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Inside Daily Brief (Aug 23rd, 2019)

1. Billionaire conservative activist David Koch died Friday at age 79. Koch and his brother Charles owned energy and chemical company Koch Industries, but David Koch stepped down last year because of health issues. The Kochs built a network of conservative donors and supported libertarian economic policy.--NBC NEWS

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2. Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said the FBI approached him to start a romantic relationship with Russian spy Maria Butina before the 2016 election. Byrne made the claim in an interview with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. The interview with Cuomo was one of several on Thursday where Byrne, who resigned as the company CEO earlier in the day, added that former FBI Director James Comey and other top Obama administration officials were behind the request. Comey denied the claim. “The FBI doesn’t work that way,” he said. –CNN

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3. Florida executed serial killer Gary Ray Bowles on Thursday. Authorities said Bowles killed six older gay men in a monthslong spree along the I-95 corridor in the mid-1990s. He issued a handwritten statement apologizing to his victims' families and his mother. "You don't wake up one day and decide to be a serial killer." --AP

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4. News Corp., the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, is planning what it calls an alternative to Google News. Knewz.com will link directly to news publishers' sites and will not receive any cut of advertising. The Journal reports Knewz will include smaller news outlets which News Corp. executives think are not ranked highly enough in Google search results or in Facebook's news feed. The site would include conservative-leaning sites including the Daily Wire, Daily Caller and Washington Examiner. News Corp CEO Robert Thomson has frequently criticized Google and Facebook's algorithms for sorting news. Google and Facebook did not comment on the matter. --WALL STREET JOURNAL (paywall)

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5. A daily briefing sent to employees at the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review earlier this week included a blog post from a white nationalist platform. The post by VDare, which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers a hate group, mentions several immigration judges and used an anti-Semitic slur, the Washington Post reported. A spokesperson for EOIR said the post should not have been included in the briefing, which she said was put together by a contractor. --WAPO

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6. French President Emmanuel Macron has called on world leaders to discuss the fires destroying Brazil’s rainforest at the G7 Summit. "Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produce 20 percent of our planet's oxygen – is on fire," Macron tweeted. France will host the summit starting Saturday. President Trump and leaders from Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom will also attend. –NPR

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7. China announced Friday it will impose retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods, adding more fuel to the trade war. China also will reinstate levies on American cars, ranging from 5 to 10 percent. A tariff of 25 percent on cars and 5 percent on parts will take effect Dec. 15. "China’s imposition of tariffs is a forced response to the unilateralism and trade protectionism of the United States," read a statement in the Global Times, China's state-run news outlet. -- WASHINGTON POST

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8. The much-anticipated release of Taylor Swift's latest album, "Lover," dropped overnight and already is being considered "her most upbeat and romantically smitten album." The singer-songwriter's seventh album details her relationship with boyfriend Joe Alwyn, whom she's been dating for three years. But it wouldn't be Swift without a little drama, which the album covers in songs such as "The Man," where she sings about sexism with lyrics like, "I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I'd get there quicker if I was a man." Swift takes fans through the country's current mood, her mom's cancer diagnosis, and Swift's own (very public) past. In a tweet, Swift called the album a “celebration of love, in all its complexity, coziness, and chaos.” – VARIETY

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9. The Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers had to play their pre-season game last night on a reconfigured 80-yard field. The game was played at IG Field in Winnipeg, which typically hosts Canadian Football League games. Canadian football has the uprights in the front of the endzone, which, when removed, left giant holes that would have been an injury risk to players. The NFL decided it was best to simply create a shorter field, instead of filling the holes, which could still have been dangerous for the players. The Raiders won, 22-21. –ESPN

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10. The band Tool is dropping a new album after a 13-year delay. The cause? Singer Maynard James Keenan had to attend to his winery. As the owner of Caduceus Cellars in Arizona, Keenan had to manage his time between the two endeavors. During harvest, he’d work all day in the vineyards, go to the studio for an hour or two to record then return to the cellars while his bandmates finessed the tracks. — SPIN

A version of this story first appeared in our daily Inside Wine newsletter. 

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