The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. 31 Killed in Terror Attack in Troubled Chinese Province

    Attackers crashed two vehicles into shoppers and tossed explosives into a busy open-air market today in the capital of the restive Chinese province of Xinjiang, killing 31 and injuring scores. One of the vehicles exploded in the attack. Chinese officials condemned the assault, and the domestic security chief vowed to crack down on the “arrogance of terrorists.” China has blamed several attacks in recent months on separatist militants from Xinjiang, home to millions of ethnic Muslim Uighurs.

    Sources: APBloombergReutersCNN

  2. U.S. Sends Troops to Chad to Bolster Nigerian Schoolgirl Hunt

    President Obama has sent 80 military personnel to Chad to help find more than 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped last month by Boko Haram, adding to the 30 U.S. specialists already advising Nigerian leaders. This greatly escalates America’s involvement in the search. Most of those deployed are Air Force troops who will operate drones and conduct surveillance flights. The news comes in the wake of deadly bombings and village attacks in Nigeria this week that have killed at least 150.

    Sources: Washington PostABCTime, NYT

  3. Kidnap Victim Flees Abductor After 10 Years

    A woman who was just 15 when she was kidnapped in California by her mother’s boyfriend has finally fled to safety 10 years later, authorities say. Santa Ana police arrested Isidro Garcia, 42, on Tuesday, charging him on suspicion of kidnapping for rape, lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment. The victim, who said she was forced into marriage with the man, mustered the courage to seek help after finding her sister on Facebook. An acquaintance of the victim’s family said she fears the ordeal’s lingering toll. “Each day with him probably felt like 100 years to her,” she said.

    Sources: LA Times, USA Today

  4. Obama Vows Thorough Investigation in VA Healthcare Scandal

    The president declared yesterday that he will not stand for any misconduct in the Veterans Affairs Department, including the alleged falsifying of reports to hide long and deadly delays in care. “If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period,” Obama said, after meeting with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. He is keeping the retired Army general in place for the time being, but Obama did say anyone who “falsified records … has to be held accountable.” Twenty-six VA facilities are under investigation.

    Sources: ABCNPRCNN


  1. France’s New Fleet of Trains Don’t Fit Tracks

    Two thousand shiny new trains ordered by French train operator SNCF — at a cost of $20.5 billion — don’t fit between the platforms in hundreds of stations. The snafu reportedly occurred when measurements were taken in modern stations, rather than older ones, where the gap between platforms tends to be narrower. France will now spend $68 million to upgrade 1,300 railway stops to accommodate the new trains. Citizens are less than impressed by the blunder, seeing it as a sign of the government being off-track.

    Sources: CNN, BBCWSJ

  2. eBay Cyber Security Breach Affects Millions

    The giant Internet seller is asking its 145 million active users to change their passwords after hackers targeted its database. In February or March, hackers gained access to eBay’s customer database containing names, passwords, home addresses, phone numbers and e-mails — but not credit card information. eBay didn’t discover the breach until two weeks ago. The news, which sent eBay shares down in early trading yesterday by as much as 3.2 percent, is the latest in a string of web security incidents.

    Sources: BBC, CNN, CNET

  3. More Women Are Choosing Double Mastectomies

    Doctors are seeing a confusing trend: There’s been a surge in U.S. women getting double mastectomies when the procedure doesn’t reduce their risk of breast cancer. For women with particular genetic markers, double mastectomies are useful. But for others, the surgery offers no obvious medical benefit in reducing their already low chances of developing the cancer again. Doctors suspect the increase is linked to patients’ anxiety about the cancer spreading or returning, but they also think the use of breast MRIs, which often show unexplained abnormalities, can heighten fears. The message? Doing “everything possible” does not necessarily include a double mastectomy.

    Source: NPR

  4. Jackie Kennedy’s Letters Yanked From Auction

    Heartfelt letters from Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy to an Irish priest have been pulled from an auction in Ireland following criticism over her privacy being invaded. In them, she gushes about the happiness of meeting and marrying JFK, worries about his fidelity and shares her pain following his assassination. All Hallows College, in Dublin, where the priest was based, opted to sell the letters because it couldn’t afford to properly protect them. The college is now in talks with the Kennedy family about how best to preserve the archive.

    Sources: BBC, Boston Globe

  5. Spurs Soundly Beat Thunder in Game Two

    In game one, the San Antonio Spurs used old-fashioned strength to embarrass the Oklahoma City Thunder, 122-105. Last night, the Spurs doubled up on that margin, winning 112-77 and taking a two-game lead in the Western Conference Finals. Spurs guard Danny Green was deadly from behind the arc, connecting on seven of 10 three-pointers. Meanwhile, Thunder leaders Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook struggled to shine, combining for only 30 points. The Thunder now have a big hole to fill, but the next two games will be on their turf at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

    Sources: ESPN, San Antonio Express-News