The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Plane Search Shifts to a Different Area

    Australia has made a dramatic shift in its search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, moving it some 700 miles to the northeast. The latest radar analysis shows the plane was traveling faster than previously believed. The area is larger but closer to Australia’s coast, providing crews with better weather and longer search time between refueling stops. Australia’s prime minister said the speed analysis offers a “credible new lead,” raising hopes for more efficient efforts that produce results.

    Sources: SMHReutersAl JazeeraDW

  2. UN Declares Crimea Vote Illegal, IMF Grants Ukraine Aid

    The UN General Assembly passed a resolution yesterday declaring Crimea’s secession vote invalid. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund agreed to an $18 billion bailout to help Ukraine bolster its shaky economy. The U.S. Congress also approved an aid package of $1 billion in loan guarantees. The IMF handout requires some painful reforms, such as an immediate end to gas price subsidies. With Ukraine’s state-run energy company Naftogaz already planning huge gas prices hikes, the news is likely to get a frosty reception.

    Sources: CNNBBCThe GuardianNPRAFP

  3. Appeals Court Upholds Texas Abortion Law

    A court has upheld parts of a controversial abortion law requiring doctors who perform the procedure to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Sixteen clinics unable to fulfill the requirement have already closed, forcing many women to travel hundreds of miles for alternatives. Gov. Rick Perry called the ruling “good news” for the “unborn.” Senator Wendy Davis, now a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, shot to fame as she filibustered in vain to stop the bill in her trademark pink tennis shoes last summer — an effort state conservatives have vowed never to forget.

    Sources: NPRCNN

  4. Turkey Blocks YouTube in Run-Up to Election

    First Twitter, now YouTube. Social media access is dwindling in Turkey ahead of Sunday’s municipal elections with a new ban on the video-sharing site. The government took action after an audio recording was posted on YouTube revealing Turkish officials discussing plans for possible military intervention in Syria. The foreign minister called the leak a “cyber attack” and immediately blocked YouTube access.

    Sources: Ars TechnicaUSA TodayWSJ (sub)


  1. Monster Rodent Gnaws into Swedish Kitchen

    A massive rat chewed its way through cement, stone and a ventilation pipe to make its home in a family kitchen. The huge 16-inch-long vermin (plus tail) was finally dispatched with the help of a super-sized trap. Dubbed “Ratzilla,” the brazen rodent had been treating itself to a smorgasbord of kitchen scraps — even as agog family members watched. The furry fiend even scared the family cat, which refused to enter the room when Ratzilla was dining. Where’s the Pied Piper when you need him?

    Sources: BBCAtlanta Journal Constitution

  2. Microsoft Makes the Jump to iPad

    Microsoft Word has finally made the leap to iPad, thrilling users who have been waiting for it to be freed for use on mobile devices. Microsoft has been criticized for not doing this earlier, but has now proven it’s not afraid of being used in a rival operating system. Office suite programs Word, Excel and Powerpoint, optimized for use on touch-based devices, are now available for download. Word shot to the top of the Apple app store’s most-popular download list within hours, proving its entry into the new playing field is better late than never.

    Source: BBC

  3. U.S. Teens Having Less Fun Between the Sheets

    The young are not having as much sex as they were 20 years ago, according to statistics. A survey that has been carried out regularly over the past two decades showed teenagers are having fewer sexual encounters than earlier generations. In 1998, 73 percent of females aged 18 and 19 said they’d had sex, compared with 63 percent in 2010. Likewise, the number of males between the ages of 15 and 19 who said they’d had six or more sexual partners fell from 27 to 22 percent. Fewer teenage hookups will no doubt court favor with parents.

    Source: FiveThirtyEight

  4. Christine McVie to Rejoin Fleetwood on Reunion Tour

    The former keyboardist and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac is rejoining the group, re-creating the most successful incarnation of the band. Thanks to McVie’s return, the reunited group will launch a tour in September, playing songs not heard live in years. Just a year ago, band member Stevie Nicks said that an asteroid hitting Earth was more likely than McVie’s return, but now she’s back in the game. McVie said she feels like a “pig in poo.” For fans it must feel like their “Dreams” have come true.

    Sources: Rolling StoneUSA Today

  5. Jugglers Turn Hobby into a Combative Sport

    Combat juggling involves defense, offense, teamwork, and athleticism — essentially everything you don’t associate with juggling. The “sport” is the newest craze among jugglers, and many hope it will boost the activity’s popularity. The basic form involves teams of jugglers attempting to juggle until only one person is left standing. How? The jugglers try to sabotage one another, running into them and knocking clubs out of their hands, while continuing to juggle themselves. Whether the hobby will ever draw fans, however, is still up in the air. 

    Source: Grantland