She’s leaning in. Frontrunner HIllary Clinton was the clear winner at last night’s debate, which garnered a record 15.3 million viewers. Though many applauded Vermont senator Bernie Sanders for his performance — particularly the moment when he said the country was tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s “damn emails” — the other three candidates melted into the background and Joe Biden never materialized. Meanwhile, Hillary rose above interparty swipes and went for charm and strength, two qualities that could help her beat back Sanders in the primary.
The Presidential Daily Brief
There’s no room for error. Following a “near miss” between American and Russian warplanes in Syria last weekend — U.S. officials say Putin’s flyboys have repeatedly ignored protocols — both sides are planning urgent talks over air safety. They will meet via teleconference later today in a bid to avoid accidental escalation of the conflict. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter expects a deal to be worked out soon, despite American disapproval of Russia’s “wrongheaded and strategically short-sighted” approach to resolving the situation in Syria.
It’s a go. The agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions was a landmark deal, and it’s now passed the final hurdle to become Iranian law. Though the country’s parliament approved the bill yesterday, it still had to make it through the Guardian Council, which ensures that laws don’t violate religious guidelines on the constitution of Iran. Now Iran is expected to start shutting down portions of its nuclear program — as long as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei doesn’t voice a public objection, which he hasn’t thus far.
They’re disorganized but wreaking havoc nonetheless. “An octopus with many hands but no brain” is how one expert described the leaderless Palestinian youths who have been inspired by social media to violently lash out at Israelis recently. Yesterday, two attacks in Jerusalem — where Palestinians reportedly tried to commandeer a bus — killed three Israelis. Compared to the second intifada’s well-organized bombings, this wave of lone-wolf attacks is giving rise to a tit-for-tat cycle of bloodshed and prompting Israel to deploy soldiers nationwide to curb the violence.
They’re a house divided. Two members of the Fed’s board have said they’re opposed to raising interest rates soon, publicly questioning chair Janet Yellen’s view that inflation will rise on the heels of strong U.S. employment. Daniel Tarullo joined fellow governor Lael Brainard, saying in an interview yesterday that it was inappropriate to seek a hike this year. Minutes from the Fed’s September session show that eight of 12 board members favored raising rates, but no hike is expected this month — which is likely to cause the dollar to slide.
Erdogan pays tribute to Turkish bombing victims. (DW)
Officials: Obama is reconsidering Afghan pullout. (NYT)
Hong Kong airline cancels flights over Iran. (The Guardian)
Ohio truck driver accused of being serial killer. (Cleveland)
Report: Social media comments get Congress to notice. (USA Today)
He’s feeling insecure. The Republican frontrunner says his status entitles him to government protection and thinks political bias is at play. He might have a point. Despite rumors that his campaign is stalling a new CNN poll shows him far ahead of his rivals in early primary states Nevada and South Carolina. In an interview, the Donald claims then-candidate Obama had protection at this during his campaign, accusing the government of not “giving a sh*t” about his personal safety. However, the Department of Homeland Security says it still hasn’t received a request from his campaign.
It has a nice ring to it. A star discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope has a mysterious circle of objects orbiting and throwing shadows on it. The Kepler team’s been sharing data with “citizen scientists,” who noticed “bizarre” light patterns around KIC 8462852, leading to speculation that the shadow-causing objects could be creations of extraterrestrial life using the star as an energy source. The SETI Research Center now hopes to point a large radio dish at the star to see if it emits radio waves associated with technological activity.
Take a seat! Recent warnings about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle made us sit up and take notice, but they may have been premature. British researchers analyzed 5,000 participants over 16 years and found that they didn’t suffer an increased risk of early death as long as they got exercise outside of work — for example, walking to and from the office. But this contradicts much larger studies, and the researchers admit more work is needed to determine whether their results have a leg to stand on.
To build a tech haven, you need coders. So East Africa’s most advanced economy is having to start at the bottom, training young people to study computer science and learn to be tomorrow’s startup developers in the hope of positioning Nairobi for future digital domination. Places like Moringa School, which teaches people how to code quickly and get them set up in lucrative jobs, are part of a growth industry. While tuition is high, it can lead pupils into big opportunities … as long as Nairobi’s tech promise pans out.
Wasn’t he fired? NBC and Trump parted ways this summer — despite the GOP front-runner’s longtime gig on The Apprentice — when the network distanced itself from his inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants. Yet now he plans to return as celebrity host of Saturday Night Live on Nov. 7. Some are criticizing NBC’s weakening resolve, which will hand Trump a megaphone just three days before the next GOP debate. But the real estate mogul, who previously hosted in 2004, is excited, telling fans via Twitter to “look forward to it.”
They’ve never seen anything like it. A sellout crowd of 42,411 saw Chicago clinch a playoff series at Wrigley for the first time in the ballpark’s history. The jubilant Cubs eliminated St. Louis with a 6-4 victory — propelled by two huge homers — leaving fans and players to celebrate long after the game. Chicago’s next test begins on the road this Saturday, facing the winner of the Mets-Dodgers series, as the North Siders chase their first pennant since 1945 and their first World Series since 1908.