The Presidential Daily Brief


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    FDA Imposes New Rules on Tobacco Industry

    Despite threatening to ban flavored e-cigarettes to curb the trend of vaping, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it would allow their sale but only from an area restricted to minors. It will ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars though in its most aggressive move against the tobacco industry in a decade that could hurt cigarette sales. The FDA announced the new rules as a way of combating youth access and appeal to smoking. Some companies have removed their flavored products since the FDA threatened a ban, such as popular brand Juul.

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    Michael Avenatti Arrested for Domestic Abuse

    The outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, attorney for Stormy Daniels and potential 2020 presidential candidate was arrested in Los Angeles yesterday on a charge of felony domestic abuse. Avenatti called the allegations “completely bogus,” telling reporters, “I have never struck a woman. I never will strike a woman.” While police declined to provide further details, a spokesman said the unnamed victim displayed visible injuries. Meanwhile, the Vermont Democratic Party canceled its plans to host Avenatti — who was released on a $50,000 bond — at events this weekend.

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    UK Brexit Secretary Resigns

    A day after Prime Minister Theresa May secured her Cabinet’s support for a plan to withdraw from the EU, Dominic Raab, whose predecessor also quit in protest of May’s Brexit plans, has announced he “cannot in good conscience support” the deal. Raab’s departure amps up political pressure on May, who must convince Parliament to sign off on the 585-page agreement. If she’s successful, EU leaders are expected to formally endorse the deal at a Nov. 25 meeting called by European Council President Donald Tusk, who described the agreement as a “lose-lose” situation.

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    Search Continues for California Wildfire Survivors

    At least 56 people are confirmed dead and 130 remain missing while hundreds of searchers and nearly two dozen cadaver dogs dig through the debris left behind by Northern California’s Camp Fire. Yesterday officials said close to 8,800 homes have been lost, while FEMA administrator Brock Long warned rebuilding the town of Paradise would take years. During a visit to the site, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed it was “not the time to point fingers.” Meanwhile, Butte County is facing a looming crisis as local evacuees struggle to find proper housing.

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    Report Outlines Bad Crisis Management at Facebook

    The social media giant is facing fresh scrutiny after a New York Times investigation revealed how CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg allegedly ignored warnings of a security breach and staged public campaigns to battle criticism rather than address the scandal. Following the report, the Open Society Foundations — whose founder, George Soros, was the target of a Facebook-linked smear campaign — called the strategy “reprehensible” and “dangerous.” Meanwhile, morale at Facebook has reportedly taken a double-digit dive this year over scandals and a falling stock price.

  6. Firings, Migrants and a ‘Super-Earth’

    Know This: Mira Ricardel has been forced out as deputy national security adviser at first lady Melania Trump’s insistence. The first wave of a Central American migrant caravan arrived at the U.S. border yesterday. And some 1,000 Rohingya refugees are protesting plans by Bangladeshi officials to send them back to Myanmar.

    Read This: After astronomers announced the potential discovery of a so-called “super-Earth” orbiting Barnard’s star — one of the nearest to our planet — observers are holding out hope that it’s the real thing.

    Join Us: OZY invites you to debate the pros and cons of slowing down the aging process. Chime in tonight at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on Facebook — and don’t miss this OZY profile on Harvard geneticist David Sinclair, who’s developing a fountain-of-youth pill that could be blocked by the FDA.


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    Wisconsin Firm Gives Gun Store Gift Cards as Christmas Bonus

    They’ll get a bang for their buck. Instead of a traditional cash bonus, glassware company BenShot gave each of its 16 employees a $500 gift card to a local gun store of their choice. Co-founder Ben Wolfgram called the “unique and memorable” bonus the gift of “personal protection.” To redeem the cards, workers would be required to have background checks and be trained in basic handgun safety. Wolfgram added, “We trust everybody.” The company is known for its “Bulletproof” shot glass design with an actual bullet lodged in the glass.

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    Women Scratch Nigeria’s Political Glass Ceiling

    For decades, Nigerian politics has remained a male stronghold. But with Africa’s most populous country facing national elections next year, Nigerian women are making a serious push to upturn an otherwise closed political system. They’re receiving unprecedented financial support, and February’s presidential election is expected to feature three female candidates — two more than ever before. Nigeria’s deep-seated patriarchy means breaking new ground in the fledgling democracy will be difficult, but advocates suggest the winds of change have already gathered critical momentum.

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    Study: Neanderthals Didn’t Live So Dangerously

    Despite their common depictions as club-wielding savages, a study published yesterday in Nature suggests Neanderthals probably weren’t any more violent than early modern humans. After analyzing more than 800 specimens from western Eurasia, researchers found that there was “no statistical difference” in cranial injuries between Neanderthals, who lived between 400,000 and 40,000 years ago, and early Upper Paleolithic humans. But Neanderthals did die younger if they experienced head trauma before the age of 30 — which could suggest Homo sapiens learned a thing or two about health care.

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    Fox News Backs CNN in White House Lawsuit

    President Trump’s preferred network has joined ABC, NBC, The New York Times and a host of other outlets in endorsing CNN’s legal effort to recover chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials. In a statement that also criticized the “growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press,” Fox News President Jay Wallace nevertheless said media passes “should never be weaponized.” Acosta’s credentials were revoked last week following a heated exchange with Trump at a press conference. A judge is expected to issue a ruling today.

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    Blake Snell Earns Cy Young Award in First Full MLB Season

    The 25-year-old Tampa Bay Rays lefty beat Houston’s Justin Verlander and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber to claim the American League pitching honor yesterday. Snell won 21 games despite spending two weeks on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue, posting the fewest innings — 180 2/3 — of any winner in a full season. His 1.89 ERA makes him just the fourth sub-2.00 AL starter since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973, and Snell led all major league starters with a .178 batting average allowed.