Staff of Megan Kelly Today were informed Friday that the morning program would not continue, her co-anchors taking over the 9.am. hour. The move’s been widely expected after Kelly asked on-air why it was inappropriate for white people to dress in blackface at Halloween, sparking public outcry – she apologized later on Wednesday. Joining the network in 2017 after 12 years at the Fox News Channel, Kelly is in the middle of a three year contract worth an estimated $69 million and her exit is being negotiated between her lawyer and the network’s executives.
The Presidential Daily Brief
A South Florida man, Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56, has been reportedly arrested just north of Miami, charged on five counts. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are the latest addressees of the suspicious packages being sent to prominent critics of President Donald Trump. Twelve packages, described as pipe bombs, have been intercepted since Monday, addressed to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and other public figures at odds with the president. None have exploded, but officials warn they are nevertheless “considered dangerous.”
In the latest explanation for the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate this month, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announced yesterday that it was in fact a murder planned by the suspects. Officials initially denied that Khashoggi had been killed, and later claimed his death was accidental. Meanwhile, CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed President Trump on the investigation after returning from Turkey and the State Department praised Riyadh’s decision to lift a travel ban on Khashoggi’s son, who arrived yesterday in the United States.
As thousands of mostly Honduran migrants make their way through Mexico toward the U.S., the Trump administration is reportedly considering invoking executive authority to ban Central Americans from entering the country and seeking asylum. Officials said the White House is also planning to deploy up to 1,000 troops to the border ahead of the caravan’s arrival. Sources say the details of the plan, which is expected early next week, have not been finalized, and the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice have not commented on the reports.
With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing this week — the first visit to China by a Japanese leader in seven years — the two countries have begun a rapprochement that’s resulted in a variety of agreements on economic cooperation. “We have returned relations to the proper track,” said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Japan’s ties with its chief trading partner soured in 2012 over a territorial dispute, though observers say recent tensions over President Trump’s protectionist trade policies have helped bring them together.
Know This: In a new plan, President Trump has pledged to lower U.S. drug costs for Medicare consumers. At least 18 people, mostly children, died after torrential rains swept their bus away near the Dead Sea in Jordan. And Irish singer Sinead O’Connor announced that she has converted to Islam and changed her name to Shuhada’.
Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.
Tune In: What happens when 100 White women gather to discuss the most pressing issues of the day? The answer may surprise you. Don’t miss OZY’s fourth primetime show, Take On America, then join the conversation on Facebook and YouTube to give your #takeonamerica.
Life sciences firm Compass Pathways announced that it received the Food and Drug Administration’s “Breakthrough Therapy” designation this week for psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, as a treatment for depression. Research on possible therapeutic uses of the Schedule I controlled substance has been restricted by law for decades, but scientists say limited studies have shown it has low potential for abuse. The company is set to begin treating patients in a trial to determine the optimal dose of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression.
After a series of high-profile data breaches, the European Parliament is calling for a review of the social media giant to assess its data protection and security policies. The resolution comes two weeks after the EU’s civil liberties committee pushed for changes to competition rules and an investigation into the “possible monopoly” by major social platforms. Meanwhile, the U.K.’s communications watchdog upheld its $640,000 fine against Facebook for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw the personal information of 87 million users accessed without their consent.
“This patient is courageous, she’s amazing.” So said the surgeon operating on 50-year-old Sonia Johnson, who allowed her lumpectomy at the Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas to be broadcast live on Facebook yesterday. Speaking before her procedure, Johnson — who was diagnosed in December — described the experience as “paying it forward” because she hopes it will promote better understanding of breast cancer treatment. Surgeons and radiation oncologists were available during the livestream to answer questions from Facebook users.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, the former Olympic athlete, reality TV star and onetime Trump supporter slammed the president over his stance on LGBT issues. Jenner — who came out as transgender in 2015 — said she’d originally been “optimistic” that she could push for change within the administration. Then came a leaked memo last week revealing that the government is considering rolling back federal civil rights protections for transgender citizens. Jenner wrote, “The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president.”
Despite international outcry over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, World Wrestling Entertainment said yesterday it will go ahead with its Crown Jewel event in Riyadh. Next Friday’s show — the second in a 10-year partnership with the kingdom — has been condemned by critics for serving as propaganda for Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s government. Several American senators have called on WWE to either postpone the show or rethink its partnership with the kingdom, but in its quarterly report, the organization said it would “uphold its contractual obligations.”