The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Stabbings Injure 20 in Pennsylvania High School

    At least 20 students were injured in a stabbing spree at a high school outside Pittsburgh, Pa., early this morning. Some of the victims were said to have suffered life-threatening injuries, and four were flown by helicopter to an area hospital. The assailant reportedly attacked students in classrooms and in the hallway at Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville. A male student has been taken into custody.

    Sources: CNN, USA Today

  2. Ship Detects Signals Again in Missing Plane Hunt

    Teams involved in the long and frustrating search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 got a major boost last night when an Australian ship again detected double pings consistent with black box recorders. The sounds raise hope that the search — now the costliest in aviation history — is closing in on the spot in the Indian Ocean where the plane carrying 239 passengers is believed to have gone down. “I think we’re looking in the right area,” said the head of the search.

    Sources: Washington PostSMHNYTReuters

  3. Specialists Point to Online Security ‘Bleed’

    Information stored online may not be as secure as we think. Finnish security experts have discovered a flaw called “Heartbleed” in the security technology for Internet encryption called OpenSSL. The weakness could be leaving passwords, banking information and personal details at risk — and may have enabled undetected thefts for nearly two years. While the news has prompted major retail websites into action, it should not lead users to make hasty changes. Experts warn users not to bother changing passwords until the glitches are fixed, and some are suggesting people stay offline altogether.

    Sources: The WireNYTForbes

  4. Fed Tells Major U.S. Banks to Raise $68 Billion to Be Safe

    The U.S. Federal Reserve approved a new rule on Tuesday forcing the country’s biggest banks to increase their loss-absorbing capital. The $68 billion cap will affect eight large lenders, including JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America, putting greater restrictions on their borrowing power than overseas competitors. They will be forced to hold capital worth at least five percent of their total assets. Bank regulators say the rule, which takes effect in 2017, is necessary to reduce the risk of another economic crisis. 

    Sources: BloombergCNN

  5. U.S. Secret Service Shakes Up Staff Following Drink Controversies

    Agents for the Secret Service’s special operations division have been reassigned in the wake of embarrassing incidents involving drinking. Rules have also been changed barring agents from drinking within 12 hours of reporting for duty, and within 24 hours of a presidential arrival. Three agents were sent home from the Netherlands last month after one was found intoxicated in a hotel before President Obama arrived to meet foreign officials. Two agents were also involved in a car crash earlier this year during a presidential visit in Florida.

    Sources: Washington PostReuters


  1. NASA’s Rover Spots Unexplained Beam on Red Planet

    The U.S space agency’s Curiosity rover, which has roamed the surface of Mars since 2012, has sent back lots of amazing pictures. But a new photo is generating more talk than any others: It depicts a bright beam of light on a plain in the distance. The beam has got people asking questions about possible life on the planet. “This is not a glare from the sun, nor is it an artifact of the photo process,” Scott Waring, of UFO Sightings Daily, claims. NASA has dismissed speculation about aliens, however, saying it’s probably just a shiny rock.

    Sources: SpaceThe Register

  2. Many U.S. Teens Have Intercourse Before Getting Sex Ed

    A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows 83 percent of sexually active teenage girls have not had a sex education course before losing their virginity. The study found that 14.6 percent of 15 year olds, 28.5 percent of 16 year olds, and 38.6 percent of 17 year olds have had sex at least once. Worringly, only 15 percent used effective contraception. This may go a long way toward explaining how 1,700 babies are born each week to teens aged 15 to 17.

    Sources: The Wire, CDC, LA Times

  3. Firm to Make Film and TV More Accessible to the Blind

    An online entertainment company is planning to bring visually impaired people into the film and TV conversation with TalkingFlix, the first audio-described entertainment service. Most DVDs and movie theaters don’t include the audio description services that allow blind people to experience visual intricacies of film and TV. But TalkingFlix hopes to provide a full library of audio tracks for Hollywood blockbusters, cult classics and popular TV shows. The program is set to launch later this year, but those excited by the prospect can sign up for the service now.

    Source: The Week

  4. Archie Is Going to Die, You Jughead

    Archie Andrews of comic-book fame, who’s been in high school since 1941, is about to bite the ink. He will die this summer saving the life of a friend. But hold the tears, because he’s only dying in a parallel future universe in the Life With Archie series that flash-forwards to Archie and his pals as adults. Fans will be happy to know that he’ll continue being a teenager, possibly forever, in his regular Archie comics. And he might jump into Afterlife With Archie, a surprise-hit series that launched last year.

    Sources: LA TimesWashington Post

  5. Olympic Swimming Legend May Never Compete Again

    Ian Thorpe, Australia’s five-time Olympic champion, is being treated in a Sydney hospital after contracting two potentially lethal infections. The “Thorpedo” will probably never swim competitively again, but his manager has dismissed reports that the athlete could lose the use of his arm. Thorpe, 31, contracted the infections after undergoing shoulder reconstruction surgery. He was the youngest swimmer to represent Australia in the Olympics at the age of 14, and came out of retirement in 2012 in a failed bid to return to the Olympics. 

    Sources: The AustralianNZ HeraldThe Guardian