Scorched earth, much? With his campaign in crisis after leaked vulgar comments about women, Donald Trump used yesterday’s high-stakes debate to bring up rape allegations against Bill Clinton and tell Hillary Clinton she’ll “be in jail” over her email scandal if he wins. Meanwhile, Clinton stumbled over a question about statements she made in paid speeches — but OZY Editor-in-Chief Carlos Watson says she came out on top and that the Trump campaign’s spectacular “implosion” looks irreversible this late in the game.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He went there. Before the two candidates clashed in St. Louis, the Republican nominee appeared with Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey, who have accused Bill Clinton of assaulting them. Also on stage was Kathy Shelton, who said as a lawyer in the 1970s Hillary Clinton attacked her credibility while representing a man she accused of assault. Said Broaddrick: ”Mr. Trump may have said some bad words, but Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me.” Trump has used the 42nd president’s actions — and Hillary Clinton’s role — as a defense for his vulgar comments about women.
Is this the line? Donald Trump bragging about grabbing women’s genitalia without consent has caused an uproar among Republicans — even his running mate — with figures like Sen. John McCain withdrawing their support and many demanding that the mogul to surrender his nomination. Melania Trump even called lewd comments on a leaked recording “unacceptable and offensive,” but she’d forgiven her husband and urged others to follow suit. While Trump’s apologized, he’s refused to step aside and will face the music at tonight’s debate, calling his 11-year-old remarks “a distraction.”
Hurricane Michael may have passed, but expect a political tempest at St. Louis’s town hall presidential debate tonight. Donald Trump must save his campaign after suffering the bombshell of his bragging lewdly about aggressive sexual advances on tape — prompting Republican calls for him to quit. And Hillary Clinton might need to explain hacked documentation of her extolling free trade and Social Security-cutting budgets for Wall Street moguls. President Obama charged that Russia’s “weaponized” such leaks to influence U.S. elections, likely prompting Clinton to capitalize on Trump’s bromance with Vladimir Putin.
As a Category 4 hurricane, Matthew wiped out villages in Haiti and killed nearly 900 people on Friday. It weakened, but even at Category 3, it was still one of the strongest storms to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, killing 15 and interrupting power for several million homes as it swept along the coast from Florida to the Carolinas, where President Obama declared federal states of emergency. It weakened further before going ashore in South Carolina, and now it’s moving northeast from North Carolina as a post-tropical cyclone.
Will success spoil them? Things seemed rosy for the U.K. Independence Party, the right wing, anti-Europe party that made Brexit its raison d’être. Now that’s done and dusted, and the party seems paralyzed. Its post-Brexit leader, Diane James, stepped down after just 18 days in office. Her likely successor, Steven Woolfe, was hospitalized following a scuffle with a party colleague on Thursday. Brexit leader Nigel Farage, an obvious choice to head the party, won’t step in for the long term, leaving Britons to wonder if UKIP can survive its greatest triumph.
Watch carefully. One Kurdish journalist says he survived ISIS captivity and torture to hunt down militants he recognizes in Germany. Without empirical evidence, though, it’s his word against theirs. The same issue surfaced this week when The Washington Post challenged the credibility of revelations made by imprisoned German ISIS “defector” Harry Sarfo about the group after an ISIS member released video of Sarfo preparing hostages for execution. With footage that’s incriminating but not conclusive, the world is left to guess which self-serving source to believe.
Know This: Officials are reviewing U.S. support for a Saudi-led military coalition after it was blamed for an airstrike that killed 140 in Yemen. Two police officers were shot dead in Palm Springs, Calif., while responding to a domestic call Saturday. And a third “fixed” Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone caught fire Tuesday, but the company reportedly stayed mum about the incident.
Consider This: “We don’t have anything; no bandages, no penicillin … We had to send people home because we couldn’t treat them here.” — a doctor in Jeremie, Haiti, epicenter of Hurricane Matthew’s onslaught, which killed nearly 900 people.
Interact With This: “It’s pretty weird when you open the messenger and there’s a bot of your deceased friend, who actually talks to you.” — Sergey Fayfer, who helped create AI using the writings and texts of someone killed in a auto accident.
Ew, that’s for girls. That’s been the derisive cry from men when it comes to female-oriented online spaces — and yet many, like Etsy, Pinterest and The Knot, are thriving. While men aren’t excluded from Pinterest the way women often are from, say, gaming spaces, the site’s focus, according to its all-male creators, does speak to typically feminized activities like curation. Nonetheless, as the site grows internationally, 50 percent of new users identify as male, meaning it could become a gender-neutral space in a few years.
That asset’s a liability. Paper money gets lost, ripped and ripped off — prompting some experts to suggest we trash it altogether. Former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff argues tactile currency promotes economy-hobbling underground commerce, while Swedes have stepped toward a cashless future by practically eliminating it. Cards or phones are now mandatory in Sweden for simple purchases like bus tickets and coffee. Some are resistant, saying legal tender is easier and more private. But in a world where it enables crime and tax evasion, cash may be headed for extinction.
It puts the “art” in artificial intelligence. Sophisticated software is teaching machines to distinguish a Matisse from a Van Gogh, and it could soon be put to work against forgers. The program can discern a particular artist’s technique, down to the texture and shape of a brush stroke, at a level far beyond human perception. While outsmarting counterfeiters once and for all is enticing, the field of study also raises tricky questions about the merging of art and science — and could help us understand why we value art in the first place.
Blazing Saddles may have had a point. Cowboys were originally Latino, and the Old West was populated by Chinese immigrants and former African slaves. But even when telling stories about real-life people of color, Hollywood cast white actors like John Wayne as western heroes. Studios perpetuated a popular myth of what a cowboy looked like, while reinforcing degrading stereotypes of Native Americans. Despite some recent missteps, films like The Revenant and The Magnificent Seven reboot are helping restore the racial and cultural melange that made American frontier tales cinematically compelling.
He’s got brains and brawn. At 6-foot-4, Brad Kaaya can thread the needle downfield while plotting strategy like a coach. His powerful arm and strategist’s mind have scouts projecting the Los Angeles native as a top-five pick in April — though for now he’s focused on keeping his No. 10 Hurricanes undefeated. Kaaya draws comparisons to astute Philly phenom Carson Wentz, and his rise could signal a return to prominence for pocket passers — as more mobile quarterbacks like Cam Newton get too easily sidelined by head injuries and violent tackles.