The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. usgs umbria 6.6 earthquake map

    Italy Rocked Again by 6.6-Magnitude Earthquake

    Were they ready? After a deadly August quake nearby killed nearly 300 and lesser temblors spurred evacuations last week, central Italy was hit this morning by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake — the nation’s strongest in 36 years — sending panicked residents into streets and knocking down part of the medieval basilica where St. Benedict was born in Norcia. Deaths haven’t been reported, but 20 people were injured, some seriously, and 100,000 area inhabitants are unable to return home. Italian PM Matteo Renzi has pledged to rebuild, and seismologists warn of even bigger aftershocks.

  2. fbi director james comey fbi photo public domain

    All Eyes on Comey Nine Days Before Election

    He’s the eye of the storm. Fury — and love — are raining down on FBI Director James Comey after he revealed Friday that agents are inspecting another trove of emails possibly implicating Hillary Clinton in mishandling state secrets. Trump supporters, who hated Comey for declaring in July that Clinton’s digital sins weren’t indictable, are now lionizing him while Clinton’s called it “deeply troubling” to send such an ambiguous signal. The move is at odds with Justice Department policy, and now reports that the emails surfaced weeks ago cast a new shadow on Comey’s decision.

  3. clinton email protest shutterstock 426518497

    The FBI Hands Trump His Miracle

    All bets are off. After polls pronounced her a shoo-in, Hillary Clinton’s reeling from the FBI again looking into the private email server she used while serving as secretary of state. In a plot destined for the history of bizarre politics, the bombshell grew from Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s estranged spouse, Anthony Weiner, whose email-laden devices were seized after he allegedly sexted a North Carolina teenager. Trump is jubilant, while Clinton’s demanding all the facts from agency director James Comey — saying she’s confident they’ll clear her — before the final votes are cast.

  4. american airlines boeing 767 tail shutterstock 275381750

    Flaming Jet Aborts Take-Off in Chicago, Passengers Escape

    They were yelling, “Open the door, open the door!” Passengers panicked as they watched an engine of their American Airlines Boeing 767 burst into flames just as the plane was taking off from Chicago’s O’Haire Airport Friday evening. The pilot aborted the take-off — in all likelihood saving the lives of those onboard — allowing all to escape via emergency slides, 21 of them injured. Authorities originally reported the jet had blown a tire, but later cited “uncontained engine failure,” ejecting parts like shrapnel, and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

  5. Air pollution

    With Planet at Stake, Climate Agreement Set to Kick In

    Can it turn down the heat? The Paris Agreement to combat global warming goes into effect Friday, thanks to the efforts of 197 nations aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The 55 countries that generate more than half of the world’s carbon emissions combined have already ratified the deal. Signatories agree to pursue reductions aimed at lowering global temperatures to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels. While advocates say it opens up green business opportunities, U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump has promised, if elected, to scuttle the plan.

  6. Gold mining

    Papua New Guinea’s Canadian Heart of Darkness

    Is it filthy lucre? A Canadian firm may be damaging its homeland’s gilded reputation for the sake of precious metal. A decade ago, Toronto-based Barrick Gold bought a mine in Papua New Guinea — and gut-wrenching controversies. A Human Rights Watch investigation alleges local girls and women were regularly raped by mine employees, crimes local authorities and the company failed to address. But in Canada, the allegations have attracted little scrutiny, just as officials scramble to explain how the country’s golden gender-equality ranking has turned to lead.

  7. Volkswagen factory shutterstock 246666013

    Volkswagen Leaders Discuss How to Come Back From Crisis

    Full speed ahead. The two most influential VW Group board members, Wolfgang Porsche and Hans Michel Piëch, usually stay out of the public eye. But the scions, whose families have clashed over the years, say they are working harmoniously to resuscitate the German automotive giant after it admitted falsifying emissions tests. In a controversial move, they’ve promoted a new CEO from within and are trying to rebuild the brand while treating the legal fallout from Dieselgate as a separate matter. Cost-cutting — meaning job losses — is on the horizon.

  8. Airstrike on Yemeni Prison Kills Dozens, Abedin Says She’s Clueless How Weiner Got Emails and Jurassic Fridge  

    Know This: An anti-Houthi coalition airstrike on a prison has reportedly killed 60 people in Yemen. Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is to sign a trade pact with the E.U. In spite of polls favoring them, the anti-establishment Pirate Party did not win Iceland’s election. And U.S. diplomats’ families should leave Istanbul because of terror threats, the State Department says.

    Password-Protect This: Clinton aide Huma Abedin reportedly says she has no idea how her emails could have ended up on estranged husband Anthony Weiner’s computer, which FBI agents are scouring for evidence related to Hillary Clinton’s private email server. 

    Put This On Ice: “It’s an ark … to preserve ’a legacy of life on Earth’ at the precise moment that life, in all its glamorous and tedious and ungainly forms, is disappearing from our orb at an alarming rate.” That describes a freezer in San Diego containing cellular samples of 10,000 species of terrestrial fauna in case they go extinct.


  1. shutterstock 59873089

    Magical Pitching or Wrigley Curse? Cubs Down 1-3 in Series 

    It’s baaaad mojo. The last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series game at Wrigley Field was in 1945, when the Billy Goat Curse was born. Finally back in the Fall Classic, they’ve lost their first two at home,  hexed last night by Cleveland Indians pitching wizard Corey Kluber, who allowed just one run in six innings in the 7-2 victory — on only three days’ rest after winning Game 1. Chicago also hosts Game 5 tonight, with incantations and talismans the order of the day.

  2. Beard recrop

    Sign a Waiver to Get Scared Out of Your Pants

    You could just watch a horror flick … but then the actors wouldn’t breathe on you. The Tension Experience: Ascension, an L.A. version of the increasingly popular immersive-theater haunted house, begins with you signing a consent form and having a black bag plunked on your head before entering a spooky warehouse. While Tension abandons some Halloween clichés for sense manipulation, disorientation and panic, its pricey offering — $125 a pop — is just shy of truly hardcore haunts, where bruising and waterboarding are the latest scare tactics.

  3. suffragette postcard with margins added

    Misogynist Memes Are So Last Century

    Have they come a long way? Women couldn’t vote at the turn of the 20th century, and now female voters may tip the scales for a woman-in-chief. Both sides have employed memes — on postcards 100 years ago — and many of the old lines surprisingly resemble today’s online posts, including the odd eye-catching cat. America’s obsession with political sloganeering flourished with this early gender battle, as cartoonists jumped or stomped on the suffragette bandwagon — much as today’s mememakers pit misogynistic images and language against those yearning for “Madam President.”

  4. Catacombs Naples, Italy shutterstock 313233299

    Youths Find New Lives Among Italy’s Dead

    They’re not easily spooked. La Paranza Cooperative has started bringing tourists into Naples’ catacombs, where centuries-old art comes with the occasional nobleman’s skull. In recession-racked southern Italy, where youth unemployment is a whopping 75 percent, catacomb tours offer an alternative to mafia-dominated streets. After 10 years, the cooperative has 20 paid staffers who cater to 70,000 tourists a year. Now they’re branching into bed and breakfast hospitality, an orchestra and theater, with each youth-friendly job helping to make Naples a little less scary.

  5. Kesha

    Kesha and Her Experience With Scorched Earth

    Will she change her tune? Kesha’s pop queen career was crippled when she sued to exit her contract — signed at age 18 — with producer Dr. Luke, alleging he’d drugged and raped her. He’s winning, but she’s refusing to record with his label and tours instead, playing small venues and earning legal fees. While many fans think her concerts mean she’s “free,” the Los Angeles native’s still looking for a way out. But with adversity being the mother of creativity, her troubles might just beget a genre-changing future.

  6. baseball batter generic after hit shutterstock 97549910

    Major League Is Hitting Back in Post-Steroid Era

    They’ve got the juice — we just hope it’s the legal kind. Batting stats are being knocked out of the park, with this year being the second-highest MLB season for home runs (5,610). The first, in 2000, came seven years before sluggers like Barry Bonds were called out for alleged steroid use. A number of factors are at play, but much of today’s new power is coming from once-scrawny middle infielders like Cubs shortstop Addison Russell and Cleveland 2nd baseman Jason Kipnis, who’ll battle again tonight in World Series Game 4.