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Inside Daily Brief (Nov 11th, 2017)

President Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "insulted" by claims that he meddled into the 2016 presidential election. “Every time he sees me, he said: ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. You can only ask so many times... he said he absolutely did not meddle in our election," Trump said Saturday at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam. The Justice Department appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate what possible connections the Trump campaign team had with Russia during the election. Trump has repeatedly expressed doubt over the veracity of intelligence community claims that Russia intervened in the US election to help him. Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last month to lying to the FBI about alleged meetings with Russian connections. — NYT

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As Republican leaders are calling on Roy Moore to drop out of a special election for Alabama senator, many Republican voters in his state are standing by his side. Moore is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old when he was 32 years old. Leigh Corfman, now 53, told The Washington Post that Moore, who is 70 now, took off her "shirt and pants and removed his clothes," touched her "over her bra and underpants" and "guided her hand to touch him over his underwear." Moore said the allegations are "false, false, [and] misleading." Voters questioned why the allegations came out about a month before the Dec. 12 special election. Derek Alexander, of Jacksonville, Alabama said, "We’ve all made mistakes in the past, we all have sins." Moore has vowed to remain in the race; though polling still shows him favored to win, some Republican strategists have expressed uncertainty. — NBC

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A Charlotte, North Carolina, air traffic controller was arrested Friday for possession of a pipe bomb. Police said Paul George Dandan, 30, acquired the pipe bomb from Derrick Fells, 39. The pipe bomb was not on airport property, police said. Charlotte Douglas International Airport officials said Dandan only had access to the airport's air traffic control tower. “He did not have access to any aircraft at the airport,” airport officials said. Police said Fells made the homemade pipe bomb to use against a neighbor with whom he was feuding. He later changed his mind and gave the device to Dandan. — CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

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A wax statue of Adolf Hitler at an Indonesian museum was removed after photos posted on social media showed visitors taking selfies with the display. Anti-Semitism group The Simon Wiesenthal Centre called the display, with a background of the Auschwitz concentration camp, disgusting. "It mocks the victims who went in and never came out. "Everything about it is wrong. It's hard to find words for how contemptible it is," the center's Rabbi Abraham Cooper said. The operations manager for De ARCA Statue Art Museum said the facility didn't "want to attract outrage. Our purpose to display the Hitler figure in the museum is to educate." The Hitler statue was located next to one of Darth Vader. — BBC

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"Star Trek" icon George Takei denied sexually assaulting a former actor in 1981. Scott R. Brunton said Takei groped him and took advantage of him in a vulnerable state. "This happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it. It is one of those stories you tell with a group of people when people are recounting bizarre instances in their lives, this always comes up. I have been telling it for years, but I am suddenly very nervous telling it," said Brunton, who was 23 at the time of the alleged incident. Takei denied the allegations in a series of tweets posted Saturday morning. "The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now. I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do. Right now it is a he said / he said situation, over alleged events nearly 40 years ago. But those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful," Takei wrote. — THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

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Chinese shoppers spent a record $25 billion during the Singles' Day sales event, according to e-commerce company Alibaba Group. Totals for the Saturday event by Alibaba smashed the company's records from last year. The holiday began as a counter event to Valentine's Day, but has morphed into a 24-hour day of shopping online. The United States' Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days pale in comparison — with American consumers spending about $9 billion on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year combined. "This is a big event for China, for the Chinese economy," Alibaba co-founder and vice chairman Joseph Tsai said. A shopping festival in Shanghai featured celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Pharrell Williams. — CNBC

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United Airlines on Friday temporarily suspended flights to Delhi, India, due to air quality issues. Schools are closed and construction projects have been stopped as officials grapple with the public health emergency. United customers with tickets to Delhi dated Nov. 9-13 can rebook on or before Nov. 18 with no additional fees, the airline said, adding that "when severe weather or other major events may impact our operations, we sometimes issue travel waivers to allow you to change to alternate flights without paying a change fee." An air quality monitor in the city reached a pollution level of 969, which is well above the World Health Organization's safe level of 25. — CNN

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President Trump on Saturday denied pressuring the Justice Department to require that CNN be sold as part of a proposed $85.4 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner. Trump instead claimed the decision was made by 'a man who's a very respected person,' likely referring to the Justice Department's anti-trust regulation head Makan Delrahim. Trump acknowledged that he previously "did make a comment as to what I think" relating to the proposed merger. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump threatened to block companies from merging. “I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can — especially since so many are fake,” Trump said. Conflicting reports this week suggested the Justice Department required that Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN, be divested. Another report emerged suggesting AT&T offered to sell CNN. — FORTUNE

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Toymaker Hasbro is seeking to take over Mattel, in a move that would unite a number of iconic brands. Mattel stocks soared late Friday to $18.14 a share after the news broke. The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal was complete. But Hasbro said it would not comment. The deal could mean Mattel's iconic Barbie and Hot Wheels cars would be part of the same company as Hasbro's Mr. Potato Head and Easy-Bake Oven. — USA TODAY

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