The Presidential Daily Brief

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    North Korean Missile Fizzles After Retaliation Threat

    That backfired. A day after a military parade for its founding father’s 105th birthday and threats of swift nuclear retaliation if attacked, North Korea reportedly fired another ballistic missile, only to see it explode after launch. The failure came as American warships approach the Korean Peninsula and Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to the demilitarized zone after meeting South Korean officials. While stating American commitment to security in the region, Pence appealed to China’s diplomatic capacities — and warned Pyongyang, “The era of strategic patience is over.”

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    Erdogan’s Referendum Victory Challenged by Opposition

    It looks like one-man rule. While President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrated a narrow victory in yesterday’s historic referendum, Turkey’s main opposition party wants a recount. With 51.4 percent of Turkish voters approving Erdogan’s new constitution, the president gains vast new powers and control of the constitutional court, with virtually unchecked legal and budgetary authority. Meanwhile, “no” campaigners complained of intimidation, and the opposition says there were electoral irregularities — like a decision to pass unstamped ballots as valid unless proven otherwise — that call into question the referendum’s legitimacy.

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    Thousands of Migrants Saved Crossing Mediterranean

    With better weather come more boats. Thousands of desperate migrants have been rescued from waters off the Libyan coast during a surge in crossings that one rescue agency has called “unprecedented.” Some 6,000 were rescued Friday and Saturday by the Italian coast guard alone, while coordinated attempts to rescue another 1,800 on Sunday left one aid organization desperate for “urgent assistance” as at least seven migrants drowned. That number is expected to grow: According to the International Organization for Migration, 554 have already drowned trying to make the crossing this year.

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    As Another Scandal Rumbles, United Prepares Earnings Report

    Better bring a parachute. Following the violent removal of a doctor who’d been selected to lose his seat, United Airlines is facing another potential PR nightmare: A couple traveling to their wedding say they were forced to deplane by a federal marshal. United insists the passengers were uncooperative and denies that authorities were involved, but the Utah pair says they were trying to pay to upgrade. The airline, which has shifted policies as its shares dropped 4 percent last week amid public outrage, will report its quarterly earnings this afternoon.

  5. Formal Indictments, Immigration Enforcement and an Oil Spill

    Know This: Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s recently ousted president, has been formally indicted over corruption allegations. Since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, arrests of immigrants without criminal records have more than doubled. And BP has only just managed to stem a problematic oil leak from one of its Alaskan wells, where natural gas continues to be released.

    Remember This Number: 1,187. That’s the number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons who will go on hunger strike today over poor conditions — a mass protest that many worry will inflame tensions in the region.

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intriguing

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    Cleveland Man Broadcasts Murder on Facebook

    “I just snapped, man.” So said suspected killer Steve Stephens, 37, during a Facebook Live session in which he claimed he’d murdered 13 people. He later uploaded another video showing him selecting a victim at random and then shooting him. Police have confirmed the killing of 74-year-old Robert Godwin, but can’t yet verify Stephens’ claims to multiple homicides. Another video is circulating in which he makes threats outside his former girlfriend’s workplace. A manhunt is underway for Stephens and authorities remind the public that he’s armed and dangerous.

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    Ultrasound Shows Potential for Neurological Treatment

    It’s a sound idea. Researchers are investigating the potential of using focused ultrasound as a non-invasive therapy for a wide range of neurological disorders from Alzheimer’s to depression. Depending on the intensity, beams of focused sound energy can destroy abnormally functioning neurons, or simply jolt neural circuits deep inside the brain without resorting to surgery. The FDA has approved its use as a treatment for a condition called essential tremor — but now scientists hope clinical trials will show its applications can also treat disorders like OCD and Parkinson’s.

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    Blocked Arkansas Executions Under Appeal

    Saved by the gavel. An unprecedented series of judicial rulings has halted the executions of eight death row prisoners, scheduled to begin today. The latest injunction, ruled Saturday by U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker, came a day after the Arkansas Supreme Court stayed one execution and a county court postponed the other seven. The delay of the executions, which would be the state’s first in 12 years, comes as Arkansas’ lethal injection drugs approach their expiration date. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has appealed the block, asking the state’s attorney general to expedite the cases.

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    Netflix Inclusion at Cannes Angers French Cinema Guild

    It’s not traditionelle. An influential French theatrical exhibitors guild, the FNCF, is up in arms over the inclusion of two Netflix features in this year’s 70th annual Cannes Film Festival. One, Bong Joon-ho’s Okja, is even competing for the top prize, the Palme d’Or. French law dictates that on-demand services can’t stream a film until 36 months after its theatrical release, but with both Netflix films scheduled for release this year, the FNCF says the company must release them in theaters or face punishment for skirting its obligations.

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    Ex-NFL Player Accidentally Kills 3-Year-Old Daughter

    It was a heart-rending mistake. The NFL community has rallied around former Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap, who accidentally struck and killed his 3-year-old daughter while moving his truck at his Arizona home. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances to the incident. As details emerged, the Ravens released a statement expressing their sorrow over the “knee-buckling news,” while a number of former teammates and other NFL players have expressed their grief and offered prayers to the family.