The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Democrats Win Gubernatorial Races in Virginia, New Jersey

    The results are in. Democrats rejoiced yesterday as Ralph Northam decisively won Virginia’s governorship, and Phil Murphy was elected to lead New Jersey. The races were closely watched by both parties looking for a snapshot of the political landscape in the lead-up to next year’s midterms. As Republican Ed Gillespie fell behind in Virginia, President Donald Trump turned on him, tweeting that Gillespie “did not embrace me or what I stand for.” Meanwhile, Virginia elected Democrat Danica Roem, the country’s first openly transgender state lawmaker, to its House of Delegates.

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    Trump’s China Visit Expected to Focus on North Korea

    “The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer.” That was President Trump’s message to Pyongyang, delivered during a speech in which he warned leader Kim Jong Un not to threaten the U.S. and promised a “better future” if North Korea agrees to total denuclearization. As Trump continues his Asian trip with his first official visit to China, he’s expected to highlight U.S.-China trade policies — but Trump also called out Beijing by emphasizing that “all responsible nations” should deny North Korea support and supplies.

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    Syria Joins Paris Climate Accord, Leaving Only US Opposed

    And then there was one. Syria announced yesterday that it’ll follow Nicaragua in joining the Paris climate accord. The U.S., which announced its withdrawal in June, is now the only country in the world not participating. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman ridiculed Syria’s decision, saying, “If the government of Syria cared so much about what was put in the air, then it wouldn’t be gassing its own people.” America’s withdrawal won’t be complete until 2020, but President Trump is not invited to next month’s Paris climate change summit.

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    Snap Shares Plunge as Snapchat Underperforms Again

    Fame may be fleeting. Though American teenagers have stayed loyal to Snapchat despite copycat features from competitors like Instagram, the company’s still struggling to profit from that devotion. Yesterday, Snap’s stock fell 17 percent, nearing its all-time low, after the company missed already-lowered financial forecasts for the third consecutive quarter and admitted its buzzy video-recording Spectacles cost the company nearly $40 million last quarter in unsold inventory. CEO Evan Spiegel now says Snap’s trying to overhaul its messaging app to improve usability and turn the company around.

  5. The Texas Shooter’s Past, Shoplifting and a Failed Power Play

    Know This: The suspect in Sunday’s mass shooting in Texas reportedly escaped a mental health facility in 2012 after he was detained for sneaking guns onto an Air Force base and threatening military superiors. Three UCLA basketball players have been arrested for shoplifting in China. And Disney has abandoned its attempt to blacklist the Los Angeles Times after other newspapers vowed to boycott screenings of the studio’s films in solidarity.

    Read This: A Mexican woman’s conviction for murder after her baby died during childbirth has galvanized activists who say women’s rights are being neglected.

    Talk to Us: What book got you back to reading? Send the title and a paragraph on why it had that effect to


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    Bump Stock Manufacturer Resumes Sales

    They’re not politicizing tragedy — just monetizing it. Slide Fire, a prominent manufacturer of the accessory that makes semi-automatic rifles fire like fully automatic ones, resumed sales of its controversial product yesterday. But the sale lasted less than four hours before pausing to “replenish inventory.” Slide Fire stopped selling the add-on after last month’s Las Vegas massacre, when 58 were killed by a gunman using a bump stock. That spurred Massachusetts to ban the device, already forbidden in California, last week. Gun control advocates hope more states will follow suit.

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    Business Is Buzzing for Black Beekeepers in South Africa

    Their business might bee the future. A growing number of Black bee farmers have gotten creative to fund their businesses in the traditionally white-dominated field. Bees and beekeepers are essential to South Africa, responsible for pollinating more than 50 of the country’s top crops, including nuts and citrus. But the struggling trade is in need of dedicated beekeepers and more investment. Through social media outreach, training programs and new fundraising schemes, Black beekeepers are finding success and helping others develop a passion for the work.

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    WHO Speaks Out Against Drugs for Livestock

    They want the path of least resistance. The World Health Organization says the global food industry should stop overmedicating livestock, citing evidence that it contributes to a dangerous antibiotic resistance that significantly impacts human health. But its recommendations aren’t mandatory, leading some to question just how much clout the WHO really has — especially when countries like China have actually boosted their use of antibiotics. Supporters hope intergovernmental groups will adopt the recommendations as international standards, which could then be used to regulate global trade according to strict pharmaceutical policies.

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    Weinstein Hired Investigators to Discredit Accusers

    He was preparing for war. According to new reports, film mogul Harvey Weinstein hired private investigators — including former Israeli intelligence officers — to collect information on people who might expose allegations against him in the year leading up to last month’s avalanche of sexual misconduct accusations. The investigators targeted dozens of individuals, assuming false identities to meet with accusers and journalists, then compiling psychological profiles and sexual histories of their quarries. Meanwhile, New York City prosecutors are seeking a grand jury indictment for Weinstein as early as next week.

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    Pitching Great Roy Halladay Dies in Plane Crash

    He was a legend. Halladay, who got his pilot’s license several years ago after retiring from baseball, died yesterday at the age of 40 when his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He was found in his small single-engine aircraft off the coast of Florida. An eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner during his 16-year MLB career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, Halladay actively mentored younger players after retiring. He’ll become eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2019.