The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Gambian President Rejects His Own Election Loss

    He’s not going quietly. After 22 years at the head of a brutal dictatorship, President Yahya Jammeh lost re-election this month and conceded the result to Adama Barrow, who is preparing to take office in January. But late tonight Jammeh went on state television to say the vote was riddled with “unacceptable abnormalities” and called for a second ballot — as he tries to cling to power in mainland Africa’s smallest nation. 

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    Government Funded Through April After Senate Vote

    No one wanted a shutdown. Senate Democrats had threatened to hold up a must-pass government funding bill to force a longer extension of health care benefits for coal miners. But without the votes or the time, they caved tonight to allow a 63-36 vote to fund the entire federal government until April 28. President Barack Obama is set to sign the bill just before a government shutdown would have gone into effect. The spending bill was Congress’ final high-profile item until the 115th edition convenes in January.

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    Obama Orders Review of Russian Election-Related Hacking

    Did they rock America’s vote? The U.S. president has asked intelligence experts to look into hacking orchestrated by Moscow, including a full review of what happened this year, as well as malicious cyber activity affecting U.S. elections dating back to 2008. While Democratic legislators want the intel on Russia’s election antics to be declassified, officials say they must weigh any disclosures against their ability to prevent future attacks. While it’s unclear whether any report’s contents will be made public, the CIA reportedly has concluded that Russia intervened to help Donald Trump win.

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    Giuliani Pulls Out; Reid Says Farewell

    He did not get a rose. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has withdrawn his name from consideration for Donald Trump’s cabinet, transition officials announced this afternoon. Once a top contender for Secretary of State, Giuliani’s overseas business entanglements helped sink his candidacy. Mitt Romney and others remain in the Top Diplomat reality show. On Capitol Hill on Thursday, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid blamed the FBI director’s late investigative announcements for his party’s shocking electoral loss, while Hillary Clinton, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other colleagues feted Reid ahead of his retirement.

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    South Korean Parliament Impeaches President

    Their voices were heard. After a massive public outcry, today South Korea’s National Assembly overwhelmingly voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye, immediately suspending her authority. Millions of Koreans have flooded the streets of Seoul in recent weeks, demanding Park’s impeachment amid investigations into a corruption scandal, which bizarrely may have been sparked by an argument over a puppy. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will stand in as president while the Constitutional Court decides if Park’s ouster is permanent. Meanwhile, the nation’s military is on alert in case North Korea senses weakness.

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    Corporate America Anticipates Era of Deregulation

    He’ll lead by getting out of the way. A Donald Trump presidency will likely mean an unprecedented unraveling of regulations, evidenced by the mogul’s appointments. On Thursday he named fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, ardent critic of minimum wage hikes — including those Trump recently flirted with — as Labor Secretary. The Senate will need to confirm all of those anti-regulatory picks for cabinet positions, but Trump reiterated at an Iowa “victory lap” gathering that he’ll “eliminate every single regulation” that hurts farms, businesses or workers.

  7. Dutch Lawmaker Guilty of Hate Speech, Trump to Keep ‘Apprentice’ Credit and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: A Dutch court convicted far-right party leader Geert Wilders of violating hate speech laws. Donald Trump said the Ohio State stabbing attack was a “tragic reminder” of the dangers of immigration. And no casualties have been reported after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands.

    Divest This: Sources say Trump will retain his producer credit on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Dismayed public-sector ethicists say, “Trump’s ongoing relationship with the show creates a needless complication, particularly if the president is receiving a paycheck from a major entertainment company.”

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


  1. sofia vergara shutterstock 141486613

    Sofia Vergara Sued by Own Embryos in Bizarre Case

    The judge will need a fertile imagination. The Modern Family star and ex-fiance Nick Loeb have two frozen embryos from IVF therapy in 2013, and Loeb’s been unsuccessfully trying to obtain custody of them. But things just got weirder: The embryos, dubbed Emma and Isabella, and mysterious trustee James Charbonnet — who appears to have no connection to Vergara or Loeb — are suing Vergara in pro-life-leaning Louisiana, claiming that not letting them be born is child abandonment. Legal experts expect the argument won’t be viable.

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    Giraffes Now Listed as ‘Vulnerable’ to Extinction

    Time to stick your neck out. Human activity is pushing our tall, spotted friends toward extinction if things don’t turn around quickly. Five of nine subspecies of giraffe are dying off in southern and eastern Africa, according to a new report by the international conservation group behind the extinction Red List. Populations have declined by as much as 40 percent in the past 30 years, leaving fewer than 100,000 giraffes today. Activists are on the alert, seeking better protection for these majestic animals by beefing up security at African wildlife refuges.

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    Hawaii Tops Charts for American Road Rage

    Trouble in paradise? The Aloha State may welcome visitors with leis and sun, but that doesn’t mean the heat hasn’t gone to their heads. An insurance analyst recently waded through 65,000 Instagram posts bearing the hashtag #RoadRage to gauge which state contains the most rolling fury. Hawaii won by a mile. While one driving expert suggests the islanders may, in fact, be too nice — letting drivers merge to the frustration of others — it’s clear that limited road space and millions of tourists are putting the L.A. into Shangri-La.

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    Yik Yak May Be Destined for Anonymity

    They’re culling the herd. Yik Yak, once touted as a potential Facebook competitor, is in a sharp decline, raising questions about the feasibility of future social media ventures. The three-year-old platform, which lets college students post anonymously about their schools or lives, recently laid off 60 percent of its employees. The network once seemed destined for success, attracting big investors and making the top 10 app downloads list. But with anonymity came public threats, abuse, harassment and campus bans, leaving big-name competitors to round up the stragglers.

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    Giants Speak Out Against Racist Graffiti Incident

    It’s never a good idea to break into a Giant’s home. But this week, swastikas, racial slurs and the words “Trump” and “KKK” were scrawled on New York Giants fullback Nikita Whitlock’s New Jersey home during a robbery. Police say they’re investigating the incident as a hate crime, while Whitlock’s posted photos of the graffiti on Instagram to show people that racist attacks “can happen to anyone.” Meanwhile, fellow Giant Victor Cruz spoke out on television, blaming the “mindset” of Donald Trump supporters for the attack.