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Inside Daily Brief (Apr 21st, 2017)

A gunman opened fire on the Champs Elysees in Paris yesterday, injuring two bystanders and killing one police officer. The authorities eventually shot and killed the gunman. A Paris prosecutor declined to identify the suspect, but European intelligence agencies identified him as Karim Cheurfi and said he was known to French officials. Other sources said he had been arrested in February for threatening police, but was later released. ISIS claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack. – WAPO

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US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley urged the Security Council to focus on 'illegal and dangerous' behavior by Iran, rather than turning into what she deemed 'Israel-bashing sessions.' "Iran is using Hezbollah to advance its regional aspirations. They are working together to expand extremist ideologies in the Middle East," she said. "That is a threat that should be dominating our discussion at the Security Council." Iran’s ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo called the remarks “unsubstantiated allegations” and rejected it as “misleading propaganda.” – REUTERS

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Venezuelan authorities have seized General Motors’ local vehicle assembly plant, forcing the company to halt operations at the location. GM stated that it will lay off the 2,700 workers who are employed at the plant due to the “illegal judicial seizure of assets.” Protests continue in Venezuela as the country undergoes an economic crisis. “Nowadays, there is no country in Latin America more difficult for a company to operate in,” says Luis Giusti, former chief executive of Petroleos de Venezuela. – NYT

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Apple is reportedly preparing to launch three new iPhones this fall. The existing iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be upgraded, and a new model with a different look will debut, according to unnamed sources. Curved glass and advanced cameras will be hallmarks of the “redesigned iPhone.” However, the devices may not be available until one or two months after their reveal due to a lack of supply. They will come in the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes that iPhone owners are familiar with, and use stainless steel components. – BLOOMBERG

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Ledell Lee became the first prisoner executed by the state of Arkansas since 2005 on Thursday night, dying from a lethal injection. Lee received the injection at the Cummins Unit shortly before his death warrant expired. He had been convicted of killing a woman named Debra Reese back in 1993. "The governor knows the right thing was done tonight," J.R. Davis, a spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. "Justice was carried out." Senior Staff Attorney Nina Morrison of the Innocence Project argued that because Arkansas “rushed” to execute Lee, he was denied “the opportunity to conduct DNA testing that could have proven his innocence.” – NPR

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Cuba Gooding Sr., father of actor Cuba Gooding Jr., has passed away at the age of 72. The singer was the front man for the band The Main Ingredient during the 1970s, known for songs such as “Everybody Plays The Fool.” He made two more albums under Motown Records as a solo artist after he left The Main Ingredient. Police suspect that his death may have been caused by an overdose, and liquor bottles were photographed near his body. However, these reports have not been confirmed. – NPR

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The brain of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez will be donated to the CTE Center at Boston University. Hernandez, 27, committed suicide in prison earlier this week. CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a degenerative brain disease that is associated with repeated head trauma. It has been discovered in the brains of about 100 former NFL players. CTE is thought to cause impaired judgment, aggression, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. – NYT

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Aya Hijazi, the charity worker who was detained in Cairo, Egypt, almost three years ago, has returned to the U.S. Her release was agreed upon before President Trump met with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in April, and she was able to meet with her family in the U.S. on Thursday night. Hijazi was arrested in 2014, one year after creating the Belady Foundation to assist street children. She had been accused of child abuse and trafficking, which was deemed “bogus” by U.S. officials. – BBC

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Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor says that Netflix is looking for a partner to continue its operations in Russia. Due to new restrictions on the “foreign ownership of online video services,” the company will be required to work with a partner based in Russia to resume business in the country. "Netflix's actions are a sign that the company plans to continue to work in the Russian Federation," said Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor. "We are aware that Netflix is privately holding talks with various companies in Russia, apparently looking for a partner." – THR

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The University of California, Berkeley, has re-invited Ann Coulter to speak on campus in May, but she is aiming to speak on April 27, the date of her original invite. Earlier this week, Berkeley announced that it would be canceling Coulter’s engagement due to “very specific intelligence” of threats that posed a “grave danger.” Afterward, event organizers and Coulter started working together to deliver the engagement, regardless of the threats. Although Berkeley has proposed an alternative date, Coulter is still set on visiting the campus next week. “I'm speaking at Berkeley on April 27th, as I was invited to do and have a contract to do,” she said. – NYT

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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says that Syria has “dispersed” its aircraft in “recent days” and retained some of its chemical weapons. "The bottom line is, I can say authoritatively they have retained some [chemical weapons]," Mattis said on Friday. "It's a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions, and it's going to have to be taken up diplomatically.” At the beginning of April, a toxic gas attack in Idlib, Syria killed 90 people. It was thought to have been carried out by the Syrian government, although President Bashar al-Assad has denied the accusations. – REUTERS

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Higher-than-usual activity by Chinese bombers has led US officials to believe North Korea may be preparing for some type of action. There is also a “large concentration” of military hardware along the North Korean border, which has prompted the South to heighten its alert. "We are closely watching the situation and will not be letting our guards down,” said South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng. A Kremlin spokesperson has declined to comment on reports that Russia had moved its own military hardware and troops toward its border with the North. – REUTERS

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