The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Pakistani Taliban Claims Karachi Airport Attack 

    Latest reports suggest that up to 28 people have been killed in a terrorist attack at the country’s Karachi International Airport. After a five-hour gun battle, Pakistan’s security forces claimed to have regained control of the airport, although the BBC reported a fresh outbreak of violence several hours later. The dead included airport workers and security guards and all 10 of the gunmen. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which analysts believe will further undermine Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s attempts to initiate peace negotiations. All incoming flights were diverted to other airports. 

    Sources: BBC, Reuters

  2. Five Killed in Las Vegas Shooting

    Officials report that a man and a woman fatally shot two Las Vegas police officers on Sunday before killing a female shopper at a nearby Wal-Mart and then shooting themselves. Witnesses report that the shooters shouted “this is a revolution,” but officials have not yet identified a motive. The dead police officers have been identified as Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, but neither the shooters nor the third victim have been named. Following the attack, the female suspect reportedly shot her partner before killing herself, in what has been described as a suicide pact.

    Sources: WSJ (sub), Reuters, ABC, AP

  3. Kerry Hints That Freed Taliban Commanders Could Be Killed

    Secretary of State John Kerry has indicated that the Guantanamo detainees freed in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl’s release could be killed by drone strikes if they return to the battlefield. Kerry warned that the Taliban fighters will be closely monitored by the U.S. and “have the ability to get killed.” Bergdahl, who is being treated in a military hospital in Germany, has revealed he was caged in the dark for weeks and tortured by his Taliban kidnappers. The FBI is investigating death threats against Bergdahl’s parents in the wake of the controversy over their son’s release.

    Sources: CNN, The Guardian

  4. Jobs Return to Pre-Recession Levels but Economic Scars Remain

    The number of U.S. jobs has returned to pre-recession levels, but economists warn that the recovery is still far from complete. Government figures show that the U.S. economy added 217,000 jobs in May, meaning that there are currently more U.S. jobs than there were in December 2007. But observers warn that the labor market has been fundamentally altered by the crisis, with more Americans now working part-time, incomes flat-lining or even falling and declining job market participation. 

    Source: USA Today

  5. Pope Francis Hosts Israel-Palestine Prayer Summit, Sisi Promises Inclusive Egypt

    Pope Francis hosts Abbas and Peres at Vatican “prayer summit.” (Washington Post).

    President Sisi promises ‘inclusive’ Egypt at swearing in. (NYT).

    Comedian Tracy Morgan critical but responsive following crash. (CNN).

    Ukraine fighting must end this week, warns President Petro Poroshenko. (BBC).

    Families aim to raise $5million reward for information about missing plane. (The Guardian).


  1. Computer Successfully Poses as Human in Artificial Intelligence First

    For the first time ever, a computer has passed the Turing Test, designed to assess whether machines can ’think.’ Over a five-minute conversation, a computer programmed with the persona of a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy convinced at least 30 percent of testers that it was human. However, not everyone believes that the test, carried out by Reading University, England, is an effective measure of artificial intelligence. The computer, named Eugene Goostman, is now available for conversations with the public.

    Sources: The Independent, The Wire

  2. War Dead Emerge as Global Warming Causes Pacific Surge

    As Europe commemorated D-Day, a government minister from the Marshall Islands revealed that bodies of World War II casualties are surfacing in the Pacific Ocean. Coffins and skeletons believed to be those of Japanese soldiers are being flushed from graves as rising sea levels inundate low-lying Pacific islands. The remains of 26 bodies have been recovered so far on the island of Santo, which was used by the Japanese in the run-up to the Pearl Harbor attack.

    Source: SCMP

  3. Donald Trump’s Name to Light up Chicago Skyline

    Chicago residents have responded angrily to the news that New York’s Donald Trump is slapping his name on their beloved skyline. The developer is attaching his last name to Chicago’s Trump International Hotel and Tower, in letters more than 20ft tall and 141ft long. The name will shine out from 200ft above street level. Even the building’s architect has been quick to insist that he had nothing to do with the sign. ”This isn’t Times Square,” said one angry Chicago resident.

    Source: NPR

  4. Tony Awards Celebrate Broadway and Television Stars

    TV stars won big at last night’s Tony awards, tunefully hosted by Hugh Jackman. Bryan Cranston took home the best actor in a play award for his portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson in All The Way, which also won best play, while sitcom regular Neil Patrick Harris was named best actor for his lead role in musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Broadway star Audra McDonald has now won more Tonys than any other actor, tearfully accepting a sixth trophy for her portrayal of Billie Holiday. Despite its uninspiring ticket sales, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder was named best musical.

    Sources: USA Today, NYT

  5. Miami Ties Series with Game 2 Win

    The air conditioning was working fine and so was the NBA’s most valuable player. Despite being carried off the court with cramps in Game 1, three days later LeBron James was good for 35 points and ten rebounds in 38 minutes, at times looking completely unstoppable. As a result, Miami Heat beat San Antonio Spurs 98-96, outscoring them by 11 points when James was on court. Along with some crucial makes from Heat center Chris Bosh, James carried Miami, looking confident and sure wherever San Antonio allowed him space.

    Sources: Miami Herald, CBS, ESPN