The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Netanyahu’s Speech Slams Iran Deal

    “[This] paves Iran’s path to a bomb,” Bibi said of American attempts to make a deal with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program. The Israeli prime minister predicted that the rest of the Middle East will gear up with nukes as well if Iran isn’t stopped, darkly referring to “lessons of history” not having been learned with regard to anti-Semitism. He also tried to shore up the relationship between U.S. and Israel — he’s facing an election in Israel in two weeks — after plans of his congressional address ruffled feathers in Washington. 

    NPR, BBC

  2. Petraeus Reaches Deal to Avoid Trial

    It’s a bargain: The former CIA director is steering clear of a courtroom, where embarrassing details might’ve been divulged. David Petraeus, who plummeted from grace with revelations that he’d shared access to classified information with his mistress/biographer in 2012, is set to plead guilty to one count of unauthorized use of classified material. His affair and misconduct with Paula Broadwell led to his resignation. The retired general, who continues to advise the White House on foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East, faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

    NYT, USA Today

  3. U.S. Probe Finds Racial Bias in Ferguson

    Racism is pervasive in Ferguson’s official ranks. That’s according to Justice Department investigators who say the Missouri town’s police force routinely violates the constitutional rights of black residents, using excessive force and unwarranted traffic stops. One city official wrote an email saying President Obama wouldn’t be in office long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years?” Due out tomorrow, the damning report vindicates activists who descended on Ferguson to demand changes. The Feds could also force the city to clean house through a consent decree.

    NYT, Associated Press

  4. Hillary Used Private Email for Official Work

    For the record, high-ranking employees are supposed to use sanctioned government email accounts. But that didn’t stop former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who reportedly sent official correspondence exclusively from a personal electronic address. The former first lady didn’t have a government account, which violates federal rules regarding the retention of emails. There’s unlikely to be a penalty or fine linked to the revelation, but with her prospective 2016 candidacy looming, hints of any lack of transparency are bound to send a message.


  5. Iran Rejects Obama’s Nuclear Demands

    They want the same thing: a nuke-free Islamic Republic. But they disagree about how to get there. President Obama spoke up ahead of today’s congressional address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterating that Iran must freeze its nuclear activities for at least a decade to secure a sanction-lifting agreement. Iran responded negatively, saying the demand was “excessive and illogical.” Obama was likely just trying to publicly smooth things over with Netanyahu, but now Iran is adding fuel to Israel’s fire.

    Reuters, BBC

  6. Nasdaq Tops 5000 in Different Era

    It only took 15 years and two recessions. The index closed yesterday at 5008, marking a milestone last reached on March 27, 2000, in the days of high-flying tech stocks that later came crashing down in the dot-com bust that began that year. Luckily, this isn’t the Nasdaq of the era. On average, companies in the composite today are older, bigger and most importantly, more profitable. But that hasn’t stopped some from wondering whether another bubble is brewing.

    WSJ (sub), Quartz

  7. Moscow Limits Nemtsov Funeral Attendees

    Russian authorities thwarted EU officials’ plans to attend the Putin critic’s funeral. A Polish politician was denied a visa, and a Latvian leader was sent home. Meanwhile, Anna Duritskaya, Boris Nemtsov’s girlfriend and witness to his murder, was flown back to her native Ukraine. The Kremlin vowed to find the killer ahead of today’s memorial in Moscow, but with fingers wagging — many unsurprisingly in Putin’s direction — the restricted entries are bound to fuel conspiracy theories.

    The Guardian, DW, BBC

  8. House Ends Homeland Security Stalemate, Volcano Erupts in Chile

    Congress approves “clean bill” for Homeland Security funding. (NYT)

    Volcano erupts in southern Chile, forcing evacuations. (The Guardian)

    Fighting rages between Iraqi troops, ISIS around Tikrit. (DW)

    Georgia delays execution over cloudy drug issue. (NBC)

    Canadian pastor missing, feared detained, in North Korea. (Time)

    Bill Gates reigns on Forbes’ rich list. (Forbes)

    Twitter takes on terrorists, disables 2,000 accounts. (ABC)


  1. Kimmel Mocks Anti-Vaxxers With Prickly PSAs

    It’s no joke. But late-night host Jimmy Kimmel is wringing out laughs while leading a one-man fight against the anti-vaccination movement. The comedian handed over his national audience to several foul-mouthed doctors to deliver the straight talk. “Remember that time you got polio?” one physician asks. “No, you don’t, because your parents got you f—king vaccinated.” This is a personal issue for the Vegas native. He’s a father who also has family with autism, which some parents still believe is linked to vaccines. Expect more ridicule ahead.


  2. Coffee May Clean Out Your Arteries

    Joe packs more of a punch than we thought. A new study suggests that drinking three to five cups of brew a day lowers the risk of calcium deposits on coronary arteries, often linked to heart attacks and strokes. Java-swilling participants — regardless of whether they smoked or were obese — had between 19 and 40 percent less plaque buildup than non-coffee drinkers, depending on their intake. So instead of the jitter-juice putting you at risk, it may be doing your heart good.

    Time, Live Science

  3. Ancient Civilization Unearthed in Honduras

    There’s always something new to explore. Archaeologists have discovered the rumored “City of the Monkey God” in the Honduran jungle. The lost city, located in the dense Central American rain forest, is a pristine site comprised of earthworks, plazas, stone sculptures and a pyramid, all believed to date from A.D. 1000 to 1400. So far, the relics remains undisturbed, but deforestation — or worse, looters — could threaten them before researchers even have a chance to give the vanished culture a name.

    National Geographic

  4. Clinton Portrait Has Hint of Shame

    No, Monica, we can’t bury the blue dress. Artist Nelson Shanks says his 2006 portrait of Bill Clinton that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery contains a hidden reference to the Lewinsky affair. Outraged by the “most famous liar of all time,” Shanks claims he secretly added a shadow from a blue dress — symbolizing the intern’s infamous outfit and stain on the presidency. It’s one of 55 Clinton images in the gallery — and the former first couple don’t want it removed.

    The Atlantic, Mashable

  5. Switch-Pitcher Eyes Oakland’s Roster

    Look, ma, two hands! Pat Venditte aims to be the second modern-era MLB pitcher to hurl with both hands in one game. A natural right-hander, the 29-year-old from Omaha started honing his ambidexterity at age 3, and now throws just as well southpaw. Venditte, whose custom two-thumbed mitt can be worn on either hand, was acquired by the Athletics in the offseason and doesn’t yet have a roster spot. But if his awed teammates are any clue, he’ll be switching up opposing hitters in no time.


  6. Tinder Grows Up — and Starts Charging

    Apparently money can buy you love. The free dating app has rolled out Tinder Plus, with new features just for paying subscribers. Fees vary by country and age — with base pricing in the U.S. of $10 for younger users, but $20 for over-30s. It’s the matchmaking mobile app’s attempt to monetize, but it remains to be seen whether folks will pay extra for new features like reconsidering rejected profiles … or whether they’ll simply lie about their age.

    Fortune, Engadget