The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Senate Tax Reform Bill Would Delay Corporate Tax Cut

    This might take a while. The Senate and House versions of the GOP’s tax reform bill differ significantly, which could make it harder for Republicans to pass what’s likely their last chance at major legislation before the end of the year. The Senate bill delays slashing the corporate tax rate until 2019 in order to preserve some tax breaks for the middle class. But that may not sit well with President Donald Trump, who’s eager for corporate cuts, and it could blunt the economic growth Republicans have promised.

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    GOP Candidate Roy Moore Accused of Sexual Conduct With Teens

    They’re speaking out. Four women say the Republican nominee in Alabama’s Senate race pursued them sexually when he was in his 30s and they were between the ages of 14 and 18. Moore, 70, called the allegations “fake news,” while Alabama’s state auditor supported him by saying such behavior is normal. Moore beat Trump-backed Luther Strange in September’s primary and was widely expected to defeat Democrat Doug Jones Dec. 12. Republican leaders and the White House have said Moore should step aside if the reports are true.

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    Putin Alleges US Plot Against Russian Election

    Wait, who’s rubber and who’s glue? President Vladimir Putin said there are “major suspicions” that the doping scandal that’s seen lifetime Olympic bans for multiple Russian athletes was not only orchestrated by the U.S., but is actually an American plot to influence next year’s Russian presidential election. U.S. officials are currently running multiple probes into Russian meddling in America’s 2016 election, which Putin denies. Meanwhile, the U.S. scrapped the idea that President Trump would meet formally with Putin this week during a summit in Vietnam, although the leaders shook hands and briefly chatted at the event.

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    China to Ease Limits on Foreign Ownership in Financial Sector

    Welcome to the world. China’s stringent policies restricting foreign entities from operating banks, insurance and asset management have long been blamed for the country’s lack of foreign development. But now it’s announced plans to relax those limits, giving investors around the world what they’ve long hoped for: Access to China’s massive financial services market. While it’ll take time to create concrete regulations reflecting the change, analysts say the new policies are a step in the right direction for fixing China’s sometimes one-sided relationship to world markets.

  5. Brain Scans, Sexual Harassment and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: New images of football player Aaron Hernandez’s brain, taken after he committed suicide in prison earlier this year, show a severe case of CTE. Actress Portia de Rossi has joined a handful of women accusing action star Steven Seagal of sexual misbehavior. And the U.K. plans to amend Brexit legislation to set an exact time for its departure from the EU: 23:00 GMT on March 29, 2019.

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB quiz.

    Talk to Us: Tell us how you really feel. Our electrifying TV show, Third Rail With OZY, is shelving the PC and whipping up debates. Each week we’re posting a provocative question, and we want you to weigh in with your thoughts. This week: Should we boycott Silicon Valley? Why or why not? Go deep. Email with your thoughts, and we might feature your answer next week.


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    Blockchain Technology Comes to Farming

    The business is ripe for innovation. Though it’s normally thought of as a security tool, some companies are now applying blockchain technology to agriculture, tracking things like the ripeness, color and pH levels of produce during each step of growing and distribution. That can offer restaurants and consumers reliable information about their food’s history. While blockchain advocates warn that the tech’s only good at solving specific problems, and isn’t a panacea for what ails the food supply chain, it could reduce fraud by proving the origins of valuable products like champagne grapes.

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    America’s Conflicts Have Cost $5.6 Trillion Since 2001

    General, can you spare a dime? A new Brown University analysis has found that the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan have cost America $5.6 trillion, or $23,386 per taxpayer. That’s three times higher than a recent estimate by the Pentagon — likely because it factors in medical care for veterans and war-related bureaucratic costs in the Departments of State and Homeland Security. The study’s author explained, “When wars end, the costs don’t stop, they grow,” noting that 2 million veterans have joined the VA since 2001.

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    Rian Johnson to Launch New ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy

    Clearly, the force is with him. Johnson, who wrote and directed the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has been tapped to continue his work on the franchise in a new trilogy that will go beyond the Skywalker saga. He’s expected to write and direct the first installment, which focuses on new characters from a new part of the galaxy. On Twitter, Johnson joked, “Obviously I hope you like The Last Jedi. But man now I REALLY hope you like The Last Jedi.” The film hits theaters Dec. 15.

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    Ezekiel Elliott Loses Suspension Fight in Court

    He’s back on the bench. An emergency injunction request by the NFL Players Association to keep the Dallas Cowboys running back on the field was denied by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday. Elliott was suspended by the league for six games over allegations of domestic abuse, which he denies. His punishment is seen as a test of commissioner Roger Goodell’s authority over player discipline. Elliott will miss four games before his next court date Dec. 1, and if he loses then he’ll be out until Christmas Eve.