The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Jair Bolsonaro Wins Brazil Presidency

    The far-right candidate beat Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party on Sunday in the second-round poll, promising to defend “the constitution, democracy and freedom” in his victory speech. Bolsonaro campaigned on being tough on crime and corruption but stoked controversy with open nostalgia for Brazil’s past military rule and a number of comments seen as sexist and racist. Video showed supporters celebrating in the streets, with some military and police joining, at news of the win. President Donald Trump called Bolsonaro to congratulate him.

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    Boston Wins World Series

    The Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 of the series on Sunday, winning their second title in five years and fourth in 15. The Dodgers were left to continue a 30-year championship drought as pitcher Clayton Kershaw allowed three home runs across seven innings. Boston’s Steve Pearce, World Series MVP, kicked things off with a two-run homer in the first. The Red Sox end the season with 108 wins — a team record — and a franchise now tied for third most championships in the league at nine.

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    Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Leaves 11 Dead

    Wielding an assault rifle and shouting “All Jews must die,” a gunman killed 11 people and critically wounded two others at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday. Identified as Baldwin, Pennsylvania, resident Robert Bowers, 46, who targeted Jews online, he allegedly shot two police officers who confronted him as he exited the Tree of Life Congregation, then fired from a third-floor office, hitting two SWAT team members. President Donald Trump called the attack “pure evil,” and suggested that armed guards could have protected the congregants. Bowers now faces 29 federal charges, including murder and hate crimes.

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    Intimidation Politics Meets Reality

    After authorities intercepted 12 package bombs sent to Democratic politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the nation is asking: Where do threatening rhetoric and physical threats intersect? President Donald Trump has blamed the media for stoking discord, but his opponents were quick to recirculate clips of the president’s own threatening statements, which opponents say incited Floridian Cesar Sayoc, 56, who’s federally charged in the mailings. Arrested Friday near Fort Lauderdale in a van covered with pro-Trump stickers — including one depicting Clinton in a rife scope’s crosshairs — Sayoc’s politics promise to dominate the case.

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    Brazilians Prepare for Hard Right Turn

    He’s the “Tropical Trump.” Jair Bolsonaro has populist appeal, has promised to drain Brasília’s swamp of corruption and, with his military background and junta nostalgia, has engendered fears of an authoritarian revival. In today’s presidential runoff, the latest polls show him leading his leftist, ruling-party rival Fernando Haddad by 8 points — down from a recent 18. There’s one place he differs from the American president, however: If elected, he won’t pull out of the Paris climate accord, provided he can get assurances that Brazil won’t lose control over its carbon-cleansing Amazon region.

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    The Bank Employee Who Busted a $230 Billion Russian Scheme

    A midlevel trader at Copenhagen’s giant Danske Bank shelled out just $1.30 to download a client’s British financial disclosure and found something startling: It reported zero assets after funneling $480 million through Danske’s branch in Estonia. Thus erupted one of the world’s biggest money laundering scandals, with some $230 billion passing between Russia and former Soviet republics. The employee ended up quitting after higher-ups, including the conglomerate’s star CEO, seemed unwilling to shut the operation down. Now the chief’s out, and the case is reverberating across the financial world.

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    China Has Turned Global Recycling on Its Head

    Last year, China and Hong Kong imported nearly 4 million tons of the world’s recyclable waste annually. In December, China shut down that trade, citing environmental concerns. That’s devastated the market for recyclables, with material in some areas losing half its value and ending up in landfills. In Asia, China’s cutoff has sent huge quantities of plastic and other waste, often illegally, to Southeast Asia, triggering a new type of environmental crisis. What’s the solution? Probably a throwback, experts say, to a time when bottles were reused and bulk purchases were the norm.

  8. Electric Chair, Unprepared Border and Blasphemy Win

    The Week Ahead: Voters in the former Soviet republic of Georgia have a chance to elect their first woman president today. Facebook and Apple, set to report earnings on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, are expected to influence now-bearish stock markets. And on Thursday in Tennessee, convicted murderer Edmund Zagorski is scheduled to become the first person to die in an electric chair (his choice) in 11 years.

    Know This: American border officials say they will have trouble processing — or blocking — thousands of migrants in a caravan slowly moving through Mexico toward the U.S. Irish voters have soundly voted a “medieval” law against blasphemy into the pages of history. And U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said he discussed the need for a “full and complete investigation” into the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi when he met Saturday with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. 

    Tune In: What happens when 100 White women discuss guns, race and privilege under the limelight? OZY’s fourth primetime show, Take On America, went to Nashville to find out. Watch this provocative exchange, then join the conversation on Facebook and YouTube to give your #takeonamerica.


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    Dodgers Win Longest World Series Game Ever

    They went the distance. Eighteen innings of baseball, ending with L.A.’s 3-2 victory over Boston on a walk-off Max Muncy home run. The 7 hours and 20 minutes — the longest Fall Classic game in both time and innings — featured 18 pitchers, including Dodger rookie starter Walker Buehler throwing 108 pitches in seven innings. Before Game 3, the World Series records were 14 innings, last equaled in 2015, and five hours, 41 minutes, set in 2005. Tonight the Red Sox, leading the series 2-1, and Dodgers will play again in L.A.

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    Can States’ Rights Calm a Blue Rebellion?

    America’s state-oriented political system is giving inordinate power to a minority of voters, and that could spark a new civil war, argues social critic Jonathan Taplin. By 2040, 30 percent of voters, largely conservative, will likely choose 70 senators who can block the majority’s will. But Taplin believes there’s a paradoxical hedge against this: the state-empowering 10th Amendment, notorious for prolonging the South’s codified racism. Twenty-four states have recently legislated prescription drug cost controls, and many are suing to assert rights over other progressive issues, like regulating guns and pollution.

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    When Gamers Kill IRL

    “Your ass is about to get swatted.” Thus tweeted Tyler Rai Barriss — after being jailed in Kansas for a December Wichita 911 call that precipitated the death of unarmed Andrew Finch by a policeman’s bullet. His ability to hack a jail computer allegedly helped him track down earlier targets who’d be swarmed by authorities after his false bomb or shooting reports. Now Barriss reportedly plans to plead guilty to 46 federal charges unrelated to the Kansas involuntary manslaughter case, in which he allegedly was hired to swat a rival gamer, who provided an old address.

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    Drug Policy Is the Democrats’ Midterms Rx

    As a candidate, Donald Trump vowed to lower prescription prices and tackle opioid abuse in 2016. Two years later, with prices still high and addiction still rampant, it’s Democrats’ turn to sell drug policy. Particularly in opiate-wracked Tennessee and West Virginia, they’re blasting Republicans as tools of the pharmaceutical industry who do little to fight the epidemic. Half of Democratic Party political ad dollars have been used to attack Republicans on health care, which experts believe is a bigger midterms issue than immigration. Now voters must decide if Democrats can cure what ails them.

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    HBO’s Sex Scenes Get a #MeToo Makeover

    As one of the most sexualized mainstream TV networks, HBO is trying to do it correctly. The Deuce series star Emily Meade, who knows how uncomfortable performing sex scenes can be, insisted the network be more sensitive. It now employs an “intimacy coordinator” on set to put actors at ease. While it’s not a radical concept, practitioners like Alicia Rodis, co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, help directors tell the story they want to tell — while making sure actors don’t walk away feeling sexually assaulted or exploited.