The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. U.S. Jobs Hit a Major Milestone, But Don’t Crack the Champagne Yet

    With the March employment numbers tallied, the American private-sector economy has officially added back all the millions of jobs lost in the recession. Which is great. Except that there are now six million more people in the workforce then there were in the late ’00s. The government-sector job market hasn’t recovered. And there’s a lot more temp workers these days. And the unemployment rate ticked up (though that could be a good thing, as more people enter the hunt). So celebrate. But just a little. 

    Sources: LA Times, NYT, WSJ

  2. Crews Begin Underwater Hunt for Plane’s Black Box

    Two ships capable of picking up underwater emissions from the missing plane’s black box “pinger” have been deployed to scour part of the Indian Ocean where satellite data suggests the plane most likely went down. The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared on March 8, and its pinger will stop transmitting signals within days. It gives search teams little time to recover the black box, which could hold the key to unraveling the mystery of what happened. More than a dozen planes and nine ships are searching the sea today.

    Sources: USA TodayThe Guardian

  3. Investigators Hunt for Motive in Fort Hood Shooting

    Inquiries are under way to pinpoint the motive behind Wednesday’s tragic shooting at Fort Hood, where Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three colleagues, injured 16 and then turned the gun on himself. Lopez was taking medication for depression and reportedly may have been involved in a verbal altercation before the shooting. Authorities are asking whether different security protocols are necessary for the base, which suffered a similar incident in 2009, when a gunman — inspired by Islamic extremism — killed 13. 

    Sources: CNNBoston HeraldNYT

  4. Senators Vote to Declassify “Brutal” CIA Report

    The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee voted yesterday to make part of its report on CIA interrogation techniques public to reveal some of the more “brutal” methods used when questioning terror suspects. Leaked excerpts of the report suggest that the CIA misled the government on its questioning measures during George W. Bush’s presidency. The bipartisan committee voted 11-3 to declassify part of the report, with chair Dianne Feinstein stating “this must never be allowed to happen again.”

    Sources: BBCThe Guardian

  5. David Letterman Plans to Bow Out of Late Night

    If you haven’t been there and gotten the T-shirt, time is running out. The 66-year-old CBS Late Show legend — known for Top 10 lists, Stupid Pet Tricks and edgy interviews — is hanging up his hat next year. Letterman, who’s been on the air for 32 years, announced his plans yesterday, sparking speculation over possible successors. Some suspects include Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, Neil Patrick Harris and Jon Stewart. But CBS’s Leslie Moonves said there’s “only one David Letterman,” and he will be greatly missed by the network and fans alike.

    Sources: CNNNYT

  6. Schumacher Has ‘Conscious Moments,’ Journalist Dies in Afghanistan Shooting

    F1 legend Michael Schumacher shows “moments of consciousness.” (BBC).

    Two foreign journalists shot, one fatally, in Afghanistan on eve of elections. (Globe and Mail).

    U.S. used Twitter-like network in bid to foster Cuban Spring. (AP).

    Meningitis deaths lead to warning for gay men. (LA Times).

    U.S. warns China not to use force in maritime disputes. (FT).


  1. Glasgow to Blow Up Apartment Towers at Games Launch

    The 2014 Commonwealth Games will begin with a real bang. Streaming live, the largest of Scotland’s cities plans to blow up the 30-story Red Road flats that have dominated its skyline for decades as the Games get under way. The towers were once among the tallest residential buildings in Europe, but have since devolved into a symbol of urban planning failure. The destruction, which will take just 15 seconds, signifies Glasgow’s intention to rejuvenate the city. And it will allow stressed-out event planners to have a blast.

    Source: The Guardian

  2. Study Shows Party Drug Eases Severe Depression

    The hallucinogenic club drug ketamine, or “Special K,” could act as a fast-acting antidepressant, offering hope to the 40 percent of depression sufferers who can’t get relief from traditional medications. Ketamine, an anesthetic approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, grows connections between brain neurons much faster than meds like Prozac. The study found that trial patients with severe depression saw improvements within three days, with effects lasting up to eight months, but researchers have yet to understand its long-term impact.

    Source: NPR

  3. Gay Marriage Uproar Drives Out Mozilla Boss

    Newly named CEO Brendan Eich has resigned following a row over his opposition to same-sex marriage. Programmers had launched a boycott of Mozilla’s Firefox browser when it emerged that Eich had donated $1,000 in 2008 to support California’s anti-gay marriage Proposition 8. Popular match site OKCupid also asked users not to use Firefox to access its site. Mozilla initially defended Eich, but executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker — who announced the decision in a blog post — said people were right to be hurt and angry. “We’re sorry. We must do better,” she wrote.

    Sources: ABCBBCMarketwatch

  4. U.S. Snubs Britain’s ‘Domestic Goddess’ Over Drug Use

    TV cook Nigella Lawson’s hopes of visiting the U.S. have sunk like a doomed souffle. The culinary queen was reportedly turned away from a flight to Los Angeles last weekend because she admitted to a court last year that she had taken cocaine. British police decided not to charge Lawson, but that hasn’t stopped U.S. authorities from judging her. Foreigners who admit taking drugs can be denied entry. Lawson’s recipe for getting back into the country’s good books could include taking blood tests, as long as she doesn’t treat herself to anything illegal in the meantime.

    Sources: The Guardian, The Telegraph

  5. FSU Faces Investigation Over Jameis Winston Case

    The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is investigating whether Florida State University’s handling of Winston’s rape allegations violated Title IX laws by delaying the inquiry and meeting with the player alone. A student said she was raped by the Seminoles quarterback in 2012, but the state decided in December not to press charges. The accuser filed a complaint with OCR in early March, bringing the case back into the spotlight. Failing to comply with Title IX laws — which cover sexual harassment and violence — can result in a school losing federal funding.

    Sources: ESPNUSA Today