Four people – including a mother and her child – have died as a result of the now Category 1 storm, which hit the Carolinas earlier today. Travelling at a mere 5 miles per hour, it has already dumped two feet of rain in some areas, left tens of thousands of residents without power and flooded coastal streets with ocean water. Rescue efforts are currently underway for hundreds of people trapped amidst flooding of the Neuse River and emergency services are on standby. North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper warned the threat may last for days.
The Presidential Daily Brief
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman has agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and will plead guilty to charges related to his work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. Manafort was convicted on eight counts of fraud last month and will now avoid a second trial, which was due to start next week. In a brief statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the deal has “absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign.”
The New York governor easily held off a primary challenge from the actress and progressive activist yesterday, effectively handing him a third term in the Democratic stronghold. Nixon and her supporters had hoped to launch a liberal insurgency against Cuomo similar to the one congressional hopeful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez staged in June. Defeating the Sex and the City star by 30 percentage points, Cuomo promised to stay in office until the end of the next term in 2022 — dousing speculation of a presidential bid.
Days before the third summit this year between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, officials from both countries opened a permanent channel of communication aimed at improving relations. Pyongyang’s delegation chief called it “a large step toward peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean peninsula,” while Seoul’s unification minister said it would allow the countries to “directly discuss issues” at any time. Meanwhile, North Korea slammed the U.S. yesterday after the Justice Department charged an alleged hacker with staging major cyberattacks for Pyongyang.
One person is dead and 25 others injured after a series of explosions blasted through dozens of homes in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover yesterday. “It was just fire out of nowhere,” one eyewitness said. Officials have urged residents of the northern Boston suburbs to evacuate their homes while firefighters battle the blazes and authorities make sure gas lines are turned off. While investigators are still probing the cause, some suggested over-pressurized gas lines could be to blame. Columbia Gas had reportedly notified customers about repairs in the area.
Know This: Millions of people in the Philippines are bracing for Typhoon Mangkhut, expected to be one of the country’s biggest ever. Two Russians suspected of poisoning ex-spy Sergei Skripal in the U.K. have said they traveled to the country as tourists. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has launched a fund tackling homelessness and preschool education for low-income communities. And today, OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Tajikistan, where legendary poets play outsize roles in the country’s cultural fabric.
Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.
Watch This: Tune in tonight to PBS for Breaking Big, OZY’s latest TV show exploring the secret sauce behind successful people. Host Carlos Watson sits down with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz to find out how she broke through, and broke big.
Following reports that a Russian-Canadian member of protest group Pussy Riot may have been poisoned in Russia, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said consular officials were in contact with the facility where Pyotr Verzilov is being treated. “Obviously, this is a situation of concern,” Trudeau said. Doctors believe Verzilov, an outspoken Kremlin critic who was previously jailed for disrupting a World Cup game in July, may have been poisoned with an overdose of medication — a claim his supporters confirm. Verzilov is currently in intensive care, where he remains unconscious.
Eric Alexander, Uber’s former head of Asian business development, is suing Rachel Whetstone, the company’s former PR chief, for allegedly damaging his reputation and directly causing his dismissal last year. Alexander was fired after reports that he obtained the confidential medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India in 2014. He claims Whetstone spread rumors that he’d “acted improperly” in handling the case, which was eventually settled for $3 million. Whetstone, who is now at Netflix, has not commented on the suit.
A recent Washington State University study suggests that some alternatives to bisphenol A (BPA), the potentially harmful plastic compound once commonly found in water bottles and many other plastics, may cause similar adverse effects. Researchers first discovered reproductive problems in mice after their BPA-free cages were shown to have leached out chemicals from replacement compounds like bisphenol S and diphenyl sulfone. That led the scientists to directly test the rodents with BPA alternatives. According to the reproductive biologist who led the study, the replacements behaved “pretty much exactly like BPA.”
What is love? Yesterday South Korea’s Cube Entertainment dismissed megastars HyunA and E’Dawn for coming clean about their secret relationship. After HyunA, Cube’s most successful solo artist, and E’Dawn, a member of the boy band Pentagon, confirmed last month they’d been dating for two years, the label cited “broken loyalty” in its decision to fire the couple. K-pop stars are often compelled to keep their relationships quiet to maintain their public image. Hours later, Cube CEO Shin Dae-nam walked back the label’s decision, saying, “It’s not confirmed.”
They’re dodging left and right. As the storm approaches the Southeast, it’s forcing football programs across the region to recast their schedules: Eleven top-tier games have been changed, and several others remain uncertain. While freeing up public safety resources, the changes will force home teams to refund millions of dollars in tickets and leave smaller schools, which rely on lucrative payments to travel to their bigger competitors, out of luck. Several changes last year in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma resulted in significant scheduling issues later in the season.