The Presidential Daily Brief


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    History and Division In the Making As Democrats Claim House

    It’s a Democrats House now. With results from across the country still incoming, Congress is projected to go blue on the back of a tide of anti-President Donald Trump sentiment. Voter turnout is likely to be a historic high, with early voting seeing millions of Americans cast their ballots prior to today’s election day. Also making history are Minnesota and Michigan who will send the country’s first Muslim women representatives to Congress. Republicans are expected to hold control of the Senate, including in the closely watched race in Texas between incumbent Ted Cruz and Democrats challenger Beto O’Rourke.



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    China Faces UN Review of Human Rights

    During a “universal periodic review” today, the United Nations will examine Beijing’s rights record — focusing particularly on its treatment of ethnic minorities. The session, which takes place every five years for each member country, comes after international outrage over reports alleging that around 1 million ethnic Uighurs are being held in detention camps. In advance questions, member states also reportedly focused on press freedom and the detention of activists. Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said China has shown progress on rights issues.

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    USA Gymnastics to Lose Official Status

    “You deserve better.” So wrote U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland to American gymnasts, announcing that the committee is seeking to decertify the organization as the sport’s official U.S. governing body after its handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. With three leaders in less than two years, USA Gymnastics has suffered a string of legal setbacks — including the arrest last month of ex-CEO Steve Penny for evidence tampering in the Nassar case. It’s unclear how long the decertification process will take, though Hirshland promised to “proceed quickly.”

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    Reports: Amazon to Split New Headquarters

    And the winner is…? Following a year-long contest that prompted cities across North America to court the online retailer with tax breaks, ad campaigns and publicity stunts, Amazon is reportedly planning to divide its second headquarters between two cities, with around 25,000 workers in each. Sources say the surprise decision is aimed at recruiting the best talent while also relieving potential pressure on local transit, housing and municipal services. The finalists are thought to include Dallas, New York City and Crystal City, Virginia, while Amazon’s decision could come as soon as this week.

  5. Easing Tensions, Black Boxes and Bitcoin

    Know This: The U.S. and China will hold a joint security meeting this week in a potential sign of warming relations. Separatists have kidnapped 79 students from a Presbyterian school in Cameroon. And data retrieved from the wreckage of Lion Air Flight 610 revealed the plane experienced airspeed indicator problems on its last four flights before crashing last week.

    Read This: Although bitcoin now enjoys widespread global prominence, a new analysis has found that mining the popular cryptocurrency uses three times more energy than digging for gold.

    Join Us: OZY invites you to our private discussion group for an evening of mind-opening debate on the U.S. midterm elections as the results roll in. Go to our special Facebook page, Take On America: Discuss, and click “Join Group.”


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    Networks Pull ‘Racist’ Trump Campaign Ad

    NBC saw an immediate backlash after airing the controversial 30-second spot during a Sunday Night Football game. The ad, which depicts convicted murderer and twice-deported undocumented Mexican immigrant Luis Bracamontes alongside images of Latin American migrants, drew comparisons to George H.W. Bush’s infamous 1988 “Willie Horton” spot that was widely condemned as racist. CNN refused to air it, while NBC and Fox have since pulled the ad. Facebook allowed it to be posted, but barred paid distribution. President Trump downplayed the controversy, saying, “A lot of things are offensive.”

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    Facebook Launches Pop-Up Holiday Stores

    They’re open for business. Yesterday the social media giant announced nine temporary retail shops featuring more than 100 online brands in Macy’s locations throughout the United States, including New York City, Atlanta, San Antonio and Seattle. Observers believe the stores, which will remain open until February, are Facebook’s attempt to test its retail mettle — especially as it enters the hardware market with devices like Oculus VR headsets and Portal video chat displays. It’s unclear whether those products will be available for sale at the pop-ups.

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    Doctors Warn Against Spanking Children

    In an updated policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics says the controversial practice is ineffective and even harmful to children’s brain development. While also noting that fewer parents support spanking these days, the group said corporal punishment increases the risk of defiant and aggressive behavior, and results in outcomes “similar to those in children who experience physical abuse.” Instead, the AAP suggests parents pursue positive reinforcement, clear communication and consistent discipline. “There’s no benefit to spanking,” one of the authors says. “We can do better.”

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    Coroner: Mac Miller Died of Accidental Overdose

    The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office announced yesterday that a combination of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol was responsible for the 26-year-old rapper’s death in September. Miller was found unresponsive in his California home by his assistant, who attempted CPR, and investigators reportedly found loose pills, empty liquor bottles and white powder at the scene. The Pittsburgh native had long struggled openly with drugs and alcohol. He was charged with drunk driving after crashing his Mercedes-Benz SUV into a pole earlier this year.

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    Arkansas Figure Skater Aims for Olympic Glory

    Not since 2006 has an American woman medaled in Olympic singles figure skating, but 15-year-old Pooja Kalyan may well change that: When she’s not planning her education — or patenting consumer products — the Fayetteville native is training 18 hours per week for figure skating greatness. After medaling in both national and international events, Kalyan’s setting her sights on the 2022 Winter Olympics, where she hopes to break the U.S. medal drought. If she can demonstrate consistency, one U.S. Figure Skating official says, the possibilities are “absolutely endless.”