The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Jet Went Down in Ocean, Malaysia Says

    New evidence from British satellites led to the declaration today that missing Flight MH370 crashed into a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean. Malaysia Airlines has reportedly informed families of the 239 passengers that “beyond reasonable doubt” the plane was lost and there were no survivors. Earlier, a Chinese plane spotted two “relatively big” floating objects along with smaller ones, and the U.S. Navy dispatched its high-tech black box detector to the area.

    Sources: NYT, BBC

  2. Russia Seizes Crimean Naval Base as Obama Prepares for G-7 Talks

    Russian troops have launched their third attack in two days, reportedly overrunning a naval base in Feodosia, just as Western diplomats gear up to discuss a tough united front against the Kremlin. President Obama will spend the next few days in the Netherlands, where he has asked Group of 7 leaders to meet and develop a strong response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Obama wants to economically isolate Moscow, but European leaders are finding that a tough pill to swallow and administer as it puts their own economic interests at risk.

    Sources: NYTFT (sub), CNN

  3. Eight Die, Several Missing in Wake of Washington Mudslide

    Authorities have confirmed that at least eight people died after a deadly mudslide destroyed homes near Oso, Washington, this weekend. Several people are reportedly still missing, and crews are attempting to secure the area. At least 30 homes were swept away by Saturday’s mudslide, believed to have been caused by heavy rainfall and groundwater saturation. Crews must search a debris wall — 15 to 20 feet deep in places — that state Gov. Jay Inslee described as “a square mile of total devastation.” He assured families that everything was being done to locate missing loved ones.

    Sources: USA TodayDW

  4. Serbs and Bosniaks Now Fight Over Memory of Atrocity

    A Serbian official recently ordered that the word “genocide” be chiseled from the plinth of a Bosnian memorial, reflecting a new conflict that has emerged in the beleaguered region. The mass slaughters of the 1990s are now subject to national whitewashing, and both sides are fighting for the collective memory of the Bosnian War. As the once war-torn communities try to heal their wounds, attempts to wipe away murderous truths and rewrite history are stoking anger, fear and more resentment.

    Source: The Guardian


  1. Jimmy Carter Suspects NSA Spies on Him

    Don’t expect special treatment from the National Security Agency — even if you’re a former president. Carter believes that U.S. spies keep tabs on his private communication with global leaders, so he usually uses snail mail to give the snoops the slip. “I believe if I send an email, it will be monitored,” says Carter, noting that NSA surveillance has been “extremely liberalized” and “abused.” The former peanut farmer indicated that President Obama has never reached out to him for his opinion, but perhaps that letter just got lost in the mail. 

    Sources: Meet the PressPolitico

  2. Study Links Strict Parents to Obese Children

    If you’re a controlling mom or dad and don’t communicate well with your children, they’re significantly more likely to be obese, according to a Canadian study. Children of authoritarian parents were 30 percent more likely to be obese from ages two to five, and 37 percent more likely to be obese between ages six and 11. Studying four different parenting models, researchers also found that children of permissive parents faced increased risk of obesity. Which parents are not tipping the scales? Authoritative — not authoritarian — parents who clearly explain rules and show affection.

    Source: CBS

  3. Twitter Hints at Big Interface Changes

    Tweeters could soon be saying goodbye to hashtags and ampersands, two of the most distinctive and social aspects of the site. At a media conference in Denver, Twitter’s Vivian Schiller announced that the site’s more “arcane” commands would be pushed to the background, and Twitter’s Android beta testers are already seeing sleek new interface without the symbols. Twitter says it is looking at creative ways to entice new users. There has long been a worry that the @ and # symbols are too confusing, but Twitter veterans @Ozy say #Booo.

    Sources: DigitalSpyHNGN

  4. Italy’s New Pop Star is a … Nun

    The country that gave us Luciano Pavarotti is hailing a heavenly new musical sensation, and she’s straight out of a convent. Sister Christina Scuccia seems to be heading for stardom after the video of her audition on the TV show The Voice of Italy went viral with 19 million views in just four days. The 25 year old, who took her vows in 2010, mesmerized judges by performing Alicia Keys’ song “No One” while wearing her black habit and cross. Even the Vatican’s minister of culture, Gianfranco Ravasi, is declaring his admiration for the nun who sings like an angel.

    Source: Variety

  5. Obama Tweets to Congratulate Underdog Dayton for Win

    It’s not everyday a basketball player gets a shout out from the White House. But Barack Obama tweeted his congratulations to the University of Dayton basketball team for their “huge upset win” in the NCAA tournament and told Dayton senior Devin Oliver he might just take him up on a pick-up game. Eleventh-seeded Dayton defeated third-seeded Syracuse 55 to 53. The president likes to unwind by watching the games, but his tweet was not well received by some who chirped back that he should worry less about basketball and more about Ukraine. 

    Sources: USA TodayReuters