The Presidential Daily Brief

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    New York Attorney General Resigns After Assault Allegations

    Eric Schneiderman left office hours after allegations of physical abuse by four women were made public in the New Yorker. On Twitter, Schneiderman admitted to “role-playing and other consensual sexual activity” but denied claims that include non-consensual violence and threats of death. Governor Andrew Cuomo had requested his departure. Schneiderman’s office had previously filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein and was a known thorn in President Trump’s side, trying to change state laws so aides could be prosecuted despite a pardon. Schneiderman was up for re-election this year.

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    Hawaii Volcano Continues Destructive Rampage

    “There’s no sign of slowing down.” So said one Hawaii official about the Kilauea eruption, which continues to spew lava hundreds of feet into the air. It has destroyed 26 homes and left 1,800 evacuated locals in limbo. One fissure in the Leilani Estates subdivision has covered more than 387,500 square feet in lava. No injuries have been reported, but officials warn that sulfur dioxide levels are still “in the red zone.” Experts say the volcano will keep erupting as long as there’s a magma supply — and it hasn’t yet been depleted.

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    Rudy Giuliani Lauds His Controversial Defense of Trump

    The former New York mayor ended his weeklong media blitz as President Donald Trump’s personal attorney by saying his team feels “pretty good that we’ve got everything kind of straightened out and we’re setting the agenda.” Not everyone would agree: Giuliani has made various claims about the $130,000 payout to porn star Stormy Daniels, and even admitted to ABC News yesterday he’s only “about halfway there” with the facts of the case. He also suggested Trump could plead the Fifth Amendment in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

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    Tensions Over Iran Deal Intensify as Deadline Looms

    Later this week, President Trump is set to decide whether he’ll pull out of the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran. British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has traveled to Washington to dissuade him from doing so, while Israel criticized the deal as “fatally flawed.” Iran itself has warned of “historic regret” if the U.S. walks away. Meanwhile, The Observer reported that last year, in order to discredit the deal, Trump aides hired Israeli private eyes to “get dirt” on the Obama administration officials who helped negotiate the pact.

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    Nestlé Buys $7 Billion License to Sell Starbucks Worldwide

    They’ll take it to go. The Swiss food and beverage giant announced today that it paid $7.15 billion to sell the U.S. coffee chain’s products around the world in places like supermarkets and restaurants. The deal reflects the Nescafe maker’s ongoing drive to break further into the coffee business, and experts say it will allow the company to gain a greater foothold in the U.S. market. Last year, Nestlé acquired a controlling stake in Blue Bottle Coffee before selling off its confectionery business in January for $2.8 billion to Ferrero International.

  6. Trump’s CIA Nominee, Putin’s Inauguration and an Unsolved Murder

    Know This: Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick to lead the CIA, reportedly offered to withdraw her nomination over her role in the agency’s controversial interrogation techniques. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been inaugurated at the Kremlin today, just days after new protests against his rule resulted in 1,600 arrests. And Pakistan’s interior minister was wounded in a shooting yesterday during a public meeting with supporters.

    Read This: Nearly eight years later, the mysterious murder of NBA star Lorenzen Wright has the city of Memphis on edge again. Read OZY’s first Cover Story to find out why this cold case has been re-opened.

    Give Us the Scoop: What do you know and what do you want to discover? If you’ve got an idea for an awesome story, we’d love to hear it. Send your pitches to readerideas@ozy.com and our reporters and editors will run them down.

intriguing

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    Study: Facebook Helped Connect ISIS Sympathizers

    A new report by an anti-extremist nonprofit says the social network’s “suggested friend” feature has connected thousands of Islamist militants — and all it took was for a user to add a sympathizer as a friend, or even click on a terror-related news link. The authors said Facebook should do more to weed out extremists, since less than half of the 1,000 profiles identified as supporting ISIS were suspended after six months. The company said its current approach is working, and that 99 percent of extremist-related content is removed automatically.

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    Sierra Leoneans Fight Back Against Corporate Land Grabs

    “The law is with us now.” That’s what one West African farmer believes. His optimism stems from court victories by volunteer paralegals that prevented multinational firms from seizing local land for large-scale bauxite mining, rubber planting and other industries. In addition to destroying traditional livelihoods like rice farming and hunting, land grabs also rendered the remaining land toxic with pollutants like iron mine runoff. Now investors may be compelled to engage with — rather than strong-arm — the Sierra Leoneans whose resources they’re exploiting.

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    New Report Reveals No Secret Chambers in King Tut’s Tomb

    A theory that Queen Nefertiti’s burial chamber could lie behind the walls of Tutankhamun’s tomb sparked three years of investigation, but early tests using ground-penetrating radar — commonly used in prospecting for oil — were inconsistent. On Sunday, a team of researchers in Giza announced the results of three new comprehensive scans by three independent teams — all of which confirm there is “no evidence of doors or empty spaces.” Although the results are disappointing, they demonstrate the value of new technology for archaeologists unearthing ancient secrets.

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    White House Calls China ‘Orwellian’ Over Airline Rules

    In 2017, the Trump administration’s “alternative facts” boosted sales of Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell’s dystopian literary classic in which “ignorance is strength.” This weekend, the White House turned the tables, using the phrase “Orwellian nonsense” to criticize Chinese policy. Beijing recently notified foreign airlines that they’d need to edit their websites’ references to Taiwan. British Airways, for instance, listed the territory among its drop-down menu of countries — but Beijing insists Taiwan is part of China. The airline has since complied, and other carriers are likely to follow suit.

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    NFL May Let Teams Make Their Own Anthem Policies

    Can they meet at the 50-yard line? A new report suggests the league might shift responsibility for the controversial call to individual teams. The NFL doesn’t currently have a policy on athletes taking a knee during the national anthem in the name of social justice, but some team owners have complained about their players’ alleged lack of patriotism. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones insists there’s “no question” the protests are bad for the league. Several owners have said they expect a decision in a meeting later this month.