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Inside Daily Brief (Jan 17th, 2020)

1. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, told thousands of worshippers that God’s backing had allowed Iran to “slap the face” of the U.S. with a missile attack. In his first Friday sermon in eight years, Khamenei sought to rally supporters and undermine Iranians who have been critical of the country’s attack against the U.S., and the subsequent missile launch that downed a Ukrainian jetliner, which killed many Iranians. Khamenei dismissed those protesters as “stooges of the United States,” while calling President Trump a “clown” who pretended to support the Iranian people but would “push a poisonous dagger” into their backs. — NYT

2. Evelyn Yang, the wife of Andrew Yang, said she was sexually assaulted by her OB/GYN, Robert A. Hadden, while pregnant. Evelyn Yang told her story on CNN last night, explaining she kept the traumatic experience a closely guarded secret from the public, including her family. Yang said the doctor’s behavior during appointments went from routine to “inappropriate,” before graphically detailing one instance of sexual assault. She soon became one of many women working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to build a case against Hadden. He eventually struck a deal in 2016, where he pled guilty to two or nine charges, gave up his medical license and had to register as a Level 1 sex offender. In a related civil suit, Hadden has denied allegations not included in the plea deal. — THE WASHINGTON POST

3. The Justice Department appears to be investigating former FBI director James Comey for illegally leaking classified information to news outlets. At the center of the investigation are two news articles published by The New York Times and The Washington Post mentioning a Russian government document hackers had provided to the FBI. The document apparently influenced Comey’s decision not to recommend Hilary Clinton face charges over her use of a private email server as secretary of state. It’s the second time the Justice Department has investigated leaks potentially involving Comey, which some believe may be politically motivated. — NYT

4. The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday, when arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump are set to begin. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shared the schedule of the impeachment trial, providing deadlines for briefs that can be filed on behalf of the House of Representatives and the president. Tomorrow, by 5 PM EST, the House of Representatives must file a trial brief. Monday, by noon, is the deadline for the president to file his trial brief, while Tuesday at noon is the deadline for the House to file a rebuttal. Senate will likely take up a resolution on Tuesday setting the rules of the trial, before arguments begin. — CNN

5. Deborah Dugan, the head of the Recording Academy, was placed on administrative leave over allegations of misconduct. The Recording Academy Board of Trustees made the decision after receiving a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior member of the Recording Academy team. The board has also retained two independent, third-party investigators to look into the accusations. Harvey Mason, Jr., board chair, will step in as interim president and CEO of the Recording Academy. This comes just ten days before the Recording Academy’s most high-profile event, the Grammys. — VARIETY

6. The New York Mets decided to mutually part ways with manager Carlos Beltran, after his involvement with a “sign-stealing” operation while with the Houston Astros. Beltran was the only player named in MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s investigation of the alleged “sign-stealing,” which occurred in 2017, when Beltran was a designated hitter for the Astros. Beltran signed a three-year deal to serve as the Mets’ skipper this offseason, but ultimately did not even receive the opportunity to manage a Spring Training game for the team. — ESPN

7. NBC parent, Comcast, officially unveiled details of its new streaming service: Peacock. Peacock will have various tiers of service, including Peacock Free, which will provide viewers with ad-supported access to NBC series the day after they air on the network. These viewers will also have access to classic series, sports, news and feature films. But to unlock more than 10,000 hours of current and classic series, including “The Office,” users will need to subscribe to Peacock’s $4.99 a month tier with ads (free for Comcast and Cox cable customers), or $9.99 without ads ($4.99 for Comcast and Cox customers). — LA TIMES

8. A new study suggests heavy marijuana users are worse drivers, even when sober. The theory made by researchers from McLean Hospital in Boston, in the study published in the academic journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, is that early marijuana use changes the brain, which leaves people more impulsive and apt to make rash decisions. Sober cannabis users who started using the drug in their teens had more accidents; they were also more likely to cruise at higher speeds and drive through more red lights than those who had never used marijuana. — NBC NEWS

9. Eminem dropped a surprise album last night, “Music To Be Murdered By.” The 20-track album is the Detroit rapper’s seventh full-length to date, his first since the 2018 album “Kamikaze.” The album features guest contributors including Ed Sheeran, Anderson .Paak, Black Thought of The Roots, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest and a posthumous collaboration with the late Juice WRLD. The album is now available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music. — CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND

10. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn are teaming up to develop electric vehicles. In a Taiwanese regulatory filing, Foxconn said it was establishing a joint venture to develop and produce EVs, as well as operate internet-connected vehicles. Foxconn, best known for its role as a contract manufacturer for Apple, said it would own 40 percent or less in the venture. FCA declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal. Foxconn’s involvement in the EV space signals a move beyond electronics manufacturing for the company, as smartphone sales have slowed down in key markets. It also comes as FCA looks to boost sales in China, where faces increasingly strict emissions regulations on vehicles. This move comes as FCA is working on a merger with Groupe PSA. — WSJ

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This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of San Antonio, Texas and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan.

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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