The Presidential Daily Brief


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    FBI Director: We’re Reopening Clinton Email Probe

    The Feds closed their investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in July, saying carelessness didn’t warrant an indictment.  But today, its probe into underage sexting allegations against former Congressman Anthony Weiner found new emails on a device he shared with his estranged wife, a Clinton aide. Agents are checking them for mishandled classified information, and FBI Director James Comey told Congress he doesn’t know how long it will take. Clinton called on the FBI to release all its new information and said she’s confident its conclusion won’t change, while Donald Trump praised the the agency for correcting a “horrible mistake.”

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    Militants Who Seized Oregon Refuge Acquitted of Conspiracy

    “God said we weren’t guilty.” So Shawna Cox triumphantly told reporters after she and six fellow defendants were found not guilty of federal conspiracy charges from their armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife center last winter. Led by militant anti-government protester Ammon Bundy, the group occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for 41 days. The verdict shocked prosecutors after a trial that pitted narratives of peaceful civil disobedience against one of lawlessness and forcible seizure. Bundy and his brother still face assault charges for a separate Nevada standoff.

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    Fundraising, Early Voting Numbers Look Promising for Clinton

    The polls are open. Millions of votes are already coming in, and Democrats are outperforming 2012 in key places like Colorado and Florida — with an outside shot of flipping Texas blue. Meanwhile, Ohio and Iowa are showing favorable signs for Donald Trump, who suggested yesterday that “we should just cancel the election” and award him the presidency. As fresh numbers show Hillary Clinton with a massive cash advantage, talk of her administration is intensifying, with one report floating Vice President Joe Biden as a possible Secretary of State.

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    With ‘Jungle’ Camp Destroyed, Refugee Children Remain in Calais

    They’re entitled to protection. But dozens of lone minors who’d been living in the now-demolished ‘Jungle’ camp have been offered no other options by the governments of either Britain or France. A group of teenagers were reportedly told to wait for transportation that never arrived, then herded by police out of the camp — though, after British government protests, they were allowed back in to sleep in an abandoned school. Now camps of displaced refugees are spreading into Paris as British authorities call on France to resettle the children.

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    Amazon’s Expenses Are Rising Faster Than Its Earnings

    You’ve got to spend money to make money. The online shopping giant significantly missed earnings expectations, while operating costs were up 29 percent this quarter thanks to investments in the entertainment sector and in developing virtual personal assistant Alexa. Stock dropped 6 percent after hours once the numbers were announced, and while the company’s net income in Q3 was $252 million, the company warned that Q4 — i.e., the crucial holiday shopping quarter — could see operating income as high as $1.3 billion or as low as zero.

  6. Duterte’s Promise to God, Pence’s Plane Scare and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he’s going to stop swearing because God commanded him to. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to move demonstrators at the Dakota Pipeline protest. And a plane carrying vice presidential nominee Mike Pence skidded off a New York runway last night, though nobody was injured.

    Remember This: 600,000 square miles. That’s the size of the newly designated Antarctic Ross Sea marine reserve, the world’s largest. The catch: Current agreements only protect the area for 35 years.

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB quiz.


  1. Marijuana

    Recreational Marijuana Could Make More Money Than Alcohol

    Maybe stoners have been right all along. A new study shows that legalizing recreational marijuana could generate more revenue than beer, wine, and spirits combined. Focusing on Canada, the study suggests that weed could become a nearly $23 billion industry. It’s hardly a far-fetched suggestion at this point: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aims to legalize cannabis next year, and many Canadians are in favor of the change. Some medical experts, too, say shifting everyone’s favorite vice from alcohol to pot could have long-term health benefits.

  2. Redwood

    California’s Ancient Trees Are Standing Up to Drought

    Like the rest of us, California’s natural spaces have had a rough 2016. Whole ecosystems are struggling to stay alive amid massive forest fires and a record-breaking drought season — and the state’s most famous trees, redwoods and giant sequoias, are especially at risk from the latter. But so far some of the Sierra Nevada’s oldest trees are proving extraordinarily resilient. Now researchers are studying trees like Odin, a 1,600-year-old giant sequoia that the heat can’t beat, looking for clues on protecting forests from climate change.

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    The Mathematical Secret to Happiness: Equality

    It’s all about division. Mathematicians have determined that the secret to happiness lies in how our circumstances relate to those around us. Using the “dictator game,” where one person divvies up money with a partner and they both gamble with it, researchers found that happiness scores dropped when other players received more — or less. Guilt and envy play starring roles here. Though the findings are hard to translate to real-world earnings, they can provide insight into what happens to our brains when our happiness goes off the rails.

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    The Vine Era Comes to an End, But Its Influence Endures

    We’re out of the loop. Vine, the 6-second looping video platform that burst onto the scene in 2013, will soon be no more. Old Vines will live on, but Twitter is shutting down the app amid major company-wide cuts. Though Vine’s lifespan was short, the viral clips gave Hollywood and the music industry a much-needed breath of fresh air. From empowering young Black voices to showing off new dance crazes to making stars more accessible, the platform’s impact will not disappear anytime soon.

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    Lawsuit: USA Gymnastics Enabled Culture of Abuse

    Its reputation is taking a tumble. An unnamed former gymnast who was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team from 2006 to 2011 claims the squad’s leaders, including Bela and Martha Karolyi, fostered a toxic climate at their Texas training facility and covered up a team doctor’s sexual abuse to protect their businesses. Dr. Larry Nassar left USA Gymnastics after dozens of accusers came forward last month, but the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles takes new aim at the Karolyis for allegedly physically and emotionally tormenting young gymnasts.