The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Republicans Hold Mississippi Senate Seat In Tight Run-Off

    Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith won the seat in a run-off election held after she finished in the top two during the midterm elections but failed to secure over 50 percent of the vote. She beat out Democrat candidate Mike Espy, who if he had won would be the first black senator elected in the state since Reconstruction. While Republicans will be relieved to hold on to the seat, the candidate dropped gaffes including a now-infamous admission that if she were to be invited to a “public hanging” she would be in the front row.



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    Mueller: Paul Manafort Breached Plea Agreement

    Can he handle the truth? Prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller claimed in a court filing yesterday that President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager lied to them about “a variety of subject matters” since pleading guilty to conspiracy charges in September. Manafort’s attorneys denied that he violated the plea deal, but agreed with prosecutors — who promised to detail “the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies” — that sentencing should begin immediately. Manafort, thought to be a key player in the Russian election meddling probe, faces at least a decade in prison.

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    Ukraine Imposes Martial Law After Russia Clash

    Following Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels in the Sea of Azov Sunday, Ukraine’s Parliament approved President Petro Poroshenko’s call for 30 days of martial law. The order applies to border regions most vulnerable to Russian attack — which Poroshenko called an “extremely serious” threat — and allows the country to mobilize defense resources quickly. Some critics fear it could also be used to curb civic freedoms ahead of next year’s presidential election. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s action “a dangerous escalation and a violation of international law.”

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    GM Layoffs Rattle US Economic Confidence

    After General Motors announced yesterday it would shutter five factories and lay off nearly 15,000 employees, analysts are wondering what it might mean for an American economy that’s posted impressive growth in recent months. While unemployment remains low and consumer spending is high, some believe the development represents a loss of momentum in the current boom. Meanwhile, President Trump — who’s made defending American industry central to his platform — told reporters he complained to GM CEO Mary Barra about her company’s $6 billion cost-saving measure. “I was very tough,” he said.

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    Migrants Regroup After Border Clashes

    Following Sunday’s confrontations with border guards, thousands of Central American migrants in the Mexican city of Tijuana are reconsidering their options amid growing doubts about their chances of successfully claiming asylum in the United States. Customs and Border Protection said 69 migrants who managed to cross the border illegally had been detained, while Mexican authorities said they planned to deport 98 foreign citizens. “What happened [Sunday] harms all of us,” said one 22-year-old refugee. According to Tijuana officials, nearly 6,000 migrants were packed into a local stadium by late Monday.

  6. Lettuce, Mars and Tensions at Sea

    Know This: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated its warning about romaine lettuce — saying only lettuce from certain parts of California should be avoided. NASA’s InSight probe successfully landed on Mars yesterday. And French authorities detained an official they believe has been spying for North Korea.

    Read This: Long before Russia drew international condemnation for seizing Ukrainian vessels near Crimea, tensions in the Sea of Azov had been on the rise — with Moscow enjoying the upper hand.

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  1. mississippi sign

    Nooses Found Outside Mississippi State Capitol

    A day before today’s Senate runoff election between Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy, seven nooses and several signs decrying Mississippi’s history of lynching were found on the Statehouse grounds. “We’re hanging nooses to remind people that times haven’t changed,” one read. Some referenced specific lynching victims and others referred to Hyde-Smith’s comment that she’d attend a public hanging with a political supporter. State authorities classified the anti-lynching messages as “hate signs” and police are reviewing surveillance footage to identify the perpetrators.

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    Mobile Internet Tops Wi-Fi Speeds in 33 Countries

    Do you feel the need for speed? A new study by wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal found that in 41 percent of 80 countries surveyed, mobile data speeds were faster than those offered by Wi-Fi hotspots. In Australia, Qatar and Lebanon, for instance, the difference was more than 10 Mbps in mobile data’s favor, while in places with speedy home broadband, like Singapore, Hong Kong and the U.S., Wi-Fi still had the edge. The study suggests many users shouldn’t scramble for a café to find a decent connection.

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    Elon Musk Says He’ll Likely Move to Mars

    Fly him past the moon. When asked about his plans to visit the Red Planet, the SpaceX founder declared there’s a 70 percent chance he’ll go — for good. “I’m talking about moving there,” Musk explained. The cost of such a trip would likely be “around a couple hundred thousand dollars,” Musk estimated, though he doesn’t expect Mars to turn into the Solar System’s gated community for the rich. “Not much time for leisure,” he said, describing the challenges of life on Mars. “There’s a good chance of death.”

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    Director Bernardo Bertolucci Dies at 77

    The Last Tango in Paris director, who had been fighting cancer, reportedly died at home Monday. Bertolucci made his directorial debut at age 21 in 1962 with The Grim Reaper before releasing the controversial 1972 classic starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider. Later, Schneider revealed she felt humiliated while acting in one of the film’s infamously graphic scenes. With his 1987 epic The Last Emperor, Bertolucci became the first Italian to win a best director Oscar. The Cannes Film Festival said he’ll “remain forever a leading light in world cinema.”

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    Go to Harvard, Play in the NFL

    In addition to giving its football players an impressive resume line, the prestigious university is increasingly providing a pipeline to professional play. This season eight Harvard graduates are on NFL rosters, with a ninth on a practice squad — making up more than half of the Ivy League’s total representation in the league. Observers partially credit head coach Tim Murphy’s talent for recruiting H-backs, but to reach the heights of Alabama’s 43 NFL players, he’ll need to boost his efforts.