fresh intelligence

Fresh Intelligence: North Korea Gives First Presidential Endorsement, East Coast Gets First Zika-Positive Baby

Zika Virus in Venezuela
The world rushes to contain Zika. Photo: Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/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, a baby born with brain damage in New Jersey tests positive for Zika, California’s governor endorses Clinton, and North Korea endorses Trump. Here’s the rundown for Wednesday, June 1.

Today marks the official start of hurricane season, although this year, hurricanes don’t seem to have gotten the memo. Otherwise, weather is all over the place, with record high temperatures in the west and more heavy rain expected in Texas. In New York City, expect temperatures in the upper 70s with a bit of cloud. []

Baby With Zika Virus Born at New Jersey Hospital

It has been confirmed that a baby infected with the Zika virus was born yesterday at a hospital in New Jersey. The baby girl tested positive for the virus and had severe microcephaly — a smaller-than-normal head that often leads to brain damage and that scientists believe is caused by the Zika virus. Her mother became infected with Zika in her home country of Honduras; she gave birth while visiting relatives in New Jersey. Another baby, born in January in Hawaii, was the first known case of the same Zika-caused disorder in a baby born in the United States. A third woman in Connecticut became pregnant on a recent trip to Central America and has been found to have the virus. [NYT]

Trump Snags Doppelgänger Endorsement

Representatives from North Korea recently dismissed Donald Trump’s diplomatic overtures as mere “propaganda,” but now it looks like they’re changing their tune. Yesterday, an editorial that ran in North Korea’s state media gushed that Trump was a “wise politician” and described Hillary Clinton as “dull.” We struggle to see what a paranoid despotic government whose political philosophy is a bizarre mix of world domination and extreme isolationism sees in Donald Trump. [The Guardian]

California Governor Chooses Sides
California governor Jerry Brown has spent most of the primary battle in his state lying low, but now it looks like meetings with Bill and Hillary have made up his mind; Brown announced yesterday that he would support Hillary Clinton. This is a big move, especially considering that the animosity between Brown and Mr. Clinton is something of an open secret. Even in his endorsement, his affection for Bernie Sanders was hard to conceal, with Brown praising the way Sanders “has driven home the message that the top one percent has unfairly captured way too much of America’s wealth.” [NYT]

Trump Shames Journalists, Gets a Little on Himself
Yesterday’s “What is going on?” moment was brought to you by Donald Trump, who hosted a kind of ambush disguised as a press conference at Trump Tower where he explained precisely which veterans’ charities received his much-boasted-about $6 million donation — in fact, it was closer to $5.6 million. In reality, Trump spent most of the time haranguing journalists, but between insults, he did have some thoughtful words about that gorilla that was shot.

Trump Teaches What He Knows: Cashing In on Misfortune 101
Those Trump University documents that a federal judge — and alleged Mexican — unsealed yesterday are beginning to bear fruit. A class offered at the university in which Trump promised to teach students how to cash in on the housing crisis is getting most of the attention, especially in light of audio released last week by the Clinton campaign that has Trump saying he hopes the bubble bursts because, “then people like me would go in and … make a lot of money.”

MGM Gambles Big on Gambling Big

MGM Resorts International has agreed to spend $900 million buying out Boyd Gaming’s 50 percent stake in Atlantic City’s Borgata hotel and casino. Boyd is set to rake in $600 million when you take into account the property’s debt, because Atlantic City. [Bloomberg]

Staples CEO Gears Down for Good
The botched merger between Office Depot and Staples is still having repercussions. Just yesterday, Staples CEO Ron Sargent announced that he is stepping down, although some sources claim Staples was looking for a new CEO before the merger went south. Sargent has been the head of the company for the last 14 years and will officially resign on June 14. [WSJ]

Microsoft Saves Chinese Corporate Spies a Lot of Time
Microsoft yesterday announced a historic partnership with Chinese technology firm Xiaomi. Microsoft will sell 1,500 of its patents to the Asian tech giant, and in return, Xiaomi has promised to install Microsoft software on all of its phones and tablets. [Reuters]

CEO Does the “Valeant” Thing, Accepts $9 Million for Ruining His Company
J. Michael Pearson, the former Valeant Pharmaceuticals CEO whose tenure was marred by accusations of unfair drug-price increases, inappropriate relationships with pharmacies, and shady accounting practices, has accepted a severance package worth $9 million and a consulting deal — seriously? — worth six figures. That ought t0 teach him. [Reuters]

Gawker Bets Big on Politics, Learns Americans Are Sick of Politics

The bad news just keeps coming for Gawker. After all of the site’s recent legal trouble, it looks like the controversy isn’t even bringing in eyeballs; its traffic has taken a nosedive this month, dropping a full 37 percent since the end of April and bringing down traffic to the whole Gawker Media family of sites to a nearly two-and-a-half-year low. The same is true for other political-news sites; we blame Trump fatigue. [Variety]

Los Angeles Times Loses Influential Name in Digital Media
The Los Angeles Times is losing a well-known influencer in digital media. S. Mitra Kalita is departing as the paper’s managing editor for digital strategy and will be taking up a new role at CNN in a few months. Kalita hasn’t commented, but it is widely supposed her departure is related to the recent appointment of Anne Vasquez as chief digital officer at Tribune. [Politico Media]

Glenn Beck Suspended After Guest Says What Everyone Is Thinking Something Awful
Glenn Beck has been suspended from SiriusXM this week while the satellite-radio company reevaluates his show after a guest made comments that seemed to call for the assassination of Donald Trump. On last week’s show, fiction writer Brad Thor said Trump is dangerous enough to America that citizens may have to use illegal means to remove him from office. For his part, Thor has said “hell no” he wasn’t talking about assassination, and Beck has said he was planning on taking a vacation anyway, so there. [Politico]

Best Birth Picture Ever?

It seems Koto Nakamura had been told she was going to have a baby girl. This instant classic is the face she made when she discovered it was actually a baby boy. [The Cut]

So Cute. So Correct.

This video of an adorable child making some very good points about vaccines took the internet by storm yesterday. You know, he makes a lot of sense — we’re finally convinced.

The Misadventures of a Very Nearly Hero Cop

A bout of heroism on the part of a Birmingham, Alabama, police officer did not go perfectly. After a man called 911 to report that he was lost in the woods after escaping from two armed men, a lone officer threw caution to the wind and ran into the woods after him. Perhaps he should have brought a compass. The officer found the missing man — no sign of the gunmen — before becoming hopelessly lost himself; it took a K9 unit three hours to find them. [AP]

Lawmaker Fundamentally Misunderstands His Role
Tennessee lawmaker turned scofflaw Andy Holt is getting lots of attention after releasing a video of him burning a traffic citation after a traffic camera caught him breaking the law. Holt even went a step further and called on his constituency to burn their tickets as well, perhaps forgetting whose salaries all of that revenue pays. [Newser]

It’s Official, Pro Bowl Is Coming to Orlando

Everybody has long suspected that the NFL’s Pro Bowl would be hosted in Orlando, but tomorrow it becomes official when the NFL, ESPN, and Disney jointly make a “major announcement” that will almost certainly be that the all-star game will be coming to Orlando in 2017. [Orlando Sentinel]

Obama Brings His Presidency Full Circle
President Obama is in Elkhart, Indiana, today to tout the area’s economic progress over his two terms in office. The appearance is highly symbolic: In 2008, Obama used the city as an example of working-class America, and it was the first place he ever visited as president more than seven years ago. []

Good News for Immigrants, Schools, and Students
A new law comes into play in New York today that will allow illegal immigrants who came to this country as children to apply for licenses in 57 professions for the first time, including applying for teaching certificates. Other available jobs include nurses, social workers, and engineers. [NYT

Fresh Intelligence: Jersey Baby Zika Positive