The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Hurricane Maria Hits Puerto Rico With ‘Historic’ Fury

    It won’t be spared a second time. Though Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity in 70 percent of Puerto Rico’s households, the island was much less battered than most in the region — and thus has become a hub for disaster relief for other Caribbean locations. Now Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, has touched down in Puerto Rico after killing seven in the island nation of Dominica, ravaging the U.S. territory with winds of 155 mph and cutting power to the entire island. “This is something of historic proportions,” said one top official.

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    China, Trump at Odds Over Venezuela Solution

    They’re choosing sides. With at least 125 people dead after months of protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, President Donald Trump took aim at the ruling government, promising more sanctions and “further action” during an inflammatory U.N. speech that also threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. Venezuelan officials dismissed Trump before the speech as having “white supremacist ideas.” Meanwhile, China’s foreign minister said at a sideline meeting that his country, long an ally of Venezuela, believes the issues can be resolved peacefully, and promised to continue China’s strategic partnership with Maduro.

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    RNC Paying Trump Legal Fees in Russia Investigation

    Put it on his bill. The Republican National Committee has confirmed it’s paying President Trump’s legal bills while he’s being investigated over potential election collusion with Russia. Trump’s attorneys have received $230,000 so far from a fund set aside to bankroll recounts and other legal matters. Through a campaign finance loophole, the fund allows donors to give triple the normal legal amount. It’s not clear if the famously wealthy president is paying any of his own legal expenses, but his campaign is due to make a financial disclosure Oct. 15.

  4. Civil Disobedience, an Independent Vote and Private Life

    Know This: Three Democratic congressmen have been arrested for protesting the president’s cancellation of DACA outside Trump Tower in New York City. Spanish police have detained a dozen senior Catalonian officials over the region’s planned independence referendum, which has been ruled illegal by Spain’s government. And Donald Trump Jr. has said he wants to forgo Secret Service protection to allow himself more privacy.

    Study This: In preparation for a future of flying cars, some are hoping to educate the next generation of … flying car mechanics?

    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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    For Burn Experts, Fish Skin and Plasma Pens Offer Hope

    They’re shooting for the scars. In a quest to free burn and injury victims from carrying the marks of their trauma forever, plastic surgeons are exploring some unusual avenues. Iceland and Brazil use the healing properties of tilapia scales to dress wounds, while South Korean scientists make bandages from mussel secretions, and a British company peddles plasma-generating pens. Scar treatment is projected to be a $34.5 billion market by 2025, but doctors caution they still haven’t stumbled on the holy grail that can erase scars altogether.

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    Norway’s Pension Fund Reaches $1 Trillion

    Talk about a retirement plan. Norway hit a major economic milestone on Tuesday as its pension fund is now worth $1 trillion, about the same as Mexico’s GDP. The world’s largest government wealth fund was established in 1996 to funnel the country’s massive oil revenues toward keeping its citizens financially secure, though such a big fund can tempt officials to dip into the piggy bank when times get tough. Norway’s stockpile is expected to hit $1.3 trillion by 2025 — though some warn that declining oil revenues could slow its growth.

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    Russian Military Helicopter Fires at War Games Spectators

    It was too close for comfort. Russian media report that a helicopter participating in joint Russian-Belarussian military exercises accidentally fired toward a group of spectators, including journalists. Officials said the missiles hit a truck, but didn’t clarify if there were any injuries, while another military source said three people were hurt. An undated video has emerged showing a helicopter at low altitude firing several missiles that narrowly miss the cameraman. The war games, which involve 12,700 people and have raised tensions across the Baltics, are set to conclude today.

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    Jimmy Kimmel Slams New GOP Health Care Bill

    What’s in a name? After the comedian made a heartfelt speech about his infant son’s health problems in May, Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy promised future health care bills should pass the “Jimmy Kimmel test,” meaning they wouldn’t deny poor children care. Now Cassidy’s written his own health care bill — and Kimmel demolished it on air last night, saying it will deny coverage, raise premiums and not protect children. “I am politicizing my son’s health problems, because I have to,” Kimmel said, “because other kids have health problems.”

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    Kevin Durant Apologizes for ‘Idiotic’ Twitter Rant

    No trash-tweeting. The Warriors superstar got into hot water Sunday when he responded to some derogatory tweets with a harsh critique of his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and their coach, Billy Donovan. Yesterday Durant expressed remorse, calling himself “idiotic” and “childish” and explaining that he’d sent an apology to his former coach. “I’m just more upset with myself that I let myself go that far,” he said. Oklahoma City fans now have a couple months to cool down before the Warriors visit on Nov. 22.