Welcome to the great divide. Last night’s feisty debate saw candidates (mostly) stick to issues, with immigration revealing a stark rift. Donald Trump wanted to deport all illegal immigrants — 11 million — and install a Mexican border fence, which elicited approval from Ted Cruz. Meanwhile, John Kasich and Jeb Bush advocated a pathway to amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Overall, it was another good night for Marco Rubio and Cruz, with Kasich and Trump also faring well, as the group looks ahead to the next debate in Las Vegas on Dec. 15.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Let’s chat. That’s the message from victorious Aung San Suu Kyi to military and political leaders in hopes of forging a “national reconciliation.” Around 40 percent of parliamentary seats have been declared, giving her National League for Democracy nearly 90 percent of votes, meaning the NLD is well on its way to a landslide. President Thein Sein has congratulated Suu Kyi on her success and agreed to a meeting, but only after the election commission finishes its work. Myanmar’s ruling party has promised that it will respect the people’s wishes.
Putin has a game plan. A Russian document floating around the U.N. suggests an 18-month constitutional reform process for Bashar Assad’s war-torn country, culminating in a popular referendum over a new national framework, as well as presidential elections. Russia’s U.N. ambassador stressed that the proposal, which notably doesn’t address whether Assad should stay at the helm, aims to “launch a political process.” It stipulates that Assad not chair the constitutional commission and suggests that central Syrian opposition groups take part in crisis talks in Vienna on Saturday.
They’re not letting it go without a fight. Though the regional parliament of Catalonia resolved earlier this week to make a road map to secession from Spain, the mother country is making moves to stop the separation. ”This is about defending a whole country,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told reporters, explaining that his government has filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court to block Catalonia’s plan from going ahead. The issue of independence — and whether Rajoy can keep his nation together — will be of primary concern in next month’s elections.
So much for a slower economy. Today — Singles Day 2015 — is now the biggest online shopping day in history, with Chinese buyers taking to Alibaba’s e-commerce sites like never before. Purchases easily surpassed 2014’s $9.3 billion, racking up over $10 billion in sales by early afternoon. Since going public in 2014, Alibaba has seen its stock fall as much as 40 percent. To revive the brand, it’s now pursuing more “omnichannel” marketing, mixing online and offline sales in a new growth strategy that appears to be paying dividends.
Veterans Day snow and thunderstorms to hit central U.S. (USA Today)
EU, African leaders meet in Malta to discuss refugee crisis. (DW)
Police arrest suspect in social media death threats at University of Missouri. (Washington Post)
Anheuser-Busch InBev makes formal $107 billion offer for SABMiller. (FT) sub
France arrests ISIS suspect over alleged naval base attack plot. (France24)
Afghans protest suspected ISIS beheadings of seven ethnic Hazara. (Al Jazeera)
Department of Veterans Affairs pays bonuses despite scandals. (USA Today)
All bets are off. Eric Schneiderman declared yesterday that daily fantasy sports companies are “illegal gambling” operations and must stop accepting wagers in the Empire State. The cease-and-desist letters sent to FanDuel and DraftKings reflect a similar finding in Nevada last month, which ordered the companies to obtain gambling licenses in order to continue taking bets there. A statement from DraftKings reasserted that its business model constitutes a “game of skill” and promised to pursue legal options to stop other states from rolling the dice.
Don’t mess with Khaleesi. French actor Elie Haddad, newly cast as a Dothraki warrior on HBO’s fantasy blockbuster, posted an Instagram of his iPad showing a page from his Game of Thrones script. He quickly deleted the photo, but sharp-eyed obsessives had already jumped on the spoilers. The scene of Dothraki khals saying rude things about dragon queen Daenerys doesn’t give much away, but fans — flying blind since the show has outpaced the novels — will take what they can get before April’s Season 6 premiere.
The microblogging platform is testing a new chat feature — one that looks similar to those on popular social networks. While some are praising its long-awaited arrival, others fear it’ll change the nature of the site, which focuses more on creativity and sharing than real-world personal branding. Execs say the new feature, which is being tested on 1,500 users but should be universally available next month, differs in that only text and links to in-site posts can be shared … and they promise they’re not aiming for “Facebookization.”
You won’t escape the rat race here. The Hindu shrine, home to 20,000 black rats, is a popular pilgrimage site, where visitors doff their shoes to pay homage to the revered inhabitants. The rodents are believed to be the reincarnation of Karni Mata, Goddess of Rats, and serve as a metaphor for how all life should be respected. Golden rat statues adorn the site — that’s the price of accidentally killing a fuzzy inhabitant, teaching us that it’s “like hurting yourself.” After all, you never know how you’ll be reincarnated.
They wrapped it up. The Mexican fast food chain is reopening 43 stores in Oregon and Washington after tests found no signs of bacteria. The outbreak affected at least 42 individuals, resulting in multiple hospitalizations in late October, and one lawyer has already filed lawsuits on behalf of two who fell ill. Health officials still don’t know how the E. coli got there, but Chipotle voluntarily conducted store cleanings, restocked ingredients and said it’s implementing new safety procedures to avoid future problems at any of its 2,000 locations.