Rail Chaos Erupts in Hungary Amid Migrant Crisis
The Presidential Daily Brief
Rail Chaos Erupts in Hungary Amid Migrant Crisis
Budapest’s train station — blocked by police for two days — opened its doors today to hundreds of migrants hoping to catch trains to Germany. Many tried cramming into rail cars only to have their hopes dashed by an announcement that service to western Europe had been suspended “indefinitely.” Hungarian leaders, meanwhile, will hold an emergency refugee summit tomorrow with their Polish, Slovak and Czech counterparts. They’re being urged by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to help share the burden — and the U.K. says it’ll take in thousands as well.
China Sails Close to Alaska During Obama’s Tour
Are they trying to crash the party? Five Chinese navy ships have sailed off the coast of Alaska in the Bering Sea — the closest they’ve ever come to the U.S. without an invite — during the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to the Arctic. The Pentagon says it isn’t concerned by the move, which preceded today’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing. But some analysts fear it’s a sign of China’s growing global assertiveness and Arctic intentions.
IMF Warns Over Asian Downturn, Interest Rate Hikes
Tread carefully! That’s the message from Christine Lagarde, who’s warning that international economic growth is weaker than expected, thanks to lackluster recoveries in some economies and China’s recent slowdown. She’s urging emerging markets to buffer themselves from Beijing’s shockwaves while noting that Latin American economies could continue to slide. The IMF chief is also asking western central banks not to raise interest rates, notably urging the U.S. Federal Reserve — which has mulled a hike for some time — to avoid doing anything that might add more volatility to global markets.
Obama Secures Votes to Preserve Iran Nuke Deal
He’s not taking a victory lap quite yet. The U.S. president has secured enough support to protect the nuclear deal with Tehran thanks to Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski agreeing to back the accord yesterday. She’s the 34th senator to do so, making it impossible for opponents to muster a two-thirds supermajority to override a presidential veto, with legislators set to vote on a resolution opposing the accord as early as next week. But rather than celebrating, Secretary of State John Kerry says he’ll keep pushing for more support for the historic agreement.
Roof Could Get Death Penalty, Kim Davis Jailed in Same-Sex Marriage Case
Prosecution to seek death penalty against Dylann Roof (NYDN)
Clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. (Gawker)
Guatemalan President Pérez Molina resigns after arrest warrant. (The Guardian)
Donald Trump signs GOP loyalty pledge. (CNN)
China announces military cuts totaling 300,000 troops. (NYT)
Former Clinton staffer at State Dept. faces subpoena. (Washington Post)
‘Love Bug’ actor Dean Jones dies at age 84. (LA Times)
U.N.: Mideast conflicts rob 13 million children of education. (Al Jazeera)
Judge Overturns Brady’s Four-Game Suspension
He’s back in the game. The Pats have their QB back after a four-game suspension handed to Tom Brady as punishment for his alleged involvement in the Deflategate scandal was vacated by Judge Richard M. Berman three days after what was considered a Hail Mary attempt to settle the case on Monday. The NFL plans to challenge the decision — but they’ll have to go through the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to do it, and Brady will still be eligible to play in the season’s opening September 10.
Vladimir Putin Breaks the Bank at the Gym
He’s flexing those muscles for the cameras again. But rather than going shirtless, this time the Kremlin’s brawn donned a $3,200 sweat suit by Italian designer Loro Piana. Putin got in his morning workout — wearing the cashmere and silk combination — while exercising alongside right-hand man and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi. After the photo shoot, the two men ate BBQ and enjoyed drinks, perhaps while discussing Russia’s continued ban on all sorts of Western imports, namely necessities like food and condoms, but apparently not designer hoodies.
Clinic Email Mistakenly Identifies HIV Patients
They’ve been dropping names. A London health clinic apologized yesterday after accidentally circulating the names of 780 patients living with HIV. The 56 Dean Street Clinic’s monthly newsletter provides timely information about health services, and its recipients’ addresses are usually hidden. But this week it showed the email account names of everyone on the list. British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked a commission to review the breach in a bid to ensure confidentiality and restore public trust.
Rand Paul Takes a Shot With New App
Candidates love photo opps, and the Kentucky senator has taken it to another level. He’s released a self-branded app — simply called Rand — that lets supporters donate cash, share opinions, create memes and take fake selfies with him. Paul hasn’t been polling well lately, and some think his candidacy has withered in Donald Trump’s populist shadow. But he’s a front-runner in embracing digital tools like SnapChat — so perhaps this app will help him regain some of the spotlight while enabling merciless trolls.
White Noise Record Store to Open in U.K.
Stop the music! A new pop-up store created by artist Jeff Thompson in Brighton, England, plans to sell only white noise records. His parody of boutiques will focus, in great detail, on helping shoppers customize their own hissing compositions for a fee of $6 per recording ($1.50 for a digital copy). By celebrating highly detailed but essentially useless products, Thompson — whose shop will be open between September 9 and 18 — hopes to embrace the high-end vibe “while upending [its] capitalist and elitist drive.”
College Football Kicks Off Drive for Data
It worked for the Oakland A’s. Some college teams are taking a hint from the pros and turning to analytics. They’re using data to choose the best players, mount the strongest defense and potentially maximize the advantage some teams — namely those with the most cash — have over others. While this could usher in a new football era that eschews gut feelings for cold hard facts, it could also mean that the teams with the resources to snap up diamonds in the rough will start winning … every single time.