The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Elon Musk Steps Down as Tesla Chairman

    As part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk will leave the position for three years but remain the company’s CEO. The decision comes after Musk first rejected a settlement on Thursday by the SEC who sued the contentious entrepreneur for misleading investors with Twitter posts. Musk also agreed to hire two new independent board members that will oversee his communications with investors, a new committee of directors and a fine of $20 million. In the future, the company will need to approve any public written messages Musk makes regarding Tesla.

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    U.S. And Canada Reach NAFTA Deal 

    U.S. and Canada have reached a deal after negotiations around the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The agreement reportedly involves greater access to Canada’s dairy market and a cap to U.S. imports of Canadian cars. The announcement follows an agreement between the U.S. and Mexico and a looming collapse of Canadian-U.S. relations. The traditional close allies had been tested by the Trump administration’s protectionist policy but in a joint statement between the Canadian Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Trade Department, both sides expect deeper economic engagement in the future.

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    Tsunami in Indonesia Leaves Hundreds Dead

    “It could get much worse.” So said the Red Cross in a statement after a tsunami and 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck near the Indonesian city of Palu on Friday, leaving at least 832 dead. Rescuers are currently digging by hand to free people from rubble as the number of dead and injured climbs. Video of the tsunami shows people fleeing in panic from waves that were reportedly up to 10 feet high. A series of deadly earthquakes on the Indonesian island of Lombok last month also left hundreds dead. Meanwhile, aftershocks continue to hit the area.

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    Kavanaugh Will Be Investigated by FBI

    There’s a “presumption of innocence.” That, for one key Senate Judiciary Committee member, was at first enough. Like much of America, retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake heard compelling testimony from both Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, regarding an alleged sexual assault. But in a surprising reversal, as the committee sends the nomination to the full Senate chamber, Flake said he would not vote to confirm Kavanaugh without an F.B.I. investigation into the allegation. President Donald Trump, in acquiescence, ordered the investigation, delaying a final confirmation vote by up to a week.

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    Facebook Breach Could Affect 90M Users

    The company revealed Friday that it suffered its largest data breach in history this week, exposing the information of 50 to 90 million user accounts. They confirmed that the attack — which exploited bugs in the “View As” feature — also allowed hackers access to any account a user logs into using Facebook. It’s just the latest episode for the company which faced fallout earlier this year from several privacy scandals including that involving Cambridge Analytica, which harvested data from 87 million Facebook users in order to target U.S. voters.

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    Could Donald Trump Win a Nobel Prize?

    Will they be laughing after Friday? At the United Nations this week, world leaders expressed amusement at President Donald Trump’s boasts, inspiring back-and-forth claims they were laughing “with” rather than “at” him. On Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, where Trump’s been nominated by some of Norway’s right-tilted politicians, announces its peace prize laureate for 2018. Even South Korean President Moon Jae-in has suggested that Trump’s worthy — although observers believe Moon may have been the prime mover in improving relations with a nuclear-armed North Korea.

  7. North Korean Love, Second Woman and Egyptian Justice

    The Week Ahead: On Monday, First Lady Melania Trump is to begin her first solo foreign trip, a weeklong visit to four African nations, where she plans to promote child welfare. The Supreme Court, one day into its new term, is to hold a hearing Tuesday on whether executing a prisoner with dementia and no memory of a capital offense constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. And that same day, Major League Baseball playoffs will begin.

    Know This: At a Saturday rally in West Virginia, President Donald Trump claimed that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ”fell in love” after exchanging letters. The F.B.I has contacted Deborah Ramirez in their investigation of allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And an Egyptian woman has been sentenced to two years in jail for spreading “fake news” after she posted a video on sexual harassment.

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    Orson Welles’ Last Film Reaches the Other Side

    It made Citizen Kane look easy. In 1970, the legendary auteur began filming The Other Side of the Wind, which stalled legally and financially before Orson Welles’ 1985 death. On Nov. 2, the project finally lands in theaters — and on Netflix. The mockumentary of Hollywood’s passing glory days and then-contemporary avant-garde period has frustrated Welles fans as they’ve watched the iconic filmmaker’s estate and other stakeholders grapple over rights. After a much-interrupted production process, Wind has already earned its own documentary, to be packaged online with its subject.

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    How an Intern Became a Google VP

    It was a “life-altering tool.” That’s what computer science student Jan Fitzpatrick thought of the research project she caught wind of 19 years ago. So during her summer break, she lucked out with an internship at Google, which launched a year earlier. As the search giant marks 20 years, Fitzpatrick traces her ascent, from becoming one of the startup’s first female engineers to helping found its user-experience team and Google News, and finally, her future as “geo” VP, running and developing Google Maps.

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    Looking Back to Save Future Moms

    Maternal care for America’s Black women is in crisis. Alabama ranks as the worst state in which to give birth, and in 2016 infant mortality rates increased, a statistic similar to far poorer countries, with Black women likely to suffer more than others. A midwife-devised program aims to reverse this trend. Nearly half of Alabama counties don’t even have OB-GYN services, forcing mothers-to-be to drive hours to obtain care. Midwifery is an old-school solution, but one health experts believe could add up to a healthier future.

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    Venezuelans Escape From Chaos

    The increasing number of refugees fleeing economic hardship under President Nicolás Maduro’s leadership has been a news story personal to photographer Luis Robayo. Hailing from a remote Colombian border region, he documented migrants’ struggles as neighboring countries clamped down on entry. Racing against time and carrying what would likely be all their possessions, the migrants trekked from Colombia to Ecuador and then Peru, braving the Andean chill and lamenting severed family ties. The tragedy, as Robayo sees it, is that these refugees had peacetime jobs, but back home, they have no hope of feeding their families.

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    Why Are National Football Conference Players Loaded?

    Eight of the league’s 10 highest-paid players — from Aaron Rodgers to Aaron Donald — hail from the NFC, while two are in the American Football Conference. That’s despite a salary cap, so what gives? One reason is that the AFC is top-heavy; in 15 years, only five of their teams have gone to the Super Bowl. The well-rounded NFC sent 10, and half of its 2018 teams have championship potential, with well-paid quarterbacks. AFC fans, meanwhile, will have to hope the best for their young, economical play-callers.