The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. EU Agrees to Do More for Migrants

    They’re stepping in to help. The EU said Monday that it will expand rescue efforts in the Mediterranean Sea after a migrant boat, with hundreds reportedly locked below deck, capsized late Saturday, reportedly killing 800 people  and leading to two arrests. More than 1,500 migrants have drowned already this year, and the EU’s money will go not just to rescue efforts but to chasing down and disciplining human traffickers. The question of how to handle the immigration influx into Europe is still very much up in the air.  

    CNN, NYT, USA Today

  2. Pulitzer Awarded for Ferguson Reporting

    The journalism prizes this year didn’t bypass the big hitters — the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times all won some gold. But smaller papers with big stories didn’t do badly. The St Louis Post-Dispatch won for its breaking news photography of the riots that gripped the region last year, while the Seattle Times, the Post and Courier of Charleston, and the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif., all brought back prizes for their thorough coverage of local issues.  

    BBC, USA Today

  3. Officer Cleared in Shooting of Black Woman

    This case may not end here. Dante Servin has been cleared of the charge of involuntary manslaughter for his shooting of Rekia Boyd, a 22-year-old unarmed black woman, during a confrontation over a noisy party. The judge heard four days of testimony before clearing Servin, indicating that if the charge had been first degree murder, he’d have let the jury hear the case. This could lead to more civil unrest, as protesters decried the verdict as yet another case of unpunished police violence toward black Americans. 

    Al Jazeera, Chicago Sun-Times

  4. Auschwitz Guard to Go on Trial

    Some wrongs can never be righted. Oskar Groening, now 93 years old, doesn’t deny that he served as an employee at the Nazi concentration camp, collecting money for the luggage of new prisoners. But he denies the charge against him of complicity in the 300,000 murders that took place there. Prosecutors have been stepping up efforts in recent years to go after the few low-level Nazis and collaborators who are left alive, after decades of a laissez-faire attitude that let many war criminals avoid prosecution. 

    Irish Times, CBC

  5. Baltimore Suspends Officers in Gray Death

    They’ve got to get to the bottom of this. Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested “without force or incident” after fleeing from police April 12, according to papers filed in Maryland’s District Court. But he died in police custody of a spinal injury and was apparently denied medical care when he requested it while under police care. Now six cops have been suspended, and Baltimore’s mayor says prosecutors will start determining the best course of action by the end of the month. Now protestors are gathering to “fight for justice” for Gray’s family.

    WP, Baltimore Sun

  6. 6 Allegedly Wanted to Join ISIS

    Their planned route would have taken them from Minneapolis to San Diego, then across the Mexican border and onto Syria. The men, ages 18 to 24, all with a Somali background, are part of an unnerving trend — in two years, more than 20 Somali-Americans from the twin cities have tried to join ISIS. The local federal attorney’s office has started working with the Somali community to find solutions, but more after-school activities may not match the allure of freedom fighting in the Middle East.

    CBS, Star Tribune

  7. Boy Wields Crossbow in Deadly Attack

    He hit the Barcelona school soon after the school day started, reports say. He came late, clad in camouflage, and when a teacher opened tithe door, he shot a crossbow at her face. He allegedly fired at her daughter, also a student there. A second teacher died, while a third found the boy in a hall readying a bomb, and talked to him until police arrived. He’s too young to face charges in Spain. Teachers say he was a friendly kid, but at least one says that Monday, he confessed to just wanting to silence “the voices.”

    The Guardian


  8. FBI Errors Plague Major Cases

    Hollywood makes it looks so easy — find a bit of hair at a crime scene, and the case becomes a slam-dunk. But reality doesn’t always follow a script, and now the FBI says that examiners in a top forensic unit exaggerated hair matches against defendants in hundreds of cases nationwide. While no one’s saying that those serving time in such cases are all innocent, it does look like grounds for potentially hundreds of appeals. Judges, ready your gavels.

    CBS, BBC

  9. Ethiopian, Kenyan Claim Boston Glory

    They ran with history at their heels. The world’s running elite hit the pavement in the 119th Boston Marathon today, with American Meb Keflezighi trying to defend last year’s victory. He wasn’t among the top finishers, as Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia crossed the line first for the men, Caroline Rotich Cheptanui of Kenya for the women. The specter of the terror attack two years ago still loomed, as a jury is set to reconvene tomorrow to weigh the sentencing of convicted marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. But today is all about the medals and the stories of perseverance.

    NPR, USA Today

  10. China Embraces Pakistan, Cash in Hand

    President Xi Jinping is in Islamabad today to announce a $46 billion investment in infrastructure and energy projects, including roads, railways and power plants to be built over the next 15 years. It’s more than the U.S. has offered Pakistan in a decade of close relations, but it’s not without motive. Beijing’s looking to stop radicalism from pouring over the Pakistani border into China’s western Xinjiang region. And gaining direct access to the Indian Ocean can only help boost trade — and Beijing’s influence.

    BBC, NYT

  11. Surging Dollar May Harm U.S. Firms

    Perhaps it’s too much of a good thing. Markets are bracing this week for quarterly reports from U.S. multinationals. A few firms posted bigger-than-expected drops in earnings last week, blaming the dollar’s 9 percent surge in recent months for their woes. The currency jump and plunging energy prices now have analysts fearing a more widespread trend — with concerns that drops of as much as 10 percent may hit firms that do more than half of their business abroad.

    FT (sub)

  12. FBI Director’s Comments Enrage Poland

    No one likes being equated to Nazis. Warsaw is demanding an apology following FBI director James Comey’s suggestion in an article last week that some Poles were accomplices in the Holocaust. The text stemmed from a speech in which Comey advocated better Holocaust education, which some have suggested he’d benefit from himself. The characterization enraged Poles, prompting U.S. Ambassador Stephen Mull to note that “Nazi Germany alone bears responsibility.” Mull has also promised Polish leaders that he’ll follow up with officials in Washington about the matter.

    DW, Washington Post


  1. New Sandals Expand With Children’s Feet

    He’s leaving them room to grow. While working in Kenyan orphanages, Kenton Lee noticed how the children constantly outgrew their shoes. So the charity worker from Idaho came up with The Shoe That Grows, a sandal that adjusts to fit a child over a five-year period, across rapidly changing shoe sizes. The footwear, a maze of buttons and straps that cost $10 per pair, have been sent to 2,500 kids in seven countries thus far. And Lee’s been inundated with requests for bigger versions for adults.

    Mashable, Buzzfeed

  2. Norway to Shut Down FM Radio in 2017

    No need to touch that dial. Norway’s government will be the first to do away with traditional radio broadcasts when it shuts off the FM spectrum for a nationwide switch to Digital Audio Broadcasting in two years. More than half of Norwegians have access to digital radio today, and even more will tune in before the switchover. Oslo hopes consumers will embrace higher quality sound and more diverse content, but there are concerns for those who aren’t quite ready to be switched off.

    Engadget, The Verge

  3. Your Perspiration Could Make People Happy

    Not all sweat is created equal. A new study delved into the differences, grabbing juices from subjects who were either happy or afraid, and then testing the responses of others who smelled their moisture. The happy sweat spread happiness among the sniffers, while the fearful sweat spread anxiety. So working out while in a good mood might just brighten the day of anyone who smells you. Researchers hope this will lead to more sweaty hugs — and more research on human chemical signaling.

    Shape, Science Times

  4. ‘Gone With the Wind’ Dress Sells for $137K

    He’ll never go hungry again. Memorabilia hunter James Tumblin began collecting souvenirs from the 1939 film in the 1960s, paying just $20 for a dress worn on-screen by Vivian Leigh. Now 150 items from his collection have been auctioned in California, and the Scarlett O’Hara dress sold for $137,000. Collectors also snagged costumes worn by other cast members, and Tumblin, the former head of Universal’s hair and makeup department, still has 300,000 collectibles that may come up for grabs.

    Irish Times, Vanity Fair

  5. Lebron’s Cavs Net Game 1 Win

    Call them the new “Big 3.” Led by James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, Cleveland erased any doubts yesterday that their star-studded squad would come out shooting in the first round, as they knocked back the Celtics 113-100. While King James is no stranger to NBA championships, Love and Irving played like postseason veterans in their playoff debut as the three stars combined for 69 points. But Isaiah Thomas — who led Boston with 22 points — is looking to even the score Tuesday night.

    ESPN, SBNation