fresh intelligence

Fresh Intelligence: David Bowie Dies at 69, Clinton’s Sick of Sanders’s Gun ‘Excuses,’ and More

Ashes to ashes.

Good morning and welcome to Fresh Intelligence, a quick guide to the big stories, events, and memes you’ll be talking about today. In this inaugural edition, iconic pop-star David Bowie loses an 18-month battle with cancer, Hillary Clinton says she’s tired of Bernie Sanders’s gun-control "excuses," and Donald Trump explains that the NFL, much like America, has grown too "soft." Here’s the rundown for Monday, January 11.

It’s Beginning to Look (Kind of) Like Winter
New York City saw another weirdly warm day on Sunday, but colder weather will settle in on Monday with temperatures in the mid-30s. []

Cold Comes to Chi-Town
Winter has already arrived in Chicago, which had its first big freeze on Sunday. Temperatures dipped into the single digits and are expected to keep dropping, possibly hitting a low on Tuesday. There may be snow, too, just in time for the Monday-evening commute. [ABC 7]

Bay Area Short on Rain
San Francisco will see more rain on Monday, with scattered showers in the morning and a high of 57, but on Sunday, the National Weather Service said that the area has received only 13.37 inches since October 1, which is several fewer inches than normal. [CBS SF]

David Bowie Dies at 69
The rock idol who left an indelible mark on the world of music, fashion, and art passed away on Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday. According to a post on his Facebook page, he "died peacefully today surrounded by his family" following an 18-month battle with cancer. His son Duncan Jones confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, "Very sorry and sad to say it’s true."

Obama Flips Empty-Chair Meme

Twenty-three people have been invited to sit in the First Lady’s box at President Obama’s final State of the Union address on Tuesday, including a Syrian refugee, a plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage, and one of the first women to graduate from the Army’s Ranger School. One seat will be left vacant to symbolize the victims of gun violence. If you think up any Clint Eastwood jokes, please keep them to yourself. [USA Today]

Clinton Tired of Hearing About Vermont, Sanders’s Gun Jam
On Face the Nation, Hillary Clinton attacked Bernie Sanders for a past vote to shield gun manufacturers from lawsuits, saying voters don’t want to hear his "excuses" about things being different up in Vermont. She also picked up an endorsement from gun-control advocate Gabby Giffords, the former congresswoman and mass-shooting survivor, so Obama can save his threats for other Democrats. [NYT]

Guantánamo’s Days Are Still Numbered
On Fox New Sunday, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said President Obama will finally make good on his campaign promise to close the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay. McDonough said the first step is submitting a plan to Congress, but he wouldn’t speculate about what Obama will do if/when they’ll reject it. [Reuters]

Trump Shares Plan to Make the NFL Great Again
Basically, he wants to see more concussion-inducing behavior. At a rally in Nevada on Sunday, Trump complained that NFL referees are throwing too many flags. "The whole game is all screwed up. You say, ‘Wow, what a tackle.’ Bing. Flag. Football has become soft. Football has become soft," he said. "Football has become soft like our country has become soft." [WaPo]

China Falls, Takes Rest of Asia With It

Chinese shares continued falling on Monday, with the Shanghai Composite Index dropping 2.4 percent to 3109.95. Concerns about Beijing’s ability to manage the economy caused losses in other markets as well, with Asian shares falling to their lowest point in more than four years. Japan’s market was closed for a national holiday, which didn’t help matters. [MarketWatch]

Yahoo Employees Don’t Cry for Marissa Mayer
Morale at Yahoo is reportedly so low that some employees have taken to calling their chief executive “Evita” behind her back. The company is expected to announce cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, by the end of the month, which probably won’t boost her popularity. [NYT]

Uber Slashes Prices, Hopes You’ll Forget About New Year’s Eve Price Surge
If your last Uber jaunt was a little cheaper, that’s because the ride-sharing company slashed prices in more than 100 U.S. and Canadian cities over the weekend in an effort to fight the "winter slump." Uber says that last year "earnings fell in some cities and we changed back," so enjoy it while it lasts. [USA Today]

Apple Music Is a Hit, Spotify Shakes It Off
Since launching in June, Apple Music has surpassed 10 million paid subscribers, a number it took rival Spotify six years to hit. It’s an impressive figure — though it’s easier to draw customers to a service that’s already on their phones, and Spotify hinted that it’s own numbers aren’t shabby, saying, "The last half of 2015 was the fastest subscriber growth in Spotify history." [Financial Times]

Anti-Trump Newspaper Dumped From Debate
ABC News was set to partner with the New Hampshire Union Leader for the GOP primary debate on February 6, but the network has cut ties with the paper, reportedly because it singled out a certain bombastic front-runner for criticism. As Trump gloated, publisher Joseph McQuaid responded, "we are amused by ABC apparently just discovering that we write editorials and endorse candidates." [Politico]

Does Anyone Get Their News From Apple?
No one knows, because the company has been underestimating the number of readers who use its News app since it launched last September, thanks to a recently discovered glitch. That’s a big problem for Apple’s 100-plus publishing partners, which get a large cut of the advertising revenue when they post their content to the app. [WSJ]

The Cast of Veep Shows Us What It’s Like to Be Jonah
They were beaten out for a Golden Globe by Mozart in the Jungle, an Amazon show that a lot of people haven’t heart of. Sounds about right for Selina and Company.

Sunday night’s hottest awards ceremony was the Golden Globes. This show had everything: Lady Gaga, Taraji P. Henson handing out cookies, and a Twitter meme riding on Channing Tatum’s head.

Nudity May Be Freeing, But It’s Not Necessarily Free Speech

Matthew T. Mglej’s claim that Portland, Oregon, police violated his right to free expression when they arrested him for stripping nude and playing the violin in front of the courthouse in 2014 has been thrown out. The judge explained nudity is sometimes protected under the First Amendment, but no one could figure out what Mglej was protesting. [The Oregonian]

Robber Grabs Cash, Loses Good Book
The FBI and local police are searching for a man who robbed a Bank of America in Nashville on Friday afternoon. He dropped his Bible on the way out, which is unfortunate because it seems he missed some major themes. [WSMV]

Second Freddie Gray Trial Begins
On Monday, Caesar Goodson, the Baltimore police-van driver who was present during the entire 45-minute ride that ended with Gray’s death, will go on trial for second-degree murder. Six officers have been charged in Gray’s death, and last month the trial of Officer William Porter ended with a hung jury. [USA Today]

SCOTUS Heads Back to Work, Takes Look at Organized Labor
The Supreme Court will hear a conservative legal challenge to public sector unions when its 2016 term begins on Monday. A group of California teachers argue that by being forced to pay dues to the state teachers union, their First Amendment rights are being violated. [Reuters]

Natalie Cole to Be Laid to Rest in L.A.
A funeral for the Grammy-winning singer, who died on New Year’s Eve at 65 of pulmonary arterial hypertension, will be held at West Angeles Church of God in Christ on Monday. Many stars will be in attendance, and Chaka Khan is expected to perform. [HuffPost]

Fresh Intelligence: David Bowie Dies at 69