The Presidential Daily Brief

important

  1. kandahar airport

    Taliban Fighters Attack Kandahar Airport

    This could complicate negotiations. While Afghan and Pakistani officials attempt to repair strained relations at a conference in neighboring Pakistan, a group of Taliban fighters in uniform have stormed the Afghan city’s airfield, firing rockets at the runway and taking hostages. At least 19 are dead in the attack, which is sure to inflame Afghan-Pakistani relations: They’ve long argued over Pakistan’s perceived sheltering of the insurgents. It’s also likely to derail planned peace talks with the Taliban, which were delayed over the summer and have yet to be rescheduled.

  2. bataclan memorial

    Third Bataclan Bomber Identified as Frenchman

    It was a homegrown attack. Prime Minister Manuel Valls confirmed that the suicide bomber, who reports say was 23-year-old Foued Mohamed-Aggad of Strasbourg, is the last of the three Bataclan attackers to be identified. This means that every perpetrator so far named in the Paris attacks was either French or Belgian. Though some have blamed lax Belgian security forces for not intercepting intelligence about the plot, both France and the U.S., reeling from recent attacks, may need to rethink strategies at home for defusing would-be jihadis.

  3. passport control

    House Votes to Tighten Visa Rules

    Will this really make America safer? Currently, the U.S. allows visa-free travel from nationals of 38 countries, but on Tuesday the House overwhelmingly passed new legislation that would not only change visa restrictions on travelers with Iraqi and Syrian passports, but on anyone who’s visited those nations in the last five years. It’ll also require countries on the visa-waiver list to issue only passports that include biometric information — a tall order for some nations, and one that could be a sticking point when the bill reaches the Senate.

  4. chemical factory

    Dow Chemical and DuPont in Merger Talks

    They could bond, only to fracture again. Both chemical giants have been operating for over a century, and together they’d be worth about $120 billion. But the plan, should the merger happen, would likely be to split the mega-company into three new ones, each focusing on a different subset of the chemical business. Some sources say the deal’s been more than a decade in the making, though there’s no guarantee the talks will yield a real merger — or that antitrust regulators will okay the final product.

  5. Merkel is Person of the Year, ISIS Makes Appeal to Chinese Speakers

    ISIS releases first known Chinese-language propaganda. (Mashable)

    U.S. middle class losing share of population (Pew)

    Yahoo will spin off core businesses instead of $31 billion Alibaba stake. (CNET)

    North Face founder dead in kayaking accident. (NYT)

    Rwanda to vote on extending constitutional term limits. (BBC)

    Delaware jury acquits white police officer of assaulting black suspect. (ABC)

    Yale professor resigns amid mass student protests. (Christian Science Monitor)

     

intriguing

  1. angela merkel

    Merkel Named Time’s Person of the Year

    These aren’t small compliments. The German chancellor is labeled the de facto “leader of a continent” and “chancellor of the free world” in the magazine’s profile. Bolstering the case is her leadership over the Greek debt and refugee crises. Time said its runner up was Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi followed by Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. The 61-year-old is only the fourth woman to win the award and the first solo female honoree in 29 years. A spokesperson said Merkel will “cherish” the honor as she continues her work in Germany and beyond.

  2. bitcoin

    Bitcoin Inventors’ Identities Likely Revealed

    They were banking on anonymity. Two separate investigations have potentially revealed the co-creators of the controversial digital currency that has disrupted international markets. Long operating under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin founders appear to be Australian businessman Craig Steven Wright and American computer forensics expert Dave Kleiman, who died in 2013. Last year, Wright announced plans for the first public Bitcoin bank, without disclosing his connection to the currency’s origins. Today Australian police raided Wright’s home in what they’re calling a tax-related investigation — so his secret may be out.

  3. flu jab 4092914530 b23270543a o

    Science Eyes New Way to Battle the Flu

    We can be our own worst enemies. For infectious diseases like the flu, Ebola and SARS, it’s not just germs that send the body into chaos, but the body’s own overzealous response — fevers, vomiting and aches. That’s why some researchers have shifted their focus away from vaccines that attack disease-causing agents, looking instead to immunomodulatory drugs that calm or redirect the immune system. These meds could take a jab at a large spectrum of viral and bacterial strains while being cheaper and more accessible than many vaccines.

  4. vaping

    E-Cigarette Liquids Linked to Lung Disease

    That’s a drag. A Harvard study found diacetyl, a chemical linked to the irreversible respiratory disease bronchiolitis obliterans — commonly known as “popcorn lung” — in 75 percent of e-cigarette refill liquids. The study’s authors examined 51 types of flavored liquids, and in addition to dangerous levels of diacetyl, they found two other “high priority” compounds that pose serious risks of lung disease. The findings could be a major buzzkill for industry lobbyists, who have so far been successful at keeping the FDA out of the growing vaping market.

  5. dd 12449089053 d5264850a1 k

    ABC Confirms ‘Dirty Dancing’ Remake

    Will we have the time of our lives? Following its success with The Wiz Live! — which drew 11.5 million viewers — the broadcasting giant is breathing new life into the 1987 Patrick Swazye hit with a three-hour musical adaptation. No word yet on a release date, or who will play dance instructor Johnny. But this rendition will test whether 19-year-old Abigail Breslin has all the right moves as the awkward teenage heroine, Baby — and whether Glee songwriters Adam Anders and Peer Astrom can corner the nostalgia market.

  6. ronaldo

    Cristiano Ronaldo Sets Champions League Record

    He says the records seek him. The star forward scored four goals in Real Madrid’s 8-0 win over Malmo, giving him a groundbreaking total of 11 in the group stage. He’s also the first Madrid player to score a “poker” — four goals — in European play for 50 years, effectively completing his dramatic turnaround from a slow start to the season. However, the 30-year-old was quick to share the glory with his teammates and downplayed talk of moving to another squad, saying he’s happy where he is.