The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Report Says Plane Flew for Hours After Last Contact

    China claimed one of its satellites may have spotted debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, but Vietnamese searchers have found no trace of the plane in the area. Meanwhile, a new report suggests that flight MH370 may have stayed in the air for another four hours after last making radio contact. If proven, this could mean the search is much bigger and more complicated than previously believed. So far, searchers have unsuccessfully covered 35,800 square miles, leaving authorities and relatives of the 239 passengers no closer to an answer.

    Sources: ReutersUSA TodayCNN, WSJ (sub)

  2. Building Explosion in Harlem and Car Crash at SXSW Festival Kill Several

    A gas leak caused a blast that took down two buildings in East Harlem yesterday, killing at least six, injuring scores and leaving several missing. Rescuers are continuing to sift through the debris in the hope of finding survivors. Earlier today, emergency crews across the country in Austin, Texas, responded to an accident at the South by Southwest Festival. A car reportedly crashed through barriers set up for the interactive music and film festival, killing two and injuring at least 20, five critically. 

    Sources: ABCCNNBBCThe Guardian

  3. Obama Meets Ukrainian Leader and Guarantees Support

    After meeting Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Barack Obama declared that the U.S. will stand by Ukraine’s side. The president assured his counterpart that Washington would not recognize Crimea’s referendum on Sunday because it has no basis in international law. Both leaders have reiterated their readiness to negotiate with Russia, but Obama also strengthened his position by saying the West will have to apply a real “cost” if Moscow does not choose the diplomatic path. Yatsenyuk and Obama did extend a possible carrot: More autonomy for Crimea may be possible, they say, if the constitutional process is upheld.

    Sources: NYTCNN

  4. Israel Attacks Gaza After Militants Fire Rockets

    Warplanes hit the Gaza Strip with heavy fire last night after Islamic Jihad militants fired dozens of rockets into densely populated areas of southern Israel. It is the worst rocket attack since 2012, and the Israeli army has responded by launching air strikes against 29 Palestinian targets — mostly bases of Hamas and the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, according to witnesses. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “continue to hurt those who try to hurt us.”

    Sources: BBCAl Jazeera


  1. Scientists Find Pygmy T-Rex Fossil in Arctic Alaska

    It has a cute name, but you wouldn’t have found the newly discovered “pygmy tyrannosaur,” smaller cousin of the T-Rex, at all cuddly. The freshly unearthed Nanuqsaurus hoglundi lived around 70 million years ago and grew to about half the size of a T-Rex — two meters high at the hips, and seven meters long. Scientists suspect the harsh Arctic conditions made for fewer resources, thus explaining its smaller size. Spielberg probably wouldn’t cast the pygmy in the next Jurassic Park though — the diminutive tyrannosaur apparently munched on herbivorous dinosaurs.

    Sources: DiscoverThe Guardian

  2. Parents Sue Google After Children Run Up Big Bills

    Moms and dads are suing the Internet giant over Google Play apps, which allow children to ring up exorbitant bills through in-app purchases. In one case, a child ran up a $66 bill within five minutes of downloading a free game by buying in-game currency. Google requires users to enter a password to download an app, but then gives them 30 minutes to make purchases without a password. The bills, no doubt, have left some longing for the days of Scrabble and Monopoly.

    Source: Wired

  3. Ugly Gem Reveals Water Deep Beneath Earth’s Surface

    While too flawed for engagement rings, a diamond discovered in a Brazilian riverbed may be the most precious gem ever for scientists studying the Earth’s core. The small stone — pitted from its journey through a volcano — contains a water-rich mineral that suggests there’s a “wet zone” between 250 and 410 miles underground. With 1.5 percent of the gem’s weight being water, it could mean we’re standing on as much H2O as the oceans hold, though it is locked into the minerals. The ugly gem won’t melt any hearts, but it may unlock our understanding of the planet’s core. 

    Sources: The GuardianGizmodo

  4. Can the Right Have a Laugh With New Show?

    The right has Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, but the left rules political satire. The question is, for how long? This autumn, Flipside, a new conservative comedy show hosted by Michael Loftus, will put The Daily Show’s formula to the test. Flipside’s team questions the notion that conservatives are allergic to humor. With Fox News’s Red Eye, the closest thing to a Republican version of The Daily Show, doing well with young people despite airing overnight, there appears to be room for some conservative comedy.

    Source: The Atlantic

  5. Former Basketball Player Slam Dunks in the Kitchen

    After tearing up the court, Darryl Middleton, aka renaissance man, has become a chef. Finding his path to NBA success blocked, he set his sights on Europe, where he played for 15 clubs in five countries, netting the Spanish league’s MVP three times and falling in love with the European lifestyle. Along the way, Middleton discovered that he’s just as good with paellas as three pointers, and he’s now cooking up treats as a restaurant owner in Spain. Middleton, 47, still trains and advises athletes — on unlikely career paths and eating right.

    Source: CNN