Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: September 15, 2016

Clinton releases medical details before resuming campaigning, Trump continues to gain in polls, and more


Clinton and Trump release more medical information

Hillary Clinton's campaign released new details on her health on Wednesday in response to criticism over its lack of transparency surrounding her pneumonia diagnosis. On Sunday, Clinton left a 9/11 memorial service early due to dehydration, and only then did her team disclose her illness. Clinton's personal physician Dr. Lisa Bardack said the Democratic presidential nominee has "mild" pneumonia but "normal" vital statistics, and is taking the blood-thinner Coumadin. Clinton has been resting and plans to return to the campaign trail on Thursday. Her rival, Donald Trump, released a brief account of his medical condition in an interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz to be broadcast Thursday.


Trump continues to gain momentum in polls

Another new national poll shows the presidential race tightening into a near dead-heat. Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump in a one-on-one race narrowed to five percentage points among likely voters in a Quinnipiac University national poll released Wednesday. That's down from a 51 percent to 41 percent lead for the Democratic nominee over her Republican rival in August. In a four-way race including Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Clinton leads Trump by just two points, within the poll's margin of error. A new CNN/ORC poll showed Trump opening leads over Clinton in the key battleground states of Florida and Ohio.


Influential New Hampshire paper endorses Johnson, calls Trump 'a bully'

The New Hampshire Union Leader is endorsing Libertarian Gary Johnson over Donald Trump, the first time in more than 100 years the state's leading paper has not backed a Republican for president. The editorial says many voters are dismissing Hillary Clinton because they are "understandably fed up with the status quo," but Trump is "pretty much a part of that status quo as well." The editorial also says Trump is not "qualified to competently lead this nation," calling him a "liar, a bully, [and] a buffoon." The paper praises the records of Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, both former Republican governors and the first third-party ticket in two decades to make the ballot in all 50 states. "In today's dark times, they are a bright light of hope and reason," the editorial says.


Obama says Myanmar sanctions to be lifted

President Obama announced Wednesday that he was prepared to lift sanctions on Myanmar in recognition of progress in its transition to democracy. Obama said the change would come "soon." He made the announcement after meeting with the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is barred from the presidency under a constitution that reserves some power for the military. Obama also said Myanmar, also known as Burma, would be added to the U.S. list of developing countries granted special trade status allowing for duty-free imports of 5,000 products.


Bayer agrees to buy Monsanto for $66 billion

Bayer AG has agreed to buy Monsanto in a $66 billion, all-cash deal, the companies announced Wednesday. The deal, if approved by regulators, will create a massive one-stop agricultural supply maker, combining Bayer's pesticides and Monsanto's market-dominating seed business. Regulators are expected to consider carefully whether letting the two agricultural giants merge would further hurt competition in a period already marked by consolidation in the agricultural sector. "They are in for a tough time, said David Balto, a former Federal Trade Commission policy director.


U.S. increases Israel military aid to $38 billion over 10 years

The Obama administration on Wednesday agreed to give Israel a record $38 billion in new military aid over the next decade, including $5 billion for missile defense. The package is "a reminder of the United States' commitment to Israel," National Security Adviser Susan Rice said. The deal came after a period marked by tensions between the U.S. and Israel over differences over the Iran nuclear deal and other issues. "We can't know what will happen in the next 10 years, but we do know that the U.S. will always be there for Israel," Rice said.


Former Brazilian president charged with corruption

Brazilian prosecutors on Wednesday filed criminal corruption charges against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife, Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva. Prosecutor Deltan Dalagnol said Lula was the "big boss" of the corruption scandal at the state-run Petrobras energy company. "Lula was on top of the power pyramid," he said. One of the da Silvas' attorneys, Cristiano Zanin Martins, said they "publicly and vehemently" deny the charges. Lula has said the investigation was politically motivated.


Obama to designate first national monument in Atlantic Ocean

President Obama is expected to announce Thursday that he is creating the first national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting a 4,913-square-mile area that is home to endangered sei whales and Kemp's ridley turtles, as well as puffins and 1,000-year-old corals. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is about 130 miles off the southeast coast of Cape Cod, and boasts three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon. Under the designation, commercial fishing will be banned in the area by 2023.


Suspect arrested for arson at Orlando shooter's mosque

St. Lucie County, Fla., sheriff's officials said Wednesday that they had arrested a suspect, Joseph Michael Schreiber, in connection with an arson fire that damaged the mosque attended by Orlando night club attacker Omar Mateen. Authorities said Schreiber, 32, would face arson charges with a hate-crime enhancement. A law enforcement official said Schreiber had posted anti-Muslim comments on social media.


Typhoon Meranti hits China with 145 mph winds

Typhoon Meranti hit China's mainland early Thursday, a day after it delivered a glancing blow to Taiwan. The storm is the most powerful of the year so far, with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour. It was even stronger before Taiwan's terrain slowed it down as its edges hit the island — killing one person and knocking out power to 500,000 homes before moving on to mainland China. Meranti is the strongest typhoon since Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in 2013.


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