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Good Thursday morning. Situational awareness: Ahead of Veterans Day on Saturday, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates writes an N.Y. Times op-ed, "Ending DACA Will Hurt Immigrant Troops": "All of those undocumented immigrants, through their willingness to shed blood to protect the rest of us, have earned the right to call themselves 'American citizen'" ... AP: In the year since Trump's election, the S&P 500 index has notched at least 60 record highs and risen 21.1%.

1 big thing: Sean Parker's jarring Facebook tell-all

Sean Parker explains Facebook's "social-validation feedback loop." (Axios video)

Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, gave me a candid insider's look at how social networks purposely hook and potentially hurt our brains.

  • Parker, 38, now founder and chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, spoke yesterday at an Axios event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, about accelerating cancer innovation.

In the green room, Parker mentioned that he has become "something of a conscientious objector" on social media. By the time he left stage, he jokingly said Mark Zuckerberg will probably block his account after reading this:

  • "When Facebook was getting going, I had these people who would come up to me and they would say, 'I'm not on social media.' And I would say, 'OK. You know, you will be.' And then they would say, 'No, no, no. I value my real-life interactions. I value the moment. I value presence. I value intimacy.' And I would say, ... 'We'll get you eventually.'"
  • "I don't know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and ... it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other ... It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains."
  • "The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, ... was all about: 'How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'"
  • "And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that's going to get you to contribute more content, and that's going to get you ... more likes and comments."
  • "It's a social-validation feedback loop ... exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology."
  • "The inventors, creators — it's me, it's Mark [Zuckerberg], it's Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it's all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway."

Be smart: Parker's I-was-there account provides priceless perspective in the rising debate about the power and effects of the social networks, which now have scale and reach unknown in human history. He's worried enough that he's sounding the alarm.

P.S. Parker, on life science allowing us to "live much longer, more productive lives":

  • "Because I'm a billionaire, I'm going to have access to better health care So ... I'm going to be like 160 and I'm going to be part of this, like, class of immortal overlords. [Laughter] Because, you know the [Warren Buffett] expression about compound interest. ... [G]ive us billionaires an extra hundred years and you'll know what ... wealth disparity looks like."
  • See video.
  • Go deeper: Joe Biden rips Trump's "phony nationalism".

2. Axios debut: One of the Mideast's top reporters

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Trump's "peace team" ... Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 10 News, one of the Middle East's most-wired and respected reporters, makes his debut contribution to Axios, "Trump's mystery plan for Mideast peace":

  • What's coming: "Israeli and Palestinian officials expect President Trump to unveil a Mideast peace proposal by early next year. What nobody knows yet is the shape it will take or if the proposal will be based on creating a Palestinian state, which has been U.S. policy for the last 20 years."
  • Be smart: "The U.S. 'peace team' working on the issue is relatively small and very discreet — just five people, including senior adviser Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt. The entire process is being run out of the White House, with the State Department and other agencies providing advice and support."
  • Behind the scenes: "According to U.S. officials, Trump is the driving force on this issue and is personally involved. Israeli officials say they hear Trump is pushing his team to have a proposal soon."

See Ravid's "What to watch."

3. Trump evades "Great Firewall"

Trump gestures to his delegation as he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping during a business event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing today. (AP's Andy Wong)

"Forbidden in China, but Trump skirts 'Great Firewall' to tweet about Beijing trip," by Reuters' Ryan Woo in Beijing:

  • "Many Western social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are banned in China. A sophisticated system has been built to deny online users within China access to blocked content."
  • "Many foreigners log on to virtual private networks (VPNs) to access content hosted outside of China. Another option is to sign up for a data-roaming service."
  • Fun fact: "Trump's visit was ... the third-most talked-about topic on Chinese social media platform Weibo over the last 24 hours, trailing only the birthday of a singer in a Chinese boy band and a weekly Asian pop song chart."

Bonus: Pic du jour

AP's Christophe Ena

The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is illuminated yesterday during a light show called "Dame de Cœur" to celebrate the centenary of the First World War.

4. Election sets off blame game in GOP

"A wave of Democratic victories ignited a ferocious debate across the Republican Party ... over whether President Trump's un­or­tho­dox behavior and polarizing agenda are jeopardizing the GOP's firm grip [of] Congress, governors' mansions and state legislatures," the WashPost's Bob Costa and Phil Rucker write in the paper's lead story:
  • Why it matters: "A year ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans are increasingly uncertain about keeping their majorities on Capitol Hill and are worried about how damaging Trump's jagged brand of politics may become to the party."
  • Key sentence: "[E]ven among Trump's allies, there were complaints about the White House being dis­engaged and unready to deal with the party's mounting challenges."

Be smart ... N.Y. Times' Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin: "If a suburban insurrection might help Democrats take the House, the Senate seats at stake next year are overwhelmingly in conservative, rural states, where feelings about Mr. Trump range from ambivalent to positive. So far, only two Republican Senate seats are clearly in play: the one in Arizona being vacated by Jeff Flake and Dean Heller's in Nevada."

"Democrats see ... momentum for 2018 state [legislature] elections," by AP's David Lieb and Christina Cassidy:

  • What happened: "Democrats ... erased a previously dominant Republican majority in the Virginia House of Delegates and won a special election that gave them control of the Washington state Senate. ... Democrats flipped about two dozen state legislative seats around the country Tuesday and have now gained at least 30 seats previously held by Republicans since ... Trump won election last."
  • Why it matters: That reverses several years of Republican momentum.
  • "Heading into Tuesday's elections, Republicans controlled more than two-thirds of all state legislative chambers, including full control of both chambers and the governor's office in about two dozen states. By comparison, Democrats had complete control in only a half-dozen states."

5. First look: Bob Woodward's secret sauce

MasterClass / YouTube

Bob Woodward, who's working on a book about President Trump that's due out some time next year, is offering a rare window into the techniques that have made him the most famous investigative reporter in the world, with 18 national nonfiction bestsellers.

"This is a time we're being tested," Woodward says in a preview video for his first-ever online class. "Let's not be chickenshit about this. Break the rules — not the law, but the rules. ... This is the final exam for democracy."

  • Woodward teaches the importance of working multiple sources: "No one ever gives you the full story."
  • Woodward says one tip for reporters is to just "shut up" when interviewing someone: "Let the silence suck out the truth."
  • Topics include: building trust with sources and protecting confidential relationships, understanding the importance of documents and contemporaneous notes, collaborating with and using editors, acting aggressively, taking everyone as seriously as they take themselves, going back for the sixth or seventh interview (!), avoiding bias and hyperbolic language, maintaining your independence and status as an outsider, developing stamina, and knowing you have one important audience — your readers.
  • The class is available for $90 (pre-order) through MasterClass, a San Francisco company former in 2015.
  • Good advice in the preview video.

6. First look: How we see fake news

Data: Edelman Trust Barometer Special Flash Poll on fake news (Nov. 6; 907 respondents); Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

In an online flash poll on fake news for the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, Republicans were notably more likely to blame news organizations than Democrats were. Other key findings:

  • 62% say trust in traditional media has decreased because of fake news (R 75%; D 50%; I 62%).
  • 93% of Silicon Valley tech employees believe there needs to be more government oversight of tech companies, compared to 83% of the general population.
  • Silicon Valley tech employees that we surveyed is more likely to blame social platforms than mainstream media for the spread of fake news.
  • Poll posting here shortly.

7. Trump v. CNN

"At Heart of AT&T Merger, Another Fight Brews: Trump vs. CNN," the N.Y. Times reports on A1:

  • What's new: "[I]t seems possible that the Justice Department and AT&T will end up battling each other in court."
  • Why it matters: The ongoing negotiations have ... demonstrated how the Trump administration may regulate big-ticket mergers and acquisitions, representing the first major test for the government's antitrust strategy."
  • The frame: "Critics of the merger have described it as a sign that there is too much consolidation in the media and telecommunications industries."
  • Be smart: "Fighting the deal could prove challenging for regulators, antitrust experts said. The Justice Department would have to argue that AT&T would have an incentive to withhold Turner channels from rival broadband distributors like Verizon and Comcast."

Go deeper: "Why it's complicated for Justice Dept to ask AT&T to sell CNN," by Axios' David McCabe.

8. 26 dead in Texas include 8 children, teens

AP's Eric Gay

Vice President Pence and his wife, Karen, talk with Johnnie Langendorff, and his girlfriend, Summer Caddell, as they visit with first responders, family, friends and victims outside the Sutherland Spring Baptist Church in Texas yesterday. Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, are at right.

9. Data du jour

10. 1 future thing: Air Uber

This computer generated image shows a flying taxi. (Uber Technologies via AP)

"Uber reaches for the skies with plan for sleek flying taxi," by AP's Barry Hatton:

  • "The ride-hailing service unveiled ... an artist's impression of the sleek, futuristic machine it hopes to start using for demonstration flights in 2020. The company aims to have its first paying passengers in various cities around the world by 2023, though the plan still faces major hurdles."
  • "The battery-powered aircraft looks like a cross between a small plane and a helicopter, with fixed wings and rotors. It was presented at an international technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal."
  • Why it matters: "The vehicle is intended to soar over traffic congestion, sharply reducing city travel times. Uber hopes it will eventually become a form of mass transport and cost commuters less than using their own car, though initially it will be more expensive than that, Uber's Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said."
  • "The scheme still faces plenty of challenges, including certification of the new vehicle by authorities, pilot training and conceiving urban air traffic management systems that prevent collisions."

Featured

Mulvaney: Trump "doesn't know who to believe" on Moore allegations

Screenshot of Mick Mulvaney on "Meet the Press" with Andrea Mitchell.

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs, both attempted on Sunday to explain President Trump's silence on the accusations of child sexual abuse and other sexual misconduct against GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore:

  • Mulvaney said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Trump "doesn't know who to believe," and "thinks that the voters of Alabama should decide."
  • Short said on ABC's "This Week" that "the president has expressed his concern" about the allegations against Moore: "As you noted, the president has not gone down to Alabama to campaign for Roy Moore since the primary concluded. We have serious concerns about the allegations that have been made, but we also believe that all of this info is out there for the people of Alabama."
Why it matters: The RNC has pulled its support from Moore and most high-ranking Republicans have repudiated him. Trump hasn't, but he has weighed in on the allegations against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.
Featured

Zimbabwe dictator Mugabe to resign after 37 years in power

Zimbabweans sing and pray at a Christian peace and prayer rally Sunday in Harare. Photo: Ben Curtis / AP

Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old dictator who led Zimbabwe for 37 years, will resign tonight, Reuters reports. He has already been removed as the leader of his party and early today was negotiating his resignation with military leaders, per the NY Times.

Mugabe was facing impeachment if he did not resign. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was Zimbabwe's vice president until Mugabe precipitated the coup by placing his wife next in line for the presidency, appears poised to take control. He is known as a ruthless strongman.

Sunday Times of London lead story, "Fear is gone as the people turn on 'thief' Mugabe ... Zimbabweans unite against the tyrant who enslaved them," by Chief Foreign Correspondent Christina Lamb:

  • "It felt like a revolution. They came from all over the country and all walks of life. Young and old, opposition activists and party apparatchiks, white farmers and black war veterans, housewives and their maids."
  • "The slow-motion coup that began when the army arrested President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday was not yet over, but everyone knew that his own party was preparing to remove him."
  • Why it matters: "In 20 years of reporting on Zimbabwe I have never seen anything like it. This country has infuriated me like no other. The people are incredibly friendly but I have watched them vote for a ruling party that made their lives a nightmare — for fear of being beaten or their daughters being raped."
Featured

Broadcom and Qualcomm move forward on other deals

Raimond Spekking via Wikimedia Commons

Broadcom hasn't yet gotten a "yes" on its takeover approach for Qualcomm, but both chipmakers are moving forward on other deals that could smooth their path to a mega-merger:

  • Broadcom on Friday closed its $5.5 billion purchase of networking switch maker Brocade, which was first announced last November.
  • Qualcomm is set to win "imminent" Japanese antitrust approval for its $38 billion takeover of Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors, according to Reuters, with European approval expected by year-end.

Key move: Broadcom's recent decision to redomicile from Singapore to the U.S. seems to have gotten it over the final regulatory hurdles to buying California-based Brocade, as it had received antitrust approval in July but refiled in October with a U.S. body that oversees foreign investments. It also should aid in buying Qualcomm — although first it needs to make a higher offer.

Featured

System failure on the NYC subway

A northbound #1 on Oct. 31. Photo: Richard Drew / AP

A front-page story from the NY Times' Brian Rosenthal, Emma Fitzsimmons and Michael LaForgia breaks down "How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York's Subways," starting with "a perennial lack of investment in tracks, trains and signals."

  • Wait, what? "[T]he actual movement of trains [relies] on a 1930s-era signal system with fraying, cloth-covered cables." (See the archaic equipment.)
  • "Daily ridership has nearly doubled in the past two decades to 5.7 million, but New York is the only major city in the world with fewer miles of track than it had during World War II."
  • "New York's subway now has the worst on-time performance of any major rapid transit system in the world ... Just 65 percent of weekday trains reach their destinations on time, the lowest rate since the transit crisis of the 1970s."
  • "Reporters for The Times reviewed thousands of pages of state and federal documents, including records that had not previously been made public; built databases to compare New York with other cities; and interviewed more than 300 people."
  • Let 'em out!

N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Roger Toussaint, former head of the MTA's main union, on what he sees as a focus on flashy subway projects instead of maintenance: "They haven't been spending money on the spine. They've been spending money on the limbs."

P.S. "Conductors on [New York] subway trains have been told to stop addressing passengers as 'ladies and gentlemen' when making announcements about delays, detours or other things, and instead use the gender-neutral terms 'passengers,' 'riders,' and 'everyone.'" (AP)

Featured

Weinstein dominos, updated

Top: Harvey Weinstein, former Amazon Studios head Roy Price, director James Toback, New Orleans chef John Besh. Middle: fashion photographer Terry Richardson, New Republic contributing editor Leon Wieseltier, Mark Halperin, former Defy Media executive Andy Signore. Bottom: filmmaker Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven, Dustin Hoffman. (AP)

Some stories move so fast and far, we lose sight of the scale. So here's a freeze-frame on a defining story of our time: Men accused of sexual misconduct post-Weinstein, compiled by AP (click for details on each):

Entertainment:

  • Celebrity chef John Besh
  • Comedian Louis C.K.
  • Cinefamily executives Hadrian Belove and Shadie Elnashai
  • Actor Richard Dreyfuss: One woman alleges sexual harassment. He denies the allegation.
  • Director-producer Gary Goddard
  • Casting employee Andy Henry
  • Actor Dustin Hoffman: Accused by woman of sexual harassing when she was 17. He has apologized.
  • Actor Robert Knepper
  • Showrunner Andrew Kreisberg
  • Actor Jeremy Piven: Accused by three women of sexual misconduct. He denies all allegations.
  • Filmmaker Brett Ratner
  • Comedy festival organizer Gilbert Rozon
  • Producer Chris Savino
  • Actor Steven Seagal: Accused by two women of rape. He denies the allegations.
  • Actor Tom Sizemore: Accused of groping an 11-year-old actress in 2003. Utah prosecutors declined to file charges, citing witness and evidence problems. He denies the allegation.
  • Actor Kevin Spacey
  • Actor Jeffrey Tambor
  • Actor George Takei
  • Writer-director James Toback
  • "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner
  • Actor Ed Westwick

Media, publishing and business:

  • Billboard magazine executive Stephen Blackwell
  • Penguin Random House art director Giuseppe Castellano
  • New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish
  • Mark Halperin
  • Artforum publisher Knight Landesman
  • NPR news chief Michael Oreskes
  • Amazon executive Roy Price
  • Webster Public Relations CEO Kirt Webster
  • Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner: Accused by one man of sexual harassment. He says he did not intend to make the accuser uncomfortable.
  • New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier
  • NBC News booking exec Matt Zimmerman
Politics:
  • Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)
  • Senate candidate Roy Moore (R.-Ala.)
  • Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel: Accused of sexually inappropriate comments and behavior toward a number of women, Bittel resigned Friday.
  • Florida Democratic state Sen. Jeff Clemens resigned after a report that he had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist.
  • Florida Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala is being investigated by the Senate over allegations of harassment and groping. Latvala has denied the allegations.
  • Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover
  • British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon
Sports:
  • International Olympic Committee member Alex Gilady
  • Former South African soccer association president Danny Jordaan
  • Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter
P.S. L.A. Times front page today: "[Brett] Ratner, [Russell] Simmons face new allegations of misconduct: Powerful Hollywood friends shared party lifestyle."
Featured

Senate tax plan's winners and losers

CNBC screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Richard Drew / AP

Winners, per AP's Marcy Gordon, beginning with a big win for wealthy individuals and their heirs:
  • Corporations win all around, with a tax rate slashed from 35% to 20% in both bills — though they'd have to wait a year for it under the Senate measure.
  • U.S. oil companies with foreign operations would pay reduced taxes under the Senate bill on their income from sales of oil and natural gas abroad.
  • Beer, wine and liquor producers would reap tax reductions under the Senate measure.
  • Companies that provide management services like maintenance for aircraft.

Losers:

  • An estimated 13 million Americans could lose health insurance coverage under the Senate bill, which would repeal the "Obamacare" requirement that everyone in the U.S. have health insurance.
  • People living in high-tax states would be hit by repeal of federal deductions for state and local taxes under the Senate bill, and partial repeal under the House measure. That's the result of a compromise allowing the deduction of up to $10,000 in property taxes.
  • Many families making less than $30,000 a year would face tax increases starting in 2021 under the Senate bill, according to Congress' nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. By 2027, families earning less than $75,000 would see their tax bills rise, while those making more would enjoy reductions.
Featured

FBI report on "black identity extremists" raises civil rights fears

AP's Jon Elswick

"An FBI report on the rise of black 'extremists' is stirring fears of a return to practices used during the civil rights movement, when the bureau spied on activist groups," AP reports:

  • "The 12-page report, issued in August, says 'black identity extremists' are increasingly targeting law enforcement after police killings of black men ... It warned that such violence was likely to continue."
  • "Black leaders and activists were outraged after Foreign Policy revealed the existence of the report last month."
  • Why it matters: "The Congressional Black Caucus, in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, said the report 'conflates black political activists with dangerous domestic terrorist organizations' and would further erode the frayed relationship between police and minority communities."
  • "A similar bulletin on white supremacists ... came out about the same time."
  • "The FBI noted it issued a similar bulletin warning of retaliatory violence by 'black separatist extremists' in March 2016, when the country had a black president, Barack Obama, and black attorney general, Loretta Lynch."
Featured

Life under Kim Jong-un

In Pyongyang, a North Korean uses his smartphone in front of portraits of the late leaders Kim Il Sung (left) and Kim Jong Il. (2015 photo by AP's Wong Maye-E)

In six months of interviews in South Korea and Thailand, Anna Fifield, the Washington Post's Tokyo bureau chief, talked with more than 25 North Koreans from different walks of life who lived in Kim Jong-un's North Korea and managed to escape. What she found:

  • "They paint a picture of a once-communist state that has all but broken down, its state-directed economy at a standstill."
  • "Today, North Koreans are making their own way, earning money in an entrepreneurial and often illegal fashion."
  • The "Aha!" moment: "Market activity is exploding, and with that comes a flow of information, whether as chitchat from traders who cross into China or as soap operas loaded on USB sticks. And this leads many North Koreans to dream in a way they hadn't before."
Featured

Every industry identifying its creeps

Participants at the #MeToo March in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Photo: Damian Dovarganes / AP

There has been an outpouring of sexual misconduct allegations in recent weeks, spanning from politics to the music industry and the restaurant business. Every industry is scrambling to identify the men behaving badly and do something about it.

Why it matters: It's a clear picture of just how widespread this problem is. From the TED talk empire, to Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood, and the U.K. defense secretary, there is no one industry or field that isn't affected by sexual harassment.

Politics

Tech

Restaurants

Advertising

Hollywood

Hotels

  • The Huffington Post reported a study that revealed a majority of Chicago-area hospitality industry employees had been sexually harassed by a guest, had a guest touch or try to touch them, and more.

Science

  • Sexual harassment in the field of scientific research is prevalent, per Vox, when studies occur in remote workplaces (like Antarctica).

Music

  • Kirt Webster, major country music publicist, left his company after sexual assault allegations.

Media

  • Mark Halperin lost his book and HBO show deal, as well as contributing position with MSNBC, after five women accused him of harassment during his time at ABC.
  • NPR news chief Michael Oreskes resigned after two women accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment.
  • New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier lost financial backing on his coming magazine after being accused of sexual harassment.

Fashion

Sports