The Presidential Daily Brief

important

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    Political Outsiders Face Off for French Presidency

    It’s a battle for Europe. Centrist Emmanuel Macron, whose pro-business bonafides and independent En Marche! party wooed pro-Europe voters, will go head-to-head with Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right anti-immigration National Front. Neither of France’s major parties has a candidate in the runoff for the first time in decades, but both have asked their voters to support Macron. Meanwhile, hundreds of young people clashed with police during demonstrations in central Paris after the vote. Macron is predicted to win the May 7 runoff.

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    Pyongyang Threatens US Ships; China Counsels Calm

    Them’s fightin’ words. As the USS Carl Vinson and two Japanese ships gathered for military exercises in the Western Pacific, North Korea said it’s ready to sink American ships and won’t hesitate to strike Australia if it remains allied with the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping called for restraint from both North Korea and President Donald Trump this morning. Meanwhile, an American stopped from leaving North Korea this weekend has been identified as Kim Sang-duk, a professor at a Pyongyang university. It’s not yet clear why he’s been detained.

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    Trump Complicates Budget Talks With Border Wall Demands

    Mexico will “eventually” pay for it “in some form.” That was President Trump’s tweeted promise amid murmurs that a new budget wouldn’t include his flagship border wall project. His insistence is injecting extra volatility into an already tense week, with legislators just returning from recess facing delicate negotiations — and a government shutdown by Friday if there’s no deal. Congress may pass a one-week stopgap to gain extra negotiating time as they search for a compromise that pleases the White House and garners the necessary Democratic support.

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    Breakthrough in Peace Talks for Libya

    Is the deadlock nearly over? Years of division in Libya between warring political factions have created a military standoff that’s left the country devastated by fighting, ideological division and poverty. But negotiators in Rome say they’re close to brokering a deal between Ageela Saleh and Abdulrahman Sewehli, leaders of Libya’s house of representatives and state council. The two sides will have to work together to change existing political agreements and create a functional new government — something those with knowledge of the negotiations say could come much closer this week.

  5. Lifesavers, Resignations and Breaking Barriers

    Know This: Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will pilot the world’s first malaria vaccine programs beginning in 2018. Two top Afghan defense officials have resigned after a Taliban attack Friday killed scores of soldiers. And two groundbreaking jockeys have become the first Black men to overcome apartheid-era racial barriers to the most elite levels of South Africa’s equestrian sports.

    Read This: As South Koreans prepare to go to the polls and elect a new president May 9, many worry a flourishing fake news industry will render the country’s electorate deeply misinformed about its options.

    Talk to Us:  We want your feedback on the Presidential Daily Brief — what you think we’re doing right and what we should be doing differently. Send us an email at pdbrief@ozy.com.

intriguing

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    Conservation Activist Shot, Recovering in Kenya

    It was an ambush. Author and activist Kuki Gallmann, 73, is recovering in a Nairobi hospital after being shot in the abdomen while surveying arson damage on her 139-acre conservancy in Kenya yesterday. Police blamed the attack on herders desperate to access Gallmann’s pastures for their livestock. Other recent attacks in the region have targeted ranchers as Kenya endures an intense drought that puts 2.7 million at risk of starvation. Gallmann, author of bestseller I Dreamed of Africa, wrote on her Facebook page, “Fear not … I shall never give up.”

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    Uber Tried to Hide Illicit Phone Tracking

    It’s not that easy to #DeleteUber. The ride-hailing app reportedly got in trouble with Apple after the tech company’s engineers discovered Uber was “fingerprinting” phones — continuing to identify users’ devices even after the app had been deleted — and had tried to hide that practice. Apple CEO Tim Cook allegedly threatened to remove Uber from the iPhone app store, which could have been a body blow to the embattled company. Uber, which apparently stopped the practice after Cook’s orders, denies it now tracks users who’ve deleted the app.

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    The American Diner Is Adapting to Survive

    They’ll live to fry another day. The death of the diner gets greatly exaggerated every time there’s an economic downturn, but greasy roadside eateries have a history of staying alive by adapting to public tastes. In fact, the diner’s one of few service industry staples that’s avoided being swallowed up by chains, though its menus and clientèle have shifted over the years. But as diner fare evolves to be more cosmopolitan, some worry that the classic pie-case-and-cuppa-joe aesthetic is becoming just a veneer of shiny nostalgia.

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    Icelandic Language at Risk Because Gadgets Can’t Speak It

    An entire culture could be lost in translation. The native language of Iceland’s 340,000 people is a source of national identity and steeped in Norse tradition. But GPS directions stumble over Icelandic names and digital assistants like Siri and Alexa can’t recognize it — a new blow to a language already under threat from a tourism industry conducted mostly in English. If Icelanders can’t use tech in their own language, they’ll likely resort to speaking English in daily life — which some worry could spell hörmung for Icelandic.

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    Lionel Messi Scores 500th Goal, Puts Barcelona Top of Table

    It was Messi by a mile. The Argentine soccer superstar helped his Barcelona team beat archrivals Real Madrid 3-2 in Sunday’s El Clasico. It was a cagey back-and-forth affair, broken when Messi, 29, snatched the victory in stoppage time with the 500th goal of his career. The pressure is on Madrid now: While they’re still a game up, Barça holds the head-to-head advantage. Statisticians have now nearly doubled Barcelona’s odds to a 40 percent chance of retaining their La Liga title.