The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Theresa May Informs Parliament of Delay to Brexit Vote

    The British Prime Minister has postponed the “meaningful vote” scheduled for Tuesday acknowledging she faces an all-out defeat for the current deal. May said that MPs in large part back the deal with the Northern Irish backstop being the main sticking point so is first looking to address their concerns. She also said she’d be “looking closely at new ways of empowering the House of Commons” to ensure the backstop provision had “democratic legitimacy.” Both Labour and Conservative MPs have said they would not back the current withdrawal agreement.


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    China Bans Most iPhone Sales After Winning Apple Injunction

    A Chinese court has banned the sale and import of most models of the smartphone. The very latest iterations are excluded from the ban including the iPhone XS, XS Plus or XR claiming Apple had violated several patents allowing people to edit and resize photos on a phone and manage apps using touchscreen. Qualcomm, an American chip maker, filed the lawsuit against Apple but the giant tech company has denied it violated any patent and has filed an appeal, calling it a “desperate move” in a statement Monday.

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    Nick Ayers Declines White House Chief of Staff Role

    Vice President Mike Pence’s chief aide has turned down an offer to replace John Kelly, instead tweeting Sunday that he will leave the administration by year’s end. Ayers, reportedly favored for the role by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, will return to his family in Georgia, leaving President Donald Trump no clear second choice. Names floated include North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The White House said an appointment won’t be made before the end of the year.

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    China Takes On Diplomats After Huawei Executive’s Arrest

    China’s Foreign Ministry summoned Canadian and American ambassadors over the weekend to protest what it described as the “unreasonable” arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, in Vancouver. She faces a U.S. extradition request over allegations that the tech giant violated sanctions against Iran. As it tries to forge a trade deal with the U.S., China warns of “serious consequences” if Meng is prosecuted. Her bail hearing continues today. Meanwhile, investors spoke with their money, sending Tokyo and Hong Kong stock indexes down 2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

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    EU Court Says UK Can Unilaterally Cancel Brexit

    The European Court of Justice ruled Monday that Britain does not need permission from the EU to rescind its declaration to leave the bloc. The future of Brexit and Prime Minister Theresa May are increasingly uncertain ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary vote on May’s hard-fought but unpopular withdrawal plan. U.K. citizens are also divided: Yesterday far-right activist Tommy Robinson led thousands of demonstrators on a “Brexit Betrayal” march through central London, rallying nationalist supporters to join the U.K. Independence Party, but counterprotesters reportedly far outnumbered them.

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    Trump Ally Files ‘Blackmail’ Suit Against Mueller

    It’s a “legal coup d’etat.” So charges a lawsuit against special counsel Robert Mueller, who on Friday filed documents further linking President Trump’s campaign to Russian 2016 election interference. Conspiracy theorist and former InfoWars contributor Jerome Corsi is seeking $350 million in damages, alleging Mueller blackmailed him — by threatening imprisonment — to lie about being an intermediary between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone. Media reports indicated that Corsi emailed Stone in 2016 advising that WikiLeaks would release damaging emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

  7. Macron’s Gesture, Storm Snarls and Khashoggi’s Last Gasp

    Know This: French President Emmanuel Macron will meet labor and business leaders today in an effort to calm “yellow vest” protests that have roiled the country for four weekends. A winter storm has killed one person, knocked out power to 310,000 customers and grounded hundreds of flights in the southeastern United States. And Japanese prosecutors today indicted former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn for allegedly underreporting his compensation.

    Last Words: “I can’t breathe.” So said Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi shortly after entering his nation’s Istanbul consulate Oct. 2, according to a transcript of an audio recording described to CNN. After that, the transcript reportedly notes the sounds of screams, a saw and “cutting.”

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    Epidemiologists Hint at ‘Game of Thrones’ Victor

    Switching allegiances is the winning strategy for staying alive in fictional Westeros, according to a study in Injury Epidemiology. Researchers — who studied all 67 episodes of the first seven seasons — found more than half of the show’s characters have died so far. In fact, a character had a 14 percent chance of dying in their first hour on screen. Those who survived had a greater tolerance for flexible alliances. Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister get it. Even the show is mortal: The eighth and final season premieres in April.

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    Twitter Founder Draws Scorn for Myanmar Trip

    Jack Dorsey is getting retweeted for the wrong reasons after recommending an existential retreat in Myanmar, ignoring social media’s role in fueling the country’s recent ethnic massacres. The tech guru participated in a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation for his birthday and praised its ability to “hack the deepest layer of the mind and reprogram it.” Commentators expressed schadenfreude at Dorsey’s trouble with mosquitoes and likened him to Gavin Belson, the evil businessman from Silicon Valley. They also compared the Buddhist practice of embracing pain to dealing with Twitter trolls.

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    China’s Grand Infrastructure Plan Hits a Rut

    President Xi Jinping’s vision to connect the world — with financing from Beijing — has seen a year of setbacks. Asian countries, concerned about debt and foreign arm-twisting, are canceling, reviewing or scaling back their road, shipping and rail projects under China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. Malaysia and Sri Lanka have elected initiative skeptics, and Myanmar has downsized a massive Chinese-funded port. Even stalwart ally Pakistan is rethinking aspects of the $62 billion China–Pakistan Economic Corridor. Analysts believe the infrastructure financing will continue — possibly without the BRI brand.

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    Democrats Reap 90 Percent of Donations From Big Tech Staff

    Employees at the FAANG firms — Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google — have overwhelmingly donated to Democratic political causes since 2004, data analysis of campaign filings shows. As individuals and collectively, those who work for the tech titans shelled out $40 million in reported contributions, with only 10 percent going to Republicans or right-leaning issues. It’s a precarious time for Silicon Valley, with President Trump accusing tech companies of bias and threatening antitrust proceedings against Amazon, Facebook and Google.

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    Bulls Couldn’t Face Practice After 56-Point Debacle

    Following Saturday’s brutal 133-77 loss at home against the Boston Celtics — the worst defeat in franchise history — the Chicago squad reportedly debated via group text not showing up for practice Sunday. Instead the battered players assembled for a team meeting, later inviting coaches to attend. Frustrated head coach Jim Boylen, who replaced Fred Hoiberg less than a week ago, made two five-player substitutions during the drubbing. The Bulls sport a 6-21 record, second worst in the NBA.