The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Major Stock Indexes Turn Negative in Morning Trading

    Global markets tumbled with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping around 500 points at the open, while tech-heavy Nasdaq is at a seven month low. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, opening 36 points lower, is also in correction territory. While earnings have been strong, the market has to contend with rising interest rates, a Chinese trade war and strong U.S. dollar, which is impacting profits. The biggest impact has been felt by tech giants – FAANG – which has seen $1 trillion shaved from their total market capitalization.

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    White House Statement: Standing With Saudi Arabia

    President Donald Trump released a statement Tuesday iterating that despite the tragic killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia remain as close as ever. Trump continues in his letter that he was not basing any decisions on claims Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” but that he does not know if the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was involved and that the 17 Saudi officials they identified as playing a part had been sanctioned.

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    Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Asylum Ban

    In a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, a U.S. district judge in San Francisco has temporarily barred authorities from enforcing President Donald Trump’s order to refuse asylum to anyone who enters the country illegally. Trump’s Nov. 9 proclamation would force asylum-seekers to cross at official border points, but critics claim the estimated 70,000 annual migrants who enter elsewhere only do so because “they’re in real danger.” The judge will consider a longer-term injunction next month.

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    Ivanka Trump Used Personal Email for Government Business

    The president’s daughter, a senior White House adviser, reportedly used a private account to send hundreds of emails to aides, Cabinet secretaries and assistants throughout much of 2017. First uncovered during a White House ethics review, the findings raise questions over whether Trump violated the Presidential Records Act, which calls for a permanent archive of all official communication. A spokesman for her attorney said Trump only used the account before she was fully briefed on White House rules and did not use it to discuss classified information.

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    Auto World Shaken by Carlos Ghosn’s Arrest

    Can they steer clear of trouble? After the high-profile Nissan chairman was jailed yesterday for “significant acts” of financial misconduct, Renault, Mitsubishi and Nissan appear headed for turmoil. The global car alliance forged by the 64-year-old executive, who’s been credited with holding the partnership together, now faces a leadership crisis during a time when it’s seeking to deepen cooperation through aggressive cost-cutting and co-manufacturing. “They don’t trust each other,” a Renault executive reportedly said. Ghosn is accused of underreporting his pay and abusing company assets.

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    Three Killed in Chicago Hospital Shooting

    A doctor, a police officer and a first-year pharmacy resident were gunned down yesterday at Mercy Hospital in an incident that reportedly began with an argument outside the hospital between the doctor and her partner. After shooting 38-year-old emergency room physician Tamara O’Neal, the gunman was killed in a shoot-out with police, during which officer Samuel Jimenez, 28, and 25-year-old resident Dayna Less were also killed. “A hospital should be a safe place,” said Mercy’s director of emergency medicine. The hospital’s ER will be closed today.

  7. Nancy Pelosi, Airbnb and Higher Education

    Know This: Sixteen Democrats have signed a letter stating their opposition to electing Rep. Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house. Airbnb has been criticized for pulling its listings in the West Bank’s Israeli settlements. And the White House has fully restored CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass.

    Read This: While observers have hailed Michael Bloomberg’s $1.8 billion donation to Johns Hopkins University, others say the schools that need money the most — such as public regional colleges largely reliant on state funding — aren’t getting it.

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    Eight Governments Want to Grill Mark Zuckerberg

    He’ll have to pencil them in. The embattled Facebook founder has received three more invitations — from the Parliaments of Brazil, Latvia and Singapore — to field questions about his social network’s negative impacts on democracy. They join Ireland, Australia, Canada, Argentina and the U.K., which last week requested his presence at an “international grand committee” to be held in London on Nov. 27. Zuckerberg declined, saying he wouldn’t be able to travel to London. No problem, the committee responded: He’s been invited to offer testimony via video link instead.

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    Liberals and Conservatives: ‘We’ve Got an App for That’

    This month’s midterms showed that political campaigns rely more than ever on peer-to-peer platforms that use data analytics to connect voters with specific causes. For example, Ragtag and the Action Network organize volunteers for progressive campaigns, while OpnSesame and RumbleUp focus on conservative contests. And i360, backed by the Koch brothers, links voter information with data from credit bureaus and previous voting records. This new technology could keep drawing a record number of voters to the polls — as long as “unsubscribe” requests stay at a minimum.

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    These Termite Mounds Are Visible From Space

    A study published yesterday in Current Biology details the discovery of a vast network of millions of regularly spaced termite mounds covering 89,000 square miles — roughly the size of Idaho — in northeastern Brazil. Measuring more than 8 feet high and 30 feet wide, the mounds were made around 3,820 years ago, when their termite architects excavated an amount of soil equivalent to 4,000 Great Pyramids of Giza. The mounds are not nests, but the byproducts of termites tunneling underground to feast on dead leaves while hiding from predatory ants.

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    White House Correspondents’ Dinner Cans the Laughter

    Breaking from tradition, historian and author Ron Chernow will replace the annual keynote comedy act during next year’s event. Chernow, known for his celebrated biographies of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and John D. Rockefeller, said the White House Correspondents’ Association asked him to “make the case for the First Amendment,” to which he responded, “I am happy to oblige.” Although he’s no comedian, Chernow has promised his history lesson won’t be dry — but it’s likely to be a dramatic shift from Michelle Wolf’s controversial, no-holds-barred act this year.

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    Drunken Curlers Kicked Out of Competition

    They’d prefer it was swept under the rug. A team of Canadian curlers, including Olympic gold medalist Ryan Fry, was ejected from the Red Deer Curling Classic in Alberta last weekend after showing up sloshed. The four-member outfit — one of whom was reportedly “too drunk to play” — broke brooms, swore and damaged the locker room. Fry later apologized, calling the behavior “truly disrespectful and embarrassing.” Meanwhile, a disappointed facility manager said there was no guarantee they would be allowed to compete at the rink again.