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Inside Daily Brief (Nov 9th, 2017)

According to unnamed sources who spoke with Reuters, the U.S. Department of Justice will demand that AT&T sell off CNN or DirecTV before acquiring Time Warner. "Throughout this process, I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so," AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement. In October 2016, AT&T announced plans to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion – a transaction that would give it control of HBO, Warner Bros and CNN. Critics, including some consumer groups and TV networks, say the acquisition presents antitrust problems because it would give AT&T control over the programming it distributes through its wireless network. During the campaign, President Trump said that, if he were to win the election, he would ask the Justice Department to block the deal. – REUTERS

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Facebook is testing a pilot program in Australia that uses naked pictures of users to fight revenge porn. Facebook converts the pictures into a digital fingerprint that can be used to prevent others from uploading that same picture. The company, in partnership with the Australian government, aims to use the technology to stop people from distributing unsanctioned images on which they had previously been shared. "We see many scenarios where maybe photos or videos were taken consensually at one point, but there was not any sort of consent to send the images or videos more broadly," said Australia’s e-safety commissioner, Julia Inman Grant. According to the Data & Society Research Institute about 10 percent of U.S. women under the age of 30 have been victims of revenge porn. – GUARDIAN

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President Trump told business leaders in China that he does not blame President Xi Jinping for taking advantage of the U.S. "After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for benefit of their citizens? I give China great credit," he said. The comment comes after Xi announced that the U.S. and China had signed trade deals worth $250 billion. Trump has vowed to reduce the trade deficit with China and, during the campaign, accused Beijing of "raping our country" on trade. Western countries have long demanded that China opens its economy to foreign investors. The Council on Foreign Relations said the announced trade deals are "a way of distracting from the fact that there's been no progress in China on structural reform, market access or the big issues that the president has tried to make progress on." – AP

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Apple has acquired the rights to a forthcoming series about morning TV shows that will star Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. The actors will produce the series alongside Michael Ellenberg, who came up with the original concept. Apple has made a two-season order, for a total of 20 episodes. The yet to be named and unscripted series will draw background material from "Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV," a book by CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter. It’s not clear whether Apple will make the show available to viewers through iTunes or a new distribution platform. – HR

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Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on Wednesday compared the fight with hackers to "an arms race" and said companies need to be more aggressive to prevent state-sponsored cyber attacks. Mayer, as well as the current and former CEOs of Equifax, were interviewed by the Senate Commerce Committee, which is investigating data breaches at big companies. Mayer apologized to users for a 2013 breach that affected all 3 billion of the company's accounts and for a 2014 attack in which information related to 500 million accounts was compromised. "We now know that Russian intelligence officers and state-sponsored hackers were responsible for highly complex and sophisticated attacks on Yahoo’s systems," Mayer said. Companies need to combat hacking in a "really aggressive" way, she added. "Only stiffer enforcement and stringent penalties will help incentivize companies to properly safeguard consumer information," Senator Bill Nelson said during the hearing. – REUTERS

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Scientists have successfully grown genetically-modified skin and implanted it in a seven-year old boy. The Syrian boy had lost 80 percent of his epidermis due to a genetic disorder. In a research paper published in Nature, doctors explained that they took cells from a sample of the boy’s healthy skin, and modified them to replace a mutated gene with a healthy one. They then grew grafts of genetically modified skin in a lab and attached them to the patient "like a patchwork quilt." "This is a beautiful example of something that was unthinkable before the study. To replace and gene-correct the whole skin of a patient is just amazing," said Cédric Blanpain, a stem cell scientist at the Free University of Brussels. – GUARDIAN

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Emergency officials plan to relocate Puerto Rico's hurricane survivors to the U.S. mainland. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said priority would be given to some 3,000 people living in shelters. Under the Transitional Shelter Assistance program, FEMA will help survivors find temporary housing while they repair their homes and will offer them the option of relocating to the mainland temporarily – probably to New York and Florida. FEMA has interviewed about 300 families and 90 percent said they want to stay on the island. "So far, we've seen a very low level of interest to take advantage of that program," Mike Byrne, a FEMA federal coordinating officer told CBS. – CNN

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Actor-composer Lin Manuel Miranda is taking the hit Broadway show "Hamilton" to Puerto Rico for a three-week run. He will reprise his lead role as Alexander Hamilton. Miranda already had plans to take the musical to San Juan before Hurricane Maria hit the island in September, but he decided to speed up the project to "send a bold message that Puerto Rico will recover and be back in business, stronger than ever." Producer Jeffrey Seller said: "In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, we hope Hamilton can play a positive role in bringing the artistic pulse of the community back to life." The performances will take place Jan 8-Jan 27 at the UPR theater, which was damaged by the storm and is being repaired. Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards in 2016 and has grossed $275 million on Broadway. – HR

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According to a CNN poll, only 40 percent of Americans think President Trump is doing a good job, but nearly seven in ten think the economy has improved since he took office. In April, 48 percent of participants in a similar poll said they approved of Trump's performance. Nearly two thirds of respondents in the latest poll said Trump does not deserve to be re-elected. Yet, 68 percent of people think the economy is in good shape, up from 57 percent before Trump’s inauguration. The telephone poll was taken between November 2nd and 5th among 1,021 adults. – CNN

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A biotech startup has been approved to release bacteria-laced mosquitoes into the wild, in the hopes of decreasing the surplus population. Mosquitomate will breed male mosquitoes and infect them with a bacterium called Wolbachia pipientis. Wild female mosquitoes that mate with the lab-reared ones will lay infertile eggs, which will help reduce the population of mosquitoes that carry viruses including dengue, yellow fever and Zika. The Environmental Protection Agency has given Mosquitomate permission to release the insects in 20 states and Washington D.C. "It’s a non-chemical way of dealing with mosquitoes, so from that perspective, you’d think it would have a lot of appeal," David O’Brochta, an entomologist at the University of Maryland in Rockville, told Nature. "I’m glad to see it pushed forward, as I think it could be potentially really important." – NEWSWEEK

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THROWBACK THURSDAY

Every Thursday, we’re going to back-track to see what happened around this time in history. Hop in the time machine and let’s go!

Date: November 9, 1620        

On this date in 1620, the Pilgrims first set eyes on Cape Cod in what is now Massachusetts. They eventually decided to anchor the Mayflower in Provincetown Harbor and explore the southern Cape for about five weeks.

Originally, the Pilgrims on the Mayflower set out toward the New World on September 6 from Plymouth, England. The trip across the Atlantic took them 66 days. For the most part, the trip went smoothly. It wasn’t until October that they began to encounter strong storms.

They had intended to head toward the mouth of the Hudson River in New York to build a plantation. However, they came across rough seas as they traveled in that direction and were nearly shipwrecked. When they spotted Cape Cod on November 9, they decided it would be best to make do rather than attempt to head south again.

By the 11th of November, the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor. The leaders of the Pilgrims drafted the Mayflower Compact upon settling on the land, agreeing to bond together in an effort to survive in the New World.

After more than a month of exploring what is now southeastern Massachusetts, the Pilgrims eventually established their first plantation in Plymouth on December 25, 1620.

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