fresh intelligence

Fresh Intelligence: Terror Attack in Jakarta, Ted Cruz’s Secret Loan, and More

Indonesian police take position behind a vehicle as they pursue suspects after a series of blasts hit Jakarta. Photo: BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images

Good morning and welcome to Fresh Intelligence, our roundup of the stories, ideas, and memes you’ll be talking about today. In this edition: terror in the streets of Jakarta, more trouble for Ted Cruz, the government finally takes an interest in the wealthy, and Waffle House employees take hygiene too far. Here’s the rundown for Thursday, January 14.

It seems a nor’easter brewing on the East Coast has been blown out of proportion; it will most likely bring a bit of rain. Hurricane Pali near Hawaii has been downgraded to a mere tropical storm and temperatures in New York are set to warm, climbing into the 40s over the weekend. []

Terror Attack Rocks Jakarta
At least seven people are dead following a suicide bomb and gun attack in the Indonesian capital today. There were at least six separate explosions, and government representatives are describing the assault as a terrorist attack. Targets included a Starbucks near the U.N. offices in central Jakarta. [WaPo]

Bernie Finds Cash, New Friends
Recent attacks on Bernie Sanders from the Clinton camp seem to have backfired as the senator managed to raise $1.4 million in one day. It didn’t hurt that both Vice-President Biden and PolitiFact spoke out in favor of Sanders and his proposals. [WaPo]

Wife’s Sacrifice Made Cruz Campaign Possible (Also Nepotism)
The inspirational love story that Ted Cruz and his wife agreed to spend every penny they had on his first campaign four years ago has turned out to be, like all love stories, built almost entirely on lies. Cruz neglected to mention the sizable loan he secured from Goldman Sachs where, wait for it, his wife worked. [NYT]

Obama Takes Cue From Bruce Dern Playbook
Following his State of the Union address, President Obama hit the road visiting the home states of the powerful cabal that runs America from the shadows: Nebraska and Louisiana. Actually, he went to talk to a concerned mother who worried climate change would mean her son couldn’t go sledding. Seriously. [Reuters]

Addled Bird Opponent Backs Cruz
Ted Cruz secured the sought after television-personality and forager vote when Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty quasi-fame threw his support behind the Republican candidate, describing himself as a “Cruz Commander.” [Gawker]

Life Gets Slightly Harder for Billionaires
The government will begin tracking money used to buy luxury real estate in Manhattan and Miami. Specifically, they will investigate high-end properties bought in cash by shell companies on behalf of anonymous benefactors. We’re sorry, we just don’t see what’s so shady about that. [NYT]

GE Goes Full Jack Donaghy
GE has announced it is moving its headquarters to Boston, a move sure to confuse anyone who has ever lived there. Executives have blamed the relocation on plans to raise taxes in their current home state of Connecticut. [CNN]

Gun-Maker Weathers Peace Threat
The wind down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan almost spelled the end of iconic American gun manufacturer Colt. But fear not: Like any hope of everlasting peace, the company’s bankruptcy was short-lived. As of Wednesday, the company is out of the red. The rest of the world, not so much. [CNN]

Many Lives Not Worth Filming
Facing a 30 percent decline in revenue over the last year, GoPro has announced it is cutting 7 percent of its staff. In a bit of economics we can all understand, the company blamed falling revenue on selling less stuff. GoPro still hasn’t apologized for making skiing seem so boring. [USA Today]

Popo Popped Elmo Down by the Vacants: Sesame Street Gets HBO Treatment
In a bid to compete with Netflix and Hulu, HBO is adding a children’s section to its streaming service. The rollout includes new episodes of Sesame Street, which the company saved from cancellation. HBO will also stream new episodes of Pinky Dinky Doo and The Electric Company. Fingers crossed for a Fraggle Rock reboot. [TechCrunch]

Al Jazeera America to Fold
Americans learned on CNN today that Al Jazeera America will shut down by April 30. Analysts are predicting that more than 700 staffers could lose their jobs. Though the television network is folding, Al Jazeera has pledged to expand digital services in the U.S.

Clerk Doesn’t Win Lottery, Still Couldn’t Be Happier
Celebrations erupted at the 7-Eleven in Chino, California, where one of the winning Powerball tickets was sold. So far three winning tickets have been identified, and each will take an equal share of the $1.6 billion prize. More winners may be named throughout the day. [Daily Mail]

Jeb Bush Loses Apple Sponsorship Deal
The not exactly tech savvy Jeb Bush had quite a scare yesterday when his press conference was interrupted by a disembodied voice. When alerted by an audience member that the voice was coming from his watch, Bush insisted his “watch can’t be talking,” referred to his Apple Watch as a bat phone, yelled “I’ll call you back” to no one in particular, then declared it “the coolest thing in the world.” [Cult of Mac]

Waffle House–Themed Salon Misunderstood
Two Waffle House employees in Forest City, Arkansas, have been fired after being caught on film washing their hair in the restaurant’s cookware, in front of costumers, during service hours. Apparently they get no points for cleanliness.

Firefighters Foil Foul Fowl Fall
Firefighters in Petaluma, California, came to the rescue of an incredibly unfortunate security guard who fell into a storage pit of waste from a chicken-processing plant. Great, now we can’t stop thinking about nuggets. [NBC]

Ridiculously Attractive People: Prepare to Be Vindicated
Oscar nominations are due today. A nod is widely expected for Leonardo DiCaprio, the lead actor in the critically acclaimed film The Revenant, mostly because he’s due. Nominations are also expected for Spotlight, Carol, and Room, but who knows? [Yahoo]

Governor’s Impeachment Unrelated to Public Bigotry
Today is the day debates are slated to start in Maine governor Paul LePage’s impeachment proceedings. LePage is accused of abuse of power, though he was most recently in the news for blaming his state’s heroin problem on “guys by the name [of] D-Money, Smoothie, [and] Shifty” — wait, is there a racial connotation there? [Maine Sun Journal]

GOP Debaters Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
The sixth GOP debate airs Thursday night on the Fox Business Network. The whole gang’s back, minus Rand Paul, who’s decided to throw a fit rather than participate in the undercard debate.

Fresh Intelligence: Jakarta Attack, Cruz’s Loan