The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Judge Rules Jim Acosta’s White House Pass to be Restored

    CNN received a win Friday when Judge Timothy J. Kelly granted the network’s motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent the White House keeping Acosta off the premises. Kelly agreed with CNN that Acosta’s First Amendment rights trumped the White House’s right to keep orderly press conferences, and also agreed that once the grounds were open to reporters, First Amendment rights kick in. He also agreed the White House did not provide due process. Acosta’s pass was revoked last week after a testy exchange between him and President Trump.

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    Number of Missing in California Wildfire Skyrockets

    At least 631 people are now officially missing from the area ravaged by Northern California’s Camp Fire — more than double the figure from the day before. Officials have made the list public, since the tally could include residents who fled and might not realize they’d been reported missing. “The chaos that we were dealing with was extraordinary,” said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea. An estimated 52,000 people have been displaced. Meanwhile, seven more were confirmed dead, raising the toll to 63 in the nation’s deadliest wildfire in a century.

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    Theresa May Faces Mounting Crisis Over Brexit Deal

    After Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned yesterday over the British prime minister’s EU withdrawal agreement, May appealed to the public via radio today for support. Despite Raab’s warnings of “fatal flaws” in her plan, May told listeners it’s “truly the best deal for Britain.” Meanwhile, her pro-Brexit environment secretary, Michael Gove, dispelled rumors of his resignation, but reportedly declined an offer to succeed Raab. May has vowed to stay on, though her leadership is uncertain amid criticism across the political spectrum and increased talk of a no-confidence vote.

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    Manual Recount Underway in Florida Senate Race

    Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered Florida’s first-ever hand recount yesterday as Republican Gov. Rick Scott held a 12,603-vote lead over incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson. Scott has repeatedly called on Nelson to concede. Now 67 counties have until Sunday to record thousands of ballots that were rejected by voting machines. Florida’s gubernatorial race, however, may be settled, as Republican Ron DeSantis leads Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by more than 30,000 votes. But Gillum claims all legal ballots have yet to be counted, saying, “A vote denied is justice denied.”

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    Julian Assange Could Face US Charges

    A federal prosecutor has accidentally revealed that authorities are preparing to charge the WikiLeaks founder — or already have — under seal. Assange’s name was included in a filing for an unrelated case, though a spokesman for the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. attorney’s office said the filing “was made in error.” It’s unclear what the charges against him might be. Although prosecutors are reportedly confident they’ll be able to prosecute Assange, who’s lived at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, they haven’t described how they’d get him into a U.S. courtroom.

  6. North Korea, Cigarettes and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: North Korea said it would deport an American citizen it detained last month for illegal entry — while also announcing that it has tested an “ultramodern” weapon. Two leaders of Cambodia’s former Khmer Rouge regime have been found guilty of genocide. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it’s seeking a ban on menthol cigarettes.

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.

    We’re hiring: OZY is looking for a talented audio fellow to help guide our shows toward ambitious storytelling. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


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    GoFundMe Campaign for Homeless Veteran Exposed as Scam

    “The entire thing was a lie.” That’s how a New Jersey prosecutor described the viral crowdfunding scheme after it unraveled this week. Last year, the story of Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico raising $400,000 for a homeless veteran who helped McClure when she was stranded garnered national attention. But now authorities say the recipient, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., actually helped fabricate the story — and the scam might have worked if a dispute over the cash hadn’t spilled into court. All three have been charged with theft and conspiracy.

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    Facebook to Create Independent Oversight Group

    Following a damning report in The New York Times detailing the company’s poor crisis management, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday that Facebook will establish a committee to consider appeals on content moderation. He said the company would begin piloting different ideas for the group — which would help decentralize decision-making at Facebook — during the first half of 2019. Zuckerberg has previously stated that such a committee, which he once likened to a Supreme Court, would tailor its decisions to local norms and free speech legislation around the world.

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    Scientists to Redefine the Kilogram

    They’re weighing the benefits. Today the International Bureau of Weights and Measures will vote to change the metric unit of mass. Instead of being linked to a physical object that changes over time — in this case, a specific platinum-iridium block stored near Paris since 1889 — the kilogram will be based on a precise natural measurement called Planck’s constant. Scientists will similarly redefine the ampere, mole and kelvin based on physical constants. Just Myanmar, Liberia and the U.S. won’t be affected: They’re the only countries that don’t use the metric system.

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    Amy Schumer Hospitalized, Cancels Texas Show

    The pregnant Trainwreck star announced that she and her baby are fine after she experienced a bout of severe nausea and vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarum. “Everyone who says the 2nd trimester is better is not telling the full story,” Schumer posted on Instagram, along with a picture of herself in a hospital bed. She offered a typically unfiltered take on hyperemesis: “It blows.” The 37-year-old comedian, who married Chris Fischer in February, apologized to fans and promised to reschedule her Dallas performance once she recovers.

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    Ex-Cowboy to Become First NFL Player in Same-Sex Marriage

    Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer played his last game in 1987, but he’ll make NFL history when he marries his partner Sunday. The 59-year-old, a TV producer with children from a previous marriage, remained “completely in the closet” until 2015, when he met his future husband, Joshua Ross. “I would have been cut immediately,” Rohrer said about the likely response if he’d told anyone he was gay while playing for the Cowboys. Only a handful of players have come out after their NFL days.