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Inside Daily Brief (Nov 20th, 2017)

Notorious murderer Charles Manson has died in prison of natural causes at age 83. Manson ordered his followers to kill nine people in two attacks in the summer of 1969. Their victims included the actress and wife of film director Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time. Manson was worshipped by his followers, most of whom were young women. Manson and three female followers were sentenced to death in 1970 for the murders, but their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was briefly abolished in California. During the trial, prosecutors argued that Manson wanted authorities to blame the murders on the Black Panthers in order to start a race war in the U.S. – CNN

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Negotiations between two German political parties, intended to create a new coalition government, broke down on Sunday. The talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party – which won a September election by a small margin – and the Free Democrats, were dogged by disagreements over issues including migration, climate and energy. Merkel faces two choices now: establishing a minority government, or calling for new elections that would be held in the spring. Merkel said she plans to continue as caretaker chancellor over the next few weeks while she mulls her next move. Her decision to take in 1 million asylum seekers might have eroded support for her party as anti-immigration views gain ground in Germany. "Migration was an absolutely central topic" that undermined the coalition talks, Merkel said. – BLOOMBERG

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Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe gave a rambling speech on Sunday in which he did not announce his resignation. Over the weekend, the ruling ZANU-PF party ousted him as its leader and asked him to resign from office or face impeachment. Mugabe is under pressure to step down after Army generals sent troops to the streets last week and held him and his wife, Grace Mugabe, under house arrest. Military leaders have been negotiating with the 93-year-old strongman to pave the way for a transition government. The ZANU-PF party has chosen Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former vice president who is popular among the army’s top brass, as its new leader. – CNN

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The U.S. army has banned its 50,000 troops in Japan from drinking alcohol after a service member crashed a military truck into a civilian vehicle, killing the driver. The army issued a statement saying that "alcohol may have been a factor," in the accident, which occurred on the southern island of Okinawa. Japan’s Kyodo News agency reported that the truck jumped a red light and Reuters said that its driver was three times over the legal limit for alcohol. The ban prohibits alcohol consumption on and off base until further notice.USAT

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A U.S. border patrol officer died on Sunday while he was on duty at the Mexican border. Customs and Border Patrol did not specify what Rogelio Martinez, 36, was doing when he was injured. A spokesman told CNN that he was not shot. His partner was also injured and is in serious condition. Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the incident as "an attack," while President Trump tweeted:  "We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall." The FBI is investigating the incident. – CNN

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Actor Jeffrey Tambor indicated he might leave the Amazon series "Transparent," following accusations of sexual misconduct by two transgender women. The claims come from his former assistant, Van Barnes, and actor Trace Lysette, who played a yoga teacher in the series. In a statement to NPR, the 73-year-old actor said that playing Maura Pfefferman on "Transparent" has been one of the greatest privileges of his career. However, he said that "this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago." He denied harassing anyone and claimed that his actions might have been misinterpreted by other people as "being aggressive." He added: "Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don't see how I can return to 'Transparent.'"– NPR

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Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday ruled against two petitions seeking to nullify the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The requests, by human rights activists and a politician, argued that the electoral process was marred by irregularities. The Supreme Court nullified Kenyatta’s re-election in August arguing that the electoral commission had mismanaged the vote, and ordered a second vote that took place in September. Opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from the race saying he feared that irregularities would again allow Kenyatta to win. Kenyatta then won 98 percent of the vote with a turnout of 39 percent. Odinga said on Monday: "We ... had repeatedly declared before this Supreme Court ruling today that we consider this government to be illegitimate and do not recognize it. This position has not been changed by the court ruling."  CBS

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A slowdown of the Earth’s rotation speed could trigger massive earthquakes next year, scientists sayRoger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick, of the University of Montana in Missoula, have written a paper about the connection between the Earth’s rotation and seismic activity. For the study, they looked into earthquakes of magnitude 7 and greater since 1900, and found that there were more intense earthquakes when the planet's rotation speed decreased. "The rotation of the Earth does change slightly – by a millisecond a day sometimes – and that can be measured very accurately by atomic clocks," said Bilham. He said that there could be as many as 20 severe earthquakes a year starting in 2018, up from six so far this year. – GUARDIAN

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U.S. President Trump on Sunday said he regretted asking the Chinese government to release three UCLA basketball players who had been detained for shoplifting. "I should have left them in jail!" he said on Twitter, in response to comments by LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo Ball, who together Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were released by Chinese officials last week and returned to L.A. on Tuesday. At a press conference the following day, the players apologized for shoplifting high-end goods while in China, and thanked President Trump for discussing their detention with Chinese President Xi Jinping. However, LaVar Ball told ESPN on Friday that Trump’s help was not instrumental in securing the players’ release. "What was he over there for? Don't tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out." –  ESPN

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An Argentine submarine with 44 people aboard has gone missing in the Atlantic. Boats and aircraft from Argentina, the U.S., Britain, Chile and Brazil are searching for the submarine. Authorities fear that the submarine might not be able to communicate due to a power failure, but the crew should have plenty of oxygen and food resources, a navy spokesman said. Argentine authorities have linked a number of satellite calls to the vessel, and are trying to determine whether the calls were made from the submarine or to the submarine. Waves of up to 26 feet (8m) and winds of up to 40 knots are hampering the search operation. –  REUTERS

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MONDAY PICK-ME-UP

Just a bright spot in the news to help your Monday go smoothly...

Many pet owners will tell you that there’s nothing worse than being separated from their furry friends for an extended period of time. In some instances, such as hospitalization, people have no other choice.

This was recently the case for David King, who was hospitalized for cancer treatment, according to Yahoo! Lifestyle. His wife, Cindy, would bring in photographs of his Yorkie mix Lil Fee to help him through the difficult time. However, little could be done to replace the actual feeling of having Lil Fee around.

One day, the nurses at King’s hospital had heard enough. Along with Cindy, they took matters into their own hands to reunite Lil Fee with King, who was fighting for his life.

“The nurses always heard my grandma talking about Lil Fee,” said Ellie Miguel, King’s granddaughter. “So they encouraged her and helped her get the dog in. They had my aunt carry the dog in a really big purse.”

When King was reunited with Lil Fee, he moved his arm to pet the Yorkie for the first time that day. Miguel says it was an emotional moment she’ll never forget.

But Miguel and King’s nurses aren’t the first to carry out such a daring task. Earlier this year, a woman from California smuggled her grandmother’s dog into a hospital for a reunion. Her story went viral on social media, and she is just one of many to exhibit the healing power of pets.

[read more]

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