The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump to Shut Down Charity Amid Lawsuit

    President Donald Trump has agreed to close the Donald J. Trump Foundation according to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, after her office filed a lawsuit in June alleging “persistently illegal conduct.” Activities under scrutiny include using the charity’s money to pay for Trump’s business’s legal settlements, to buy art for one of his clubs and to make a $25,000 political donation to Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi. Trump denies wrongdoing but the remaining $1.75 million in the foundation’s coffers will be distributed to other charities approved by Underwood’s office and a state judge.

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    Judge Postpones Michael Flynn’s Sentencing

    President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser was given the option to delay until he’d finished cooperating on the special counsel’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign. Although warning him prison was on the cards for lying to federal prosecutors saying, “Arguably you sold your country out,” by acting as a foreign agent. Flynn’s is one a number of criminal cases currently involving the Trump campaign and the White House – last week long-time fixer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison.

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    ’Laverne and Shirley’ Star Penny Marshall Has Died, Age 75

    Her publicist announced Tuesday that the actress and director passed peacefully at her Hollywood home on Monday from diabetes complications. Known for playing the recurring character Laverne DeFazio in seventies hit Happy Days, Marshall landed a leading role in the spin-off Laverne & Shirley along with co-star Cindy Williams, airing between 1976 and 1983. She went on to embark on a four-decade career, one of the first women to helm films earning more than $100 million, directing popular classics like Big and A League of Their Own.


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    Reports Detail Russian Meddling on Social Media

    Two reports published yesterday by the Senate Intelligence Committee detail past and ongoing social media campaigns by Russian operatives attempting to influence U.S. politics. Private cybersecurity experts and academic researchers admonished Google, Twitter and Facebook for misrepresenting the extent of Russian activity on their platforms. Researchers noted that special counsel Robert Mueller was specifically targeted by fake accounts after President Donald Trump’s election, and that Russian trolls had discouraged Black Americans from voting. In response, the NAACP has called for a week-long boycott of Facebook starting today.

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    Xi Jinping Warns Other Countries Not to ‘Dictate’ to China

    In a speech today marking the 40th anniversary of leader Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms, the Chinese president described his country as a “builder of world peace” that would “never seek global hegemony.” But Xi warned others against interfering in its affairs, saying, “No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people.” Instead of offering a new economic direction amid China’s slowing growth and trade disputes with the U.S. — which he never mentioned — Xi praised the Communist Party’s leadership and encouraged the country to “stay the course.”

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    Leslie Moonves Denied $120 Million Severance

    The former CBS chief executive ousted in September over sexual misconduct allegations will forfeit his golden parachute after the company’s board of directors — now 80 percent controlled by vice-chairwoman Shari Redstone after a corporate power struggle — declared yesterday they had ample cause to fire him. The decision comes after two law firms found evidence of “improper and unprofessional conduct” by Moonves, while noting his failure to cooperate with their five-month probe. His attorney said the decision was “foreordained” and “without merit,” but didn’t signal that Moonves would fight it.

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    Stocks Slide Before Potential US Rate Hike

    Bear with it. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 500 points yesterday with the S&P 500 Index closing at its lowest level in 14 months. Analysts blamed investors that were spooked by trade disputes and slowing global growth. Asian stocks also dipped after underwhelming assurances by President Xi about China’s economy. The U.S. Federal Reserve is set to meet tomorrow, with many predicting a rise in short-term interest rates — prompting President Trump to tweet that it was “incredible” that the central bank was considering a tighter monetary policy.

  8. No UK Deals, Turkish Lobbying and a Manhattan Actress

    Know This: British leaders are weighing whether to ramp up plans for a no-deal Brexit, while opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed off from threats of a no-confidence vote for Prime Minister Theresa May’s government. Two business associates of former national security adviser Michael Flynn were charged yesterday with conspiracy and acting as agents for the Turkish government. And the apparent inspiration behind Woody Allen’s underage romance depicted in the film Manhattan sat down for an interview about her life and the filmmaker.

    Remember This Number: $243 billion. That’s how much Japan will spend on military equipment over the next five years — including 45 more F-35 stealth fighters — after new guidelines were adopted today amid concern over China’s growing military.

    #OZYFacts: Students in Omaha, Nebraska, request computer science tutoring at a rate 14 times above the national average. Their demand for STEM tutoring is the highest in the country.

    Are you an OZY fan? We’d love to learn more about you. Take our five-minute audience survey for the chance to win tickets to OZY Fest 2019 — or a trip to California to meet the OZY Tribe at our next team retreat.


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    Judge Orders Poacher to Watch ‘Bambi’

    Four family members in Missouri have been sentenced in what conservationists called one of the state’s largest cases of deer poaching, with one offender receiving an especially animated punishment. Judge Robert George ordered David Berry Jr. to watch the Walt Disney movie Bambi at least once per month while he serves more than a year behind bars. State, federal and Canadian law enforcement agencies spent years investigating the family and other suspects for the illegal killing of hundreds of deer, many only butchered for their heads with their bodies left behind.

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    Treasure Trove of Dinosaur Footprints Found

    More than 85 fossilized footprints from at least seven dinosaur species have been discovered along the southeastern coast of England in what University of Cambridge researchers said is the most diverse and detailed group of Cretaceous impressions ever found. The prints, as old as 145 million years, were spotted near Hastings after coastal erosion from storms. Researchers were even able to make out skin and scale textures and details of claws from the find. They believe many more prints are likely to be discovered in the area as erosion continues.

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    Report: Forced Labor in China Making US Sportswear

    Goods made by Chinese internment camp detainees have ended up in American supply chains, an investigation by the Associated Press has found. One factory staffed by prisoners in Xinjiang province — where an estimated 1 million Muslims have been detained and forced to give up their language and religion — was linked to products sold by Badger Sportswear, based in North Carolina. Chinese authorities claim the camps offer free vocational training for Uighur and Kazakh minorities. Badger, which ships products around the U.S., says it will halt sourcing from the region.

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    Miss Universe Welcomes First Trans Contestant

    Spain’s Angela Ponce made history in Bangkok Monday as the beauty pageant’s first transgender competitor. “I’m showing that trans women can be whatever they want,” said the 27-year-old, who beat 22 other contestants for the Miss Spain title. Ponce didn’t make it past the first round, though, and Catriona Gray of the Philippines was crowned the winner. In 2012, the Miss Universe pageant — then owned by President Trump — lifted its ban on transgender competitors. Meanwhile, Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers, apologized for remarks about other contestants’ English skills.

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    NCAA Faces Challenge From G League

    The proportion of players that move from the farm league to the NBA has hit 20 percent, presenting a real alternative to the college basketball pipeline: After all, only 1.2 percent of the 18,712 NCAA basketball players get drafted. For the first time the G league will offer “select contracts” worth around $135,000 per year to players who would rather not spend time playing college ball for free. And if the NBA lowers its age requirement to 18 for draftees, even more players could be enticed to make a fast break to the minors.