The Presidential Daily Brief


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    ’Explosive Device’ Sent to Hillary Clinton And Barack Obama

    Secret Service confirmed Wednesday it intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, during routine mail screenings. The agency said it has ”initiated a full scope criminal investigation” to determine the source of the packages. CNN’s New York offices are also being evacuated after a suspicious package was found. A White House statement said it “condemned” the attempted attacks. The developments come two days after a bomb was sent to the home of financier and philanthropist George Soros.


  2. Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince

    Saudi Crown Prince Breaks Silence Over Khashoggi Murder

    Mohammed bin Salman called the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi earlier this month in Istanbul a “heinous crime that cannot be justified” while speaking at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh yesterday. He went on to say the culprits in the murder would be punished and that “justice would prevail.” At the event, called ”Davos in the desert,” he announced a restructuring of the kingdom’s national security agencies. President Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested for the first time the prince could be involved in the murder of Khashoggi, a former Washington Post columnist, which has caused international outcry.

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    Financial Markets Experience Further Decline

    Stocks tumbled for the sixth consecutive session Wednesday wiping out gains for the year. Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost more than 3 percent despite some solid earnings reports. A swoon in technology companies created significant pressure, with tech-heavy Nasdaq now 12 percent below the August peak. In addition, big companies like Netflix and Amazon took some of the biggest losses, Netflix going back 9.4 percent and Amazon 5.9 percent.


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    Trump: Riyadh Staged ‘Worst Cover-Up Ever’

    Following criticism for failing to reprimand Saudi Arabia for the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump yesterday accused Riyadh of poorly attempting to obscure the murder. His comments came shortly after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the kingdom’s explanation of an accidental killing. “Somebody really messed up,” Trump told reporters. Meanwhile, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — who reportedly met two of Khashoggi’s relatives yesterday — is expected to deliver his first international address since the Washington Post columnist’s Oct. 2 disappearance.

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    Six Children Die From Virus in New Jersey Pediatric Center

    Health authorities yesterday were trying to contain the spread of an adenovirus that also left 12 others infected at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, a long-term care facility in northern New Jersey. It’s unclear when the children died, though the facility reportedly didn’t notify some parents of the outbreak for nine days. A recent inspection of the center, which was poorly rated by federal authorities and previously cited for health violations, revealed only “minor handwashing deficiencies.” It remains closed to new patients until the outbreak is contained.

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    Japan’s Abe to Boost Trade Ties in China Visit

    Officials in Tokyo are heralding a “new trajectory” in relations with Beijing as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heads to the Chinese capital tomorrow for a three-day visit. While ties have long been tainted by historical grievances and, more recently, a 2012 diplomatic spat over disputed islands, economic relations between China and Japan are improving — thanks largely, some analysts say, to protectionist U.S. trade policies that have sparked concerns in both Asian nations. Abe is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday.

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    Tropical Storm Willa Weakens, Sweeps Across Mexico

    Will there be calm after the storm? Although the U.S. National Hurricane Center has downgraded the former hurricane from its earlier Category 3 status, torrential rains are expected to continue showering west-central Mexico. Meteorologists say the storm is heading northeast at around 20 miles per hour. Before making landfall yesterday, Willa had prompted Mexican officials to evacuate thousands of residents of Pacific coastal towns as forecasters warned of life-threatening flooding and high winds. The government has since lifted all its previous tropical cyclone warnings.

  8. Richard Spencer, Vietnam and the Migrant Caravan

    Know This: In divorce proceedings, Richard Spencer’s wife has accused the controversial White nationalist of physically assaulting her. Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong was confirmed yesterday as Vietnam’s new president. And the winning ticket in the record-breaking $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot — offering a $904 million payout — was sold in South Carolina.

    Read This: The caravan of Central American migrants bound for the U.S. border paused briefly yesterday to honor a fellow Honduran traveler who died Monday after falling from an overcrowded truck. “Today is a day of mourning,” said one migrant.

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    Report: ICE Hotline Was Flooded by Prank Calls

    When U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched a hotline last February for victims of immigration crime, it got so many pranks that operators couldn’t answer 98 percent of incoming calls, according to The Verge. Internal emails show the hotline received 16,400 calls the first day, but just 2,100 were queued and only 260 answered. The pranks tapered off, but the agency tried to steer media away from covering them and exacerbating the problem. Instead, emails show it considered providing victims of crimes committed by immigrants to Fox News for interviews.

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    France’s Labor Market Is Ailing

    A skills gap in the country has left it with one of Europe’s highest rates of unemployment — around 9 percent — even as companies hunt for workers. Nine out of 10 midsize firms are reportedly having trouble finding qualified employees with pertinent skills, particularly in digital and engineering jobs. Policymakers and business leaders place the blame on the country’s generous welfare and a higher education system that doesn’t value practical expertise. As companies turn to mergers to maintain growth, President Emmanuel Macron has suggested overhauling France’s system of professional training.

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    Plastics Are Now in the Human Food Chain

    A small new pilot study has discovered microplastics in the feces of every human participant. Austrian researchers following eight volunteers in Europe, Russia and Japan found traces of nine different plastics that were likely ingested through seafood, plastic bottles, food wrapping or dust. Polypropylene, polyethylene and polystyrene — found in bottle caps, plastic bags and disposable cups, respectively — comprised 95 percent of those particles. The scientists urged further research before drawing firm conclusions, though the study’s lead author suggests microplastics may damage the gastrointestinal tract.

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    Megyn Kelly ‘Sorry’ for Blackface Comments

    The NBC host has apologized to co-workers for her remarks on Monday’s show when she questioned why people “get in trouble” for donning blackface Halloween costumes now, claiming it was “okay” when she was a kid. “What is racist?” Kelly asked her panel, sparking a backlash over social media. Her remarks prompted a report from NBC hours later, which found it wasn’t the first time Kelly had made questionable comments about race: While at Fox News in 2013, she suggested on air that both Santa Claus and Jesus must be White.

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    University of Utah Track Athlete Shot Dead

    Lauren McCluskey, 21, was found dead in the back seat of her car outside a dormitory late Monday. She had briefly dated the man suspected of abducting and shooting her, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, though she recently filed police reports against him over threats and harassment. McCluskey, a Washington state champion in high jump, had reportedly ended the relationship when she learned of Rowland’s criminal convictions for attempted forcible sex abuse and enticing a minor. Rowland later shot himself inside a Salt Lake City church after being pursued by police.