The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Massive Earthquake Leaves Hundreds Dead in Central Mexico

    They’re still digging for survivors. A magnitude-7.1 quake has toppled buildings and killed at least 225 people — just hours after residents held emergency drills to mark the anniversary of the Mexico City earthquake that killed thousands around the capital in 1985. Yesterday’s Puebla state temblor, with an epicenter about 75 miles south of Mexico City, was the second to hit the country in just two weeks: At least 98 were killed Sept. 7 by a magnitude-8.1 quake. President Enrique Peña Nieto is calling for calm amid ongoing rescue efforts.

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    Trump Slams ‘Rogue Regimes’ in UN Address

    “I said what I had to say.” That’s how President Donald Trump described his first address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York today, during which he pushed a message of American sovereignty and urged other leaders to also put their countries first. Condemning authoritarian governments around the world, he lashed out in particular against North Korea’s increasing brinkmanship — claiming dictator Kim Jong Un “is on a suicide mission” — and denounced Iran as an “economically depleted rogue state” that fuels violence in the Middle East.

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    Hurricane Maria Rampages Through Dominica

    “We will need help of all kinds.” That was the assessment of Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who says Hurricane Maria — now downgraded to a Category 4 after hitting the island — has caused widespread damage. Skerrit lost the roof of his own house to the 155-mph winds, and says Dominica must focus on rescuing those who are trapped. The hurricane’s now headed for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, already devastated by Hurricane Irma. Meteorologists warn it could strengthen back to Category 5 by the time it makes landfall tonight.

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    New Obamacare Repeal Bill Looms in Congress

    So much for remission. Republicans have until Sept. 30 before procedural rules that allow them to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority expire. So despite a dramatic defeat in their last attempt, the GOP is back for more with the Graham-Cassidy bill. Some predict it’ll leave more Americans without coverage than previous repeal bills, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office hasn’t yet finished its analysis. So far two Republican senators have indicated they won’t vote for the new bill — and a third “no” would crush its chances.

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    US Initiates Criminal Probe Into Equifax

    Is its credit still good? Earlier this month, Equifax disclosed a massive hack that compromised 143 million Americans’ personal information — and now the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into the breach. The credit-reporting agency could also face an insider trading probe: Three top executives sold $1.8 million in shares shortly before the hack was disclosed, but claimed they had no knowledge of the incident — though it was later revealed that a similar breach had occurred in March. Equifax shares have tumbled 35 percent since early September.

  6. Manafort’s Mutterings, Suu Kyi’s Equivocation and Ryanair’s Disaster

    Know This: Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was reportedly wiretapped during the 2016 run for the White House, an operation that can only take place once a court is given evidence suggesting someone may be an agent of a foreign power. Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi says her country’s committed to a “sustainable solution” to the Rohingya crisis, but didn’t address allegations of state violence. And Spain has kicked out its North Korean ambassador in retaliation for the country’s ongoing nuclear tests.

    Remember This Number: 2,024. That’s how many flights budget carrier Ryanair has been forced to cancel over the next six weeks because it forgot that pilots are entitled to vacation days.

    Come See Us: Washington, D.C., we’re coming for you! OZY is in the midst of a nationwide college tour and this Thursday, Sept. 21, OZY co-founder and CEO Carlos Watson is speaking at George Washington University. Interested in attending? Email and reserve your seat today!


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    New Zealand’s Largest Airport Faces Massive Fuel Cut

    They’re running on empty. Some 2,000 passengers were stranded on Monday after Auckland Airport ran low on jet fuel, thanks to a burst pipeline. The airport’s only source of fuel was reportedly damaged months ago by exploratory digging and finally ruptured Thursday, cutting supply by 70 percent. Since the airport is a private company, the government says it’s not to blame — though critics argue that it’s responsible for securing infrastructure. With only days to go before New Zealand’s general election, this could suddenly take off as a decisive issue.

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    Plastic Surgery Social Networks Put a New Face on Doctors

    How do you prove you’re a cut above? Increasingly, plastic surgeons are turning to websites like RealSelf, which raked in $20 million in 2015 for its collection of medical Q&As, before-and-after photos and Yelp-style reviews of surgical practices. Doctors use it to attract business and give consumers — the majority of whom say they depend on reviews to choose a surgeon — some confidence. While some plastic surgeons worry about the misinformation that’s available online, many have accepted that not logging on isn’t a viable option.

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    Scientists Transform Light Into Sound

    They’re aglow with discovery. University of Sydney researchers have converted digital information stored as photons into sound waves for the first time, solving a decades-old scientific dilemma. A specially designed microchip takes nearly-300,000,000-meters-per-second light waves and slows them five-fold, allowing fiber optic cables, the backbone of the world’s internet, to transfer more data without the heat that’s generated by using electrons. This groundbreaking new technology could help cope with the increasing load on global fiber optic networks, and might eventually do away with overheated laptops and smartphones.

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    Fans Who Bought Beyonce Vinyl Get Canadian Punk Instead

    You’d think it’d be simple to press Lemonade. But the album, released on lemon-yellow vinyl this month, had a surprise in store for fans: Some records had accidentally been pressed on one side with songs from Canadian punk band Zex. “Either this was a huge mistake at the pressing plant or Beyoncé is a huge fan of my band,” Zex singer Gretchen Steel posted online. Columbia Records, which blamed the snafu on “human error,” has promised refunds and new copies of the album to everyone affected.

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    New York Giants Suffer Humiliating Defeat by Detroit Lions

    The bigger they are, the harder they fall. The Giants won 11 games last season, and expectations were high that they’d be playoff contenders this year. But last night quarterback Eli Manning was sacked five times, and a series of avoidable mistakes saw the Giants topple dramatically, finally losing 24-10. Head coach Ben McAdoo attributed the loss to “sloppy quarterback play,” adding insult to injury for 36-year-old Manning — who will likely be blamed for the Giants’ decline as he approaches old age in quarterback years.