The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Former Microsoft CEO Bids $2 Billion to Buy Clippers

    Steve Ballmer has pledged $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers, winning a bidding war for the chance to buy the NBA team. Ballmer and Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling agreed the price, but a representative for Donald Sterling says there’s no deal without his signature. The NBA voted to require the sale after Donald’s racist comments sparked national outcry, but he has not yet agreed to sell. If it goes through, it will be the second-highest price paid for a sports team in the U.S., after the Dodgers sold for $2.1 billion in 2012. 

    Sources: LA Times, CNN, FT (sub)

  2. Snowden and NSA Spar Over Email Warnings

    Whistleblower Edward Snowden says the NSA is holding back on internal emails that he sent while he was working for the agency, in which he raised red flags about mass surveillance practices. Snowden claimed in a recent NBC interview to have raised issues with surveillance procedures within the agency before going public. The NSA responded, releasing one short email from Snowden in which he asked about legal training programs but not about surveillance, wrongdoing or abuse. Snowden’s response? It’s an “incomplete” picture, and he hopes intelligence authorities will reveal more of his records soon.

    Sources: Reuters, Washington Post

  3. Measles Cases Hit 20-Year High in U.S.

    The highly infectious virus — that can cause deafness, brain damage or even death — is making an unwelcome comeback in the U.S. with 288 reported cases already this year. The problem? International travelers who are not getting vaccinated. The highest number of cases have been reported in Ohio’s Amish communities, where some have traveled abroad to do charitable work without being immunized. Reasons for not getting the injections vary, often stemming from philosophical or religious objections. The unsurprising solution, according to health officials, is vaccination. 

    Sources: USA Today, NPR, BBC, NYT

  4. Google Launches Deletion Service in Europe After Landmark Ruling

    Europeans can now make official requests to have personal information deleted from the Internet giant’s search engine. Google has launched a form for Europeans to make data deletion requests after a court ruling suggested that EU citizens should have the “right to be forgotten.” Google says it plans to assess each request on a case-by-case basis, noting that irrelevant or outdated data should go, while retaining its right to weigh up whether the information is of public interest.

    Sources: BBCFT (sub)


  1. Glass Ledge 1300 Feet High ’Cracks’ Beneath Tourists’ Feet

    Stepping onto a glass ledge 103 floors up is scary enough. But for Antonio Saldana and his family, Chicago’s Willis Tower proved terrifying after the platform they were standing on started to break like ice. Saldana said for a moment he thought they were going to fall. Staff later explained that he and his family were perfectly safe, it was just a protective coating that had cracked, not the thick layer of glass that can hold five tons. It seems the family visit wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

    Sources: ABC, Chicago Tribune, Time

  2. Bee Names Two Winners for First Time in 50 Years

    The Scripps National Spelling Bee has awarded the top prize to two contestants for the first time since 1962. Sriram Hathwar, 14, of New York, and Texan Ansun Sujoe, 13, both spelled a dozen words correctly in a row before being declared champs. An upset looked likely when Sriram misspelled “corpsbruder,” but Ansun then struggled with “antigropelos,” tying things up. While the teenage dictionaries share the title, they each get their own prize — $30,000 in cash, $2,500 U.S. Savings Bond, a reference library from Merriam-Webster and reference books from Encyclopedia Britannica. 

    Sources: USA Today, AP

  3. Two-Timing May Be More Human Than We Think

    Is monogamy overrated? Scientists have found that only nine percent of mammal species are monogamous. In light of recent research in the U.S. showing that 15 percent of women and 20 percent of men have cheated on their spouses, and 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, a question looms: Is marriage the problem, or monogamy? Being bound to one person for our entire lives may simply go against human nature. Before judging two-timers, it may be worth closely examining how humans became monogamous in the first place. Guess what? No one knows.

    Source: OZY

  4. Study Draws Link Between Head Banging and National Prosperity

    What do countries where heavy metal is popular have in common? High quality of life and government-funded social programs. The genre stereotypically associated with aggression is doing well in areas boasting higher satisfaction with life, like Canada, northern Europe and Scandinavia. The higher number of heavy metal bands correlates with greater economic output per person as well as higher levels of creativity, entrepreneurship and collegiate education, the study shows. Wealthy nations have the media resources and consumers needed to help the genre thrive.

    Source: Rolling Stone

  5. Rangers Beat Canadiens, Advance to Finals With Stellar Defense

    For the first time since 1994, the New York Rangers are heading to the Stanley Cup Finals. In the second period last night against Montreal, New York’s Dominic Moore netted the first and only goal of the game, leading his team to a 1-0, series-clinching win over the Canadiens. New York’s strategy was simple: Don’t let Montreal get the puck anywhere near the goal. The Habs managed only 18 shots on goal, and none made it past the stone wall of Henrik Lundqvist. This marks the 20th consecutive season a Canadian team has not won hockey’s most-prized possession. 

    Sources: ESPN, NYT