The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Former Portuguese PM António Guterres Poised to Be Next U.N. Head

    He’s been chosen. Portugal’s António Guterres has the Security Council’s unanimous vote to be the next U.N. Secretary General. A long-time member of Portugal’s Socialist Party and the country’s prime minister from 1999 to 2005, Guterres is a relevant choice: He was the U.N. high commissioner for refugees for 10 years. He has been selected from a 13-strong candidate pool and must now be confirmed by the General Assembly to take over the role held by South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon since 2007.

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    Xi Jinping May Be Delaying Choosing His Successor

    Hasn’t he had enough? China’s leader was appointed in 2012, and while Xi’s second five-year term is a foregone conclusion when the Communist Party congress convenes in 2017, many are speculating that he’ll break with tradition and delay announcing his chosen successor at the event. That could mean Xi wants to prolong his time at the top while maintaining political dominance and pushing premier Li Keqiang to the side — but some hope for more clarity after this month’s meeting of senior officials planning the 2017 congress.

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    Hurricane Matthew Slams Haiti as South Carolina Evacuates

    Batten down the hatches. Haiti’s government reported that five people were killed and nearly 15,000 evacuated as torrential rain and 145-mph winds pummeled the island. As officials try to assess the damage despite disabled communications in parts of the country, charitable groups are warning that crop destruction may mean famine for Haiti’s poorest citizens. It also remains uncertain whether presidential elections scheduled for Sunday will go ahead. Meanwhile, South Carolina’s told about a million coastal residents to clear out as the American South prepares to face the storm.

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    IMF Slashes Global Forecast for Advanced Economies

    It all comes back to politics. The IMF’s now only expecting the U.S. economy to grow 1.6 percent this year, due to ongoing uncertainty about the election and how a Donald Trump administration would alter American monetary policy. And the U.K.’s now predicted to grow just 1.1 percent in 2017, half of what was forecast in April before the surprise vote to exit the EU. Meanwhile, the pound fell to a three-decade low yesterday, which analysts say will benefit multinationals while spelling disaster for some homegrown British companies.

  5. NSA Contractor in Hot Water, Duterte’s Latest Insult, Indonesia’s Abortion Innovation and Iceland’s Potential Pirate Overlords

    Know This: An NSA contractor stands accused of taking top secret info. Charlotte police have released body camera video of Keith Scott’s slaying. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa for their work on designing molecular machines. And Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told President Barack Obama to “go to hell.”

    Read This: Do-it-yourself abortions are a way for women to subvert medical regulations in Pakistan and Indonesia — and maybe even in the U.S.

    Remember This Number: 21.6 percent. That’s how much of the Icelandic electorate supports the 4-year-old Pirate Party, which is currently leading in the polls for the Oct. 29 general election.


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    Report: Yahoo Surveilled User Email for the NSA

    Do you Yahoo? Hope you weren’t emailing dirty secrets. Former employees have revealed that beginning in 2015, the internet giant engaged in a full-scale email wiretap — without the knowledge or consent of users, or even Yahoo security officers. People who used a particular character string in their emails had their messages scanned in real time and passed on to U.S. intelligence services. This is the latest in a series of massive security missteps to hit Yahoo, to the point that Edward Snowden’s urging users: “Close your account today.”

  2. Refugees

    World’s Superpowers Lag Behind on Resettling Refugees

    They need to put their money where their mouth is. Global superpowers talk a mean game about helping the world’s 21 million refugees, but a new Amnesty International report shows that more than half those asylum seekers are in just 10 countries, which between them account for only 2.5 percent of global GDP. Most, like Turkey and Chad, neighbor global conflict areas. Meanwhile, the U.K. has taken on 80 times fewer refugees than Jordan. Only Canada, the report says, is putting serious work into a superpower-style refugee program.

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    Italy’s Streetwalkers Move Indoors

    It’s a different kind of house call. A triple-dip recession has pushed thousands of Italian women into do-it-yourself home prostitution, which now makes up 35 percent of the sex work market. They’re penetrating a legal loophole: Selling one’s body is technically not illegal in Italy, though brothels and exploitation by pimps and clients are. Some advocates worry about the safety of women bringing strange men into their homes, preferring to institute red-light districts, but the Vatican still holds major political clout — so, for now, sex work reforms remain stalled.

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    Judge Judy Is TV’s Highest Paid Star at $47 Million

    The verdict’s in. A Variety survey of television insiders found that quippy syndication star Judith Sheindlin rakes in more than anyone else on air. As news and reality show personalities go, Matt Lauer trails her with $22-$25 million. The stars of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory rule comedy at $1 million per episode — nice work at 24 per season — while Netflix shelled out the most for drama at $750,000 per episode for Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in next month’s Gilmore Girls miniseries.

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    Blue Jays Advance to ALDS With 11th-Inning Walk-off

    This wild card game lived up to its name. Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to seal a 5-2 victory, sending Blue Jays fans into hysterics and ending the season for the Orioles. Baltimore stunningly left dominant closer Zach Britton on the bench and saw the game marred when a fan nearly pegged outfielder Hyun Soo Kim with a beer can. Next the Jays will move on to face Texas in the division series starting Thursday.