The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Stock Markets See Second Day of Losses

    The Dow dropped 545 points after widespread selling Thursday seeing a two-day loss of 5 percent, the largest in eight months. The Standard & Poor Index was also affected by 2 percent and Nasdaq 1.3 percent. Investors are wavering over rising interest rates as well as concerns over U.S. China ties – a slight rebound seen after President Donald Trump announced he’d be meeting President Xi Jinping. The finance sector is now braced for third-quarter earnings in coming weeks while Trump commented on interest rate hikes saying the Fed had “gone crazy.”


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    Hurricane Michael Strikes With Unprecedented Fury

    The worst storm on record to hit the Florida Panhandle has so far claimed two lives: an 11-year-old Georgia girl and a Tallahassee man, both struck by wind-tossed debris. But authorities, struggling to respond to calls for help, fear that darkness may have concealed more tragedy. Michael slammed Florida with record 155 mph winds Wednesday as the state evacuated 375,000 people, and emergencies were declared in 322 counties across five states. Michael, downgraded to a tropical storm, now moves toward the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

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    Facebook Purge Hundreds of Accounts And Pages

    The social media giant is purging more than 800 U.S. pages and accounts for violating the company’s spam policies and flooding the site with politically orientated content. None of the pages have ties to Russia but the move is to do with behavior rather than content, it says. It could raise questions of political censorship and what constitutes legitimate political expression. In a blog post, the company announced, “People will only share on Facebook if they feel safe and trust the connections they make here.”

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    American, Russian Escape Aborted Rocket Launch

    Two crew members headed for the International Space Station are reportedly incredibly lucky today. Shortly after launching from Russia’s Kazakhstan spaceport, the Soyuz MS-10 rocket suffered a booster problem and ground controllers opted to abort. Launch monitors say NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, who returned to Earth in their capsule, have landed safely and are in good condition despite returning in “ballistic descent mode.” Rescue crews are headed to their projected landing site, and Russia’s space agency is reportedly investigating the cause of the problem.

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    Global Stocks Tumble After Wall Street Slide

    Long-suffering Chinese stocks fell nearly 6 percent today following Wednesday’s U.S. stock market decline. The Dow dropped 832 points, or 3.2 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 4.1 percent — its worst decline since June 2016 — including Netflix taking an 8 percent hit. Early trading in Europe was also lower. Rising yields on U.S. Treasury bonds, stoked by Federal Reserve interest increases, were blamed for the sell-off. President Donald Trump was blunt in his analysis, saying, “The Fed has gone crazy.”

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    Evidence of Saudi Role in Journalist’s Disappearance Mounts

    The denials aren’t adding up. Saudi Arabia maintains it didn’t assassinate dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate, as Turkish officials have reported, despite CCTV footage purporting to show a Saudi hit squad’s arrival. Now U.S. officials are getting involved, claiming intercepted Saudi communications may implicate Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s crown prince, in ordering an operation to detain Khashoggi. The diplomatic scandal could cast a shadow over U.S. policy initiated by presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, who made Saudi Arabia the linchpin of Middle East diplomacy.

  7. Limo Homicide Charge, Espionage Extradition and Uighur ‘Education’

    Know This: The operator of the limousine company that owned the stretch SUV that crashed last weekend, killing 20, has been charged with negligent homicide. In a first, U.S. authorities have extradited a Chinese intelligence official from Belgium to prosecute him on espionage charges. And a woman who was given what she thought was a toy knife in a Nashville haunted house stabbed and injured a friend.

    Learn This: “The centers should teach Mandarin Chinese, legal concepts and vocational training, and carry out ‘thought education’…” — Description of re-education centers now declared legal by China, which has detained up to 1 million people, particularly ethnic Uighurs it believes are influenced by radical Islam.

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    Egypt Uses Coffee Klatches to Fight Terrorism

    The Egyptian government is trying to fight radicalism by sending clerics to preach moderate Islam at cafés, hoping to win young hearts and minds. The program was launched in 2017 following terrorist attacks that killed 44 Coptic Christians. Moderate clerics have since held more than 2,000 talks at cafés and hookah bars around the country. But with competing religious authorities and murky objectives, the program’s met some skepticism. Some expect it to be shrugged off, much like the recent “Fatwa Kiosks” program dispensing Islamic edicts with newspapers at transit stops.

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    Scientists Discover ‘Lost World’ of Undersea Volcanoes

    Australian scientists mapping the ocean’s floor have discovered a chain of submerged volcanic seamounts 250 miles east of Tasmania that seems to be a mid-ocean oasis, feeding “a dazzling array of marine life.” Researchers reported being visited by at least 28 humpbacks one day and a pod of 60-80 long-finned pilot whales the next. They theorized the animals might be using the large undersea volcanoes, with peaks rising 9,800 feet above the seabed, for navigation. Scientists plan to return later this year to film and collect samples.

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    Musk Contradicts Report of Tesla Replacement

    Elon Musk is tweeting again. This time he’s disputing a Financial Times report that James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox and a Tesla board member, is likely to replace him as chairman. “This is incorrect,” Musk tweeted in response. The shake-up is a requirement of Tesla’s settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which sued the electric carmaker over Musk’s tweet that he’d secured funding to take the firm private. In the settlement, Musk keeps his position as CEO, but Tesla’s board must name a new chair by mid-November.

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    Jamie Lee Curtis Targeted by Fox News for Guns in Movies

    The network called the Halloween star a hypocrite for wielding guns in her latest movie, arguing, “Curtis’s on-screen actions stand in contrast to her real-life persona as an advocate for gun control.” Fox cited several of her tweets as evidence, including two decrying school shootings and another bragging about her prowess with a .357-caliber firearm while filming the 11th installment in the horror franchise. Sen. Ted Cruz joined the fray, calling out “Hollywood liberals” for using armed security guards while advocating for gun control.

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    Deandre Ayton Named in College Basketball Corruption Case

    Former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola testified yesterday that he’d secretly given money to the families of five college basketball recruits — including Phoenix Suns star Ayton, 2018’s No. 1 overall draft pick. The FBI’s federal college basketball corruption case against Adidas representatives follows a disputed February report claiming Ayton’s Arizona Wildcats coach, Sean Miller, was caught on wiretap discussing six-figure payments for the hot recruit. Those following the pay-for-play scandal are anxious to see if the Arizona connection comes up today as Gassnola’s testimony continues.