The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Federal Court Upholds Gay Marriage Bans

    This can only end at the U.S. Supreme Court. A federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled Thursday that states have the right to prohibit same-sex marriage, overturning rulings by lower courts in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that had struck down those restrictions. The 2-1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit will almost certainly force the nation’s high court to take up the issue. Last month, the justices refused to reconsider bans by several states. It looks like they don’t have a choice.

    USA Today, Washington Post, NYT

  2. Obama to Nation: I Hear You

    The U.S. president got the message. Obama said he’ll cede to the country’s wishes and use his remaining time to break political deadlock, saying voters “want us to get the job done.” But he wasn’t completely humbled by the results. Noting that two-thirds of voters didn’t cast ballots — suggesting there’s no GOP mandate — Obama indicated that he’s prepared to use his executive powers to allow millions of undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States.

    Washington PostNYT

  3. Malware Attacks Apple Devices

    It’s the first serious security threat to iOS, the normally airtight mobile operating system. Dubbed “WireLurker,” the virus infects Mac laptop or desktop software and spreads to iPhones and iPads via USB cables. Once inside, the malware modifies apps and loads a comic book program thought to be a “test payload” for future invasions. It’s mostly hitting users in China, where it originated in a third-party online store. There’s a test for detecting the virus, and Apple says it has blocked the invasive apps.

    The Verge, Tech CrunchBusiness Insider

  4. GOP Prepares Foreign Policy Battle Plan

    Republican hawks are armed with electoral success and ready for combat. They’re aiming to reshape Obama’s policies in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, beltway insider Roger Zakheim tells OZY. Mitt Romney’s former defense adviser also expects a fight against the Pentagon-constraining Budget Control Act. Meanwhile, Arizona Sen. John McCain is eyeing “encroachment in the south China Sea.” So it’s likely, as former Republican congressman Ron Paul — Rand’s dad — declared on Twitter, that “boots on the ground are coming.”

    OZYDaily Beast

  5. Japanese Economy Defies Growth Plan 

    It’s crunch time. Two years into Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bold plan for bolstering Japan’s economy, his government has spent more money, printed more yen and reformed the nation’s economic structure. Yet something’s wrong. While unemployment is down and big firms are reporting record profits, gains have been uneven. Small businesses and many consumers continue to suffer, reducing confidence and economic output. Japan’s central bank plans to expand government bond-buying, but last-ditch efforts may not be enough to boost confidence in Abenomics.

    NYTAl Jazeera


  1. Student Becomes Youngest U.S. Lawmaker

    She campaigned mostly out of her dorm room. Saira Blair, an 18-year-old staunch conservative, crushed her 44-year-old Democratic opponent Tuesday to gain a seat in West Virginia’s House of Delegates. The West Virginia University freshman was still in high school when she unseated the 66-year-old incumbent in the GOP primary. Blair will defer her economics and Spanish studies for the spring semester to attend the part-time legislature, where she promises to push for a repeal of the state’s gasoline tax. 

    TimeNewsweek, WSJ (sub)

  2. Berkeley Fights Obesity With Soda Tax

    Tax collectors have found their sweet spot. Though some 30 cities nationwide have failed to pass similar measures to reduce sugar intake, 75 percent of voters in California’s liberal hub approved a penny-per-ounce levy on sugary drinks — America’s first tax on sodas. Defeats of initiatives elsewhere, including nearby San Francisco, are blamed on massive opposition spending by the American Beverage Association. But proponents hope this win will lead to a national trend. 

    MashableNPR, InsideBayArea

  3. Retailer Aims to Dress Up Fido

    American Eagle Outfitters hasn’t had a lot of luck lately dressing humans, so it’s found a new target: dogs. American Beagle Outfitters — its new pooch clothing line — offers knitted sweaters and puffer jackets. Like many teen clothing businesses, the firm has been grappling with sluggish sales and a dearth of new trends. But with Americans spending an estimated $350 million on Halloween pet costumes during this year alone, the new canine strategy might just fetch some hefty profits.


  4. Dunham Postpones European Book Tour

    The besieged Girls creator Lena Dunham has pushed back two European book tour dates following criticism over a “sexual predator” quip in her new memoir. Dunham cited health reasons, but she also recently admitted to a “rage spiral” over being slammed for jokingly referring to herself as a “sexual predator.” The comment came when she described kissing her sister — as a child — in her book, Not That Kind of Girl. She has apologized for using the phrase and for unintentionally evoking any painful memories for abuse victims.


  5. Health Organizations Text to Stem Ebola

    A few words can save lives. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has sent nearly two million SMS messages a month to residents of Sierra Leone, advising them on prevention and treatment of the deadly virus. Using the Trilogy Emergency Relief Application, the IFRC sends mass-texts to users in specific geographic areas. This technology — developed after the 2010 Haiti earthquake — will soon launch in other West African countries, instantly delivering vital messages to at-risk communities. 


  6. ’Sherlock’ Prints Surprise Nuptial Notice

    In true Victorian style, Benedict Cumberbatch, star of BBC’s Sherlock and films like Atonementhas revealed his plans to wed in an old-fashioned newspaper notice. This low-key announcement — which appeared in The Times of London under “Forthcoming Marriages” — is typical of Cumberbatch and his fiancée Sophie Hunter, who strive to avoid the media’s glare. But headlines are sure to hound the beloved detective, whose performance in the forthcoming Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game is already generating Oscar talk.

    The Guardian

  7. A-Rod Admitted Drug Use to DEA

    He can’t say it ain’t so. Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez told authorities he bought $12,000 worth of performance-enhancing drugs a month, according to official documents. He also detailed how he ducked MLB drug tests. His private confession earned him immunity from prosecution, but publicly he’s stuck to his doping denials. Links to the dope-peddling Biogenesis clinic, which A-Rod squealed on, got him suspended last season, but now he’s back, discovering that he’s not immune from fans’ ire.

    Miami Herald, NYT