Inside Daily Brief - August 21st, 2019

Inside Daily Brief (Aug 21st, 2019)

Migrant detention rule / U.S. budget deficit / Titanic dive / Pumpkin Spice Latte

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1. 📰 The Trump administration proposed a plan to detain migrant families together indefinitely, replacing the current 20-day limit for holding children. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan unveiled the proposed rule on Wednesday as the administration works to alter immigration laws to discourage migrants from coming to the United States. President Trump argued that the proposed rule, which changes the decades-old Flores settlement, would keep families together. The settlement requires the U.S. government to release minors from non-licensed facilities "as expeditiously as possible," which is currently set at 20 days. Democrats have condemned the move, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accusing the administration of "seeking to codify child abuse, plain and simple" while ignoring the "psychological trauma and long-term mental health risks" of placing children in detention centers. - NY TIMES

2. 💲 The Congressional Budget Office, a federal agency within the legislative branch, says that the U.S. budget deficit is growing faster than expected. The agency, which just updated its U.S. budget and economic outlook through 2029, forecasts that the national deficit will go over the $1 trillion mark in 2020, two years earlier than forecasted. It's expected to average about $1.2 trillion every year after through 2029, an increase that's partially the result of recent budget and border security bills, the agency noted. President Trump’s tariffs are projected to shrink gross domestic product by 2020. By 2029, the federal debt held by the public is projected to grow to 95 percent of GDP in 2029, which would be the highest level since right after World War II. - WAPO

3. 🌎 President Trump and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro confirmed that "secret talks" have occurred recently between the country's two governments. On Tuesday, Trump said U.S. officials have spoken with “various representatives” of Maduro's regime, adding, “I don’t want to say who, but we are talking at a very high level.” The news comes after the Associated Press reported that the U.S. made secret contract with Diosdado Cabello, the leader of the socialist party who's often considered the "number two" in the Venezuelan regime. Maduro confirmed that the talks were carried out under his authorization, saying “Sure there’s been contact and we’ll continue having contact.” The U.S. formally considers opposition leader Juan Guaidó to be the country's legitimate president. - CNBC

4. 🚢 The first submersible dive of the Titanic site in 14 years shows that the wreck is deteriorating rapidly. An exploration team conducted five human dives to the Titanic over eight days this month. The footage they captured will be used in a documentary film being created by London-based Atlantic Productions. According to Atlantic, metal-eating bacteria, deep currents, and salt corrosion "are having the greatest impact on the wreck,” including deteriorating conditions in the officer’s quarters, where "the hull has started to collapse, taking with it the staterooms.” The Titanic struck an iceberg in April 1912 and sank within three hours, killing 1,500 people. - BBC

5. 🚗 The self-driving car company Waymo is sharing some of the data that it collects from its autonomous vehicles. The data, which is considered valuable, includes 1,000 driving segments, with each capturing 20 seconds of continuous driving. Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet, collected the data from its fleets in San Francisco, Mountain View, Phoenix, and Kirkland, Washington. The company said it is seeking feedback on how to make future data releases "more impactful." - THE VERGE

6. ⚖️ Attorneys for Harvey Weinstein asked to move the former film producer's sex-crimes trial outside of New York City, citing a “circus-like atmosphere” in pretrial publicity. Defense attorney Arthur Aidala recommended that the trial be moved to Suffolk County on Long Island or upstate Albany County. In court papers, attorneys argued Manhattan is the center of the #MeToo movement and that the local New York Post has referenced Weinstein more than 11,000 times in its gossip column. Weinstein, who is free on $1 million bail, is charged with performing a forcible sex act on a woman in 2006 and raping a woman in 2013. He pleaded not guilty. - WSJ

7. 🐊 A crocodile that bit and injured a man at a party in Sweden once belonged to the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Castro originally gifted the Cuban reptile to a Russian cosmonaut in the 1970s; that cosmonaut returned the animal to Moscow before Jonas Wahlström, the owner of Stockholm's Skansen Aquarium, brought it to Sweden. The aquarium recently hosted a traditional Swedish celebration, known as a crayfish party, when the crocodile bit an unidentified man. According to Wahlström, the man was giving a speech, placing his arm over a glass barrier, when the crocodile "saw it and came and just jumped up and grabbed his lower arm." The man was hospitalized with injuries to his lower arm and hand. - NEWSWEEK

8. 🏫 Ethan Zuckerman, a director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, said he will resign in protest after hearing about the lab's links to Jeffrey Epstein. Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at the laboratory in Cambridge, said he's working with staff and students to move his work out of the Media Lab, which could involve relocating to another part of MIT or "moving elsewhere." Epstein donated at least $200,000 to MIT. The lab’s director, Joi Ito, has apologized after inviting Epstein to the lab, visiting his residences, and accepting money from Epstein's foundations. Epstein, a convicted pedophile, committed suicide in jail earlier this month while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. - USA TODAY

9. 🎥 Negotiations between major U.S. theater chains and Netflix over the release of Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" have dragged on for months and remain unresolved. The film, which entered production in 2017, was made for approximately $159 million and stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. Scorsese reportedly wants the film -- which will open the New York Film Festival next month and has considerable award season buzz -- to be released theatrically nationwide. But theater chains, including AMC and Cineplex, are insisting on a three-month exclusive window, in which the film would remain unavailable on streaming services. (Two other chains, Regal and Cinemark, told The New York Times that they are not currently in negotiation with Netflix about screening the film.) - NYTIMES

This story first appeared in today's Inside Streaming.

10. Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte will return Aug. 27, making it the drink's earliest ever launch. The latte has typically had its official launch sometime in early September, according to reporting by Business Insider. The drink, which includes flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, first debuted nationwide in 2004, marking the (unofficial) return of the autumn season for many fans. - USA TODAY


So. Many. Pickles.

Written and curated by Beth Duckett in Orange County. Beth is a former reporter for The Arizona Republic who has written for USA Today, Get Out magazine and other publications. Follow her tweets about breaking news and other topics in southern California here.

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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