It was all business. This time the moderators and candidates (mostly) got along, with the Fox Business Network hosts focusing on policy issues and strategy. There was still some bickering between Donald Trump and John Kasich over immigration, with the mogul at one point even joking that they should “let Jeb talk.” Most agreed it was another good night for Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson and a lukewarm Jeb Bush performance. The Republicans now get more than a month off the debate stage before meeting up again in Las Vegas on December 15.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They hope their work pays off. Low-wage employees in the U.S. took to the streets around dawn for their biggest walk-out to date, demanding a national minimum wage of $15. Supportive elected officials, clergy, women’s rights advocates and Black Lives Matter activists are joining them to show solidarity. Thousands are expected to gather tonight outside the GOP presidential debate in Milwaukee to try to force the issue with candidates — but an even bigger win may be New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of a $15 minimum wage for state workers.
He’s going straight to the top. Yesterday, an appeals court upheld a previous decision that ruled President Obama’s new immigration program, which aims to offer protection to 5 million undocumented immigrants under threat of deportation, must be put on hold. Now the president’s asking the Supreme Court to take a look at the case this spring, which would mean a verdict in June — and if the earlier ruling is struck down, could allow the president’s administration to set the program in motion over the summer before the election brings in a new commander in chief.
The beloved human rights campaigner and Nobel laureate has won her seat in Myanmar’s historic weekend elections, the most democratic in 25 years. She’s urging the military to respect “the people’s will,” with early results pointing to a huge victory for her National League for Democracy, which she believes has secured a parliamentary majority of around 75 percent. Official results are still pending, and while Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from the presidency, she intends to rule as “a rose by another name.”
No one took a swing. The Israeli and U.S. leaders met yesterday for the first time since Netanyahu’s congressional dust-up over the Iran nuclear deal. They focused on shared goals like keeping Tehran in check, thwarting terror and boosting Israeli security. Netanyahu called it one of his “best meetings” with Obama, who pushed for a new 10-year defense pact with Israel. Neither focused on animosity, opting instead to move forward with plans for the security agreement — signaling Obama’s intention to not let the historic American-Israeli alliance fall apart without a fight.
Were they running a shady operation? A new report alleges that Russian athletes, coaches and doctors have been involved in state-sponsored doping since the 1970s. It says false identities, bribes and intimidation have been used to avoid steroid testing and quash positive results. Citing the London 2012 Olympics as just one event “sabotaged” by Russian unwillingness to punish athletes for doping, the agency is recommending that the country be banned from track and field competitions in Rio next summer. Now the Kremlin’s demanding more evidence but says it’s open to cooperating in theory.
Australian authorities retake Christmas Island detention center. (DW)
OPEC’s continued high oil production strategy could backfire, IEA says. (WSJ) sub
EU criticizes Turkey over democracy and human rights. (BBC)
University of Missouri president resigns amid campus racial unrest. (Washington Post)
SeaWorld to end killer whale shows in San Diego. (The Atlantic)
Appeals court rejects Obama’s immigration plan. (CNN)
All bets are off. Eric Schneiderman declared yesterday that daily fantasy sports companies are “illegal gambling” operations and must stop accepting wagers in the Empire State. The cease-and-desist letters sent to FanDuel and DraftKings reflect a similar finding in Nevada last month, which ordered the companies to obtain gambling licenses in order to continue taking bets there. A statement from DraftKings reasserted that its business model constitutes a “game of skill” and promised to pursue legal options to stop other states from rolling the dice.
Let’s hear it for the ladies. The naked woman in Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu Couché has joined Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger in the record books, netting the second-highest price ever for an auctioned painting. Christie’s had a guaranteed price of $100 million on the Italian’s work, but nine minutes of bidding saw the 1918 masterpiece go to a winning phone bid from a Chinese collector for 70 million more. Monday’s lots raised nearly half of the $1 billion the famed auction house expects to sell in art this week.
Logging off is a basic human right … in Belgium. A court there has ordered the social networking giant to stop using cookies that track users even after they’ve logged off or deactivated their accounts. But Facebook says it should only be subject to Irish privacy laws, since that’s where its European headquarters are located. It plans to appeal, but other countries — like Germany and the Netherlands — could raise similar concerns. Mark Zuckerberg’s firm has just 48 hours to comply or face fines of $269,000 per day.
Sleep it off! That may be the magic bullet for battling obesity. While the link between inadequate rest and weight gain isn’t new, research increasingly hints at help beyond just saying “get more sleep.” Clinical trials for sleep education and behavioral therapy have been promising, even demonstrating that participants were more willing to work out and less prone to nighttime munchies. Scientists are also working on untangling the molecular pathways influencing sleep and appetite, which could lead to medicine that would help us trim the fat while getting more rest.
Meet the latest victims of the big drought. The Sierra Nevada foothills community of Three Rivers has seen an uptick in black bears wandering out of nearby Sequoia National Park and into town. A handful of the critters can now be spotted at any time of day looking for food after their usual acorn and berry harvests dried up. Some residents enjoy the visitors, but others are suspected of shooting the wayward animals — who simply need to bulk up before settling in for a long winter’s nap.
Will this help him score points? Wolfgang Niersbach stepped down yesterday to take “political responsibility” amid allegations that German officials illegally paid for hosting rights to the 2006 World Cup. The world’s largest soccer federation has been reeling from a Der Spiegel report claiming that it paid a $7.2 million bribe to FIFA in 2005. Niersbach says the money was paid as part of an agreement with FIFA to secure a grant and that he is “personally beyond reproach,” but he’s being investigated for tax evasion related to the scandal.