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Inside Daily Brief (Mar 13th, 2018)

President Trump has replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo. Gina Haspel, currently Pompeo’s deputy, will become the CIA’s first female director. Trump announced the shakeup on Twitter. He later issued a statement saying that Pompeo "will continue our program of restoring America’s standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." Tillerson has clashed publicly with Trump during his 14-month tenure. They disagreed on the Iranian nuclear deal, North Korea, and Trump’s decision to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum. Before heading to California on Tuesday, Trump told reporters: "I think Rex will be much happier now." In December, Trump denounced media reports that he was planning to replace Tillerson with Pompeo as "fake news." – USATODAY

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“Has to be some voodoo magic”

“I have eight pillows on my bed, and none of them feel anything other than room temperature. The Helix Cool Pillow, in the same pile, would feel like it had been sitting on my drafty windowsill the whole day when I got home and felt cold to the touch throughout the night.” – Business Insider - Learn more 

National Geographic says that, for decades, its coverage of non-white people was racist. Editor in Chief Susan Goldberg writes that until the 1970s the magazine failed to accurately report on the lives of African Americans while portraying "'natives' elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché." Goldberg, the first Jewish person and the first woman to lead the magazine, said that National Geographic helped reinforce racial stereotypes. Her comments come after she asked John Edwin Mason, a professor of African history and the history of photography at the University of Virginia, to study the magazine’s 130-year archive. Mason told NPR that National Geographic editors helped perpetuate a racial "hierarchy" that depicted the Western world as modern, while "the black and brown world was primitive and backwards and generally unchanging."NPR

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The UK has set a midnight deadline for the Kremlin to explain how a nerve agent developed by Russia was used to poison a former Russian spy. Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter are in critical condition after being poisoned on March 4 in the town of Salisbury. Toxicology analysis indicate that the poison used was part of nerve agents known as "Novichok," which were developed by the Soviet military decades ago. "Either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country," British Prime Minister Theresa May said, "or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others." The British government said that if Russia fails to provide an explanation before the deadline, the response will be "commensurate but robust." Britain could decide to freeze the assets of Russian officials, expel diplomats, and withdraw the English team from this summer’s World Cup in Russia. – REUTERS

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The GOP-controlled House Intelligence Committee said that its investigation found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. "We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment," said Mike Conaway, the Republican Representative leading the Russia investigation. Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, said that by ending the investigation "the Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country." Democrats argue that the committee has failed to obtain certain documents and avoided asking key questions from interviewees. Republican and Democratic members of the committee are expected to issue dueling reports about the result of the investigation. – ABC

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A spokesman for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has resigned from his job over "false statements" issued by the agency. The controversy stems from a claim made on Feb. 28 by ICE acting director, Thomas Homan, who said that the Oakland mayor's decision to inform the public about an anti-immigration sweep allowed 800 undocumented immigrants to remain at large. Homan's claim was later repeated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. James Schwab said he resigned from his job as an ICE spokesman in San Francisco because he believed the number to be much lower. "I quit because I didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts … I asked them to change the information. I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn't agree with that," he said. – SFCHRONICLE

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Four months after Charles Manson’s death, a court has ruled that his grandson can take the cult leader’s remains. Manson died in November while serving a life prison sentence for his role in seven murders committed in 1969. A court had to decide on three competing claims for his body, which is being held at an undisclosed facility. They came from Jason Freeman, his grandson; from Michael Channels, a long-time friend; and from Matt Lentz, a musician who claimed to be Manson’s son. The court ruled in Freeman’s favor because he was able to prove that he is Manson’s next of kin. Freeman said he plans to cremate Manson’s remains and hold a small family ceremony. The three men, was well as Matthew Lentz – who also claims to be Manson’s son – are locked in a legal battle to take over Manson’s estate, which includes music royalties and commercial rights. – NBC

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The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the Trump administration is prepared to launch military strikes against Syrian forces unless they stop bombing civilians. "It is not a path we prefer. But it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again," she told the U.N. Security Council. Haley noted that the U.S. launched airstrikes against Syria in the wake of a chemical attack by the government of Bashar al-Assad last year. "When the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action," Haley said. France has also threatened to launch airstrikes against the Syrian army over the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the Syrian army has intensified its bombing of the rebel-held area of Eastern Ghouta in violation of a Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire last month. – WAPO

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President Trump says Broadcom’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm cannot go ahead. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. recommended that the White House veto the $117 billion deal over concerns that it would undermine efforts by American companies to develop 5G wireless networks. That would allow Chinese firms to control the technology, the committee said. "Given well-known U.S. national security concerns about Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies, a shift to Chinese dominance in 5G would have substantial negative national security consequences for the United States," the panel wrote in a letter to both companies last week. – HILL

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Uber is set to launch a professional ride hailing service in Barcelona, more than three years after it stopped operations in the Spanish city. Following protests over unfair competition by taxi drivers in Barcelona, Uber canceled a car-hailing service that relied on non-professional drivers in December 2014. Local authorities banned the service in 2015. Uber’s new service, UberX, will be exempt from the ban because it will operate with trained, licensed drivers. "We are changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make and working hard to earn the trust of the cities in which we operate. Barcelona is no exception," Uber General Manager for Southwest Europe Carles Lloret said in a blog post. – REUTERS

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According to a new regulation, divorced women in Saudi Arabia will no longer need to file a lawsuit to keep custody of their children. Until now, in order to retain custody of their children, divorced mothers needed to engage in legal battles that would often take years. The new regulation stipulates that, from now on, to retain custody of their children, divorced women can file an administrative request to a court. "This is something that I've wanted every day. The progress that has happened at the Ministry of Justice when it comes to personal status issues, especially regarding women and children, has been amazing," said activist Samira AlGhamdi. The new regulation is part of a string of reforms to modernize Saudi Arabia introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the past two years. – CNN

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