The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Syria flag damaged by gunfire shutterstock 327353651

    Airstrikes Reportedly Hit Idlib School, Killing Dozens

    They were mostly schoolchildren. A U.N. official described it as a “possible war crime” as bombs from what are believed to be Russian or Syrian government planes struck a school in the rebel-held Syrian province. At least 26 students and teachers are thought dead in the village of Hass, according to monitoring groups, though Syrian state TV reporting on the bombardment said only militants were killed. “It’s horrible. I hope we were not involved,” Russia’s U.N. ambassador said, as humanitarian groups predicted the death toll could rise.

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    No Injuries as Mike Pence Plane Skids off Runway; LaGuardia Closed

    A charter airplane containing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence skidded off a rainy runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York on Thursday night. No injuries were reported for Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate or the other staff, security and press on the plane. New York’s emergency management agency announced the airport would be closed until further notice.

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    Trump Tries to Save Battered Brand, Leaks Damage Clinton

    They’re staggering to the finish. Donald Trump left the trail yesterday to christen his new Washington, D.C., hotel, though his personal brand has suffered severely during the campaign. His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was even destroyed by a vandal. But WikiLeaks continues to bedevil Hillary Clinton: Hacked documents showed how Clinton Foundation donations and the family’s personal income were intertwined, and revealed her aides’ concerns about foreign donors, leaving scars that will likely last — while an AP poll put her up 14 points in the election.

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    Strong Quakes Rock Central Italy, Injuring Dozens

    You never know when an aftershock will strike. Crews worked through the night despite bad weather, trying to mitigate the damage from a magnitude-5.5 earthquake that struck Macerata province, and a magnitude-6.1 tremor that followed two hours later. The two quakes, which rattled windows in Rome but caused no reported deaths, are thought to be aftershocks of the temblor in August that killed 300. Experts warn more aftershocks could be in the works as crews try to repair power lines and rescue historic buildings damaged by the shaking.

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    Embattled Deutsche Bank Unexpectedly Profitable This Quarter

    Things could be worse. After a net loss of $6.5 billion for the same period last year, Deutsche Bank saw a $303 million profit for Q3, despite an industry consensus that it would post a loss. The bank’s still in trouble: The U.S. Justice Department is asking it for $14 billion to probe shady pre-financial crisis selling of mortgage-backed securities, and its shares have fallen 41 percent in 2016. Now officials say the bank will go ahead with restructuring — and trying to negotiate with the Justice Department.

  6. Armed Oregonians, Pirates of Iceland, China’s Dead Swans and a Treat for ‘Hamilton’ Fans

    Know This: A federa jury acquitted seven people of conspiracy and gun charges in the armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge. Iceland’s Pirate Party is projected to win Saturday’s elections. China is investigating what appears to be a mass swan poisoning. And Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he wants U.S. troops ejected from the country within two years.

    Listen to This: The entirety of This American Life’s episode on the fluidity of facts during the presidential race is worth listening to. Or you can skip to the end, where Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. sings a song written from the perspective of President Obama.

    Check This Out: OZY wants your prognosis on the presidential race. Make your prediction now and check back Nov. 9 to see who agreed with you — and how close you were to reality.


  1. tiger cub shutterstock 15731107

    Wildlife Populations Fall 58 Percent in 42 Years

    Humans: Worse than a meteor hitting the Earth. A new study has found animal populations declining about 100 times faster than what’s considered a normal rate — mostly due to rising human populations, hunting, habitat degradation and climate change. Freshwater species are the worst hit, with an 81 percent dive in numbers across lakes, wetlands and rivers since 1970. And it’s not slowing down: The report predicts that by 2020, the world’s wildlife populations will have declined 67 percent, in what could be the worst mass extinction since the dinosaurs.

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    How Supercomputers Are Mapping Brain Disease

    They’re in uncharted waters. Today, when it comes to mapping brains, we’re working with rudimentary cartography — but researchers armed with supercomputers are hoping they’ll wind up with something closer to Google Maps for the mind. First step: Chart the neural pathways information uses to flow through the brain, then monitor those roads for breakdowns. Add brain scans, genetics and behavioral data, and then scientists (and their computers) look for patterns. Meanwhile, one initiative’s uploaded 10 million gigabytes of data to the cloud so anyone can navigate mind seas for themselves.

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    X-Ray Technology Is Changing the Future of Mummies

    Ancient Egyptians preserved more than bodies. For years, archaeologists have committed the unthinkable in search of knowledge: picking apart mummies’ cases to hunt for cultural clues in the writing on cartonnage, the “papyrus mâché” scraps recycled to mummify middle-class people. But now, X-rays are suddenly opening up a whole new field of research into a culture that’s fascinated us for centuries. These imaging tools can read ink on papyrus without pulling the cartonnage apart, which could spark new demand for high-tech Egyptologists.

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    Talk Swirls About Megyn Kelly’s Future After Gingrich Spat

    What’s her next move? The Fox News host has feuded with Donald Trump, and went viral this week sparring with Newt Gingrich, who accused Kelly of being “fascinated by sex” in her Trump coverage. With Kelly’s contract expiring in July 2017 and the 45-year-old star reportedly seeking $20 million per year, Fox chief Rupert Murdoch says he wants to keep her. But a hint to her ambitions arrived yesterday with news that Kelly will co-host syndicated Live with Kelly Ripa the morning after the election.

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    Arrieta Shuts Down Indians, Cubs Take Game 2

    The ace is out of the hole. Showing a glimpse of last year’s All-Star form, Chicago righthander Jake Arrieta shook off recent struggles and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of a 5-1 victory in Cleveland to knot the series at one game apiece. Ben Zobrist’s RBI triple in the fifth was the catalyst for the Chicago bats. The series moves to what’s sure to be an emotional Wrigley Field for Game 3 on Friday, as the Cubs host their first World Series game since 1945.