The Queen's Daily Brief


  1. Chris christie

    Former Chris Christie Aides Found Guilty Over Bridgegate

    They’ve been found guilty on all counts. Two former Chris Christie senior aides have been convicted for conspiracy and fraud in 2013’s “Bridgegate.” The plot involved deliberately closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge to get back at the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey for not endorsing Governor Christie’s reelection. Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni face up to 20 years in prison for their roles. Christie’s repeatedly denied any involvement in Bridgegate, though the trial’s raised questions about the extent to which this is true. He’s said he’ll stay on the campaign trail for Trump despite the verdict.

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    Jury Finds Rolling Stone Liable for Defamation

    This story is irrefutable. The famed music magazine is apologizing to a University of Virginia administrator after a jury found it and its reporter liable today for its November 2014 article, “A Rape on Campus.” The story, since discredited, pointed to an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house. Nicole Eramo, the school’s former dean and associate administrator, claimed she was defamed by the magazine and reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely. Eramo is seeking $7.5 million in damages, but financial reparations will be determined at a later date.

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    Jay-Z and Beyonce Join Hillary in Cleveland 

    They run this town — and after Tuesday, maybe the country. Jay-Z, Beyonce and a slew of other guests joined the former secretary of state on stage in Ohio on Friday as part of Clinton’s get-out-the-vote efforts in the swing state. Clinton urged Ohioans to vote early, asking them to reject “a dark and divisive vision” at the polls. But Donald Trump has led most recent polls in the Buckeye State, notes OZY’s Nick Fouriezos, and he may benefit from organizing efforts by center-right groups like Americans for Prosperity, which are mobilizing conservative voters in Ohio’s Appalachia and suburban districts.

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    New Purges in Turkey as Financial System Feels Coup Chill

    He’s on shaky ground. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has detained the two leaders of Turkey’s Kurdish opposition party. Hours later, a car bomb shook Diyarbakir, the country’s largest Kurdish-majority city, killing eight and injuring scores. Meanwhile, the business community is jittery: Turkey’s long been seen as a free-market success story, but the lira’s fallen since a failed July coup lent Erdogan license to purge anyone perceived as disloyal. Now businesses have been stripped of licenses and Turkey’s financial regulatory board is so depleted its votes are delayed by months.

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    Melania Trump Calls for Kindness as Surrogates Make Final Sprint

    It was a jarring contrast. Donald Trump’s wife, not seen on the stump since her plagiarized convention speech, said as first lady she would work to end cyberbullying. Her call for “kindness, honesty, respect, compassion” was a tad different from her husband’s inflammatory online behavior. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are trying to fire up Black voters for Hillary Clinton amid signs of flagging enthusiasm. But one critical factor is buoying her campaign in an increasingly tight race: a surge of early voting in Latino communities.

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    Brexit Likely Slowed Down by UK Court Ruling

    The British public aren’t the only ones who get a vote. Britain’s high court ruled yesterday that Prime Minister Theresa May can’t act unilaterally to take her country out of the European Union. Her government says it’s a clear attempt to frustrate the democratic referendum vote, and is challenging the ruling. Should it lose in next month’s appeal, the case could potentially be escalated to the European Court of Justice. Meanwhile, May will reportedly tell EU officials she’s still planning to start the Brexit process by March 2017.

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    South Korean President Offers Emotional Apology

    “Everything is my fault and I feel great responsibility.” So said Park Geun-hye, who’s battling for her political legacy amid a widening scandal over a personal friend. Choi Soon-sil, Park’s “shaman adviser,” allegedly was given power over speeches, hiring and even the president’s wardrobe, despite holding no elected office. Park’s approval rating is hovering at 5 percent, the lowest ever for a South Korean leader. As protesters took to the streets, Park promised to cooperate with investigators and denied being a cult member or participating in shamanistic rituals.

  8. Supreme Court Shenanigans, Paris’ Refugee Crisis and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: The U.S. added 161,000 jobs in October, as the unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent. Some conservative lawmakers are resisting party pressure to leave a four-year vacancy on the Supreme Court if Hillary Clinton’s elected. Police are evacuating a migrant camp in Paris that doubled in size after the Calais “Jungle” was demolished. And New Zealand’s seeing a crime wave revolving around the suddenly booming manuka honey industry.

    Remember This Number: 645 square feet. That’s how much Arctic ice the average American melts in a year, given their personal carbon footprint.

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


  1. rainbow 16379207486 efa37135da o

    Florida’s Legislature Could Get an LGBT Wave

    More barrier-breakers are here. The Pulse nightclub shootings gave Florida’s LGBT candidates “49 more reasons to run,” and with five still in the race, Tallahassee could quintuple its rainbow representation. It’s a stunning reversal for what once was considered one of the country’s most homophobic state houses — and gay candidates say they haven’t been harassed on the trail. A larger LGBT caucus could help pass anti-discrimination laws and pave the way for other diverse representatives to follow, as new PACs sprout up to back gay candidates nationwide.

  2. Marijuana

    Marijuana Legalization Reveals Gaps in Our Pot Knowledge

    Pull over, sir. With recreational weed legal in four states and on the ballot in five more, regulators are contemplating how to test and limit stoned driving. There’s little research on the subject due to federal restrictions, meaning it’s still unclear how impairment varies among users and what the legal limits should be. Blood tests don’t work, since pot can stay in your body for weeks, so it’s also unclear how police can determine if someone’s actually impaired. But several startups are racing to develop cheap, handheld THC breathalyzers.

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    High School Schedules Could Be Affecting Teens’ Brains

    Staying up all night might not be teenage rebellion: A new study suggests that for natural night owls — like most teenagers, due to changes in circadian rhythms during puberty — sleeping on an artificially early schedule might affect memory, learning and emotional self-regulation. That means high school schedules and teens’ sleep cycles are fundamentally mismatched. While some schools are heeding recommendations from sleep experts that classes shouldn’t start until at least 8:30 a.m., most are still asking students to show up before their brains are truly awake.

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    Quentin Tarantino to Retire After 2 More Films

    “Drop the mic. Boom.” That’s how the writer/director behind Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained described his plan to retire after two more films, which would bring his total to 10. His profanity-laden and violence-soaked oeuvre, Tarantino hopes, will make him “one of the greatest filmmakers who ever lived.” For now, the 53-year-old is working on a mysterious nonfiction project revolving around cinema in the year 1970, and on what he describes as a Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque film set in 1930s Australia.

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    Harvard Suspends Men’s Soccer Over Lewd ‘Scouting Report’

    They’ve been unranked. School administrators ruled that the Ivy League’s top-rated team will forfeit its last two games this season after an investigation found a widespread practice of rating female athletes based on their physical appearance and perceived ability in bed. The scandal began when The Harvard Crimson discovered a lewd 2012 “scouting report” of the women’s soccer team. The women say they were “appalled,” while an internal Title IX investigation continues and the men’s soccer team misses out on a possible NCAA Tournament bid.