The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Marvel Superhero Creator Dies Age 95

    Stan Lee, chief writer and editor of the vastly popular comic-book company, died in Los Angeles Monday. Many considered Lee the embodiment of Marvel, playing a central role in the creation of iconic characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and many others. His final few years were troubled after Lee’s wife died in July 2017, pursuing lawsuits against executives at POW Entertainment, which he founded, and his ex business manager. Investigations into elder abuse against him also took place. He’s survived by a daughter and younger brother.

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    Sinema Flips Arizona Senate Seat

    Republican Martha McSally conceded the race on Monday night as tallies continued to grow Democratic Representative Kyrsten Sinema’s lead six days after the midterm election. Sinema will become Arizona’s first female senator and first Democrat to hold the seat in 24 years. The long count had led President Donald Trump and other Republicans to suggest corruption in the poll. Meanwhile, Sinema said she would work to be an “independent voice for all Arizonans” in a Facebook post after the win. The late John McCain’s senate seat, now held by Jon Kyl, will be on the ballot next in 2020.

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    Death Toll Climbs in California Wildfires

    At least 29 people were killed in the Camp Fire near the northern town of Paradise, matching the state’s deadliest ever fire toll. More than 200 people remain missing, while over 6,000 homes have been destroyed and 111,000 acres ravaged. “Paradise was literally wiped off the map,” said one official. Two people were also killed in Southern California’s Woolsey Fire, which has claimed around 180 structures. Hundreds of thousands of Californians have been evacuated. Gov. Jerry Brown called increasingly long fire seasons — the result of climate change — the “new abnormal.”

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    Macron Decries Nationalism as Trump Looks On

    In an address Sunday honoring those killed in World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron warned against what he described as dangerous ideological forces that threaten to undo a fragile global order. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” he said during the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice, while President Donald Trump — who has called himself a nationalist — and dozens of other leaders looked on. Despite the apparent swipe, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump, Macron and other leaders enjoyed “very good and productive discussions.”

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    Florida Vote Recount Sparks Drama

    After Gov. Rick Scott accused “unethical liberals” in two counties of trying to steal his election to the Senate, local officials have called on state police to secure the recount as political tensions flare in Democratic-leaning South Florida. State-mandated recounts are also underway for governor and agricultural commissioner. Meanwhile, in Palm Beach county, where volunteers are re-tallying hundreds of thousands of votes on just eight machines, officials say it’s “impossible” to finish by Thursday’s deadline — meaning Florida’s secretary of state could declare the GOP front-runners the winners.

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    Israel Kills Hamas Commander in Gaza Flare-Up

    An operation by Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip yesterday left seven Palestinians dead, including a high-ranking commander of the group’s military wing. One Israeli soldier was also killed in the attack, which a Hamas spokesman described as “cowardly,” while 17 rockets were launched from Gaza in response. The clash comes days after Israel allowed Qatar to deliver $15 million to help pay Palestinian civil servants. The border area has been racked by violent protests since March, and Israeli troops have killed more than 200 Palestinians amid the turmoil.

  7. Oil Cuts, Fake News and Skirting Sanctions

    Know This: Saudi Arabia sent oil prices climbing today after announcing that it’s ready to cut production. Observers say fake images depicting the Pakistani woman acquitted of blasphemy leaving the country were released to inflame tensions. And a high school coach of Thousand Oaks gunman Ian David Long called him a “ticking time bomb.”

    Read This: Despite the reimposition last week of U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors, experts say Tehran and its trading partners are prepared to pursue a variety of both overt and covert means to sidestep them.

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    Woman Arrested in Australian Fruit Tampering Scandal

    Following September’s nationwide crisis after the discovery of needles in strawberries, apples and bananas, Queensland authorities have charged a berry farm worker with seven counts of contaminating goods. The 50-year-old woman is accused of tampering with the fruit to cause financial harm to her employer, the Berrylicious farm. Australia’s strawberry industry was hit hard as fruit was dumped and left to rot, and the affair led to harsher penalties for food tampering. The woman, detained after a “major and unprecedented” investigation, faces up to 10 years in prison.

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    El Chapo’s Cartel Is Thriving Without Him

    While its founder faces trial in New York on drug trafficking and homicide charges, the Mexico-based Sinaloa cartel is doing “business as usual” — even selling new drugs and outmaneuvering rival gangs. In August, Mexican authorities discovered $5 billion worth of methamphetamine in a Sinaloa lab, and now prosecutors claim the cartel is also slinging fentanyl. The days of strongman-led drug cartels are over, experts say, as networks decentralize to survive. And as the U.S. hunts the Jalisco New Generation cartel, Sinaloa seems here to stay.

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    Space Startup Completes First Commercial Mission

    They’re taking off. After months of delays, Rocket Lab launched a $5.7 million Electron rocket from its New Zealand spaceport Saturday, deploying six small satellites and a drag sail into orbit. The company plans to boost production to one rocket per month: Its next flight is scheduled for December, when it’ll deliver another batch of miniature probes for NASA. With its small and relatively inexpensive two-stage Electrons, Rocket Lab hopes to bring spaceflight within reach for smaller institutions and organizations that otherwise couldn’t afford to get off the ground.

  4. All performers on stage, Britney in center, N'Sync surrounding her as they are all performing.

    Aerosmith Guitarist Hospitalized After Collapsing at Concert

    Joe Perry was rushed to a New York City hospital Saturday after a surprise appearance at Madison Square Garden to perform Walk This Way with Billy Joel. “Joe did not look good,” said one eyewitness after the 68-year-old collapsed in his dressing room. Paramedics reportedly gave him oxygen and a tracheal tube, and he was later described as alert and responsive. Perry also collapsed at a 2016 concert, prompting bandmate Steven Tyler to express concern that the guitarist is “overbooked.” He’s due to begin a solo tour Nov. 30.

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    Ousted Ohio State University Coach Unleashes Tweet Storm

    “I’m done trying to keep quiet.” So said former assistant football coach Zach Smith after a profanity-laced Twitter barrage yesterday against his former OSU colleague, University of Texas head coach Tom Herman. Smith said he was “on a mission to expose” information about Herman, alleging he had extramarital affairs. He also lashed out at Herman’s wife, saying she should “be afraid” of what he knew. Smith was fired over the summer amid allegations of domestic violence. His ex-wife was granted a three-year protection order against him last month.