The Presidential Daily Brief

important

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    Senate GOP Releases Health Bill Overhaul

    Will it do the trick? Scrambling for the support needed to deliver on seven years of promises to repeal and replace the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell presented a revised health care bill today aimed at bridging the gap between conservative and moderate Republicans. The new version retains major cuts to Medicaid but also permits insurance companies to sell low-cost plans, as well as boosts funding for combating opioid addiction. Still, it’s unclear whether McConnell can scrounge 50 votes by next week. If not, he risks making President Donald Trump “very angry.” 

     

     

     

     

     

     

  2. Liu Xiaobo

    Nobel-Winning Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo Dies at 61

    His legacy will live on. Supporters of Liu, China’s famed human rights advocate who died yesterday, are reportedly having their social media tributes scrubbed from the internet by government censors. Chinese authorities also roundly rejected international criticism for their refusal to let the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner be treated abroad for liver cancer during his imprisonment. Liu was serving an 11-year sentence for demanding an end to his country’s single-party rule. Beijing is now being pressured to release his wife, poet Liu Xia, from house arrest.

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    Questions Mount Over Trump Jr., Kushner’s Russian Meeting

    Will there be consequences? Democrats are calling for Jared Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked after discovering he participated in a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer during the campaign, saying the White House adviser’s initial failure to disclose the consultation is cause for alarm. Meanwhile, others are questioning the timeline of Trump Jr.’s sit-down, which came just hours before President Donald Trump promised a revelation about Hillary Clinton’s alleged corrupt connections to Russia. The elder Trump says he was never told of the meeting. 

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    Brazilian Ex-President Convicted of Corruption

    He’s won another term — behind bars. A Brazilian court sentenced ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday to nearly a decade in prison for accepting $1.2 million in bribes as part of a massive corruption scheme. Lula claims the case, which gripped the country for several years, is politically motivated. Expected to be a top contender in next year’s presidential election, the popular leftist, who led the nation from 2003 until 2011, will remain free pending appeal. But his political comeback could be dashed if an appeals court upholds his conviction. 

  5. Twitter

    Job Seekers’ Social Media Profiles Not Fair Game, Says EU

    Anything you say can’t necessarily be used against you. While 60 percent of employers use social media profiles to screen candidates, EU data protection agencies now say that might be illegal: Employers must now have a legal basis for checking, employees can’t be penalized for not accepting friend requests, and any data collected must be relevant to the job in question. While the agencies’ recommendations aren’t binding, they’re considered highly influential among European national authorities and expected to guide how they interpret next year’s tougher EU data protection law.

  6. Visas Granted, the Hyperloop and OZY FEST 2017

    Know This: After outcry that their visas were denied, a team of teenage girls who built a robot for an international competition have been granted permission to travel to the U.S. President Trump is visiting Emmanuel Macron in Paris today and tomorrow for the Bastille Day holiday. And the Sri Lankan navy has rescued an elephant that currents had dragged 10 miles from the country’s coast. 

    Remember This Number: 70 mph. That’s the speed achieved by the Hyperloop ultra-high-speed transit system during its first, low-speed test — its next goal is 250 mph.

    Join Us: If you can make it to the Big Apple, be sure to get your tickets and join us on July 22 for OZY FEST 2017! Want to win complimentary tickets? The first 10 readers to email a screenshot showing a perfect score on tomorrow’s weekly news quiz to pdbrief@ozy.com will get a free pair.

intriguing

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    Scientists Encode GIF Into Bacteria

    Talk about viral video. Scientists at Harvard University have successfully encoded information corresponding to pixels on an image, and even an animated GIF, into the genome of E. Coli bacteria. Using the gene-editing technique called CRISPR-cas, the researchers were able to implant the bacteria with five frames of Eadweard Muybridge’s famous galloping mare and then extract them. The researchers say they hope that in the future, the technique will allow cells to act as a type of video camera and serve as continuous monitors of how our bodies function.

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    For Some US Legislators, Transparency’s Not a Goal

    Nothing to see here. After Vermont passed a law last month requiring state lawmakers to publicly report income streams topping $5,000, only Idaho and Michigan are left without any means to compel legislators to disclose who’s paying them. Their stubbornness goes against the national grain, established by statehouses’ progress on ethics reform. Idaho still has no ethics commission at all — and some worry that its laissez-faire attitude toward conflicts of interests, corruption, and illegal lobbying could bring public trust in government, already at record lows, down even further.

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    Russia Reportedly Just Snatched More Foreign Land

    They’re grabbing what they can. Just before President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at last week’s G-20 summit, Russian troops reportedly moved several hundred meters further into South Ossetia — a breakaway state internationally recognized as part of Georgia. For years, Georgian authorities have complained about the Kremlin’s “creeping occupation” of the impoverished mountainous region. But with Vice President Mike Pence traveling to Georgia later this month and Kremlin hawk Kurt Volker supervising Washington’s stance on Ukraine, the U.S. appears ready to talk tough on such foreign adventures.

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    Should You Worry About a Giant Floating Iceberg?

    It’s on the loose. After confirming yesterday that a trillion-ton iceberg broke off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf, scientists say maps of the area will need to be redrawn. That won’t extend to inhabited coastlines just yet, though, as this ice was already floating. But Antarctica contains enough land ice to boost sea level by 220 feet, and shelves like Larsen C keep that ice high and dry. This so-called “warning flag” — during Antarctica’s winter — has prompted climate activists to name the massive breakaway berg “Exxon Knew 1.”

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    NBA Cuts Timeouts to Rev Up Play

    Call it a break fast. Hoping for a quicker, smoother flow to next season’s games, the NBA board of governors yesterday announced new rules decreasing the number of timeouts per game from 18 to 14 and from three to two in the final two minutes, which fans have complained were “too choppy,” effective in the 2017-2018 season. The board also set the player trading deadline to 10 days before the NBA All-Star Game, instead of the following Thursday, offering players — and fans — more time to adjust to new rosters.