He’ll need a new pickup line. In 2005 footage the Republican presidential candidate bragged about trying to bed a married woman and being able to grope women, noting that “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything …” After Speaker Paul Ryan nixed a planned appearance with the mogul and two congressional Republicans withdrew their support amid a five-alarm political conflagration, Trump issued a Facebook video in which he said “I was wrong, and I apologize” — while pointing the finger at Bill Clinton’s womanizing, previewing an expected attack at Sunday’s debate.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It’s down, but not out. Though Hurricane Matthew has been downgraded to a Category 3, 1.5 million people in Florida have been urged to flee, and at least a million residents are now without power. The death toll in Haiti has surpassed 800 after homes, crops and entire villages were destroyed by the region’s fiercest hurricane in nine years. While Central Florida appears to have been spared the brunt of the storm, President Obama has warned against complacency, noting that Matthew is a “really dangerous hurricane.”
Does hacking an electoral system constitute an act of war? The president’s staff said today they’re “confident” Moscow was behind recent compromises of U.S. political emails. “The recent disclosures of alleged hacked emails … are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” the statement said. This comes just days after both sides broke off Syrian talks, and while the administration admitted its been confident about this assessment for some time, it has not indicated what, if anything, it intends to do about it.
He did his best. The Nobel committee awarded the coveted prize to Juan Manuel Santos for his work negotiating a peace deal between Colombia’s government and FARC rebels after 52 years of war. On Sunday, Colombia’s voters rejected the hard-fought agreement by a tiny margin, plunging the South American nation into uncertainty about next steps. But in awarding the prize, the Nobel committee said they believed voters were still committed to the idea of peace and that they hoped the accolade would energize Santos to keep struggling for non-violence.
It’s a preemptive strike. Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters she may build an insurmountable lead in Nevada, North Carolina and Florida … before Election Day, reports OZY’s Nick Fouriezos. While polling has shown an enthusiasm deficit, Mook said early voting and absentee requests point to big swing-state minority turnout among those who lean liberal but don’t always vote. The GOP downplayed those numbers as Donald Trump did a New Hampshire dry run for Sunday’s town hall debate, one of few chances left to shift the race.
Blame the machines. The pound sterling dropped more than 6 percent against the dollar in just two minutes this morning, in what many are attributing to rogue automation. While the currency regained much of its value, it was still down 1.5 percent after a week in which Prime Minister Theresa May gave up a key bargaining chip by promising to trigger Brexit negotiations next spring, meaning she’ll no longer be able to use the EU’s desire for a swift break to leverage Britain’s weak position in divorce talks.
Know This: WikiLeaks release reveals Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speech excerpts. A man found what may be a human heart in a New York City trash can. Northern Ireland’s mounting a legal challenge to Brexit, fearing that a hard border with Ireland will undermine its hard-won peace. And Brazilian scientists have described and named Austroposeidon magnificus, which they say was their country’s largest-ever dinosaur.
Read This: What would you do if your best friend died? When it happened to her, Eugenia Kuyda built an artificial intelligence bot using her friend’s texts and emails — and released it to anyone who still wanted to talk to him.
Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB quiz.
Watch these down-ballot dynamos. While the presidential race sucks up all the oxygen, 10 heated attorney general races across the country are getting nasty — and putting on display an office that has more direct sway over our lives. Though originally a line of defense against an overreaching monarch, state AGs are now on offense for everything from marriage rights to environmental issues. Some contend they’ve also become more partisan, seeking out juicy targets like Wall Street banks or the federal government as a stepping-stone to national stardom.
Besides, nobody wants to see more Instagram ultrasounds. More than 90 percent of American 2-year-olds have an online presence, and some parents, who never had their own birth announcements posted on Facebook, may not grasp the ramifications of ”sharenting.” Mentioning children’s names and birthdays online heightens identity theft risks, and legal scholars are considering the rights of children whose lives are put online without their consent. Meanwhile, kids may struggle to shape their own identities when their parents have already digitally done it for them.
It’s getting hot in here. According to a new study, increasing temperatures and decreasing rainfall could mean Southwestern states see harsh, desert-like conditions almost year-round within the next 100 years. This so-called megadrought would be similar to the worst dry spells of the past century — only lasting for 35 years or more. Besides massive environmental damage, a megadrought would result in serious water restrictions and health problems. So how do we stop it? Scientists say we must start taking reducing greenhouse gas emissions seriously.
They can’t keep up. The entertainment network has suspended production of the hit reality show indefinitely after Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint during Paris Fashion Week, leaving her physically unharmed but emotionally shaken. The 12th season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians returns Oct. 23, and the show’s already been renewed for a 13th season. The clan’s been unusually quiet since the incident, amid swirling questions of why they were vulnerable — and whether it’s time to shut down the ubiquitous cameras and social media posts for good.
They’re fumbling for answers. Heading into the fifth weekend of the NFL season, viewership among 18-to-49-year-olds has dropped 14 percent — with losses heaviest for prime-time matchups on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights. ESPN, Fox, NBC and CBS have spent a combined $57 billion to televise America’s most popular sport through 2021. Sports have become more lucrative in recent years because unlike many shows, viewers watch live rather than on DVR, but networks worry this slump will drag down the price of ads next season.