The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Ebola-Infected Nurse Boarded Commercial Flight

    A second healthcare worker in Dallas who tested positive for Ebola traveled to and from Cleveland a few days before symptoms appeared. The apparent breach of rules highlights the need for better government response. From now on, if Ebola is diagnosed anywhere in the U.S., a CDC infection control team will be immediately deployed. Such protocols could have protected the hospital staff who treated infected patient Thomas Eric Duncan. The WHO now estimates that there could be 10,000 new cases a week by December.

    NYT, WSJ

  2. Hong Kong Police Accused of Brutality

    A viral video has left Hong Kong police few excuses for today’s beating of a handcuffed pro-democracy protester amid the most intense confrontation since the early days of the Umbrella Revolution. The victim, a volunteer social worker, is now hospitalized with possible internal injuries, while another 45 protesters were arrested after they barricaded a road and police moved in with pepper spray. Several officers have been suspended in the wake of the beating video’s dissemination, which may galvanize support for the campaign against China’s control over elections.

    NYT, Reuters

  3. Volatility Sends U.S. Stocks on Wild Ride

    Prompted by an earlier sell-off in Europe, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 450 points Wednesday before recovering in the last half hour of trading. The index ended down 173 points, or 1.1%, in its fifth straight drop. Investors have reasons to be fearful: Oil prices are declining steeply, U.S. retail sales have slowed, and signs of a global slump are increasing. The big picture, says one report: Autumn brings an economic chill that could portend a tough winter.

    WSJ, NYT, USA Today

  4. Supreme Court Stays Texas Abortion Law

    The doors are back open — for now. The court last night stayed a Texas anti-abortion law, allowing 13 clinics providing the procedure to reopen even if they don’t meet the contested state law’s strict requirements. The six supporting justices didn’t explain the order, which simply allows clinics to continue operating during what promises to be a protracted judicial fight. The law would impose some of the country’s toughest abortion restrictions, which providers and their advocates claim are unconstitutional.

    WP, NYT

  5. New Tax Rule Endangers $54 Billion Takeover

    American pharmaceutical company AbbVie is reconsidering its acquisition of British drugmaker Shire, in what would be the biggest casualty of the U.S. Treasury’s crackdown on tax inversions. This recent trend — costing the U.S. upwards of $20 billion in tax revenues — involves merging with a foreign firm and establishing the new conglomerate’s tax base overseas. Share prices in both companies fell at news of the wobble, emphasizing that, though effective, the Treasury’s new regulations aren’t making any friends in the boardroom.

    FT, WSJ

  6. Pentagon Secret: Iraqi Chemicals Hurt Troops

    Chemical weapons from abandoned Iraqi war efforts reportedly caused harm to American soldiers who unknowingly came into contact with them. Military medics struggled to treat the injuries, and the government allegedly covered up the details, which later made it hard for soldiers to get treatment back home, much less military medals. The scary conclusion? Not all the chemical weaponry from Iraq’s troubled history has been destroyed, and Islamic State militants now controls much of the area where the weapons were found.



  1. Study Offers Tips on Avoiding Divorce

    Marital bliss might begin with a big, beautiful wedding — but not if the celebration is too expensive. That’s one takeaway from an Emory University study of 3,000 American couples on predictors of divorce. You’ll also want to make sure the engagement ring costs less than $2,000, date for at least three years and earn more than $125,000 combined. And about that wedding? If it costs more than $20,000, you’re 3.5 times more likely to hit Splitsville. Now you may kiss the bride.

    The Atlantic, The Independent

  2. Dershowitz: Pistorius Verdict Won’t Last

    As “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius begins his third day of sentencing, he faces up to 15 years behind bars for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. But the outcome doesn’t matter, says Alan Dershowitz, the famed defense lawyer who helped clear O.J. Simpson, Claus von Bülow and even Nelson Mandela. He believes the “compromise verdict” will be appealed and overturned. Speaking to OZY, Dershowitz described Judge Thokozile Masipa’s decision as “legally incoherent,” and impaired by racial divisions left over from the struggle against apartheid.


  3. Apple, Facebook to Pay Workers to Freeze Eggs

    Can women have it all? Yes, if by “all,” you mean company-sponsored egg-freezing. Both Apple and Facebook are offering female employees up to $20,000 to cover the huge cost of the procedure that can, when it’s successful, significantly extend a woman’s childbearing years. While the companies claim this is an attempt to level the professional playing field, critics argue that this latest salvo in the “perk wars” doesn’t replace the parental leave, flexibility and childcare needed for younger parents.

    Quartz, NBC

  4. Royals, Giants Nearing World Series

    How about a David-and-Goliath World Series? Out-of-nowhere Kansas City needs one more win against Baltimore to take the ALCS, and big-budget San Francisco leads St. Louis 2-1 in the NLCS after yesterday’s games. The Royals eked out their seventh consecutive postseason victory with stellar defense and a rock-solid bullpen. In typically unconventional Giants fashion, S.F. won 5-4 on a throwing error. If they start hitting, one Giant quipped, ”we could really be good.”

    ESPN, USA Today

  5. NY Met Scores $1B Art Collection

    One of the world’s most important collections of cubist art will be unveiled at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday, thanks to the heir to the Estée Lauder fortune. Leonard Lauder hopes his hoard of 81 masterpieces — including works by Picasso, Braque and Gris — will catapult the “greatest museum in the world” into the 21st century, 1900s-style. The institution is also hiring new curators, establishing a research center and potentially renovating an entire wing dedicated to filling its collection’s 20th-century-sized gap.

    WSJ, Reuters