Catalan leader to negotiate in Madrid, China fails to name heir apparent

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  • Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont will go to Madrid on Thursday to try to negotiate with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. By accepting an invitation from Spain’s senate to discuss the issue of secession, Puigdemont calmed immediate concerns that he might declare independence on Thursday. (Full coverage)


  • A U.S. district judge ruled that President Donald J. Trump’s decision to end federal subsidies for the Affordable Care Act was constitutional, striking a blow for the Democratic Party’s agenda to preserve the healthcare law, known as Obamacare. Without the federal subsidies, individuals will likely need to pay more for health insurance. (Full Story Here).
  • Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga asked voters to boycott the October 26 elections, which he sees as being improperly regulated. The upcoming election is a repeat effort. Presidential incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta won the original election, but the results were deemed void by the supreme court because of reported illegalities.
  • Brazil’s lower house of congress failed to garner the 342 votes required to put President Michel Temer on trial for bribery. The charges President Temer faces are for offering political favors to JBS S.A,  the largest meat-packing company in Brazil, in exchange for financial compensation. His public approval rating was at 3.4 percent as of September 15.
  • China revealed its top leadership after a weeklong party congress but did not name a clear heir to President Xi Jinping, breaking party tradition. Xi is entering his second-term as president, the maximum time allowed under the constitution. The absence of an heir raises questions over how long Xi – who had his name written in the Communist Party constitution, elevating him to the same level as former leader Mao Zedong – intends to rule.
  • The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) offered to freeze the results of its disputed independence referendum and enter dialogue with Baghdad following clashes with Iraqi troops. In order to “prevent further violence and clashes,” the KRG also said it will propose a ceasefire and halt all military operations in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has yet to react to the proposal.
  • Twitter says it will increase transparency for ads by launching a “center” offering “visibility” on who is advertising on the platform. The announcement comes days before representatives from Twitter, Google and Facebook testify before Congress over Russia-linked ads and the U.S. election.

What we’re reading

  • The Family that Built an Empire of Pain” is a longform New Yorker  piece on the opioid epidemic. The story traces the Sacklers family, who privately holds Purdue Pharma, which developed and promoted OxyContin. The drug was hailed as a breakthrough upon its release in 1995, but due to its strength, doctors had been reluctant to prescribe it in the past. To thwart this, Purdue launched a marketing campaign to change the prescribing habits of doctors by funding researchers to make the case that concerns over opioid addictions were inflated.
  • Nigerian terror group Boko Haram have a record of forcing girls to commit suicide attacks. The New York Times spoke to 18 girls who escaped.

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