Hastert and Durst sentenced, Super Tuesday, Comcast may buy DreamWorks, Titanosaurs

Below is the Inside Daily Brief for August 27, 2016:

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has been sentenced to two years of supervised release for financial violations, after federal investigators discovered he’d been paying hush money to alleged sexual abuse victims. –CNN [DISCUSS]

Donald Trump swept all five states in last night’s Republican primaries, while Hillary Clinton celebrated four wins. Trump’s victories were crucial as the Republican race comes down to delegate numbers, but his margins of victory were also significant, taking states with 55–60% support. After winning the Rhode Island primary, and losing all other states to Clinton, Sanders vowed to remain in the race, making the case to superdelegates that he has stronger support among independent voters. For more analysis of last night’s votes, see our special section below. — NYT [DISCUSS]

Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam was transferred to French custody from Belgium, where his lawyers referred to him as a “little jerk” who has “the intelligence of an empty ashtray,” and though they say he is ready to cooperate with authorities, also cautioned that he is “more a follower than a leader.” — FOX [DISCUSS]

Apple reported its first quarterly decline in 13 years, reflecting a slump in both iPhone and iPad sales. Both revenue and profit for the fiscal second quarter missed analyst expectations. CEO Tim Cook called it a “challenging quarter,” but insisted that the future remained bright, adding that many users weren’t upgrading because the iPhone 6 remains so popular. — WSJ [DISCUSS]

A New York judge ruled that the civil lawsuit against Trump University will go to trial. The $40 million suit was filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in 2013, alleging that the online real estate investment course defrauded students via false advertising. No trial date has been set. — NBC [DISCUSS]

Austria’s government will consider erecting a controversial border fence at the Brenner crossing with Italy. Concerns about migrants could result in searches of trucks and private cars on the main road, as well as checks on trains. Italy’s Prime Minister said the plan “shamelessly” violates European law. — BBC [DISCUSS]

Comcast is reportedly in discussions to purchase DreamWorks Animation in a $3 billion deal. CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has been searching for a potential buyer for the studio for many years, and has unsuccessfully courted Hasbro, SoftBank, 20th Century Fox and others. The studio’s current distribution deal with 20th Century Fox expires at the end of 2017, making a new connection to Universal — also owned by Comcast — of particular interest. — THR [DISCUSS]

D’Angelo and Prince cover band Princess (Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum) covered the late icon’s “Sometimes It Snows in April” last night on “The Tonight Show.” — YOUTUBE [DISCUSS]

A rare, complete skull from a recently-named species of titanosaur, the herbivorous Sarmientosaurus musacchioi, shows that the creature had enormous eyes, giving it likely far superior vision to most of its relatives, while also pointing to a lumbering, sloping gait, resembling Eeyore from “Winnie the Pooh.” — NATGEO [DISCUSS]

Makemake, a dwarf planet discovered in 2015 that orbits the sun once every 310 Earth-years, has its own small moon. The moon is currently known only as MK2. By tracing its path through the cosmos, scientists should be able to learn how it came to orbit Makemake, and more information about the planet itself. — NATGEO [DISCUSS]

Real estate heir Robert Durst has been sentenced to 7 years and 1 month in prison by a federal judge in New Orleans as part of a plea deal on a weapons charge. Durst still faces a murder charge relating to the 2000 killing of his friend Susan Berman in Los Angeles. He maintains his innocence of that crime. Last year, Durst was the subject of the HBO documentary series “The Jinx.” — NBC [DISCUSS]

Voice of America profiles TV Rain, the privately-owned Moscow news network that dares to air programming critical of the Russian government. Most media in Russia is state-controlled, and it can be challenging, if not impossible, for broadcasts that take a critical view of not only current Russian policy, but Russian history as well, to find an audience. — VOA [DISCUSS]

YouTube’s new iOS and Android apps ditched tools focused on browsing and searching for videos in favor of a clean, customized recommendation feed, mirroring a larger trend among content and social media companiesdesperately trying to give users what they want, and only what they want. — WIRED

Scientists believe there may be a massive, previously-undiscovered lake buried deep beneath Antarctica’s glaciers. If confirmed, this new 62-mile long discovery would be the second-largest subglacial lake ever found in Antarctica, after Lake Vostok, the sixth largest lake on Earth. — NEWSCIENTIST

A man claims he was assaulted while walking in Manhattan’s Lower East Side because he resembles actor Shia LaBeouf. Mario Licato says he was exiting a subway station when a stranger suddenly lunged at him and punched him in the face, later saying “that’s because you look like f*&king Shia LaBeouf.” Licato claims he’s never seen his attacker before, but that people make the LaBeouf comparison all the time. — NYDN

SLOG THROUGH THE BLOGS

Another Super Tuesday has come and gone, and with it, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are just a few steps closer to securing their respective party’s nomination for president.

Trump swept all five Northeastern states that voted last night: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Exit polls indicated high levels of anti-establishment sentiment and feelings of betrayal among Republican voters. The wins bring Trump significantly closer to securing the 1,237 delegates he needs prior to the Republican Convention, eliminating the chances that he could be outmaneuvered for delegates there.

In one of the most cited moments from Trump’s victory speech, he accused likely Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton of playing “the woman’s card” and said she wouldn’t even get 5% of the vote “if [she] were a man.”

Trump’s success led to widespread calls for his rivals to get out of the Republican race, particularly John Kasich, who thus far has only won a single primary, in his home state of Ohio. (CAUTION: He doesn’t like to be reminded of that.) Though the terms of Kasich and Cruz’s agreement to split supporters applies to Indiana, New Mexico and Oregon — states that vote next month — many pundits still called its wisdom into question, with the Washington Times reporting that some voters supported the billionaire as a reaction to the plan. (National Review pointed out that it would require fans of each candidate to specifically vote against their own taste and sensibility in order to prevail.)

Politico also noted that Kasich missed the deadline to submit his information for the Oregon primary, meaning he’ll be left off the pamphlet, potentially costing him much-needed delegates and further complicating his plan to split voters with Cruz.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton gave a widely-covered speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after her big win in the delegate-rich state, walking out to “Eye of the Tiger” and touching on issues including gun control, women’s health care and the Obama administration’s legacy. (She also took Maryland and Delaware decisively, early in the night.)

NBC News noted that Sanders spent twice as much as Clinton on advertising in April 26 Primary states Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Jamelle Bouie in Slate argued that Sanders has no chance to win, but should remain in the race regardless.

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