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November 7, 2018

President Trump repeatedly berated a black reporter for asking him "such a racist question" during a press conference Wednesday after she inquired about his campaign emboldening white nationalists. PBS NewsHour's Yamiche Alcindor was unable to finish her sentence before Trump interrupted her for being "racist."

"Why do I have my highest poll numbers [with African Americans?]" Trump went on after Alcindor asked for his response. "That's such a racist question. Honestly? I know you have it written down and you're gonna tell me — let me tell you, that's a racist question."

Alcindor responded to the president afterwards on Twitter:

Watch the startling exchange below. Jeva Lange

3:02 p.m.

The 2019 Oscars may not have a host, but the Academy will carry on, carry on with a performance from Queen.

The Academy announced Monday that Queen and Adam Lambert will perform at the Oscars. It had previously been reported that the Academy was hoping the rock band would open the show, and the Academy seemed to confirm this on Twitter, suggesting in their announcement that the performance will take place at the show's start time.

Queen was asked to perform in light of the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic centered around Freddie Mercury that made more than $800 million worldwide and is nominated for Best Picture. The Academy has also been much more desperate than usual this year to boost ratings, especially given there's no celebrity host to draw in viewers.

The Oscars' producers previously told The New York Times they expect the first Oscar this year to be given out after six or seven minutes, meaning the show will probably transition right from this performance into the first award; a host's monologue typically lasts around 10 minutes. But although the Oscars may be shorter than usual, the Academy is no longer committing to a three hour running time as was its goal, having recently abandoned a plan to hand out some awards during commerical breaks.

The 2019 Oscars will take place on Feb. 24. Brendan Morrow

2:28 p.m.

President Trump is reportedly eyeing four possible candidates for the role of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations after his pick withdrew from consideration.

Former State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert on Saturday unexpectedly said she wouldn't be taking the role, saying "the past two months have been grueling for my family," per The New York Times. She had reportedly dropped out because she had employed a nanny who didn't have a proper work visa.

With Nauert no longer in contention, Bloomberg reports Trump is looking at four candidates: former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, and businessman and former Republican candidate for Senate John James. Seeing Powell's name on the list is certainly surprising, though, considering she told Trump in October she didn't want the job, CNN reports.

This report also states that "top White House aides have also discussed nominating Trump’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump if no front-runner emerges." The president had previously floated the idea of his daughter getting the U.N. ambassador role, saying "everyone" wants it and she would be "incredible," although he suggested this probably wouldn't happen because "I can already hear the chants of Nepotism!" Ivanka Trump in October reportedly "laughed" off speculation that she would get the job. Brendan Morrow

1:36 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won't confirm or deny nominating President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize after Trump himself said he did, CNN reports.

Trump had said as much Friday, revealing that "Prime Minister Abe of Japan gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel Prize. He said 'I have nominated you, respectfully, on behalf of Japan.'" This was reportedly because of Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

A report in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun subsequently suggested that Abe had indeed nominated Trump for the prize, but only after the U.S. government "informally" asked him to.

On Monday, Abe said that he is "not saying that it is not the fact." But he said that "the Nobel Committee has decided not to disclose nominators and nominees for 50 years. I would like to refrain from commenting on it." Abe did, however, say he appreciates Trump's leadership and the fact that he “decisively responded toward North Korea's nuclear and missile issues, and held the historic summit meeting with North Korea last year, per The New York Times. Brendan Morrow

1:09 p.m.

Netflix and Marvel have officially broken up.

The streaming platform on Monday canceled its two remaining Marvel shows, Jessica Jones and The Punisher, Deadline reports. A third season of the former series starring Krysten Ritter is still on the way, but there won't be a fourth. Deadline reports that the ending of the upcoming third season "will serve as a savory series finale." But The Punisher's second season, which debuted last month, will now be its last.

"We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning," Netflix said in a statement.

This news was widely expected after Netflix previously canceled three other Marvel shows, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. A team-up show, The Defenders, already was not expected to get a second season.

Now that it's parting ways with Netflix, Marvel Television is working on new shows for Disney's upcoming streaming service, Disney+, as well as Hulu, the streaming platform that Disney will own a 60 percent stake in once its purchase of Fox gets final approval. The Verge notes, however, that existing episodes of Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and The Punisher will stay on Netflix.

Marvel Television's Jeph Loeb on Monday hinted that these heroes could return in some form, though, saying that "our Network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters ... but you know Marvel better than that." Brendan Morrow

12:36 p.m.

Facebook should be subject to new regulations so that it can not be allowed to behave like "digital gangsters," a U.K. parliamentary committee's report has concluded.

A report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which was issued Monday after an 18-month investigation, said that the social media giant "intentionally and knowingly" violated data privacy and competition laws, The New York Times and CNN report.

The committee had examined Facebook's internal emails as part of the investigation, and it recommends a watchdog be set up for the technology industry, as well as for Facebook and other companies to be legally compelled to remove harmful content.

"Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like 'digital gangsters' in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law," the report reads, CNN reports. The report also criticizes CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying he showed "contempt" for the committee by refusing to appear before them and accusing Facebook of deliberately sending witnesses who weren't briefed on key issues.

Facebook expressed openness to "meaningful regulation," the Times reports. Brendan Morrow

12:19 p.m.

France's justice minister, Nicole Belloubet, said Monday that her government would not immediately act on President Trump's call for European allies to bring home and prosecute hundreds of Islamic State fighters captured in Syria, Reuters reports.

Trump had demanded that France, Britain, and Germany repatriate more than 800 ISIS fighters who are from European countries. He tweeted this request Saturday while writing, "The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them." He also said that "the U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go."

French policy has been to refuse to take back fighters and their wives, on the grounds that they are "enemies" of the nation who should face justice where they are. The U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces are holding 150 French citizens, many of them children, in northern Syria, and their status is in question following President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. Brendan Morrow

12:07 p.m.

Iranian and Chinese hackers appear to have resumed attacks on U.S. businesses and government agencies, The New York Times reported Monday.

The recent targets of Chinese spies included Boeing, General Electric Aviation, and T-Mobile, according to an intelligence briefing summary read to the Times. The report notes that it's not clear whether the hacking attempts were successful.

Security experts believe that the hackers stepped up their efforts after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal last year, and as trade tensions escalated with China. Iran's recent attacks have been broader than previously reported, targeting U.S. banks, businesses, and government agencies and prompting the Department of Homeland Security to declare an emergency order during last month's government shutdown.

Intelligence officials also told the Times that a 2015 agreement between former President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping meant to put an end to the hacking of trade secrets seems to have been "unofficially canceled" as the Chinese hacking has "returned to earlier levels." A counterintelligence expert said, "Cyber is one of the ways adversaries can attack us and retaliate in effective and nasty ways that are well below the threshold of an armed attack or laws of war." Brendan Morrow

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