The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Iran: No Deal Unless Sanctions Lifted 

    The ink is far from dry. Tehran lashed out today over details on a nuclear deal, with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying there’s “no guarantee” of him signing on the dotted red line just hours after President Hassan Rouhani said there’d be no deal without a simultaneous lifting of sanctions. “I have never been optimistic about negotiating with America,” Khamenei added, widening cracks in the framework agreement reached last week. Destabilizing things on the other side is the Senate, which is preparing a bill to rebuke Obama for his part in the deal.

    BBC, CNN

  2. U.S. May Remove Cuba from Terrorism List

    The State Department has given its okay. President Obama will likely have his first significant interaction with Cuban leader Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas Friday and Saturday, but many had given up hope that the U.S. would remove Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terror before then. Castro is the first Cuban leader to make an appearance at the summit. If Obama agrees to remove Cuba’s name, it’ll be a big step toward normalizing relations between the two countries. 


  3. More than 20 Die in Shipwreck Off Haiti

    The bodies are washing ashore. Officials say a boat headed from Haiti to Turks and Caicos must have sunk — 21 people are confirmed dead and another dozen are missing, though about 10 swam to safety after their boat capsized in bad weather. Impoverished Haitians regularly brave dangerous waters attempting to illegally enters countries like Turks and Caicos and escape conditions at home. Local fishermen and authorities will continue to comb the waters for survivors and remains. 

    NYT, BBC, Focus

  4. Poll Puts Paul Over Clinton

    It’s looking “ominous” for Hillary Clinton, a new poll suggests. Republican Rand Paul out-polls her by three points in Colorado and one point in Iowa, according to the Quinnipiac University. She seems to have lost ground to the GOP, with old issues about honesty and trustworthiness dogging her. While we’re still a long way from election day, this isn’t good news for Clinton, who’s expected to throw her hat in the ring in coming weeks. And she’s about to face another challenge: Republican Marco Rubio plans to announce his candidacy on Monday.

    AP, The Guardian

  5. Courthouse Shooting Claims Judge, Lawyer

    At least three people died in a Milan courthouse as a man on trial for fraudulent bankruptcy opened fire and then fled on a motorbike. Reports of the death toll vary, as it appears one of the deceased may have suffered a fatal heart attack. Court workers hid under desks and barricaded their offices as police searched for Claudio Giardiello, who was arrested about 16 miles away. Now officials are investigating how a gun got into the courthouse, declaring that whoever made the mistake will pay for it. 

    Al Jazeera, Buzzfeed, WSJ

  6. Will Boston Marathon Bomber Get Death?

    The verdict is in. Jurors found Russian émigré Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty yesterday on all 30 counts — 17 of which make him eligible for the death penalty — linked to the blasts near the race’s finish line on April 15, 2013. They found him liable for four deaths, including the murder of a police officer, and 260 injuries. The sentencing phase begins next week, with government lawyers fighting for the death penalty. Tsarnaev’s lead attorney is an expert at keeping clients off death row and will be arguing for life behind bars.

    LA Times, CNN

  7. U.S. Warns Iran Over Houthi Support

    Back off, or else. That’s what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told Iranian leaders about their alleged provision of military aid to Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition, supported by the U.S., is trying to quash the rebels to reinstate Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s presidency, and fighting in recent weeks has left several hundred dead. Iran denies involvement and is unlikely to step back, but it’s on notice that the U.S. will not allow it to destabilize the region.

    BBC , Al Jazeera

  8. Greece Meets Deadline for Loan Repayment

    They coughed it up in time. Athens reportedly repaid $483 million in loans to the IMF today, meeting one of many deadlines. But concerns are still rife over Greece’s ability to meet its financial obligations in the coming months. The payment was scheduled before Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s charm offensive in Moscow, where he’s trying to bolster bilateral relations. But the remittance did little to reassure eurozone creditors, who are still negotiating whether Greek economic structural reform plans are enough to secure 7.2 billion euros in bailout funds.


  9. Obama Supports End to Gay ’Conversions’

    The White House is telling them to knock it off. It’s supporting an online petition calling for a ban on psychiatric therapies aimed at changing sexual identities, inspired by the December suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn. The administration’s statement condemned such treatments, noting they are “neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm.” California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., have banned conversion therapy on minors, and while the Oval Office isn’t advocating a congressional ban, it’s encouraging other states to change their ways.

    Mashable, Washington Post

  10. Jamie Dimon Warns of Next Crisis

    Take your money and run, but where? JPMorgan Chase’s chief exec warned yesterday in his annual letter that the next financial downturn could see more volatility in global markets and a “rapid decline” in share value. Jamie Dimon said the next big crisis would likely be sparked by banks’ reduced capacity to act as “shock absorbers,” thanks to new liquidity requirements that have tied up their safest assets. That means there won’t be enough safe-haven Treasuries, and folks may need to find a new place to run. 

    BI, FT (sub)


  1. LinkedIn Branches Out

    They’re more than just an electronic handshake. LinkedIn just acquired Lynda, an online education company, for $1.5 billion. That’s a huge buy, and one that signals their commitment to be more than just a job networking site. CEO Jeff Weiner says Lynda could turn LinkedIn into a place that teaches jobseekers new skills, something he hopes will be especially key in the emerging Chinese market, where LinkedIn has doubled their user base in the last year. Perhaps LinkedIn will end up helping you improve your resume, rather than just pass it around.  


  2. Tokyo to Trial Toyota’s Three-Wheeled Vehicle

    Not a car, not quite a motorbike. Japanese drivers will be able to take the new electric wheels out for a spin starting Friday. There are only five i-Roads available — for $3, drivers can tool around Tokyo’s Ginza shopping area for 15 minutes in the tiny contraption, whose two front wheels allow it stability but with the steering flexibility of a motorcycle. Car companies are hoping vehicles like this will allow commuters mobility without clogging roads. They’ll be testing for six months before deciding whether to mass-produce.



  3. Obama Tweaks Netanyahu on Social Media

    Remember the Israeli prime minister’s much-maligned 2012 “red line” speech about Iranian nukes, complete with a cartoon bomb? The White House tweeted a similar image yesterday to explain its Iran deal. Obama’s cartoon illustrated how the U.S. is better off under the framework agreement, with a cut fuse, eliminated enriched uranium production, reduced centrifuges and a red line clearly mocking Netanyahu’s drawing. Sealing the deal in June is far from certain, but at least the president still has an explosive sense of humor.


  4. N.J. Officers Nab Cute and Disorderly Goat

    It’s a baad idea to break down doors in New Jersey, as you might butt heads with local law enforcement. That’s what happened to a small, white and adorable goat caught red-hooved trying to break into a residence in Paramus, prompting “calls of a disorderly goat head-butting a door.” Police nabbed the wayward goat from a nearby roadway and took it into custody. They left it with local animal authorities, who want the owners to come pick up their kid.

    Modern Farmer

  5. Newsman Bob Schieffer to Retire

    He’s one of the most recognizable faces in television journalism, currently hosting Sunday’s political must-watch Face the Nation. Now, after almost 50 years in journalism, CBS’ Schieffer, 78, is stepping down this summer. He’s interviewed every president since Nixon, moderated presidential debates since 2004 and was named a “living legend” by the Library of Congress. The shortlist for his replacement includes Major Garrett, CBS’ White House chief, and outsiders like CNN’s Jake Tapper. The goal, some say, is to have someone well-connected in place for the 2016 presidential race.

    CBS, Politico

  6. Americans Have Rage Issues and Guns

    It’s a lethal combination. A new study shows that one in 10 Americans have both anger management issues and access to firearms, with 1.5 percent of those with impulsive anger problems carrying guns. Few have sought treatment and are unlikely to be flagged for gun-ownership restrictions based on mental health. But with frightening U.S. firearm death rates — 33,000 in 2013 — researchers suggest we look at arrest records for histories of aggression, rather than just mental health, to keep guns out of angry hands.

    Huffington Post

  7. Pot Legalization Impacts Mexican Cartels

    Drug runners south of the U.S. border are seeing marijuana trade go up in smoke, with authorities reporting a steady drop in cartel-linked pot seizures since 2011. The increasing legalization of Bob Marley’s favorite herb is driving unregulated Mexican varieties out of the market. Mexico’s police are seeing a similar downturn, along with a decrease in violence — a trend many would like to see continue. Legal marijuana trade inhaled $2.7 billion last year and should hit $4 billion in 2016. 


  8. UFC Star Battles Walmart Sensibility

    She’s pulling no punches. MMA star fighter Ronda Rousey had some pointed words for the retail megachain over its refusal to stock her autobiography, My Fight/Your Fight, after reportedly deeming her “too violent.” The Women’s Bantamweight Champion posted an Instagram photo of an article about the controversy, which suggests that Walmart isn’t bothered by the violence engendered by stocking rifles and ammunition. She captioned the post “Success is the best revenge,” and is clearly banking on fans to fight in her corner.


  9. Masters Young and Old Take to Greens

    Generations have converged in Augusta. Yesterday’s traditional Par-3 Masters warm-up saw Tiger playing with his kids on the green. Coming off of a two-month hiatus, Woods is on hand for today’s tourney, hoping he can still swing with the leaders. Young Rory McIlroy aims to keep the aging champ down, but both men were reminded that they’re putting in the Golden Bear’s shadow: Six-time Masters champ Jack Nicklaus, 75, sunk a hole in one, proving greatness can defy any age.

    USA Today, AP, ESPN

  10. GoFundMe Bans Michael Slager Campaign

    Your money’s no good here. The crowdfunding site blocked an attempted effort on behalf of the former North Charleston police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black man. GoFundMe declined to comment but its decision is notable because the site allowed an earlier campaign for former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson to proceed. However, three campaigns still exist on rival site Indiegogo on behalf of the officer, who was fired by the police department and has been formally charged with murdering Scott.

    Mashable, Chicago Tribune

  11. Wild Goldfish Rule a Colorado Lake

    They’ve outgrown their bowl. Thousands of feral goldfish inhabit Boulder’s Teller Lake #5, likely just three years after a mysterious pet owner dumped a couple of fish rather than keep them in captivity any longer. While the Parks and Wildlife biologists can only speculate about the population’s origins, they’ve got a concrete problem on their hands: The non-native species has devastated local fish populations. Officials will either drain the lake to let the school out, or stun them and scoop them from the water before feeding them to local birds.