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Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.
Oct 28, 2021
Democrats have just hours to go before President Joe Biden leaves for multiple global summits today. The president made it clear he’d like a deal hammered out before his departure. The nation’s top general has voiced serious concerns over China’s testing of hypersonic missiles last summer, likening tests to the start of the Cold War. Iran has signaled it will return to nuclear negotiations after Trump dropped the 2015 nuclear deal in favor of harsh economic sanctions. Meanwhile, storms continue to batter the Northeast with no sign of abating until next week. Speaking of next week ... Election Day is near! Take a look at what’s on the ballot in your local elections. All this and more in today’s Presidential Daily Brief.
1 - Last-Minute Concessions
Democrats scramble to reach a deal before Biden departs
President Joe Biden has pushed democrats to wrap-up talks and get his signature domestic initiative “over the finish line” before he leaves for global summits later today. It seemed likely Wednesday night that senate leadership would drop their billionaires’ tax and a paid family leave program to win over pivotal Sens. Manchin of West Virginia and Sinema of Arizona. The billionaires’ tax had been adopted to placate Sinema, but now is being nixed at the behest of Manchin. The senator justified his position saying, “People in the stratosphere, rather than trying to penalize, we ought to be pleased that this country is able to produce wealth.” Manchin’s intransigence has also led to a steep reduction in the paid family leave plan, from 12 to four weeks, and now likely faces the chopping block according to an anonymous source. (Source: AP)
2 - Top US General Sounds the Alarm
Gen. Milley calls China’s suspected missile test “very concerning”
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking general in the U.S., compared China’s suspected hypersonic missile test to the USSR’s launch of the satellite Sputnik, an event that set off the Cold War arms race. Milley’s comments are the first official U.S. acknowledgement of the two missile tests conducted this past summer. Based on intelligence gathered on the launches, the missiles were nuclear-capable and could evade U.S. air defence systems, as they can travel at five times the speed of sound. Last week, the U.S. tested three of its own hypersonic missiles from a NASA facility in Virginia. (Source: BBC)
3 - Iran Returns to the Table
Iranian leadership could revive a 2015 nuclear deal by November
For the first time ever, Iran has set a concrete timeline for the return of long-delayed negotiations over their nuclear program. After a meeting with EU officials in Brussels, Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s new nuclear negotiator, announced on Twitter that he’d had “a serious & constructive dialogue with @enriquemora_ on the essential elements for successful negotiations,” and agreed to meet by the end of November. Newly elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has faced pressure from Iran’s allies to return to the negotiating table. Since 2015 the Iranian economy has limped along, with oil exports crippled by harsh sanctions reimposed by former President Trump after he abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal. (Source: Guardian)
4 - Bomb Cyclone Hits Northeast
From bomb cyclone to nor’easter
Caused by a plunge in air pressure and rapidly intensifying winds within a 24-hour period, this “bomb” cyclone lived up to its name. Over 600,000 homes and businesses were left without power yesterday as hurricane-force winds and heavy rains pounded the Northeast. New York City was hit with 3 to 4 inches of rain, causing flash flooding throughout the city. The two storm systems that tag teamed the West Coast are set to move across the nation to hit the Northeast this Friday. (Source: Guardian)
5 - Briefly
Here are some things you should know about today:
A cheap antidepressant could help treat early COVID-19. The pill, normally used to treat depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, reduced the need for hospitalization among high-risk adults with COVID-19. (Source: LA Times) Election day nears. Local and statewide elections are set for this Tuesday. (Source: NYT) Letitia James to run for New York governor. New York Attorney General Letitia James will enter the race for governor against current Gov. Kathy Hochul, who replaced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo after his resignation over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations. (Source: AP)
WATCH ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Winner Bob the Drag Queen
Talks Self-Love, Polyamory and Gender Expression
1 - Honoring a Legend in a New Way
Marvel creator Stan Lee collaborative artworks up for auction
Before his death, the legendary Marvel comic book writer and publisher Stan Lee teamed up with pop culture painter Rob Prior for a unique portrait series. The canvas paintings re-create famous comic book covers depicting Lee as the superheroes he helped develop. Ten artworks showing the Marvel superhero creator will go up for blockchain auction on Wednesday. Winning bidders will claim both the physical and digital versions of the canvases. (Source: Reuters)
2 - Unsafe Education
Report lists 180 colleges as “worst” for LGBTQ students
LGBTQ advocacy group Campus Pride released a sobering report of the 180 “fundamentally unsafe” college campuses for LGBTQ students, its longest in six years. To gain entry on the Worst List of colleges an institution must have received or applied for an exemption to Title IX anti-sexism protections and/or have a demonstrated track record of anti-LGBTQ actions, programs and practices. All of this year’s 50 new additions were religiously affiliated schools. (Source: TheHill)
3 - Hanging Up Her Cleats
Soccer superstar Carli Lloyd retires
Legendary soccer player Carli Lloyd, one of the most gifted players in soccer history, ended her illustrious career on Tuesday. A leader of the USWNT for the past 15 years, Lloyd played her farewell match in a friendly against South Korea. The crowd gave the soccer superstar a standing ovation as soon as her No. 10 was shown for a substitution at St. Paul's Allianz Field. Lloyd gave love and hugs to every teammate in sight and pulled off her No. 10 “Lloyd” jersey to reveal another with “Hollins,” for her husband Brian Hollins, beneath. (Sources: ESPN, WaPo)
4 - Contemporary Revolutionaries
Students protest poor conditions at Howard University
Following reports of black mold, unclean facilities and water leaks at Howard University, 50 students have set up camp inside the student center and dozens more pitched tents outside. Taking cues from the university’s vibrant history of student protest, students are demanding the administration address safety concerns and allow student representation on the board of trustees. In spite of the school’s protest history, President Wayne A.I. Frederick said students must disband immediately, citing safety and health concerns. (Source: Axios)
5 - Youth No Shield Against Colon Cancer
New study shows spike in colon cancer deaths in young adults
According to a new study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, younger people are just as, if not more, likely to die from colon cancer. Colon cancer is one of the fastest-growing cancers impacting the lives of young people, and in May the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lowered the recommended age Americans should be screened for colon cancer from 50 to 45. (Source: Axios)
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