President Donald Trump has reportedly accepted the resignation from his UN ambassador Tuesday. No reasons were given for Haley leaving but she allegedly raised the issue with the President last week. This morning Trump tweeted he had a “big announcement with my friend Nikki Haley in the Oval Office at 10.30 am.” Haley had been a critic of Trump’s prior to taking up the role, and was a proponent of free markets and global trade during her time representing the U.S. at the global body.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The accusations against him were “all made up” and a “hoax.” That’s what President Donald Trump asserted Monday at Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s ceremonial swearing-in at the White House. The president played down the sexual assault allegations and subsequent investigations during Kavanaugh’s bitterly contested Senate confirmation, decrying “the terrible pain and suffering” the justice and his family were “forced to endure.” Kavanaugh, whose confirmation vote total was the lowest in the modern era, said he took office with “no bitterness,” and pledged to be the “best justice I can be.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday challenged Saudi officials to prove that Jamal Khashoggi, last seen Oct. 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, left the building alive. Turkish authorities say they’re seeking a black van believed to have removed Khashoggi’s body after the Saudi-born Washington Post columnist was allegedly killed in the consulate. The 59-year-old U.S. resident’s disappearance also got attention from Washington, where President Trump said he was concerned about what he’d heard, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the Saudis to investigate.
The investigative website Bellingcat, cooperating with Russia’s Insider, named the second suspect arrested for poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England. They claim Alexander Mishkin, alias “Alexander Petrov,” is a Russian military doctor and intelligence operative. Using open-source software, internet databases and social media, the site says it was able to uncover “Petrov” through his online footprint. Last month Bellingcat exposed “Ruslan Boshirov” as Russian intelligence officer Anatoliy Chepiga. British authorities have yet to comment on the “speculation,” saying the poisoning remains under investigation.
The search giant announced Monday it was discontinuing its social media offering in the wake of a controversial decision to stay mum about a security flaw that may have exposed the private data of as many as 500,000 users. Google discovered the issue in March, but reportedly didn’t disclose it to protect its reputation and head off regulatory attention, such as that plaguing rival Facebook. While Google executives may not have been obligated to report the vulnerability, it surprised cybersecurity experts, considering recent regulatory efforts to safeguard user data.
Know This: The New York Times reports that a Trump campaign aide requested an Israeli intelligence firm’s help in creating an online misinformation campaign. The Saturday crash that killed 20 people in New York state has raised new concerns about limousine safety. Florida Democrats are urging the extension of today’s voter registration deadline as Hurricane Michael approaches. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to the Caribbean: Find out what it’s like to go fly-fishing on a boat with king-size beds.
Listen to This: “For some of us, traveling as a kid means venturing half-way across the world each year to see the place your parents grew up — a part of the world that your classmates might not even be able to pinpoint on a map.” — from a review of the Women Who Travel podcast on How Immigrant Parents Shaped Our Travel Experiences.
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The team of experts from 40 countries warns that the world needs “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels. They warn that a 2-degree increase would dramatically boost the risk of dangerous weather and “irreversible changes” to ecosystems and species. But the forecast looks sunnier for some investors: There’s money to be made in renewable energy sources to combat warming and, failing that, building sea walls and other defenses against the coming storm.
The tech giant wrote to House and Senate committees Monday to refute a Bloomberg report claiming the Chinese government had secretly added spy chips to motherboards sold by California supplier Supermicro. The report, which British and U.S. security officials have dismissed, said those chips ended up in data systems of about 30 companies, including Amazon. Apple, Amazon and Supermicro all repudiate the claims. While Apple’s disavowal was unequivocal, some drew comparisons to the company’s denial of its involvement in secret NSA data mining that was exposed by Edward Snowden.
Actor, director and writer Rajat Kapoor apologized yesterday via Twitter after multiple women accused him of improper conduct, including asking a female journalist during an interview, “Are you as sexy as you sound?” As #MeToo embroils India’s entertainment industry, actor Nana Patekar and singer Kailash Kher have also recently denied accusations of misconduct. And an entire film company was dissolved this weekend following harassment allegations against filmmaker Vikas Bahl and complaints that his partners condoned his behavior. The Mumbai Film Festival has canceled screenings of Kapoor’s latest work in solidarity with his accusers.
While China’s large infrastructure projects are reaching foreign shores, there’s a softer influence by the global heavyweight being felt in the Caribbean. Small Chinese businesses are cropping up throughout the area, igniting debate on their impact on economies and societies traditionally closer to the West and Taiwan. Islanders complain that Chinese businesses don’t hire them and ignore local standards and laws. Although the entrepreneurial newcomers boost rental income, some residents don’t feel it’s worth the cost of crowding out local business as immigrants continue to pour in.
He arrived in style. The 39-year-old New Orleans Saints quarterback lobbed a 62-yard touchdown to Tre’Quan Smith yesterday to surpass Peyton Manning’s record of 71,940 yards. Despite the anticipated milestone and planned on-field certificate presentation from Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker, refs hit the Saints with a flag and 15-yard penalty for “taunting” during the celebration. Brees, who completed 23 of 26 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns, needs just 42 more touchdown passes to break Manning’s record of 539.