Before today, it was a big maybe. But the Vice President, who’s previously sought the Democratic nomination twice, says he will not be a candidate this time around, but still believes in ”unlimited possibilities for this country.” Many had speculated that Biden would run, given his privileged position as Barack Obama’s number two and his popularity with the public. But the Delaware politician has had a tough year — he lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer in May — and he’d indicated before that he wasn’t emotionally ready for the grueling pace of a presidential race.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He’s good at covert ops. Syrian President Bashar Assad made an unannounced trip last night to Moscow — he hasn’t been abroad since 2011 — for a one-day “working visit” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The leaders discussed Russia’s help in battling “terrorists” in Syria and their shared desire to end the conflict. Vowing to help his “friend” militarily, as well as politically, Putin declared his commitment to forging peace — while warning 4,000 Russian citizens fighting alongside Syrian rebels that they will not be allowed to return home.
He’s cooling his jets. Vowing to restore Canada’s “compassionate and constructive voice in the world,” the prime minister-elect says he’s bringing home six fighter jets involved in U.S.-led bombing against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Trudeau told Obama yesterday about his plans, and the White House says it remains committed to promoting trade, addressing climate change and combating terror with its northern neighbor. The newly elected leader didn’t lay out a timeline for the withdrawal but promised that his country ”would continue to engage in a responsible way.”
He wants everyone to play nice. The congressman is willing to step up if every major GOP faction unites behind him — something he’ll likely secure despite some reservations by more conservative members, including the House Freedom Caucus, which announced they don’t have the 80 percent support necessary to formally endorse him. Ryan said he wants the speaker’s role to focus more on party message and less on raising funds. He and the Republican conference now have until Friday to make up their minds but Ryan has reportedly said he’s willing to move forward even without the coveted conservative group’s endorsement.
It wants to re-balance those books. After suffering a worse-than-expected third quarter, the Swiss multinational announced today that it will raise $6.3 billion in fresh capital, as well as cutting $3.7 billion in costs. Credit Suisse plans to restructure its investment bank and reduce the capital allocated to it, while also selling some shares in its retail bank and making leadership changes. The new approach includes cutting around 5,000 jobs worldwide — and 2,000 from its London operations, making some question the capital’s dominance over global finance.
U.S. Navy pilot dies in Cambridgeshire F18 crash. (BBC)
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approves Iranian nuclear deal. (USA Today)
Gunman shoots, kills police officer in East Harlem. (NYT)
China to announce U.K. nuclear plant deal. (Sky)
Ferrari hits pedal with $9.8 billion U.S. IPO valuation. (FT) sub
Jim Webb bows out of 2016 Democratic race. (NPR)
Biden changes tune on Osama bin Laden raid. (CNN)
To historians, it’s a ludicrous idea. The Israeli Prime Minister, speaking at the Zionist Congress Tuesday, told his audience that Adolf HItler’s plan had originally been simple to expel Jews, but that he was encouraged to commit genocide by Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini. While al-Husseini was a confirmed anti-Semite, Holocaust historians are widely condemning the comments — as is the German government, which released a statement speaking of ”inherent German responsibility in these crimes against humanity” as Netanyahu traveled to Berlin to meet with chancellor Angela Merkel.
It’s the greatest story a politician ever told: How he found the Almighty. Presidential candidates like Ben Carson and Bobby Jindal have powerful stories about finding God — in Carson’s case, while locked in a bathroom for three hours and reading the Book of Proverbs. They may be hoping to follow in the footsteps of presidents like George W. Bush, who captivated churchgoing voters with their come-to-Jesus moments. But moderate views tend to prevail in general elections, so experts warn not to put too much faith in religious fervor.
The American Cancer Society is pushing back the age for recommended yearly breast cancer screenings to 45, with biennial checks after 55 — guidelines more in line with other developed countries. For the last 12 years, women in the U.S. have been advised to start mammograms at age 40, but analysis of 90 studies and trials indicates that early screenings don’t do much to prevent deaths and may waste resources. With more than 40,000 women dying from the disease annually, experts hope this will better allocate much-needed support.
It just U-turned. Consumer Reports gave the Tesla Model S a glowing review a couple months back, but it’s had a change of heart. With new data about reliability, the publication has withdrawn its coveted recommendation, driving stocks in Elon Musk’s company down by as much as 11 percent. Tesla says it’ll roll up its sleeves to fix the problems — dodgy door handles, squeaks and wimpy charging — to better prepare for the rollout of a projected 200,000 affordable mass-market Model 3 cars by 2020.
The force remains strong. Online pre-orders for the premiere of The Force Awakens set a single-day record, lapping 2012’s The Hunger Games nearly eight times, according to Fandango. IMAX sales, meanwhile, hit a new peak of $6.5 million. Views of the latest trailer, currently around the 27 million mark and averaging a million more per hour, have yet to top Fast and Furious 7. But there’s little doubt the film will break plenty of other records before — and after — it hits the big screen on Dec. 18.
Hometown fans were left empty-handed. Despite stirring hopes of a series-tying victory after Monday’s wild run, the Toronto Blue Jays were smacked down 14-2 by Kansas City, who now boast a 3-1 ALCS lead. New York, likewise, all but extinguished hopes for a historic year for Chicago, taking a 3-0 lead over the Cubs in the NLCS. This puts both the Mets and Lorde’s favorite team one win away from capturing their respective pennants — barring any last-minute heroics by their rivals.