The Presidential Daily Brief


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    US to Deploy Hundreds of Troops at Mexico Border

    The Pentagon plans to send around 800 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, according to reports, to assist with security operations in response to the caravan of migrants traveling toward the U.S. through Mexico. A senior official said President Donald Trump called for the additional troops to add to 2,100 National Guard troops already involved in border operations. Trump threatened similar action last week, while also threatening to cut aid to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

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    Nine Explosive Devices Sent to Prominent Democrats

    Two more pipe bombs were found Thursday, addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and actor Robert DeNiro, who have both criticized President Donald Trump. They come after a spate of mail bombs were intercepted yesterday, addressed to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, California Rep. Maxine Waters, and former CIA Director John Brennan. All packages had a bogus return address for Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. A similar device was delivered to philanthropist George Soros Monday. President Trump condemned the bombs, but blamed the media for “endless hostility.” 

  3. Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince

    Saudi Crown Prince Breaks Silence Over Khashoggi Murder

    De facto Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman called the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate a “heinous crime that cannot be justified.” Speaking at Riyadh’s Future Investment Initiative conference yesterday, he said the culprits would be punished and that Turkey and Saudi Arabia would not be divided over the incident. The crown prince also announced a restructuring of his kingdom’s national security agencies. His remarks came a day after President Trump suggested for the first time the prince could be involved in the murder.

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    Report: China, Russia Spying on Trump’s Calls

    Chinese and Russian spies are likely eavesdropping on President Trump’s personal phone calls, according to a New York Times report citing White House officials. Aides have had trouble getting the president to stop using three unsecured iPhones despite American intelligence reports that China is using information gleaned from his calls for strategy in trade negotiations. China is suspected of trying to influence some of Trump’s friends from those calls, like Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group and former casino magnate Steve Wynn, to persuade the president against a trade war.

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    Financial Markets Experience Further Decline

    U.S. stocks tumbled yesterday in the largest daily decline on Wall Street since 2011, wiping out all of the year’s gains on the S&P 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average. After a sharp drop in tech shares, the Dow lost more than 600 points while the S&P 500 fell 3.1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.4 percent. Asian and European markets also took hits today in response. Analysts blamed mixed corporate earnings and weak housing data as well as continued uncertainty about Brexit and a U.S.-China trade war.

  6. Ebola, Transgender Discrimination and Red Sox Win

    Know This: Attacks by rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo are helping fuel an Ebola outbreak that has so far killed at least 122. The U.S. Justice Department told the Supreme Court yesterday that businesses can discriminate against transgender employees based on their gender identity without breaking federal civil rights law. And the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 last night in Game 2 to lead the World Series 2-0.

    Remember This Number: 9.4 million. That’s how many passengers may have had their personal information leaked in a data breach of Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific, just weeks after British Airways announced its own data leak.

    Write to Us: We’re hiring: OZY is looking for a talented business editor and reporter to anchor our globally minded finance coverage, based in either Silicon Valley or New York. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


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    Single-Use Plastic in EU Crosshairs

    The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for a ban on certain products yesterday amid increasing alarm over ocean pollution and China’s decision to no longer recycle waste from the West. The proposal would see 10 single-use products with readily available alternatives — including straws, disposable cutlery and cotton buds — banned by 2021, and plastic in cigarette filters reduced by 80 percent by 2030. It would also require manufacturers to help fund waste management, and would mandate that 90 percent of plastic bottles be recycled. The proposal now awaits approval by member states.

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    Russian Researcher Stabs Colleague at Antarctic Station

    Sergey Savitsky has been charged with attempted murder after attacking a fellow researcher at the isolated Bellingshausen Station on Antarctica’s King George Island, 500 miles from Argentina. The altercation reportedly followed an emotional breakdown, potentially fueled by “tensions in a confined space” at the Russian base. Savitsky was detained while the stabbing victim was sent to a hospital in Chile. Around 30 nations have research teams living on the continent, with each country’s legal jurisdiction applied at its facilities, though some have proposed a unified criminal code for the area.

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    Artificial Intelligence Is Helping Identify Plants and Birds

    It’s like Shazam for life. Advancements in artificial intelligence and deep learning have led to apps guiding the curious and professional in identifying plants, microbes and animals. The tech goes beyond naming simple categories of objects and instead dives deep into data to tell users if a particular mushroom might be a poisonous variety. And with access to massive flora and fauna databases — and programs that learn from their mistakes — soon knowing the names of obscure organisms in the wild will be just a point and click away.

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    Megyn Kelly May Exit Daytime Role

    The talk show host is reportedly in discussions with NBC for a move to the news division despite continued scrutiny of her comments on Megyn Kelly Today. Earlier this week she questioned why it was wrong for White people to wear blackface for Halloween, which led to her being dropped yesterday by Creative Artists Agency. She apologized on air for the remarks. Variety reports that the discussions about changing roles began prior to the latest incident, and a source told the publication that Kelly would be happier back in a breaking news environment.

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    Three Guilty in College Basketball Corruption Case

    A federal court yesterday returned guilty verdicts on felony wire fraud charges against three men accused of facilitating a pay-for-play scheme for basketball recruits. Adidas executive Jim Gatto, former Adidas consultant Merl Code and Christian Dawkins, a runner for an NBA agent, were found to have paid recruits’ families to ensure they signed with Adidas-sponsored schools. Meanwhile, more college basketball corruption trials are scheduled and will include an NBA referee, an assistant from Auburn and assistant coaches from Arizona, Oklahoma and University of Southern California.