The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Eight Million Affected by Nepal Earthquake

    The United Nations says as least a quarter of Nepal’s population has been impacted by the 7.8-magnitude temblor that killed more than 4,000 and injured 8,000. International aid is arriving in the South Asian country, where 1.4 million are short of food. But fears are rife that such measures will be insufficient to battle their water, food and electricity needs, or stem any disease outbreaks that may result from current living conditions, which have seen thousands digging through rubble by day, and sleeping outdoors by night.

    BBC, NYT

  2. Supreme Court Hears Gay Marriage Case

    They’re weighing both sides carefully. The court is traditionally split fairly cleanly between liberals and conservatives, with Justice Anthony Kennedy considered the swing vote, and this case is shaping up to be no exception. Kennedy asked gay marriage advocates whether it’s too soon to change the age-old definition of marriage, while quizzing the other side about discrimination. If the court rules in June to strike down the same-sex marriage ban still in place in 14 U.S. states, it would make marriage equality officially the law of the land.  

    NBC, WP

  3. Bernie Sanders to Run for President

    This one is a long shot. The Vermont politician is one of only two senators currently unaffiliated with Democrats or Republicans — though Sanders caucuses with democrats, he identifies politically as a socialist. The candidacy announcement, expected on Thursday, won’t have HIllary Clinton worried about the competition. But some liberal Democrats have worried that the lack of Democratic challengers will encourage Clinton to veer left on her campaign agenda, while someone like Sanders will make her address progressive issues that might otherwise be forgotten. 

    The Hill, ABC

  4. Baltimore Burns in Wake of Gray’s Funeral

    The city woke to a war zone this morning, as schools remained closed and the mayor toured areas battered by riots and vandalism. Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency last night following the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. Hogan has promised President Obama he will not let Baltimore “be taken over by thugs,” and the city is instituting a week-long curfew to curb the violence as clean up begins. 


  5. ’Bali Nine’ Pair Executed in Indonesia

    Eight convicted drug smugglers, including two of the “Bali Nine,” were executed by firing squad in Indonesia. One prisoner, Mary Jane Veloso, has been granted a temporary reprieve. Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were reportedly killed just hours after saying final goodbyes to family and friends. Indonesia’s attorney general has yet to confirm the deaths. Australian officials had pushed for a delay in the executions, but Indonesian officials refused to comply. Attention now shifts to Veloso, who could still face the death penalty despite the temporary reprieve. 

    CNN, The Guardian


  6. China Now Central to Apple’s Growth

    It’s an Asian invasion. The tech giant has reported a 27 percent revenue jump, but it had little to do with the new Apple Watch or iPad, and everything to do with the trusty iPhone. The beloved smartphones enjoyed a 40 percent boost in sales, with figures from China outstripping American numbers. The firm is doubling down on its efforts on the continent, and one analyst predicts Chinese revenues — up 71 percent in recent months — will top those from the U.S. by next year.

    BI, FT (sub)


  1. Bizarre South American Dinosaur Gets Name

    Lizard, maybe. Terrible, nah. Chilesaurus diegosuarezi was discovered in 2004 by Diego Suarez, age 7, while hiking with his parents in Southern Chile. His amateur bone collecting yielded a new dinosaur, and it’s a weird one. Though it’s a therapod, like a velociraptor, it ate only plants and combines traits of primitive dinos with those from more evolved animals, leading scientists to label it the platypus of the Jurassic period. Chilesaurus is an odd specimen, but researchers hope it can shed light on how dinosaurs evolved. 

    Smithsonian, The Verge

  2. Famous Faces Nab Tony Nods

    As do a few surprises. Nominations for Broadway’s top awards dropped this morning, with an “American in Paris,” a ballet-heavy version of the 1951 movie that’s the season’s surprise hit, snagging 12 honors. Blockbuster star Bradley Cooper is up for best actor in “The Elephant Man,” with Hollywood queens Helen Mirren and Elisabeth Moss up for best actress. The June 7 awards ceremony will show on CBS, hosted by stage and screen actors Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth, who also could win her second trophy.

    NYT, Variety


  3. Graffiti Artist Uses Lewd Art for Public Good

    He’s drawing attention. An artist calling himself Wanksy is painting penises all over the town of Bury, England, on potholes the city has been slow to fix. Concerned by the hazards potholes pose for cyclists, Wanksy reasoned that giant phalluses — sprayed on with temporary road paint — would get noticed. He was right: The obscene do-gooder says the town council brought in road crews within 48 hours, but unamused officials are encouraging residents to report any vandalism to the police.

    Mashable, Huffington Post

  4. New York Dims for Migrating Birds

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo is bidding them a safe flight. Scientists say at least 500 million birds die annually in the U.S. from “fatal light attraction,” becoming confused by light pollution and crashing into buildings. To darken their path, New York will shut off bright outdoor illumination on government buildings at night until May 31. The state-owned sites join several New York City landmarks — including Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and Time Warner Center — in going dark for the National Audubon Society’s Lights Out campaign.

    Hudson Valley News Network

  5. Snapchat Eyes News, Nabs CNN Star

    He lends credibility, or so the photo and video messaging app hopes, as it pinches CNN’s political reporter Peter Hamby to lead its news division. The social app — a sexting favorite for its quickly disappearing photos — is already disseminating some news via Discover, a feature that provides access to content from traditional media platforms. Hamby is looking forward to expanding the start-up’s reach, with many predicting that newsmakers will flock to it in 2016 as they reach out to millennials.

    The Verge, Bloomberg, Politico

  6. Yahoo Cues up New ‘Idol’ Series for DJs

    They’re taking electronic music for a spin. The shrinking tech giant is bolstering its media lineup with a new Simon Cowell series that’s nearly identical in format to the Englishman’s singing competition. Ultimate DJ will bring together a roster of would-be mix artists angling for a record contract with Sony and a chance to headline a major music festival, and viewers will vote for their favorites via Tumblr’s microblogging platform. It’s yet another sign that Yahoo is banking on original online content to set new records.

    VarietyThe Verge

  7. Kevin Love to Miss Next Playoff Series

    Was his opponent too cavalier? The Cleveland forward will miss at least two weeks after suffering a dislocated shoulder in Sunday’s victory over the Boston Celtics. While the 26-year-old Californian hasn’t entirely lived up to expectations, his loss puts a heavy burden on LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers. Some have accused Boston’s Kelly Olynyk of intentionally injuring Love, but Olynyk — suspended for one game — denies the accusation. He says he has tried reaching out to Love … gently.