Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 20, 2017

Cult leader Charles Manson dies at 83, longtime Zimbabwe ruler Robert Mugabe faces deadline to resign, and more


Charles Manson dies at 83

Charles Manson, the 1960s cult leader convicted in one of the most infamous murder sprees of the 20th century, died in a California hospital Sunday of natural causes. Manson, who was serving nine life sentences, was 83. Members of the so-called Manson Family started the bloody killings on Aug. 9, 1969, at the home of actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, who was out of the country. Tate, who was eight months pregnant, and four others were killed. The next night, Manson followers killed supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. The murderers wrote "death to pigs" and "Helter Skelter" on the walls in victims' blood. Manson, who wasn't present during the murders, was convicted as the mastermind. Prosecutors said he had hoped to start a race war.


Mugabe faces deadline to resign

Zimbabwe's longtime president, Robert Mugabe, unexpectedly refused in a Sunday night speech to say that he would resign, although CNN reported Monday that he had agreed to an exit deal. Mugabe, who was placed under house arrest along with his wife, Grace, last week, acknowledged problems under his 37-year rule, saying, "The era of victimization and arbitrary decisions" must end. He said, however, that he would preside over a governing party congress in a few weeks. Experts questioned whether he could do that. Hours before his address, leaders of his party, ZANU-PF, told him to resign by Monday or face impeachment by Parliament. The deadline passed with no announcement, although CNN said he had accepted the terms of his departure, including immunity for him and his wife.


Border agent dies from injuries sustained on duty

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent died Sunday after he was injured while on duty in Texas, the agency said in a statement. Rogelio Martinez, a 36-year-old from El Paso, and his partner were injured after responding to activity in the Big Bend area. A Border Patrol spokesman said he could not disclose what happened to the agents, although an FBI agent said they were "not fired upon." Martinez died in the hospital, and his partner, whose name has not been released, remains in serious condition. Authorities are searching for suspects and witnesses. President Trump reacted with a tweet linking the incident to the need for tightening the border. "We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible," he wrote. "We will, and must, build the Wall!"


Trump aide says ObamaCare mandate repeal not a dealbreaker on tax bill

President Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday that the White House would not insist on repealing the ObamaCare health insurance mandate in the GOP's tax overhaul if opposition to the measure threatened to sink it. "If it becomes an impediment to getting the best tax bill we can, then we are OK with taking it out," Mulvaney said on CNN's State of the Union. The Senate version of the bill currently includes a provision repealing ObamaCare's individual mandate, but some Republicans object. "I don't think that provision should be in the bill," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). "I hope the Senate will follow the lead of the House and strike it."


U.S. Marine charged in fatal crash in Japan

The U.S. military banned all of its personnel in Japan from drinking after a Japanese driver was killed in a Sunday collision with a 21-year-old Marine whose blood-alcohol level reportedly measured three times the legal limit. Police on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa arrested the Marine, Nicholas James-McLean, on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury or death and driving under the influence of alcohol. The accident was expected to stoke opposition to the already-controversial presence of 25,000 American troops on Okinawa, where there have been previous complaints of crimes and crowding involving U.S. soldiers. All U.S. personnel on Okinawa were ordered to stay on base or in their homes.


German coalition talks break down

Talks on forming a coalition government collapsed overnight in Germany, leaving Chancellor Angela Merkel struggling Monday to contain a potentially crippling crisis. Inconclusive elections had left Merkel's conservatives struggling to form an awkward and unprecedented coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats and the environmentalist Greens. The Free Democrats pulled out shortly before midnight, ending weeks of talks over immigration, tax, and environmental policies. Merkel now faces a menu of unappealing options, including new elections, forming a minority government with the Greens, or trying to persuade her partners in the last government, the center-left Social Democrats, to form a new coalition, something they have ruled out.


Ex-Chilean president wins first round, faces runoff election

Former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera won the first round of the election to succeed President Michelle Bachelet on Sunday, but not with a margin big enough to avoid a run-off against center-left journalist Alejandro Guillier. Piñera, a 67-year-old conservative billionaire, received 36 percent of the vote, while Guillier got 22 percent. Another journalist, political newcomer Beatriz Sánchez, came in a close third with 20 percent representing the new leftist coalition Frente Amplio. Candidates from Frente Amplio also picked up a significant number of seats in Congress, signaling that the two major coalitions that have governed Chile since military rule ended in 1990 will have to share power with a new force starting next year.


Nebraska regulators to decide on Keystone XL pipeline proposal

The five-member Nebraska Public Service Commission is scheduled to decide Monday on whether to approve the final major permit for the proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline through the state. The regulator's ruling could influence pipeline-operator TransCanada Corp.'s decision on whether to move ahead with construction of the long-delayed project. Some businesses and the Trump administration favor the project, calling it a job creator, but environmentalists and some landowners along the route oppose it. Commission members will not be able to consider last week's oil spill from the existing Keystone pipeline as they weigh the new pipeline route.


Trump says he should have left UCLA players in jail

President Trump reacted sharply Sunday after the father of one of the three UCLA men's basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China suggested that Trump had overstated his role in getting them released. "Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal," Trump tweeted. "I should have left them in jail!" Trump has said he personally brought up the case to Chinese President Xi Jinping. LaVar Ball had rejected Trump's claim that he helped, telling ESPN, "What was he over there for? ... Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out."


Actor Jeffrey Tambor leaves Transparent after sexual harassment allegations

Actor Jeffrey Tambor announced Sunday he will be leaving Amazon's Transparent, after two members of the show's crew said he sexually harassed them. "Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life," he told Deadline. Because of the "politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set," he added, "I don't see how I can return to Transparent." Tambor said he apologizes if any of his actions were ever "misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive," but called "the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone…simply and utterly untrue." Amazon is investigating the allegations.


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South Korean man facing prison time after opening airplane door in midair
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