The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Brazil’s Bolsonaro Wins First Round in Presidential Election

    The far-right former army captain resoundingly beat his opponent, Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad, on Sunday with 46.7 percent support compared to Haddad’s 28.5 percent, although didn’t make the 50 percent cutoff to avoid a second round. The tough-on-crime candidate who’s praised Brazil’s past dictatorship had a jump in support after being stabbed at a rally in early September. Bolsonaro and his followers accused faulty electronic voting systems for not winning outright. Meanwhile, Haddad raised the possibility of a second-round alliance as he faces Bolsonaro on October 28.

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    Kavanaugh Sworn in, Shifting Supreme Court to the Right

    It was a private ceremony. Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice shortly after the U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s nomination, 50-48, Saturday afternoon. The vote was mostly along party lines, but West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin backed the embattled judge accused of sexual assault and other misconduct as a youth and opposed more than supported in opinion polls. Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski voted “present.” Protesters tried to disrupt the proceedings, and fundraising to defeat key “aye” voting Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins in 2020 reportedly spiked. 

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    Upstate New York Wedding Limo Crash Kills 20

    The crash killed 18 limousine occupants and two bystanders Saturday afternoon in Schoharie, about 40 miles west of Albany. The vehicle was reportedly carrying a wedding party and traveling down a hill at about 60 mph when it crashed into pedestrians and another vehicle at the Apple Barrel Country Store. A manager said Columbus Day weekend is the store’s busiest, and its parking lot was full of customers and cars when the crash occurred. State police are still notifying next-of-kin and National Transportation Safety Board investigators are reportedly en route.

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    Pompeo Touts ‘Good, Productive Conversation’ With Kim 

    After meeting for two hours with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the talks were “productive” and “another step forward” without citing specifics. It’s been nearly four months since President Donald Trump met Kim in Singapore, and Kim has since become impatient without sanctions relief or support for a formal end to the Korean War. According to the South Korean president’s office, the two did agree that Kim and Trump would meet again as early as possible.

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    Jury Convicts Chicago Cop in Black Teen’s Killing

    He should have de-escalated the situation. That was at least one juror’s take on a Chicago cop convicted Friday of second-degree murder in a Black teenager’s 2014 shooting that ignited protests. Officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, and jurors also handed Van Dyke an aggravated battery count for each bullet. Crowds cheered outside the courthouse, chanting “Justice for Laquan!” and new demonstrations erupted as the city’s police union called the proceeding a “sham trial” orchestrated by “political operatives.” The officer’s lawyer said he will appeal.

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    They Did an ‘Ocean’s 11’ on an Entire Country

    Like the Hollywood heist saga, this elaborate scheme allegedly managed to extract $500 million from Angola’s central bank. But documents show that a bank teller in London smelled something fishy and blew the caper apart. Four suspects were arrested in what looks like a common get-rich-quick investment scam scaled way up. The new president’s anti-corruption effort and the teller’s sharp eye helped recover the bulk of the money. But two other principals kept millions, one of them posting a selfie on social media, lighting a cigar.

  7. Brazilian Elections, Diplomatic ‘Murder’ and Haitian Quake

    The Week Ahead: Today right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro appears likely to win the first round of Brazilian elections over corruption-tainted ruling leftists. The Nobel Prize for economics will be announced on Monday. And the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday on whether suspected illegal immigrants should be detained indefinitely without a hearing.

    Know This: Turkish police reportedly believe that Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Istanbul’s Saudi consulate, which the kingdom’s officials deny. Ten people have died in a 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Haiti — one of the strongest since a 2010 temblor devastated the Caribbean nation, killing 200,000 people. And UFC lighweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov extended his unbeaten streak to 27 by pummeling fighting star Conor McGregor, while preserving the franchise’s reputation for spectacle with some postfight brawling.

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    Rep. Devin Nunes’ Good Earth May Be Tainted

    His loyalties are divided. On the one hand, the congressman from California’s San Joaquin Valley is President Trump’s Capitol Hill hatchet man. On the other hand, his much-touted family dairy farming business reportedly relies on undocumented laborers — whom his president wants deported. And then there’s the fact that 12 years ago, the valley farm he often invokes among his down-home credentials was sold and restarted in Iowa. There, Trump-supporting farmers fear that immigration raids will destroy their livelihoods, while a nosy journalist gets tailed by Nunes’ kin.

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    Humanity’s Largest Telescope to Look at the Galaxy’s ‘Exit’ 

    Out of many, one. Radio telescopes around the world have combined to comprise one giant, Earth-sized observatory. With this Event Horizon Telescope — said to have the highest resolution of any astronomical instrument ever created — astronomers have collected signals from Sagittarius A*, also known as the black hole at the center of the galaxy. That was done back in April 2017, but data’s still being crunched. In a few months, if all goes well, astronomers and humankind may get to see the silhouette of the phenomenon for the first time.

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    Macron Wants to Deliver Fertility Care for All

    There may not be any Emmanuel juniors, but French President Macron insists he understands parenthood and promises to extend the right to in vitro fertilization to lesbian and single women — an idea recently endorsed by the republic’s highest court. Currently French women who can’t get IVF go to Spain or Belgium. While pushback’s expected in a society rooted in Catholicism, the plan is to begin parliamentary debate on liberalization later this year. Even if fertilization restrictions are lifted, it appears surrogacy will need more time to gain acceptance. 

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    How YouTubers Crushed Early Childhood Programming

    The birthplace of generations of the world’s most beloved children’s characters is losing its footing. India’s ChuChu TV YouTube channel already beats out Sesame Street — by 14 billion views — and other U.S. fare. The Chennai-based startup now employs more than 200 people creating viral content aimed at children. ChuChu’s founder says he hasn’t cracked the code to viral success; rather his company is focused on producing content that children all over the world can enjoy. Now creators from Romania to Russia are looking to cash in, while Americans struggle to catch up.

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    The Cuban Connection: Why the Feds Are Probing MLB

    The underbelly of Cuban recruitment for American baseball might soon see the light. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating operations tied to the shady practice, which can involve buscones (street-level agents), Caribbean smugglers and stash houses in Haiti and Mexico. And according to a dossier provided to the FBI, some MLB personnel were privy all along. Evidence shows emails from Los Angeles Dodgers execs rating the “level of egregious behavior” of their employees in Latin America; five received a “criminal” rating. But there’s more — much more — and soon it might all be public.