The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Fatal Shootings Stun Canadian Capital

    A gunman shot and killed a soldier guarding the National War Memorial on Wednesday, before going on a shooting spree in the nearby Parliament building. Officials identified the assailant as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, calling him a recent convert to Islam. He was shot dead by the sergeant-at-arms, who is being hailed as a hero. The attack, coming days after a Muslim extremist allegedly struck two soldiers near Montreal, killing one, leaves a usually peaceful nation on edge.

    Globe and Mail, Guardian, CBC

  2. Ferguson Autopsy Appears to Back Cop’s Claim

    Michael Brown was shot in the hand at close range, suggesting he had been reaching for the police officer’s gun. The official autopsy also found marijuana in the unarmed teen’s system. The medical report — leaked to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch — refutes the family’s claims that Brown was shot by officer Darren Wilson while trying to surrender. That’s sure to further fuel the controversy as Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon creates a commission to investigate systemic inequality.

    WSJ, TIMESt. Louis Post-Dispatch

  3. Did ISIS Intercept Airdropped Weapons?

    U.S. officials are investigating a video showing ISIS militants helping themselves to high-powered weaponry purportedly airdropped by American planes. The cache, intended for Kurdish fighters in Kobane, included hand grenades, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Militants already possess millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. weaponry captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers. The besieged town near the Turkish border has been hit by fresh fighting in recent days, as ISIS launched fierce attacks to reclaim ground from Kurdish forces.


  4. Ebola Serum to Reach Liberia Within Weeks

    The race to develop an Ebola vaccine is nearing the finish line. According to the World Health Organization, a serum synthesized from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available in Liberia within weeks. Efforts are also under way to create a vaccine by the beginning of next year, although extensive human testing is required. Meanwhile, the U.S. has announced that travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will be funneled through five airports with enhanced screening procedures.

    BBC, Reuters

  5. U.S. Economy Braces for Global Woes

    The long-awaited recovery of the U.S. economy may be stalled by deflation in Europe and the slowdown in China. While America is less reliant on exports than its trading partners, the strong dollar might slow international demand for American products. U.S. stocks are down four percent since mid-September and yields on 10-year Treasuries hit a 16-month low last week. While the economy has weathered previous international storms, the combination of global shocks and tougher Fed policy could constrict growth.


  6. Blackwater Guards Guilty, North Korea Releases American

    Jury convicts Blackwater in controversial 2007 Iraq shooting that killed civilians. (Washington Post)

    North Korea releases American prisoner, raising hopes for two others. (LAT)

    The real King Tut wasn’t much to look at. (Washington Post). 

    Hostility flares in Florida gubernatorial debate. (NYT)

    U.S. considers Iraqi request for additional advisers. (Al Jazeera)

    Toys R Us pulls ‘Breaking Bad’ toy. (NBC)


  1. Watergate Editor Bradlee Dies

    He followed the money, toppled a president and transformed the Washington Post into a globally respected publication. Editor Ben Bradlee and his team earned 17 Pulitzers, including awards for the Watergate investigation and the publication of the Pentagon Papers , a leaked government history ofthe Vietnam War. “Along with Katharine Graham, Ben Bradlee stared down power in the 1970s and in doing so, redefined the very essence of journalism both here and abroad,” said OZY co-founder Carlos Watson. Bradlee, 93, died at home of natural causes. 

    Washington Post, NYT

  2. Google Puts Goodall’s Chimps on the Map

    Fancy some armchair zoology? You can now get close to Jane Goodall’s famous chimpanzees — on Street View, that is. The Jane Goodall Institute helped Google map out Gombe National Park in Tanzania , from the institute’s research facilities to the inside of the 80-year-old primatologist’s home. They also documented vast swaths of the park, including deforested and fire-ravaged areas. It might seem like an invasion of the primates’ privacy, but the Institute says it will use the new views to raise conservation awareness through its education programs.

    Mashable, Smithsonian

  3. Unused Time Off Costs Workers Billions

    Ever tried to impress your boss by working through your vacation? You’re not the only one. A study of unused vacation days in the U.S. has found that Americans with paid time off used an average of 16 out of 20.9 days. That adds up to 169 million days, or $52.4 billion in lost benefits, and means employees are essentially working those days for free. What’s more, the study suggests that “work martyrs” did not receive more raises or bonuses than their peers. Their actual reward? More stress.


  4. Zellweger’s New Visage Sparks Debate

    It’s the face that launched a million tweets. Renée Zellweger walked the red carpet at the Elle Magazine Women in Hollywood Awards Tuesday looking nearly unrecognizable from her Jerry Maguire and Bridget Jones’s Diary days. Her startlingly reconfigured countenance unleashed a torrent of criticism, but also led to heated commentary about the cult of celebrity and its effect on women. Plenty of voices have jumped to her defense, some pointing to the 11 million cosmetic surgeries carried out in the U.S. in 2013.

    The Guardian, TIME, Washington Post

  5. Giants Rain on Royals’ Parade

    Kansas City’s perfect postseason blaze was smothered Tuesday night by San Francisco’s 7-1 drubbing in the World Series opener. Hunter Pence’s homer capped a three-run first inning for the Giants, leaving plenty of breathing room for Madison “Mad Bum” Bumgarner, who pitched seven shutout innings. The Royals will try again tomorrow with 23-year-old rookie pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose 100-mph fastball may give the underdogs the spark they need.