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Inside Daily Brief (Nov 8th, 2017)

Democrat Ralph Northam will become Virginia’s governor after beating Republican Ed Gillespie at the polls. Northam, a 58-year-old pediatrician and Army veteran, won 54 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election. The race was cast as a referendum on President Trump’s popularity in the state. "Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we will not condone hatred and bigotry, and to end the politics that have torn this country apart," Northam said in his victory speech. During the campaign, Gillespie vowed to keep Confederate monuments in place and expressed support for the President’s anti-immigration agenda and his emphasis on law-and-order. Trump endorsed Gillespie but, after the vote, he tweeted: "Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don't forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!" – WAPO

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Bill de Blasio has been re-elected Mayor of New York. De Blasio received about 65 percent of the votes, to Republican candidate Nicole Malliotakis' 29 percent. During his campaign, De Blasio vowed to give free pre-schooling to 3-year-olds, create more affordable housing and close the Rikers Island jail complex. "Over the next four years, my promise to you is that my administration will be relentless in our pursuit of fairness," de Blasio said in his victory speech. "Every decision – no matter how big or small – will be measured by whether or not it gets us closer to being the fairest big city in America." – WAPO

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Democrat Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state legislature on Tuesday. She beat Republican incumbent Bob Marshall, who had been elected 13 times over 26 years, to win a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Roem, 33, dedicated her victory to "every person who has ever been singled out, who has ever been stigmatized, who has ever been the misfit, who's ever been the kid in the corner ...  this one is for you." Marshall refused to refer to Roem with female pronouns and once described himself as Virginia’s "chief homophobe." Stephe Farnsworth, a political-science professor, told the Washington Post that Virginia has changed a lot over the past 20 years: "It’s gone from a state where no politician would dare to condemn the Confederacy to a state where a suburban district would elect a transgender candidate." – CNN

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President Trump on Tuesday warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that he faces a backlash if he continues strengthening his country’s military capabilities. In a speech at South Korea's National Assembly in Seoul, Trump said he was visiting the Korean peninsula to deliver a message to Kim: "The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger." He added: "Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face." In yet another stark warning to the North Korean regime, Trump said that Pyongyang would pay a high price if it ever strikes the U.S. or its allies: "This a very different administration than the United States has had in the past. Do not underestimate us. And do not try us." – CNN

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Some of the women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment have published a Google Doc that includes more than 100 allegations leveled against the film producer. The document, which includes claims that date back to 1980, is being promoted with the Twitter hashtag #NoShameFist. Model Samantha Panagrosso said helping compile the list was "horrifying": "There are not just all the famous people. There are so many other women and every other day, there are more." Zoë Brock, a model and writer from New Zealand who has accused Weinstein of making unwanted sexual advances, said the group aims to carry out its own investigation "to figure out exactly how all these things happened." – GUARDIAN

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U.S. astronaut Richard "Dick" Gordon, who orbited the moon, but never set foot on it, has died at age 88. In 1963, Gordon became part of the third group of astronauts chosen by NASA. Three years later, he flew on Gemini 11 and took two walks in space. On his second trip to space, in 1969, he spent 42 hours circling the moon aboard the Apollo 12 command module, while fellow astronauts Conrad and Alan Bean walked on its surface. He said he enjoyed the time he spent carrying experiments while he waited for his crewmates to return: "Makes you think about the fragility of our Earth and the things we do to it." Gordon spent a total of 316 hours in space. Acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot said: "Dick will be fondly remembered as one of our nation’s boldest flyers, a man who added to our own nation’s capabilities by challenging his own. He will be missed." – NPR

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Most Twitter users worldwide can send 280 character tweets starting today. Longer tweets are available in all languages except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. According to Twitter, speakers of these languages need fewer characters to express themselves. In September, when it first announced its plans to double the length of tweets, Twitter said the move was aimed at preventing "cramming." A poll released last month indicated that a majority of Twitter users in the U.S. support the change. – TECHCRUNCH

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Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died in a plane crash on Tuesday when the small aircraft he was piloting crashed off the coast of Florida. The two-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher was 40 years old. In his 16-year career, Halladay played with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies. Police found Halladay’s body in shallow waters. He was flying an ICON A5, a two-seat "light-sport aircraft" designed to land on water. It was the second fatal crash involving an A5 plane this year. ESPN

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Snap's shares lost 15 percent in value in after hours trading on Tuesday, following disappointing third quarter results. Snap lost $443 million in the third quarter, four times more than in the same period last year. Losses include $40 million worth of unsold Spectacles – the sunglasses that allow users to capture and share video through Snap. "In the first two quarters as a public company, we framed SNAP's disappointing results as 'growing pains' but felt the long-term debates around user growth and ad business scaling were left unsolved," UBS analyst Eric Sheridan wrote in a note. – VERGE

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A Qatar Airways pilot was forced to make an unscheduled landing in India when a female passenger "became unruly" upon discovering her husband’s infidelity. The couple and their child boarded the plane in Doha and were headed for a family holiday in Indonesia. The woman, who was reportedly from Iran, discovered that she was being cheated on when she used her sleeping husband’s index finger to unlock his phone. The crew tried in vain to calm her down after she became enraged. "The Qatar Airways flight QR-962 (Doha-Bali) was diverted to Chennai after the pilot requested it citing unruly passenger on board as the reason," an Indian security official told the Hindustan Times. The family was removed from the aircraft before the flight took off for Bali. – FORTUNE

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WEDNESDAY WISDOM

Every week, we’ll be bringing you a snippet of #WednesdayWisdom, courtesy of columnists and opinion pieces we find interesting on the Web.

Halloween has come and gone, and this past year, the holiday fell on a Tuesday. To the dismay of parents everywhere, this meant fitting trick-or-treating in between other weekday obligations, such as work and school.

But what if Halloween fell on the last Saturday of the month? This would surely make more sense, according to Nicole Goodkind of Newsweek.

“I'm sick of Halloween becoming Halloweek,” she writes. “It happens almost every year because All Hallow's Eve typically falls on a weeknight, which means a pre-Halloween party the weekend before, days of buildup, and sometimes another weekend party.”

Goodkind makes other rational points about moving Halloween. Parents would not feel pressured to leave work early, for instance, to cater to early trick-or-treating demands. Kids wouldn’t have to worry about attending school the next day after spending all night eating sugary candy.

“It’s high time that we come together as a nation and admit that Halloween on whatever random weekday on which it falls makes no sense,” Goodkind writes.

But would it be reasonable to move a holiday that has been in existence for thousands of years? Could we rationalize a swift, simple move on the calendar?

[read more]

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