The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Flight Search Resumes as Furious Families Protest ‘Deception’

    The search is back on for wreckage of flight MH370 as angry relatives mounted a protest at the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing and demanded proof of a crash. In Chicago, the first lawsuit, a multi-million-dollar action against Malaysia Airlines and plane manufacturer Boeing, has been filed by a father whose son was a passenger. China is demanding the satellite information that served as the basis for Malaysia’s conclusion that the plane crashed.

    Sources: NYTABCCBSReutersBBC

  2. Washington Mudslide Deaths Climb to 24

    The death toll from a devastating Washington mudslide has risen to 24, and scores are still missing. Heartsick families and exhausted emergency personnel are resigned to the fact that the work is now a recovery operation. Crews continue to search for bodies buried in the treacherously shifting slopes. Gary McPherson, 81, was reading the paper with his wife in their home on Saturday when he heard a roar and blacked out. He awoke to find his house demolished and his wife gone. Her body was eventually located, but others are still waiting for loved ones to be found.

    Sources: Seattle TimesCNNLA Times

  3. Obamacare Sign-Up Deadline Gets Extension

    Relax, there’s now some wiggle room to sign up for Obamacare. The administration announced it will allow more time for those who tried to apply but were blocked by technical problems. Several states running their own insurance exchanges have taken similar action. Consumers will have an extended time to enroll if they can show they failed to do so earlier because of some difficulty. The deadline is March 31, but the system is experiencing a surge of latecomers, and the administration wants to ensure that everyone “in line” gets a chance to sign up, a spokesman said.

    Sources: Washington PostNBC

  4. WHO Blames Air Pollution for Seven Million Deaths

    Air pollution was a factor in one of eight deaths worldwide in 2012, the World Health Organization has reported. Surprisingly, indoor pollution caused more than half of those deaths. Women in developing countries were particularly at risk, thanks to the prevalence of coal or wood-burning cook stoves. Chinese citizens suffer from sprawl-driven pollution outdoors, especially in the north, where smog levels are the worst in the world and the average lifespan is five years shorter than in the south. The damaging trend led Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to recently declare a “war against pollution.”

    Sources: CNNNYT


  1. Giraffe-Dissecting Danish Zoo Snuffs Four Lions

    Serial animal killers are seemingly on the prowl at an increasingly unpopular Danish zoo. The same Copenhagen Zoo that butchered a healthy young giraffe in front of a crowd of children has now killed four healthy lions, including two cubs and their elderly parents. The zoo wanted to make room for a younger, breeding-age male and his future pride, and couldn’t find a new home for the aging big cats or their young. At least this time the zoo conducted the dissection in private.

    Sources: The GuardianBBC

  2. U.S. Secret Service Sends Home ‘Tipsy’ Agents

    Three Secret Service agents have reportedly been sent home for being intoxicated in an Amsterdam hotel prior to President Obama’s arrival. One of the trio had passed out, witnesses said. The members of the Counter Assault Team — charged with protecting the president — were placed on leave. Obama’s security was never compromised, a spokesman said, but it’s still another blemish for the Secret Service. In 2012 members were disciplined for partying with prostitutes in Colombia ahead of a presidential trip. It looks like the agents are in for a dry run.

    Sources: Washington PostPolitico

  3. Facebook Leaps into Virtual Reality

    Mark Zuckerberg has gone shopping again, snapping up virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion. The 20-month-old start-up has just announced its newest virtual-reality headset prototype. The headsets, which look a bit like goggles, are not available to the public yet, and some doubt their market value due to problems of motion sickness reported by users. But Zuckerberg sees potential and not just for virtual-reality gaming. He believes the technology will revolutionize how we “work, play and communicate.” 

    Sources: The GuardianWashington PostWSJ (sub), BBC

  4. Pharrell Williams Backs Hillary for President

    The singer plans to vote for Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Talking about the influence of women in his life and his views on feminism, Williams told GQ magazine that Clinton’s election will help signal the rise of female leaders globally. The star also endorsed the pro-choice campaign and wrote off the Tea Party as racist. Pop just got political with the rapper singing Clinton’s praises before she has officially announced her campaign. Williams said Clinton will do more than just run: “We’re about to have a female president. Hillary’s gonna win.”

    Sources: The GuardianPoliticoGQ

  5. Nets Owner Considers Raising the Stakes in Russia

    The Brooklyn Nets probably aren’t moving to Russia. But owner Mikhail Prokhorov has reportedly held preliminary talks with the National Basketball League about transferring his stake in the team from his US-based company to one of his Russian operations. Prokhorov aims to run for political office in Russia, and he can’t legally do so with foreign assets. The tycoon says he’s also heeding Vladimir Putin’s call to repatriate businesses and assets to Russia to protect them against international sanctions imposed over the crisis in Crimea. Is that a foul?

    Sources: Daily NewsPBS Newshour