Tuesday Morning Briefing: Two lovers, and both of them are Duterte

October 25, 2016

Well, that didn’t take long. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to end a military agreement with the United States if he remains in power when it expires a little less than eight years from now. Constitutionally, Duterte, who took office in July, is limited to a single six-year term.

“I look forward to the time when I no longer see any military troops or soldier in my country except the Filipino soldiers.” – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte

Hours before, Duterte tried to reassure Japan that the Philippines’ alliances with the United States would remain. “There should be no worry about changes of alliances,” he said.  He’s done this before.


Donald Trump’s vision of America is one where oil derricks pump furiously again, coal miners get back to work, and the country puts its own economy ahead of foreign nations worried about the effects of fossil fuels on sea levels, droughts, and storms.

Hillary Clinton sees an America where half a billion solar panels power homes, cars run on electricity, oil use is cut by a third, and the clean energy sector provides a deep well of new jobs supported by government mandates and subsidies.

Their diverging policies make the 2016 election the biggest referendum on climate change in generations


Siri? Catch stock market cheats. Two stock exchanges plan to introduce artificial intelligence tools for market surveillance. And Wall Street regulators aren’t far behind.


Three words: Zombie pelican bicycle. You’re welcome

A zombie pelican bicycle is manoeuvred on South Roosevelt Boulevard during the Zombie Bike Ride as part of annual Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival in Key West, Florida, U.S. October 23, 2016. Picture taken October 23, 2016.     Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/Handout via REUTERS    ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY.    TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX2Q8WL

Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/Handout

Around the country

  • Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump called each other names. You’ll be reading that story for the next 15 days. Let’s instead look at where the polls are in the swing states.

Digits of the day

  • Florida: Clinton by 4 points, with a 74 percent chance of winning
  • Pennsylvania: Clinton by 7 points, with a 69 percent chance of winning
  • Ohio: Clinton by 1 point, with a 59 percent chance of winning.

All numbers are aggregates of polls from fivethirtyeight.com’s “polls-only” forecast.

Arizona is effectively a coin toss. The state went blue exactly once since 1952 (Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign against Bob Dole in 1996).

  • The average premium for benchmark 2017 Obamacare insurance plans sold on Healthcare.gov rose 25 percent compared with 2016, the U.S. government said on Monday, the biggest increase since the insurance first went on sale in 2013. The agency attributed the large increase to insurers adjusting their premiums to reflect two years of cost data that became available. Large national insurers including Aetna, UnitedHealth and Anthem have said they are losing money on the healthcare exchanges, because patient costs are higher than anticipated and enrollment is lower than forecast. Aetna and UnitedHealth have already withdrawn from the exchanges for 2017.
  • Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was sentenced to 10 to 23 months in county jail for leaking confidential grand jury information and then lying about it to investigators. Kane, 50, the first woman and first Democrat ever elected Pennsylvania attorney general, was convicted in August on charges of perjury, false swearing, obstruction of justice, official oppression and conspiracy.

Around the world

  • Gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a Pakistani police training academy in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing at least 59 people, most of whom were police cadets. More than 200 police trainees were stationed at the facility when the attack occurred. Some cadets were taken hostage during the attack, which lasted five hours.
  • The United Nations has abandoned plans to evacuate patients from besieged rebel-held east Aleppo that it had hoped to accomplish during a three-day lull in fighting last week. “The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo, conditions placed by non-state armed groups and the government of Syria’s objection to allowing medical and other relief supplies into the eastern part of the city,” U.N. Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien said. For those needing treatment, this may be a death sentence.
  • Four people were killed on a river rapids ride at Australia’s biggest theme park, after a malfunction threw two of the victims off the ride and left the other two trapped inside.

Around Wall Street

  • The looming failure of free trade talks with the European Union would derail Canada’s push to reduce its dependence on the United States and potentially complicate negotiations with other nations, such as India and China. The EU’s hopes of signing the pact this week appeared to evaporate after the Belgian federal government failed to win the consent of regional authorities necessary to approve the deal.
  • In the first real-world commercial use of autonomous trucking, 45,000 cans of Budweiser beer traveled over 120 miles in a truck with no driver at the wheel, executives from Uber and Anheuser-Busch said. The truck, named Otto, was paid the market rate of $470 for the job. No word on whether Otto would spend the money on booze.

Today’s reason to live

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