The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. General Says U.S. Boots May Hit Ground in Iraq

    Voters could see them as fighting words. America’s top general says his ground troops may be needed to defeat Islamic State after all. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey told a Senate committee he’s optimistic airstrikes alone will work, but if not, he’ll make a “recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces.” President Obama, however, has repeatedly ruled out a ground war. To underscore the challenge ahead, IS fighters reportedly shot down their first Syrian government warplane.


  2. Astronaut in space

    SpaceX, Boeing Nab Out-of-This-World Contracts

    NASA is saying nyet to Putin. The U.S. space agency has awarded Boeing and SpaceX the $6.8 billion job of ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017. They beat a bid from Sierra Nevada Corporation to build capsules to send seven passengers aloft. NASA’s been paying Russia $71 million a seat for trips into orbit since retiring U.S. space shuttles in 2011. But the recent political chill has warmed the prospects for commercialized space travel.

    Time, FT (sub), ForbesCNN Money

  3. Obama Cites Global Security in Ebola Fight

    Let’s hope others follow his lead. In announcing a plan to send 3,000 troops to aid the fight against Ebola, the president warned that the disease requires a “global response.” The outbreak, which experts fear is spiraling out of control, has claimed 2,461 lives in West Africa. A U.S. doctor, who survived the “fire straight from the pit of hell,” warned senators to speed up efforts. “We cannot fool ourselves into thinking … the Atlantic Ocean will keep the flames away from our shores,” he said.


  4. China Injects $81 Billion Into Banks

    Is it too little, too late for the world’s second-largest economy? China’s central bank is injecting $81 billion into five major, state-owned financial institutions to revive economic growth that isn’t meeting expectations. The second quarter saw growth down to 7.5 percent, reflecting a six-year low. Asian markets rallied on news of the targeted stimulus early today, but some economists are calling for a greater shift in monetary policy.

    WSJFT (sub)


  1. King Richard III Suffered Blows to the Head

    “My kingdom for a horse,” the Shakespearean version of Richard’s final and futile plea in battle, may not be pure fiction. Careful examination of the king’s skeleton, found under a parking lot in Leicester in 2012, reveals nine strikes to the head and two elsewhere. The monarch, who was accused of killing his young nephews to assume the throne, died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. And while the Bard used poetic license, Richard’s injuries are consistent with accounts that he was indeed separated from his steed.


  2. Wealthy L.A.’s Immunizations on Par with Sudan’s

    Childhood vaccination rates in affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods have plummeted to levels found in South Sudan and Chad. Injection anxieties over unproven side-effect theories keep parents away, and now there’s new fodder: Up to 36 kids killed in Syria by tainted measles shots. Unless 92 percent are vaccinated, contagions can gain a foothold. So the well-to-do in America, where whooping cough and measles are on the rise, must ask whether they can afford to continue opting out.

    The Atlantic, Telegraph

  3. ‘Deadbeat’ Naming Goes Viral in Kenya

    They can run, but they can’t hide. A Facebook page shaming non-supportive parents has taken off in Kenya. “Dead Beat Kenya” allows moms and dads to post names, photos and phone numbers of parents they claim have shirked parental responsibilities. The site’s founder says he contacts the complainers and their targets before allowing a post. He anticipates legal challenges but believes the page, which has drawn hundreds of thousands of members, is the best recourse to corrupt courts. 


  4. Ryan Gosling Welcomes Baby Daughter 

    Sorry ladies, he’s even further off the market — all because of a girl. The heartthrob actor has welcomed his first child, a baby daughter, with girlfriend Eva Mendes. Gosling, 33, and Mendes, 40, fell in love while filming The Place Beyond the Pines three years ago. There’s no word yet on the baby’s name, but the Twitterverse is thrilled and jealous, with some fearing the fledgling will have a complex “when she compares all other men to her dad.”

    Hollywood LifeVanity FairRadarMTV

  5. Nats and O’s Clinch Divisions on Same Night

    The last time Baltimore clawed its way past the Red Sox and Yankees to win its division, in 1997, D.C. didn’t even have a major league team. This morning, as radios buzz with fireworks from the O’s and Nationals’ clinching games in their respective AL and NL east divisions, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway commute should be painless. After the capital and Charm City finish celebrating this year’s first locks, it’ll be crab cakes and pork barrels on the October menu.

    Baltimore Sun, Washington Post