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Inside Daily Brief (Nov 30th, 2017)

U.S. President Trump retweeted videos from an anti-Muslim British group on Wednesday, triggering a diplomatic row with the UK government. The videos were originally posted online by Britain First, a far-right group. One of them purportedly shows a group of Muslims pushing a boy off a roof, and another claims to show a Muslim vandalizing a Christian statue. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said: "It is wrong for the president to have done this … Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions." Trump responded telling May on Twitter: "Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom." Although the authenticity of the videos has come under scrutiny, White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said: "Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real. [Trump’s] goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security." – GUARDIAN

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A day after being fired from the "Today" show for "inappropriate sexual behavior" Matt Lauer apologized, saying that he was ashamed of his actions. After more than 20 years hosting the primetime show, Lauer was laid off on Wednesday over accusations that he made unwanted sexual advances toward several female colleagues. Following a two-month investigation, Variety published a story on Wednesday detailing the allegations. One of the accusers said that Lauer exposed himself to her, while another said that he gave her a sex toy with a explicit note. "Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed," Lauer said. "Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job," he added. – CBS

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Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore took to a church pulpit on Wednesday to accuse gays and socialists of orchestrating a smear campaign against him. Moore has repeatedly denied allegations that he molested underage girls, including an alleged encounter with a 14-year-old in 1979, when he was 32. In a speech at an Alabama Baptist church, he called the claims "false and malicious." He described his accusers as: "the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender who want to change our culture. They are socialists who want to change our way of life and put man above God and the government is our God." – BUZZFEED

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The first and last supermoon of 2017 will be visible on Dec. 3. A supermoon occurs when the Full Moon or New Moon stages coincide with the time in which the Moon is the closest it can be to Earth. On Sunday, the Moon will be 16,500 miles closer than usual to our planet. That means that it will appear 7 percent bigger and 16 percent brighter than usual. The best time to see it will be right before sunset. The Virtual Telescope project will provide a livestream of the supermoon rising over Rome’s skyline starting at 16:00 UT. – NATGEO

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Chipotle’s CEO has resigned after two years on the job. Steve Ells’ tenure was marked by falling sales due to outbreaks of E.coli, salmonella and norovirus that sickened hundreds of customers. The company’s shares have lost 20 percent in value this year. Chipotle is now looking for a "new leader with demonstrated turnaround expertise" to replace Ells, who will stay on as executive chairman. Following Ells’ announcement, Chipotle’s shares were up more than 5 percent. – REUTERS

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Bitcoin rose 15 percent on Wednesday to reach a record value of over $11,000. The cryptocurrency lost 20 percent in value later in the day and then rose again in what the BBC described as a "rollercoaster ride." Still, Bitcoin is up around 1,000 percent against the U.S. dollar so far in 2017. Some investors fear that Bitcoin's strong rise this year may be the effect of a bubble – because people are buying it to speculate, not to use it as a means of exchange. "As many seasoned traders know all too well, anything that rockets higher, tends to fall down faster when the time comes, and the time will come," said James Hughes, a foreign exchange analyst with AxiTrade. – REUTERS

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Jared Kushner was asked about former national security adviser Michael Flynn in an interview with Robert Mueller’s team. During the 90 minute conversation, members of Mueller's team asked Trump's son-in-law for additional context on comments he had previously made to lawmakers. One source familiar with the investigation said Mueller’s team wanted to know whether Kushner, who works as a senior adviser to President Trump, had information that might exonerate Flynn. There are signs that Flynn, a former national security adviser, might enter into a plea bargain with investigators. Sources also said that Mueller’s office wanted to know whether Kushner was involved in Trump's decision to fire former CIA director James Comey in May. – CNN

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Scientists have identified a new species of fish that lives at around 26,000 feet below sea level, deeper than any other known fish. The Mariana snailfish (pseudoliparis swirei) is about two inches in length, slimy, translucent and scaleless. It lives in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific, where the ocean is the deepest. It is one of 38 new species discovered by British and U.S. researchers who carried out a two-year survey of the area using cameras and traps. Information about their research has been published in a new study in the journal Zootaxa. Commenting on the snailfish, the study's lead author, Mackenzie Gerringer, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, said: "They don’t look very robust or strong for living in such an extreme environment, but they are extremely successful." – QUARTZ

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Trump sent a tweet on Wednesday vowing to pass more sanctions against North Korea in response to the country’s latest missile test. The tweet followed a conversation in which Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to press North Korea to "end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization." Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. has "a long list of additional potential sanctions, some of which involve potential financial institutions." Later in the day, during a speech in Missouri, Trump referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as "Little Rocket Man" and described him as "a sick puppy." AP

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Pharmaceutical companies are developing two long-lasting drugs that could reduce the frequency of migraines. One of the drugs is called erenumab, and is being developed by Amgen and Novartis, while the other is called fremanezumab and is being designed by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Two small clinical studies show that the drugs – which are applied intravenously – can reduce the frequency of migraines in some patients. Migraines, which are more severe than headaches and carry symptoms such as nausea and vision problems, affect a billion people worldwide. The makers of both drugs have asked the Food and Drug Administration for permission to market them. – ABC

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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 30, 1874     

On this date in 1874, former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill was born in Oxfordshire, England. He held the position of prime minister from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. Prior to being elected to Parliament, Churchill was a writer and also served in the British Army.

But it was arguably his work during World War II that resulted in his notoriety. Churchill led Great Britain through the conflict and became a leading advocate for British rearmament. He was also a strong opponent of then-Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement toward the Nazis.

When Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, Churchill became the first lord of the Admiralty. By 1940, King George VI was ready to appoint him as prime minister, following a vote of no confidence toward Chamberlain.

Throughout the war, Churchill continued to lead a coalition against the Nazis. He also paved the way for the U.S. and Soviet Union to come together to envision a post-war world.  Churchill worked closely with U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and Soviet Union Leader Joseph Stalin to develop a strategy against the Axis Powers.

Churchill passed away at the age of 90 on January 24, 1965, but not before leading an illustrious career. In 1953, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and named the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

British actor Gary Oldman is being tipped as an Oscar contender for his role as Churchill in "The Darkest Hour," which is out in selected theaters. 

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