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Inside Daily Brief (Sep 12th, 2016)

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A cease-fire in Syria is going into effect at sundown (local time) today, and it is meant to last at least one week. It is a part of a deal negotiated between Russia and the U.S. While Russia supports Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, the U.S. continues to back opposition forces. Both countries will work together to target air strikes on extremist groups, assuming aid reaches besieged areas during the cease-fire. – NPR

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he will step down as a member of Parliament. "In my view, with modern politics, with the circumstances of my resignation it isn't really possible to be a proper backbench MP as a former prime minister," said Cameron. He stepped down as Prime Minister in July following the country’s pro-Brexit vote. Cameron is expected to continue as an MP until the next general election. – CNN

Hillary Clinton’s physician, Lisa R. Bardack, has confirmed that the Democratic presidential nominee has come down with pneumonia, and she will need to modify her campaign schedule accordingly. Bardack specified that Clinton has been placed on antibiotics, and she is “recovering nicely.” At a 9/11 memorial service over the weekend, Clinton had stumbled into a van during her departure, causing many to believe she had fallen ill. Clinton has canceled a planned campaign trip to California to focus on her recovery. – WAPO

For more on Inside reader reactions to this story, see our MAILBAG stinger below!

Do you think this will affect her campaign? Should Clinton have taken time off sooner? Do you think political figures should be responsible for disclosing their medical history to the public? Hit REPLY and let us know your thoughts.

Turkish media is reporting that at least 48 people have been wounded in a car bombing at a police check point in the city of Van. The governor’s office said that 46 of the individuals were civilians. The explosion occurred at 10:50 a.m. local time this morning, on the first day of the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha. – WAPO

South Korea’s Defense Ministry claims that North Korea is prepared to launch another nuclear test in the near future. “Assessment by South Korean and U.S. intelligence is that the North is always ready for an additional nuclear test in the Punggye-ri area,” said South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun. Less than a week ago, North Korea reportedly launched a successful ballistic rocket test. – HUFFPO

Two earthquakes (magnitude 5.1 and 5.8) occurred this morning in South Korea near Gyeongju city. The magnitude 5.8 quake was the largest ever recorded in South Korean history, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, according to local officials. – AP

China and Russia have begun joint naval force exercises in the South China Sea. They will continue their exercises, which include live fire drills, sea crossings, and island landing operations, over the course of the next eight days. Earlier this year, an international tribunal in The Hague ruled that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights over a majority of the South China Sea. China believes it owns almost all of the sea, as well as many of its islands. – CNN

Donald Trump claims that he had a physical last week, and he will release the results “when the numbers come in.” This comes after Hillary Clinton’s physician announced that the Democratic presidential candidate is suffering from pneumonia. Trump acknowledged that health is now an “issue” in the campaign. “I feel great, but when the numbers come in, I'll be releasing very specific numbers," he said. – CNN

Florida police say that the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, once frequented by Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, was set on fire early this morning. They are now investigating it as an act of arson. Surveillance footage showed an individual approaching the building just before a fire broke out. The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire. – NPR

Tesla says its semi-autonomous driving system Autopilot will be updated within the next week or two, and some of the improvements may have prevented a fatality back in May. On May 7, Joshua Brown was killed while using the technology in a Tesla Model S on the road in Florida. Elon Musk now says it is “very likely” that improved Autopilot would have prevented his death. However, he warned that upgrades do not translate into “perfect safety.” – FORTUNE

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Within the next few days, the Rosetta orbiter will end its two-year mission by crash landing on a comet traveling away from the sun. When Rosetta makes it to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, its solar panels will be exposed to less sunlight, which it relies on for energy. However, it will not immediately die – the orbiter will enter a cometary region known as Ma’at on the comet on Sept. 30 to collect more data until it powers down. – WAPO

Erin O'Flaherty became the first openly gay Miss America contestant last night at the pageant. Although she did not win for her state of Missouri, O'Flaherty used the opportunity to speak about the hardships facing the LGBT community. "It is one small part of who I am and the work that I do,” she said, when asked about her candidacy before the pageant. “It is just as important for people to realize I am not one dimensional." – CNN

Clint Eastwood’s “Sully” reeled in $35.5 million at the box office this weekend, surpassing expert estimates of $25 million at its opening. Tom Hanks stars in the Eastwood-directed film based on the true story of the ‘Miracle on the Hudson,’ when pilot Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger successfully landed a damaged jet on the Hudson River. – FORTUNE

THE MONDAY PICK-ME-UP

Just a little something to get you over the Monday Blues.

CHIHUAHUA SWIM EDITION

ON SPORTS AND TRAGEDY

The NFL regular season kicked off yesterday, which also happened to be Sept. 11. On this date back in 2001, the world seemingly grinded to a halt for Americans in one of the worst terror attacks in history. Fifteen years later, Americans have moved on with their lives – time does not stand still for anyone, regardless of the brutality that can be executed by mankind.

That being said, we never forget. On such a sensitive day in the nation’s history, the NFL did its best to ensure that amidst its kickoff hype, Sept. 11 and those directly impacted by the attacks were recognized with the utmost respect. In addition to a moment of silence at every game, Sept. 11 first responders, military personnel, and the families of victims were honored at various stadiums across the country. At some stadiums, military airplanes flew the “Missing Man” formation to recognize those who lost their lives in the attacks.

"We hold the victims of 9/11 and their families in our hearts and on this 15th anniversary, we lift them up in our prayers," said former President George W. Bush, who performed the pre-game coin toss at the Dallas Cowboys/New York Giants game.

And player protests aside, it was obvious this particular Sunday – the first real week of play – was about more than just football. As the rest of the season rolls on, the somber feelings of this past Sunday will fade. However, the memory of that particular day back in 2001 will undoubtedly stay in the minds of both players and fans, well beyond the season.

At the end of the day, it’s only a game.

FROM THE MAILBAG

We published our weekend edition yesterday afternoon around 1:30 pm Pacific Time, right as the video of Hillary Clinton wobbling and tumbling outside of a van was exploding on blogs, TV and social media. We hit publish while representatives, and Clinton herself, explained that she had “overheated,” before the campaign confirmed that Clinton was, in fact, being treated for pneumonia.

In situations like these, when a potentially significant news story is happening only a few months away from a major election, we know there will be a lot of scrutiny on how we describe the situation, and a lot of passionate, considered reactions from both sides. As ever, it is our goal at Inside to present information and links, and allow readers to make up their own minds, rather than to insist on our own opinion or one possible interpretation. (That’s what Twitter’s for!)

I think we did a pretty good job yesterday, considering the information available. Here’s what we wrote, in full:

“Hillary Clinton was heavily scrutinized this morning for stumbling as she left today's memorial after 90 minutes for a break at her daughter's NYC apartment. The campaign says she overheated."

Several readers, however, did write in to criticize our account of the events, focusing mainly on our description of Clinton’s behavior in the video.

Darren called our update “misleading,” saying “it is clear she was basically ‘out’ on her feet. She was carried/dragged in to her van. Your bias is showing more and more."

Jeff agreed, praising our curation but complaining that “major news media won’t use the word faint, but she didn’t stumble, she fainted."

Another reader, Ryan, accused us of cutting off the video too early, missing the part “where she is clearly unconscious and being dragged into the van."

The only response I can really offer is this: It would strike me as conjecture to watch just this video and conclude, as a certainty, that the candidate had passed out and was unconscious. We’re seeing her from behind, mostly obscured, and it’s being shot from a good distance away. At no point did the writer and I discuss altering the story to make it appear less negative for Clinton or her campaign, or to “protect” her by minimizing the negative impact of what happened.

Our goal, and our job, is to pass along the information as clearly, accurately and succinctly as possible, not to mislead. Ever.

Additionally, I still believe that, if I had written “Hillary Clinton passed out in the arms of her security team and was dragged into a van…" I would have heard similar complaints from Clinton supporters. And rightfully so.

I believe, in situations like these, our eyes see confirmation of what we already believe to be true. (And I’m not immune to this myself, which is why we have an editorial team around me!) For exactly this reason, we always do our best to include visuals and link directly through to the actual content itself, so readers can make up their own minds. Which strikes me as exactly what happened in this case.

But we want to hear from the rest of you. Do you think we were unfair in our description of Clinton’s actions? Do you think, overall, you’ve detected an unfair level of bias in the Inside Daily Brief? Let us hear from you and maybe we’ll feature your email in a future Mailbag.

@lons

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