The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Soldiers Take Zimbabwe’s National Broadcaster, Explosions Heard

    The revolution will not be televised. Soldiers occupied Zimbabwe’s national broadcaster amid reports of a deployment across the capital of Harare. A statement was read by the military saying it has taken action to ”target criminals” but that this was not “a military takeover of government” and longtime leader President Robert Mugabe was safe. Explosions were also heard in the city. The events come after Zimbabwe’s ruling party accused General Constantino Chiwenga — who had challenged Mugabe after he sacked the vice president — of “treasonable conduct.”


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    Donald Trump Jr. Had Contact With WikiLeaks During Campaign

    They slid into his DMs. The president’s oldest son has revealed that he exchanged messages with WikiLeaks during and after the 2016 election. It’s the first evidence of direct communication between senior campaign officials and the transparency organization that U.S. intelligence believes is connected to the Kremlin. While Trump Jr. didn’t respond to most of the messages, he did tweet certain links after WikiLeaks suggested he promote them. Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions insisted to lawmakers on Tuesday he never lied about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians.

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    GOP Senators Urge Moore to Quit as Fifth Woman Comes Forward

    “I believe the women.” So said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’s asked candidate Roy Moore to step aside after a fifth woman came forward saying Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16. Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan echoed McConnell’s call. Some Republicans are even urging a write-in campaign to re-elect Jeff Sessions, who vacated the seat originally. Meanwhile, Congress will hold a hearing today about harassment on the Hill after dozens of people spoke up saying that such behavior is endemic and that reporting procedures are biased against victims.

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    Myanmar’s Military Clears Itself of Wrongdoing

    Nothing to see here. Myanmar’s army has exonerated itself, denying all allegations of mass rape and killings during an operation that has displaced more than 600,000 ethnic Rohingya Muslims since August. The military’s internal investigation contradicts accounts by journalists and independent investigators about burned villages and hundreds of deaths in what the U.N. described as “ethnic cleansing.” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Myanmar tomorrow and is expected to rebuke its military generals over the crisis, on which national leader Aung San Suu Kyi has remained mostly silent.

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    Venezuela Stays Mum on Plan for Debt Default

    Nobody wants to lose by default. But after a meeting on Monday over a $60 billion bond default that could be announced as soon as today, investors say it’s still not clear how Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government plans to deal with the crisis. The administration has already missed a $47 million interest payment and is late with a $1.1 billion bond payment. That could lead to escalating EU sanctions, which Maduro says are “stupid,” or creditors seizing oil from the bankrupt nation — though it could also force political compromise.

  6. Groping, Defecting and Real Stories of Gun Violence

    Know This: A woman says President George H.W. Bush groped her when she was 16, the sixth woman to accuse him of sexual misconduct in less than a month. A North Korean soldier was critically wounded but is expected to survive after soldiers shot at him as he dashed to the South Korean side of the border in a bid to defect. And British Prime Minister Theresa May publicly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to cease meddling with other countries’ elections.

    Read This: Firsthand accounts from survivors and family members of those lost in mass shootings illuminate attitudes about gun violence and grief in America.

    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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    Australian Ferry Officially Dubbed ‘Ferry McFerryface’

    The ends justify the memes. The most popular name in a vote to christen the final ferry in Sydney Harbor’s new fleet was actually Boaty McBoatface. Since that name was already taken — by a British submersible, rather than its originally intended recipient, polar research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough — Sydney officials named it Ferry McFerryface instead. This joke has already been replicated by Trainy McTrainface, a train, and Horsey McHorseface, a horse. Though popular with voters, some Sydneysiders say it’s disrespectful to the other ferries, all named for prominent Australians.

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    Drones Could Help Predict Volcanic Eruptions 

    They can stay out of the line of fire. Scientists have long puzzled over the challenge of peering into active volcanoes to better plan for when they’ll blow. Now they can rely on drones to do the job for them. Recent flights over Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego, for instance, revealed the makings of a cyclical eruption days in advance. Scientists hope more consistent surveillance of the volcano could help predict its more extreme explosions — a warning that could be a lifesaver for the 100,000 people who live nearby.

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    New Translation Tools May Revolutionize Cross-Culture Romance

    Some things shouldn’t be lost in translation. Devices like Google Pixel Buds, touted as the real-life version of Babel fish in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, aim to let you hear near-instant translations of dozens of languages in your ear when coupled with Google Translate. A recent survey revealed 64 percent of Americans would date someone who didn’t speak their language, and translation devices like these may further open the doors to interlingual romance. As technological improvements shrink cultural barriers, they’re also expanding the dating pool.

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    Amazon Acquires Rights for ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series

    One streaming service to rule them all. Amazon has signed a massive deal — estimated at around $250 million — to acquire global TV rights to The Lord of the Rings from J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate for a planned multiseason series. It’s an escalation in the arms race between streaming services like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, with Amazon especially focused on acquiring genre titles. The adaptation, which hasn’t yet been developed, will reportedly explore storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring as well as possible spin-offs.

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    Italy Misses World Cup for First Time Since 1958

    Veni, vidi, vanquished. The four-time World Cup champions will not be heading to the international soccer tournament for the first time in six decades after drawing 0-0 with Sweden. Italian Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio said in September that “not qualifying would be an apocalypse.” The Netherlands, which made the last two semifinals, and Chile, reigning Copa America champions, also won’t be seen in Russia next summer. Nor will the United States, which failed to qualify for the first time since 1986.