TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Shutdown woes, new $100 bills, wild Halloween prank

Oct. 8, 2013 at 3:53 PM ET

TODAY highlights: Kevin Breel gives a TED talk on depression; Matt Lauer holds up the new $100 bill; a viral Halloween prank.
TODAY
TODAY highlights: Kevin Breel gives a TED talk on depression; Matt Lauer holds up the new $100 bill; a viral Halloween prank.

1. The families of five U.S. service members who recently lost loved ones in Afghanistan were notified that they wouldn’t be receiving the $100,000 benefit normally wired to relatives within 36 hours of the death. 

"The government is hurting the wrong people," said Shannon Collins, whose son was killed over the weekend.

Video: The families of five U.S. troops killed overseas this weekend will not receive the usual “death gratuity” due to the government shutdown. A typical $100,000 compensation is wired to families within 36 hours to help with funeral and other expenses.

2. Are we following the rules too closely? Americans chuck 160 billion pounds of food every year, but a lot of that food is perfectly good. Jeff Rossen looks into confusing and often misleading “sell-by” dates.

Video: TODAY’s Jeff Rossen investigates a new study that says those “sell by” and “use by” dates on foods aren’t what consumers think they are, leading them to discard foods that may be still good weeks, months or even years past those dates.

3. For years, Kevin Breel hid his depression behind jokes and laughter. But then, after entertaining thoughts of suicide, the comedian decided to talk about his depression. What kept him from sharing his struggle and looking for help was the stigma surrounding the mental illness, he says in a new TED talk that’s gone viral. 

Video: Kevin Breel is an unlikely advocate for mental health. After entertaining thoughts of suicide, the comedian decided to talk to about his depression. His TED talk, which he did at 19 years old, has gone viral, and he says it resonates with people because it is so common. TODAY’s Willie Geist reports.

4. Is this the ultimate Halloween prank? New York City coffee lovers witnessed what appeared to be a real life "Carrie," an infuriated female patron throwing a man against a wall, knocking down pictures and books, and shoving tables to one side ... all with her mind.

Video: A viral video portrays a young woman having a “Carrie”-style telekinetic meltdown in a coffee shop, sending books flying and tables turning. It was revealed that the staged prank was the brainchild of Thinkmodo, a viral video marketing company, to promote the upcoming new version of “Carrie.”

5. Add some change to that cash: New $100 bills were finally unveiled, and the new Benjamins sport bigger heads and a splashy new watermark.

Video: It’s all about the Benjamins! The newly redesigned $100 bill will debut this week after a printing delay halted its circulation for nearly two years. The new bill features a three-dimensional security ribbon and a color-changing graphic of a bell.

And that's TODAY's Takeaway!

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