The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Hundreds Killed by Earthquake in Iran-Iraq Border Region

    Tens of thousands need emergency shelter. A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck the northern region between Iran and Iraq Sunday night, killing more than 400, many of them in Iran’s Kermanshah province. Thousands more are believed injured. Shaking could be felt in Turkey, and buildings swayed in Baghdad, over 200 miles away. Earthquakes are common in the region, but the traditional mud-brick houses are vulnerable to serious tremors. As aftershocks continue, rescue teams have been hampered by landslides, and power outages mean much of the damage is still unknown.

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    GOP Split Over Roy Moore, White House Still Supportive

    For some, there’s no bridge too far. Accusations against the Republican Senate candidate have sent GOP lawmakers running the other direction, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he should “step aside.” But White House officials say there’s insufficient evidence against Moore. Meanwhile, his supporters in Alabama largely appear to blame the four women who came forward and said he behaved inappropriately with them when they were teenagers. Moore says denies the allegations, also noting they happened decades ago. There’s no legal mechanism to remove Moore from the ballot before the Dec. 12 election.

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    Lebanese PM Says He’s ‘Free’ to Travel, But Mystery Persists

    He’s caught in the middle. As conflict heats up between Iran and Saudi Arabia, some think Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is being used as a pawn. Hariri, who took over last year as part of a compromise government, was suddenly summoned to Saudi Arabia last week and resigned on Saudi TV. Though his allies at home say he’s being held captive, Hariri publicly said he resigned due to concerns about Iran, and in a shaky interview yesterday told a reporter he’ll return to Lebanon within days.

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    Uber Clinches Deal, Can Snap Up SoftBank Money

    From now on, the ride may be smoother. Uber has reached a truce on control of its board seats, instituting reforms that depend on — but also allow — a $10 billion investment from the SoftBank group. The deal will also neutralize a lawsuit against former CEO Travis Kalanick from investor Benchmark, which has agreed to drop litigation as long as the SoftBank investment comes through. It’s a big win for new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who can now focus on Uber’s commitment to hold its IPO by a 2019 deadline.

  5. A Buffoon, a Gossip Queen and Carbon Emissions

    Know This: Some are calling for British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to be fired after he made comments about the case of a British-Iranian woman imprisoned in Iran — and may have landed her extra prison time. Somalilanders choose a new president today. And celebrity gossip columnist Liz Smith has died at the age of 94.

    Remember This Number: 2 percent. That’s how far CO2 levels rose in 2017 — the first increase in three years. Experts say it’s a step back, but that it may be tied to global economic growth, particularly in China and India.

    Talk to Us: What would you like to know? Here at OZY, we’ve been compiling dossiers on every week’s biggest news issue. Tell us what you’d like to find out all about this week by sending an email to


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    Duterte Performs Pop Ballad on Trump’s ‘Orders’

    They’re singing the same tune. At a gala dinner in Manila ahead of the yearly ASEAN summit, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took the stage to duet with singer Pilita Corrales on love song “Ikaw.” He later said he sang “upon the orders of the commander in chief of the United States.” Duterte and President Trump have long had a chummy relationship, with Trump praising Duterte’s ruthless war on drugs. Meanwhile, 11 Asian countries agreed Saturday to resurrect the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, though the U.S. will be shut out.

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    Democrats Step Up Anti-Gerrymandering Legislation

    They’re (re)drawing a line. A handful of Democrats are pushing legislation to fix gerrymandered district lines by shifting control to independent commissions or by stacking multiple seats in larger districts. The hope is to increase competition and force candidates to run toward the middle, but so far Democrats seem to be leading the charge alone. Currently locked out of power, they’re only receiving lukewarm responses from Republican colleagues. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is deciding a pivotal Wisconsin case that could permanently define the bounds of partisan redistricting.

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    Tens of Thousands Join Polish Far-Right Rally

    They’re on the march. Tens of thousands of Polish nationalists took to the streets of Warsaw this weekend to celebrate the country’s independence day. The once-marginal event has grown in recent years to become one of Europe’s largest far-right rallies, drawing criticism for attracting fascists and other dubious political elements from around the Continent. Poland’s right-wing government has given its tacit blessing to the march, which is co-organized by the National Radical Camp, a group dedicated to keeping the country ethnically and religiously homogeneous.

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    Women March in LA, Allegations Surface Against Takei, Dreyfuss

    “The power of #MeToo could bring down Hollywood.” So said the organizer of yesterday’s #MeToo Survivors March, which followed an earlier Take Back the Workplace March supporting those who have been sexually harassed while doing their jobs. Meanwhile, the avalanche of people coming forward to expose harassers continues: Actor Richard Dreyfuss, whose son recently described being groped by Kevin Spacey, allegedly exposed himself to a female writer in the 80s. And Star Trek actor and LGBT icon George Takei has denied accusations he groped model Scott Brunton in 1981.

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    Report: Goodell Wants $50 Million Salary, Private Jet

    Is he hoping to bring them to their knees? Embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is reportedly seeking a compensation package of $49.5 million per year — a raise from his current $30 million — with lifetime use of a private jet. An NFL spokesperson denied the claims. Goodell has overseen a dramatic season so far, filled with political protests and declining viewership, and now Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is threatening to sue the NFL if his contract is extended. The league’s compensation committee will meet today to discuss Goodell’s contract.