This wasn’t a debate. The former Maryland governor captured the attention of Democrats on Friday proposing a “war tax,” during MSNBC’s candidates forum, in which he, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton each appeared for solo question and answers sessions with host Rachel Maddow. Sanders downplayed personal differences with Clinton and showed a lighter touch, joking about being “grumpy” and a proud grandfather. Meanwhile, the frontrunner touted her support of gun control, denied she’d be more hawkish than Obama and said she’d like to learn Spanish, all while maintaining a strong lead in the polls.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He sees it as a crude solution. The proposed 1,000-mile-long pipeline would have sent oil from Canadian tar sands to the southern United States. But after seven years of wrangling, a State Department review found that the project, which was meant to be an engine for job creation, would only have meant about 35 new permanent positions. Environmental policy has been key to Obama’s administration, and while rejection of Keystone XL is largely symbolic, it could help ahead of attempts to broker a global agreement at climate talks in Paris in three weeks.
Vladimir Putin has canceled all flights between his country and its most popular tourist destination after airlines began to ban checked luggage over fears of planted bombs. Meanwhile, Barack Obama dropped his own bomb yesterday, noting that it was “certainly possible” that an explosion took down a Russian airliner last week in the Sinai Peninsula. British experts suspect terrorism, and U.K. flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh that were set to resume today amid tightened security are running up against new Egyptian restrictions.
They’re awash in brown muck. A southeastern Brazilian town is reeling after a dam at an iron ore mine burst yesterday, killing at least 15 and leaving 45 missing. The town of Bento Rodrigues in Minas Gerais was overrun by floodwaters and mudslides in the wake of the disaster in nearby Mariana at a mine run by a joint Australian-Brazilian venture between BHP Billiton and Vale. BHP is vowing to “take all steps” to ensure safety as authorities warn the waters may be toxic, and rescue efforts are underway.
Was it intentional? The international aid agency wants to know why its hospital in Afghanistan came under fire by the American military last month, killing 30. It says a mistake is unlikely, given how well marked and lighted the compound was, not to mention it had recently re-sent its coordinates to U.S. forces. In a report released yesterday, the humanitarian group — which revealed that physicians were shot at as they ran for cover — demands to know whether its facility lost its protected status and why.
Were they in denial? Execs from the multinational oil and gas corporation are being told to cough up decades’ worth of documents by New York’s attorney general, who is investigating whether they lied about the effect of climate change on the oil industry. The company strongly denies that it misled investors by suppressing findings about how global warming could affect earnings. But the probe seeks to establish whether Exxon Mobil — which just beat third-quarter forecasts — adequately disclosed the risks related to the push to limit fossil fuel consumption.
AstraZeneca agrees to buy ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion. (Reuters)
New Mormon rule bars children from same-sex couples from rites. (The Salt Lake Tribune)
Obama to South Africa: Drop barriers to American products, or else. (Al Jazeera)
France to reinstate border controls during climate change talks. (France24)
Adidas takes aim at Native American mascots. (AP)
U.S. jobless rate falls to 5 percent. (USA Today)
Did they get the facts straight? University of Essex researchers claim that while most women identify as heterosexual, they’re all turned on as though they’re “either bisexual or gay but never straight.” In a study of 345 women, most responded physically to sexual images of females, regardless of their stated orientation, with a whopping 74 percent of “strictly heterosexual” participants being physically aroused by videos of both genders. Scientists warn that female sexuality is complex, and more work is needed to understand possible evolutionary and social reasons for arousal.
It just belly flopped. The chain of 11 marine parks reported disappointing third-quarter results this week that saw its shares plunge 7 percent yesterday. The company blamed inclement weather for keeping visitors away, but it’s also battling the effects of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which highlighted alleged poor treatment of killer whales at its marine-mammal attractions. Since it aired, stock has dropped 40 percent, and SeaWorld’s revenues continue to be impacted by marketing efforts to salvage the brand and turn the tide of public opinion.
Let’s call them man’s breast friend. In the Brazilian Amazon, the isolated Awá Guajá tribe are just 400 strong and rely on the rainforest’s natural resources and critters to survive. Women of the community — which reveres pets as sacred — are known for breastfeeding these animals, including baby monkeys and piglets, to ensure they reach adulthood. But as logging increasingly encroaches on the forest, both the Awá Guajá and their beloved pets face destruction of their habitat, which could eventually end their way of life.
Has her magic faded? J.K. Rowling’s been dropping new bombs about the wizarding world, and fans are raising their wands in protest. The prequel film due out next year, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find, reportedly introduces a new American term for the word ”muggle.” Stateside folks without wizard blood are known instead as “no-maj,” short for “no magic.” Rowling is trying to embrace a wider international audience, but spells and aspersions being cast online seem to indicate that her fandom is saying “no thanks.”
She wasn’t buying it. U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney has thrown out a case brought by online ticket giant StubHub, which argued that its rival and the Golden State Warriors collaborated to fix the ticket resale marketplace. The judge didn’t dispute that the two parties had formed an exclusive partnership for ticket resales but said it was no different than similar arrangements between other businesses. Now eBay-owned StubHub has until the end of the month to file an amended complaint, which could mean this ticket’s still up for grabs.