The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Eight Dead in New York City Vehicle Attack

    It fits a deadly pattern. At least eight people were killed—five of those Argentine tourists—and 11 injured after a motorist veered onto a New York City bicycle path, mowing down pedestrians and emerging from his car brandishing a fake gun. The Uzbek national was taken into custody after being shot by police officers. Authorities believe it to be a terrorist attack. The attack comes just two months after a similar incident in Barcelona, where a driver killed 13 people after careering down a prominent tourist boulevard.

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    Three Trump Associates Charged in Russia Investigation

    They’re just the first. The White House is taking steps to distance itself from the three indicted men, representing former adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, as having an “extremely limited” role in Trump’s campaign. Calling Papadopoulos a “liar,” President Donald Trump also seized on the fact that the charges against campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates weren’t collusion, but conspiracy and money laundering. Both pleaded not guilty. But Papadopoulos’ plea indicates he’s been cooperating with investigators for months, and insiders expect more indictments are coming.

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    Trump Expected to Name Powell Federal Reserve Chair

    He rated his interest. President Trump is expected to replace Janet Yellen, the head of the nation’s central bank, with Republican and Federal Reserve Gov. Jerome Powell. Traditionally, presidents continue the tenure of capable Federal Reserve heads from previous administrations. But despite Trump lauding a booming U.S. economy under Yellen’s watch, the president’s used Twitter and Instagram to hype his management change. Powell, who is expected to sail through the confirmation process, agrees broadly with Yellen’s monetary policy and will likely be in favor of slowly raising interest rates.

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    Catalan Leader Flees to Belgium as Prosecutors Publish Charges

    There are worse refuges. Carles Puigdemont is facing charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement from Spanish authorities — which could mean decades in prison. He’s fled to Brussels, and though observers have speculated that he’ll seek asylum there, the former Catalan leader — removed over the weekend — says he won’t do so. Meanwhile, Catalan separatist parties say they’ll be fielding candidates in Dec. 21 regional elections, and the Catalan European Democratic Party says Puigdemont himself will run.

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    NYPD Officers Arrested for Alleged Rape of Teenager

    They’re not above the law. Detectives Richard Hall and Edward Martins of the NYPD have pleaded not guilty to charges of raping and kidnapping an 18-year-old. The teenager says they handcuffed her last month after finding small amounts of marijuana and prescription Klonopin in her car, then raped and forced oral sex on her in their police van. A rape kit tested positive for the sperm of both detectives — but their attorneys claim the sex was consensual and have promised to fight the charges.

  6. Transgender Rights, a Murder Case and Social Media’s Influence

    Know This: President Trump’s attempted ban on transgender soldiers has been blocked by a federal court. Japanese police have arrested a man after finding pieces of nine separate human bodies inside his apartment. And a retired FBI agent has reopened the cold case of who betrayed Anne Frank’s family to the Nazis, sending them to concentration camps.

    Remember This Number: 126 million. That’s how many Americans are estimated to have seen Russian-backed Facebook posts. Twitter now estimates 2,752 accounts are linked to Russian operatives, more than 10 times a previous tally. Executives from the two companies are set to testify before Congress this week on Russian misinformation campaigns.

    Talk to Us: OZY wants to know how the Trump era has impacted your romantic relationships. We’re conducting a nationwide poll with our partners at SurveyMonkey on Love in the Age of Trump, and we want to hear from readers who are in a relationship that’s divided along political lines. If you’re interested in being featured in future OZY stories, email with your tale of Trump-inspired conflict or triumph.


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    White House Chief of Staff Slammed for Civil War Comments

    His reputation may be gone with the wind. Gen. John Kelly drew fire yesterday for saying the American Civil War was the result of “a lack of an ability to compromise” and praising Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The backlash was immediate: Critics noted that the “compromise” was over slavery, and compared Kelly to President Trump blaming “both sides” for violence at a white nationalist rally. Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., tweeted, “It’s irresponsible and dangerous … to make fighting to maintain slavery sound courageous.”

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    UN Reports Record Jump in Atmospheric CO2 Levels

    Something hit the gas. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 2016 jumped to its highest level in 800,000 years, according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization. Scientists say the surge — 50 percent greater than the last decade’s average annual increase — was caused by a combination of human activity and a strong El Niño event. El Niños and other extreme weather phenomena are likely to happen more often as the planet warms up. Researchers are urging global leaders to step up enforcement of the Paris climate deal.

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    Brazilian Women Are Fighting Back Against Data Theft

    They’re none the worse for spyware. During the 2016 Olympics and 2014 World Cup, Brazilian authorities campaigned hard to convince citizens that more surveillance equals more security. But now groups like CryptoRave and Actantes are pushing privacy activism in the country, turning consumers into encryption experts. Tech-savvy Brazilian women host a shared “feminist server,” run hacker collective Pirate Girls to draw women into the digital privacy movement, and throw raves that include “holistic security” workshops. Next step: A coalition of organizations is pushing for laws on personal data protection.

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    Netflix Suspends ‘House of Cards’ Production

    He played his cards all wrong. Netflix has announced it’ll stop filming the sixth season of the political drama after Star Trek Discovery actor Anthony Rapp came forward saying Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance on him when he was 14. Netflix, which was expected to end House of Cards soon anyway, says it’s “deeply troubled” by the allegation. Meanwhile, Spacey’s apology to Rapp — and his simultaneous coming out — have unleashed negative reactions from LGBT actors and activists, including Zachary Quinto, who called the move a “calculated manipulation.”

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    Tiger Woods Announces Return to Competitive Golf

    Go get ’em, Tiger. The former world No. 1 will return to pro golf at the Hero World Challenge on Nov. 30. It’s the same Bahamas event where the 41-year-old, now ranked No. 1171, attempted to return last year — and finished close to last. Another back surgery followed in April, and in May, Woods was found unconscious in his car with painkillers and marijuana in his system. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving last week. Some are skeptical of a comeback, but Woods’ agent says he’s “ready to go.”