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Inside Daily Brief (Nov 27th, 2017)

The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has filed a suit to prevent President Trump from appointing another person to her job. On Friday, when Richard Cordray resigned as head of the CFPB, he named his chief of staff, Leandra English, as interim director. But President Trump later picked Mick Mulvaney, who runs the Office of Management and Budget, to be CFPB's director until the Senate appoints a permanent replacement for Cordray – which could take months. On Sunday, English asked a district court to issue a restraining order to prevent Mulvaney from taking over the job. Mulvaney has been critical of the CFPB, an agency that was created after the financial crisis to protect consumers and monitor Wall Street. In 2014, Mulvaney called the CFPB a "joke in a sick, sad kind of way." According to The Guardian, Mulvaney’s appointment is part of Republican efforts to weaken the CFPB. – CNN

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Prince Harry and U.S. actress Meghan Markle will marry next spring. "Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle's parents," Kensington Palace said in a statement. The couple will talk about their engagement in an interview that will be aired on the BBC later today. Markle, a 36-year-old LA native, has acted in TV shows including "Suits" and "Fringe." Prince Harry is fifth in line for the British throne. They met in July 2016 through friends. – CNN

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More than 180 people have accused therapists from the Massage Envy chain of groping and unwanted sexual advances, according to a BuzzFeed News investigation. The alleged victims have filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports, and state board complaints against some of the 1,200 Massage Envy spas nationwide. According to court documents and public statements, the company argues that it's not liable for any wrongdoing because the spas where the alleged assaults took place are independently owned. Lawyers representing alleged victims say Massage Envy should be held accountable because it provides training to staff, sets standards and monitors compliance with company rules. – BUZZFEED 

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Around 100,000 people have been asked to evacuate areas near Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano as officials fear that a large eruption might be imminent. About 40,000 people have already evacuated from an exclusion zone that covers an 8 to 10 km radius from the volcano. Meanwhile, approximately 60,000 tourists are stranded in Indonesia as the ash plumes have forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights. – GUARDIAN

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U.S. publisher Meredith will take control of magazine titles including Time, People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune after agreeing to buy Time Inc. for $1.84 billion. The resulting company will run magazines with a combined readership of 135 million people, and an online media business with 170 million unique U.S. visitors. The Koch brothers will provide $650 million in financing to help Meredith fund the acquisition. According to a statement announcing the deal, the Kochs, who are prominent Republican donors, will not have seats on Meredith’s board and will not be involved in the company’s operations. Meredith publishes lifestyle magazines including Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle. – REUTERS

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An AP investigation has revealed that the FBI did not tell U.S. officials that their personal email accounts were being targeted by Russian hackers. The bureau had evidence that Fancy Bear, a group with links to the Kremlin, was carrying out a hacking campaign, but did not tell U.S. officials that their Gmail accounts were being targeted. AP reporters identified 500 groups or individuals who were being targeted and reached out to 190 of them. They interviewed 80 targets and found that only two of them had been contacted by the FBI. Some others were contacted by the bureau after their emails had been leaked. According to AP, 131 U.S. military and government figures clicked on links sent to them by Fancy Bear. For its investigation, the AP analyzed data provided by cybersecurity firm Secureworks. The same data has, in the past, indicated that Fancy Bear stole tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic Party. – AP

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Senator Al Franken apologized to the women who have accused him of groping and said he will work toward regaining the public’s trust. Franken made the comments in his first interview since Nov. 16, when radio host Leeann Tweeden accused him of kissing and groping her during a 2006 USO Tour. Three other women said Franken groped them while posing for photographs. Although he apologized for making women uncomfortable, he said he did not remember groping three of the alleged victims because he has posed for tens of thousands of photos over the years. Yet, he said: "I'm going to take responsibility. I'm going to be held accountable through the ethics committee." He noted that regaining the public’s trust will be challenging: "This is not going to happen quickly … I have to earn this over time and that's what I plan to do." – STARTRIBUNE

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Democratic Representative John Conyers, who faces sexual harassment allegations, has resigned as the ranking member of the House’s Judiciary Committee. Conyers, the House of Representatives’ longest-serving member, faces accusations of making unwanted sexual advances toward female staff members. In a statement, Conyers denied the claims. "I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics," he said. – POLITICO

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U.S. online shoppers spent $7.9 billion on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, almost 18 percent more than a year ago. The sales data comes from Adobe Analytics, which monitors transactions at the leading 100 U.S. online retailers. TV sets, laptops, toys and gaming consoles were among the most popular items. Sales in brick-and-mortar stores were down 1 percent on Black Friday, according to retail research firm ShopperTrak. Some experts had predicted a bigger drop in store sales, but the National Retail Federation (NRF) said that the good weather across most of the U.S. might have prompted many Americans to shop in physical stores. – REUTERS

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The South Korean military is using loudspeakers to broadcast news across the border about a North Korean soldier who defected earlier this month. The 24-year-old was shot several times by fellow North Korean border guards and is being treated for gunshots and other pre-existing conditions in South Korea. "The news about an elite soldier like a JSA [Joint Security Area] guard having fled in a hail of bullets will have a significant psychological impact on North Korean border guards," a military spokesperson was quoted as saying by a South Korean newspaper. North Korea replaced around 40 border patrol agents last week for failing to prevent the soldier's defection. – NEWSWEEK

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MONDAY PICK-ME-UP

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

Many people can’t wait to retire, but after 71 years on the job, one woman is determined to see how long she can keep her streak going.

Elena Griffing, patient relations coordinator at the Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, California, is 91 years old. However, age remains just a number for Griffing, who has no plans to step down any time soon. Her coworkers describe her as “strong-willed” and “independent,” and it’s been that way since she first walked through the doors in 1946.

She first connected with the hospital at the age of 19. Griffing was hospitalized for a hemoglobin disorder. When lab technicians began complaining that their secretary had not come in, they jokingly asked Griffin if she was a secretary and told her she could “get to work.”

Eventually she moved into pathology at the hospital, and eventually took on the role as the hospital’s goodwill ambassador. These days, she helps patients with everything from finding lost belongings to general care.

“I don’t have time to be depressed. I refuse to be depressed,” Griffing tells Yahoo! Lifestyle. “I don’t have time to be sad, because I’m having too much fun being happy.”

And as for retirement? Griffing says she’s taking the job one day at a time, but in the least, she would like to make it four more years so she can reach 75 years on the job.

“I will retire when they push me out the door or carry me out in a box. End of story,” she continued.

[read more]

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