The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Vows Universal Insurance; Inauguration Boycott Grows

    “We’re going to have insurance for everybody.” That’s what Donald Trump said of his yet-to-be-revealed Obamacare replacement plan, setting up a clash with congressional Republicans envisioning a scaled back federal role in health care. The president-elect also spent his Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend attacking civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis on Twitter for deciding to boycott Trump’s inauguration. At least 20 lawmakers are now following Lewis’ lead. White House reporters, meanwhile, are fretting over whether the incoming administration plans to evict them from the West Wing.

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    Dozens Dead After Plane Crashes in Kyrgyzstan Village

    They nearly made it. But just before reaching Bishkek’s Manas Airport, a Turkish cargo plane with at least four people aboard plowed through the small village of Dacha-Suu, damaging more than a dozen buildings and killing at least 37 people. Officials said most of the dead were in their homes, which were destroyed when the plane, en route from Hong Kong to Istanbul, crashed through dense fog at just after 7:30 a.m. local time. The airport, Kyrgyzstan’s primary flight hub, has been closed while investigators establish a cause.

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    Authorities Arrest Istanbul Nightclub Attack Suspect

    He was right there all along. For two weeks, Turkish police have been hunting nationwide for the suspect in the New Year’s massacre at an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people. Now Uzbekistan national Abdulgadir Masharipov has been arrested in a raid on an Istanbul apartment, along with another man and three women. Officials say Masharipov’s confessed and that his fingerprints match those found in the nightclub. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, from which dozens of wounded are still recovering, saying it was revenge for Turkish involvement in Syria.

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    Texas Case Tests Voting Rights in Modern America

    Is this what Martin Luther King Jr. fought for? Pasadena, Texas is testing current voting rights protections with a case launched just days after portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. Ten days ago, a federal judge ruled that the town’s redrawn electoral map was discriminatory against Latino voters, who make up 62 percent of the city. But an appeal could stay the ruling — and activists say a loss there could lay bare the toothlessness of the changed legislation.

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    Pound Plummets Ahead of ‘Hard Brexit’ Speech

    She’s going hard. British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to give a speech tomorrow emphasizing the importance of national control over European immigration — a sign that Brexit is likely to mean that the U.K. also drops out of its current tariff-free trade deal with the EU. Accordingly, sterling zoomed to a three-month low, and some investors believe hard Brexit is no longer a matter of “if” but of “when.” Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump promised a quick trade deal with a post-Brexit U.K.

  6. Eugene Cernan Dies, New Syrian Peace Talks, Sexual Assault and the Richest Eight Dudes in the World

    Know This: Eugene A. Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, has died at age 82. The heir to the Samsung empire faces arrest in South Korea on charges of bribing the president. Syrian rebels have agreed to attend Kazakhstan-based peace talks hosted by Russia and Turkey. And a 71-year-old Republican politician in Connecticut has been arrested for pinching a woman’s genitals during a political argument, allegedly telling her, “It would be your word against mine and nobody will believe you.”

    Remember This Number: Eight men. That’s the number of individuals whose combined wealth equals that of the poorest 3.6 billion people in the world, according to a new Oxfam study.

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  1. John lewis

    John Lewis Books Sell Out After Trump Criticism

    This is one tweet that backfired. After Rep. John Lewis questioned the president-elect’s legitimacy, Trump attacked on Twitter, calling Lewis “all talk … no action.” Now sales of the Georgia congressman’s autobiographical graphic novel series, March, have spiked by 106,000 percent, becoming Amazon’s top-seller. March tells the story of the civil rights movement and how Lewis helped lead the 1963 March on Washington. Meanwhile, Trump has canceled Martin Luther King Jr. Day plans to attend the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, citing “scheduling issues.”

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    Car Industry Rebuilds for Self-Driving Future

    They’re at a crossroads. Major auto manufacturers like Ford are rewriting more than a century’s worth of industry practices in preparation for the rise of autonomous cars. One major problem? For the first time, car companies are following the tech industry’s lead — and Silicon Valley operates much differently than Motor City. While companies scramble for the best partnerships, Google’s patented a system for finding optimal locations for autonomous cars to pick up and drop off passengers — which could put them in a drag race against Uber and Lyft.

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    How Tel Aviv Became a Leader in ‘Smart City’ Technology

    The revolution is here. From beachside Wi-Fi to radar security systems to smartphone-controlled irrigation systems, Israel’s second city is leveraging its status as a tech hub to become a global smart city archetype. Tel Aviv, along with up-and-comers like Barcelona and San Diego, is harnessing the Internet of Things to shape its urban environment, though efforts are still disjointed and lack a master plan. An unlikely catalyst is Israel’s required military service, which instills qualities that make for good entrepreneurs as well as sharpshooters.

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    Packers, Steelers Advance to NFL Conference Finals

    The kickers were kings. Mason Crosby’s second 50-plus-yard field goal of the final two minutes — set up by a superlative Aaron Rodgers-Jared Cook connection — sealed a 34-31 Green Bay triumph over top-seeded Dallas. In the nightcap, Steeler Chris Bosworth kicked a playoff record six field goals to power an 18-16 Pittsburgh win over Kansas City, which lost the tying two-point conversion to a holding penalty. The Packers head to Atlanta, while Pittsburgh travels to New England for Sunday’s conference championship games.