women were created by God so that their vaginas could be “homes” for “your penis,” which is really “God’s penis.” Suffice to say, Driscoll has taken a leave of absence and 15 Mars Hill churches are shutting down. In other news, we’re putting together an all-girl punk band called the Penis Homes. [Salon]