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Your Presidential Daily Brief: Senate Sorts Creeps | Zimbabweans Demand Mugabe's Exit

The Presidential Daily Brief
 
IMPORTANT
November 18, 2017
 
Zimbabweans cheer during a protest demanding President Robert Mugabe's resignation today in Harare. Source: Getty
Do Creeps Belong in the U.S. Senate?

Everyone’s uncomfortable. First came the Senate candidate: Alabama’s Ten Commandments-brandishing Republican firebrand Roy Moore, who denies multiple accusations that he aggressively pursued sexual contact with underage girls when he was a prosecutor decades ago. And then a photo surfaced of Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken grinning while appearing to fondle the breasts of a sleeping broadcaster, who wrote that the then-comedian forced her to “rehearse” a kiss for a performance to entertain troops. Evolving harassment attitudes have already tilted Moore’s near-certain election toward a polling deficit, and prompted calls for Franken’s resignation.

Sources: Politico, NYT, Newsweek, CNN, Axios
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The Jig Appears to Be Up for World's Oldest Leader

He was a liberator. In 1980, Robert Mugabe took control of his hitherto white-run African nation as a revolutionary hero. But his policies of violently evicting white farmers have arguably reduced a self-sufficient nation to one needing food aid to survive. The 93-year-old’s wife, Grace, 52, recently alienated political allies by sidelining another elderly revolutionary leader, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and grabbing power for herself. On Wednesday, the military seized control, allowing today’s previously unthinkable anti-Mugabe demonstration in the capital, and heralding a different variety of liberation.

Sources: Slate, BBC, AP, ABC
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We Can Live Without Black Friday

Unless you’re a Walmart shopper, that is. That retailer has jacked up prices online to try to lure customers offline and into their stores. Good luck with that: Looking at Android phone trends, App Annie has predicted that this coming Friday will be the biggest sales day ever — for wireless consumers. It expects Americans to spend some 6 million hours on the top five shopping apps next week, which is 45 percent more than in 2015. That’s a good thing, assuming you don’t want to fight over that last Fingerlings Interactive Baby Monkey.

Sources: The Verge, TechCrunch, NYT, Arizona Republic
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The British Spy Who Shook the White House

He witnessed one upheaval and sparked another. Christopher Steele built his British intelligence career monitoring the demise of the Soviet Union and the birth of Russia’s FSB spy agency, but it was his private work that shook the world. Under contract with anti-Trump Republicans and then the Democratic National Committee, Steele claims to have uncovered a yearslong Russian campaign to influence the future president. Skeptics may question the veracity of notoriously unreliable human intel, but Steele’s deep experience lends credibility to his blockbuster dossier — which may yet become part of history.

Sources: The Guardian
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Briefly

The Week Ahead: On Tuesday, social media will be buzzing with pardon jokes as the White House stages the annual ritual of sparing two turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving. The UN’s International Criminal Tribunal plans to announce the verdict Wednesday in its final trial, the genocide case against Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic. And on Thursday, American families will feast, watch parades and football while avoiding political discussions on Thanksgiving.

Know This: President Trump has announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing a decision to allow the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, which upset conservationists. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose Nov. 4 resignation from Saudi Arabia sparked a political crisis, is in Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron. And criticizing mounting scrutiny of “non-criminal” sexual “indiscretions” by political figures, an Ohio gubernatorial candidate has bragged of sexual encounters with 50 “very attractive females.”

Give Us the Scoop: What do you know and what do you want to discover? If you’ve got an idea for an awesome story, we’d love to hear it. Send your pitches to readerideas@ozy.com and our reporters and editors will run them down.

 
INTRIGUING
 
People Are Less Hung Up on Gender

It makes no difference…if you’re a boy or a girl. A recent study by the firm that popularized the term “metrosexual” has found that 52 percent of women and 44 percent of men believe gender is fluid. Experts say this reflects how the designation is approaching the cultural irrelevance of shoe size or hair color. Taken together with another study that shows that workplace gender equality is improving, with millennials wanting to see more women in supervisor roles, the results suggest a future with less gender segregation and more emphasis on merit.

Sources: OZY
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Second Life Still Holds a Mirror to Digital Escapism

It was a first. Second Life, a virtual world launched in 2003 and hailed as the future of digital interaction, seemed no match for reality. As Facebook monopolized the imagination of the masses, some SL users continued to build lives in this largely forgotten digital space. With 36 million accounts created by 2013, the platform has only about 600,000 regular users today. But like mainstream social media, it’s a place where real people meet — and sometimes procreate IRL — and its custodians hope virtual reality can bring about its rebirth.

Sources: The Atlantic
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The Bali School Teaching Kids to Save the Earth

It’s the end of the world and they know it. At Bali’s Green School, tucked into the Indonesian jungle, students and teachers are taking conservation education to another level. It’s progressive schooling meets survival training, with some Balinese culture thrown in. The goal is to create a future generation of “green leaders” able to weather the storm of future resource troubles. And its popularity — with students from around the planet — suggests a demand not only for good SAT scores, but also the tools to survive.

Sources: NYT
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After Harvey Weinstein, Everyone Has to Reckon With Their Pasts

“I’m so glad we’re doing it. And I’m in hell.” So said one woman to journalist Rebecca Traister, who’s reckoning with her own past — along with the rest of the media industry, and in fact every industry — following an avalanche of sexual harassment allegations against powerful men. Those who’ve laughed off their own victimization are re-evaluating their experiences, while others who knew that colleagues were dangerous but said nothing are realizing the implications of their silence. It’s a painful process, but a necessary one to change toxic cultural mores. 

Sources: New York Magazine
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Julio Jones Deserves an Origin Story

He was always different. Quintorris “Julio” Jones was a legend growing up among goats and horses in his home state of Alabama. Folkloric tales spread about his exploits in basketball or football or any other sport he happened to be playing, and peers felt he could be a champ at anything. He picked football, and seven years into his career, the Atlanta Falcons are glad. Jones’ average of 94.6 receiving yards per game is the best in the league’s history. What’s wrong? If anything, it’s that everyone’s becoming so blasé about what he’s capable of.

Sources: Sports Illustrated
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