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Inside Daily Brief (Dec 29th, 2015)

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Mike Tyson wipes out on a hoverboard.

SERIOUS NEWS

Donald Trump has only spent $5.6 million on his whole campaign so far, around $9 million LESS than Jeb Bush. Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post calls it “the most cost effective presidential campaign in modern history.” In other Trump news, Buzzfeed unearthed a 2008 blog post in which he praised Hillary Clinton as “a very nice person” and said she’d make a great president.  Washington Post, CBS

One day after a grand jury declined to charge police with the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, the Mayor of Cleveland promised an administrative review of the case. Activists, meanwhile, called on Cavaliers star and Cleveland native LeBron James to bow out of playing in any more NBA games until the Department of Justice files charges against the officers responsible for Rice’s death. ABC, Washington Post

Before fleeing the country to avoid prison, “Affluenza Teen” Ethan Couch threw a big blow-out going-away party. Couch killed 4 pedestrians while drunk driving and sentenced to 10 years probation. However, he was seen drinking, in violation of his probation, and was due to finish out his sentence in prison. Couch and his mother were later apprehended in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. NYT

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder after shooting McDonald 16 times. The entire incident was captured on Van Dyke’s cruiser’s dashcam video. CNN

Country music star Craig Strickland is missing after taking out his boat during Winter Storm Goliath. Strickland’s boat was discovered capsized, and the body of his friend, Chase Morland, was also found, but his dog turned up alive. Family members are asking fans to pray for his safety. CBS

Actor Mark Salling, best known as Noah “Puck” Puckerman from the TV series “Glee,” was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography. Officers had executed a search warrant on Salling’s Sunland, California home earlier today. Two years ago, Salling was sued by an ex-girlfriend amidst allegations of sexual battery, assault and emotional distress. BuzzFeed

According to a State Department official, U.S.-led coalition airstrikes killed 10 ISIS leaders in December. The number includes 2 insurgents believed to be directly connected to the terrorist attacks in Paris. In Iraq, the liberation of the Anbar Province city of Ramadi by the national army is complete, turning attention to the group’s next stronghold, Falluja. BigStory, NYT

A New York Times investigation reveals a largely-secretive “income defense industry,” protecting the wealthiest Americans from having the pay their taxes. This network of lawyers, estate planners and lobbyists operate outside of public view, earn millions for their services and focus their efforts on the top 400 earners in America. NYT


 


FLUFF

Rumor has it Guns N’ Roses will reunite to headline Coachella and play a Summer 2016 Stadium tour. Founding members Axl Rose and Slash have not played on stage together since July of 1993, at a show in Buenos Aires. Other acts who have staged Coachella reunions include Rage Against the Machine, My Bloody Valentine and Outkast. HollywoodReporter

A priest in the Philippines has been suspended for riding one of those hoverboards during Christmas Eve Mass. The unnamed priest used the two-wheeled device to greet parishioners. He was accused by his Diocese of not taking the ritual seriously, and it was suggested that he take time away to reflect on his actions. BuzzFeed

If it continues at its current pace, it seems likely “The Force Awakens” will overtake “Avatar” as the highest-grossing movie of all time at the box office. Despite the massive financial success of JJ Abrams’ “Star Wars” reboot, it does still have its detractors. An LA Times op-ed deriding the film as “depressingly unimaginative” and “dull” was being widely shared throughout the day on social media. Vox, LATimes

Mike Tyson posted an Instagram video of himself trying to ride a hoverboard and failing. Miserably. Tyson’s post included the hashtags #MikeTysonBreaksBack and #imtoooldforthisshit. It scored 100,000 likes in just a few hours online. Instagram

Dinner on New Years Eve at the Times Square Olive Garden will run you a tidy $400 per person. That price includes an open bar, dinner buffet and entertainment provided by a DJ, but shockingly NOT unlimited breadsticks. That’s not even close to the most expensive dinner offered by a Times Square chain restaurant. VIP dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s will run you $1,700 a plate. FOX

YouTuber Styropyro build a real laser lightsaber that can actually burn through stuff! It’s for serious Jedis only. In the past, the maker guru constructed a working laser shotgun, and he’s already laid out plans for a laser bazooka that would combine multiple 40W beams. Probably best not to make him mad. Engadget

After taking a season off, Bran Stark will reappear in Season 6 of “Game of Thrones,” and actor Isaac Hempstead Wright looks all grown up in the first publicity photo. At the end of Season 4, Stark found his way to the Mystical Three-Eyed Raven (played by Max von Sydow) to the North of the Wall. TheWrap



Highly Recommended

Season two of Jill Soloway’s Emmy-Winning Transparent is out, and it’s exceptional. 10 episodes, 300 minutes well spent.  Amazon Prime [from @jason]

 
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