The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Obama Tries to Calm Ebola Fears as CDC Trips

    Getting it wrong is not an option. The second Texas healthcare worker with Ebola had a low fever, but the CDC cleared her to fly from Cleveland to Dallas. Thirteen nurses from her Frontier Airlines 1143 flight are now being monitored, seven others are under voluntary quarantine, and several schools in Ohio and Texas closed because of possible contact between students and the infected nurse or her fellow passengers. President Obama reiterated that the risk of infection remains “extremely low” and has called for a rapid-response unit, while Republicans warn that allowing flights from West Africa is a big mistake.

    NYTWashington PostBBCWSJUSA Today

  2. U.S. Hammers Kobane, Helping Kurds Gain

    Is Islamic State losing control? A U.S.-led campaign is pounding the militants in the Syrian border town of Kobane with as many as 50 airstrikes in 48 hours, killing hundreds of fighters. Proving the militants “aren’t 10 feet tall” is a key psychological objective, according to an Obama Administration official. Kurdish fighters boast that the bombardment has turned the tide, and that IS is on the run, but the Pentagon warns that the battle is far from won. 

    Washington PostAl Jazeera

  3. Putin Calls U.S. ‘Blackmail’ Futile

    Moscow’s muscle man says America can’t “blackmail” Russia over Ukraine. He blasted Obama’s “hostile” approach in calling Russia a threat to the world, then warned of the consequences of “discord between major nuclear powers.” Putin will have a chance to remind European and Asian leaders of the perils of making Moscow miserable this week in Italy, at a summit to discuss European natural gas — which a Russian billionaire can’t get from the North Sea, thanks to Britain — and Ukrainian peace. 


  4. Shares Up, Down and All Around

    Europe awoke in a good mood and turned grumpy. Wednesday’s 460-point intraday Dow Jones plummet — the worst in three years — pushed Japanese stocks down more than two percent as part of a broader sell-off in Asia. Global shares plummeted $672 billion, and oil dropped 1.3 percent to drag commodities to 2009 levels, prodded by Ebola hysteria and fears of a global economic slowdown. Today, investors initially seemed to be betting on a bounce, but then hedged those bets, with European stocks reversing early gains and heading south.

    BloombergFT (sub), WSJ


  1. Confessional App May Be Tracking Users

    It’s a bombshell allegation. Whisper, the anonymous sharing app in which millions of people have divulged their secrets, may be tracking users’ locations and their identities. So says The Guardian, which also revealed that the company gave information to the Department of Defense and tracked some users even after they opted out of geolocation services. Whisper’s editor-in-chief called the charges “a pack of vicious lies.” Still, it’s a reminder that anything shared on the Web is, well, shared on the Web.

    The Guardian, Washington Post


  2. Will The Great Lake State Ban Tesla?

    The electric car giant may say “Yes” to Michigan, but it’s hit a red light entering the home state of GM, Ford and Chrysler. The pothole? Tesla’s preference for selling its own product, rather than using franchised dealers. The EV pioneer has reached compromises with hostile retailer groups in other states, and was still negotiating with Michigan officials when the bill — which would ban direct sales to consumers — was introduced. Governor Rick Snyder now has until Tuesday to apply the brakes.


  3. Men, Women Prefer Male Managers

    No one likes a bossy boots — especially in heels. Sorry, ladies, even women don’t want to take orders from you. Only 25 percent of women and 14 percent of men prefer female managers. And that’s an improvement — in 1953, only five percent preferred female authority. But anyone eyeing the bottom line should adjust that attitude. Research has shown that having women in top management nets a 35-percent higher return on equity. So even if unpopular, it’s good business for ladies to show others who’s boss.


  4. Kansas City Sweeps Into World Series

    They’re no longer the motley fools. The Royals are heading to the Fall Classic after yesterday’s 2-1 victory over Baltimore. Pitcher Jason Vargas and a strong bullpen held the Orioles to four hits, assuring the season’s eighth straight playoff win. It was “what you dream of as a kid,” said closer Greg Holland, who was born just after the Royals’ last postseason appearance — when they won the 1985 World Series. Game One against the Giants or Cardinals on October 21 promises to be the hottest ticket in sports. 


  5. Most NYC Airbnb Listings Illegal, Attorney Says

    The state’s attorney general says more than 70 percent of NYC listings on the room-to-rent site violate the law. State law limits renting out an abode for short-term stays. The worst offenders essentially use the site as a full-time business operation – so much for the odd hipster eking out extra cash from tourists. Earlier this week San Francisco, faced with similar Airbnb challenges, changed city law to make temp stays legal. Gotham take note.

    NYT, NY PostTravel Weekly

  6. Crash-Dieting, Fat Not Bad After All

    Once seen as a recipe for yo-yo weight loss and poor health, crash diets and saturated fats are now healthy. An Australian study found that for the clinically obese, crash-dieting works better than gradual programs, with rapid results helping motivate dieters to fuel a virtuous (and slimming) circle. Meanwhile, scientists examining nearly 80 studies for links between saturated fats and heart disease were unable to find a negative correlation. On the contrary, they found that a particular type of saturated fat found in dairy products actually does a heart good.

    The TelegraphBBC

  7. HBO to Launch Streaming Service

    The shackles are coming off. HBO has announced it’s going “over the top” and taking hit shows like Game of Thrones straight to U.S. viewers via the Internet, no cable subscription needed. With approximately 10 million broadband-only American TV viewers, the planned 2015 launch of stand-alone streaming is seen as a “seismic event in the future of television.” HBO already offers the service overseas, but in the U.S. the cable giant has been slow to shake free from traditional distributors.


  8. Nokia, Apple Fight for Phablet Supremacy

    Better stretch those skinny jeans. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 launches this week, going head to head with Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus. Both phones feature oversized screens with remarkable resolution, quality cameras and powerful operating systems, earning the “phablet” moniker for blending phone and tablet tech. It’s worth noting that the Galaxy planted the phablet flag first. Not to be left out, Google unveiled the Nexus 6 with a 6-inch display. May the best phablet win.

    Engadget, WSJ, USA Today