The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Relief Efforts Reach Remote Nepal

    Rescue workers have found their way to rural villages. But they’re faced with thousands of injured, a mounting death toll — 5,000 plus — aftershocks, landslides, hunger and widespread homelessness as they work to claw back a bit of dignity for Nepal. Supplies are filtering into Kathmandu, and the U.N. is now reaching more remote areas, like Dhading and Gorkha. But thousands are sleeping outside, frightened by weakened structures, and thunderstorms are rumbling over the capital, with more bad weather predicted for the coming days.

    CNN, BBC

  2. Clinton Blasts Criminal Justice System

    In the wake of the Baltimore riots, and the deaths of young black men at the hands of police, the former first lady and Democratic presidential hopeful, came out strongly for a systematic overhaul at her first major police address at Columbia University in New York. She wants every officer in the country to wear body cameras. Even the staid New York Times called her words “unusually impassioned.” Meanwhile, another set of Clinton headlines questioned secrecy around foreign donors to a charity affiliated with the Clinton foundation. Lead some, potentially lose some. 

    NYT, The Verge, Washington Post

  3. Japanese PM Apologizes Before Congress

    No Japanese leader had addressed the American representatives in their own house before. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continued his predecessor’s apologies for abuses committed during World War II. Wags had debated whether he would touch on the delicate subject, since he has previously glossed over the past and angered nations like China. The conciliatory words come as the U.S. and Japan face a potentially uphill battle to overcome opposition to a 12-nation trade pact.


  4. U.S. GDP Growth Stumbles

    The American economy expanded an anemic 0.2 percent the first quarter of 2015, a big change from the full 1 percent analysts had expected. A host of reasons conspired to bring about the downer after a string of solid quarters: cautious consumers cutting back spending, businesses cutting investments and some hard hits from Mother Nature. While no one expects a return to recession, signs indicate that the strong economic growth of last year may not be matched in 2015.

    WSJ, Reuters

  5. North Korea Reportedly Executes 15

    It’s only April, and yet North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has apparently already ordered the deaths of more than a dozen people, some top officials among them. That’s according to South Korean intelligence officials, speaking at a parliamentary meeting Wednesday. The charges were spying, and the method firing squad, including a pair of ministers that disagreed with Kim, and musicians in an orchestra where Kim’s wife once worked as a singer.

    BBC, The Guardian

  6. Baltimore Enforces Curfew, Clears Streets

    “The city is stable,” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said hours after a nighttime curfew began. Hundreds defiantly remained in the streets of West Baltimore after the 10 p.m. cutoff, but law enforcement responded with pepper-spray balls, forcing rioters to leave. Maryland’s largest city is on lockdown with nearly 2,000 soldiers and hundreds of state troopers on hand following protests over the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. An internal review of what happened is expected later this week. 

    NYT, Baltimore Sun, LAT

  7. Australia Pulls Ambassador After Executions

    Indonesia delivered on its pledge to execute the Bali Nine “ringleaders” for heroin-trafficking. Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were killed by firing squad — alongside six others, though a Filipina prisoner was granted a last-minute reprieve — just after midnight on Nusakambangan Island. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the sentences “both cruel and unnecessary” because both men had been rehabilitated during their decade in prison. In turn, he’s pulling his ambassador from Indonesia later this week for consultations, noting that “this cannot be simply business as usual.”

    BBC, DW

  8. Twitter Stock Plunges With Leaked Numbers

    Its shares flew south. The 140-character social networking service saw its stock plummet as much as 26 percent yesterday after disappointing numbers were accidentally leaked by Nasdaq. Twitter said quarterly revenue hadn’t met expectations — $436 million compared to the forecasted $457 million — because new direct-response advertising wasn’t proving as successful as it had hoped. The company also acknowledged that second-quarter revenues are likely to miss expectations by a wide margin, but said it remains confident of long-term growth.

    FT (sub), Telegraph


  1. Uber Gets Into the Food Game

    When it comes to lunch, would you rather speed or selection? Uber is rolling out a food delivery service, and while it’s currently only in New York and Chicago and offers a limited menu, it promises to drop your lunch within 10 minutes of ordering. Early adopters are complaining about the sky high prices — $15 for a sandwich in New York, plus a $4 delivery fee, plus tax — but are enthused about the the cycling deliverymen’s speedy service. 

    Mashable, Wired

  2. Pope Warns About Man-Made Climate Change

    Congress may struggle with global warming, but not Pope Francis. He held a summit at the Vatican Tuesday that unequivocally encouraged mankind to deal with Earth’s rapidly shifting climate patterns — and the moral dilemmas that arise. A statement issued after the workshop called attention to the world’s poorest nations, which are dealing with a disproportionate number of consequences from climate change, including droughts, cyclones and rising oceans. Some see it as a preview to the Pope’s next encyclical, expected in June, which may focus on the environment.

    New Republic


  3. Orioles, White Sox Play in Empty Stadium

    It’s the opposite of a sellout. For the first time in Major League Baseball history, a game was closed to the public. Today’s contest between Baltimore and Chicago went on as scheduled, but Camden Yards was closed to spectators — costing an estimated $4 million in revenue — because of the city’s ongoing riots. This weekend’s series against the Rays has been moved to Tropicana Field, where the O’s will play as the home team, before returning to Maryland on May 11.

    Baltimore SunESPN

  4. Budweiser’s New Slogan Brews Trouble

    Did they let the focus group drink? Bud Light’s notorious #UpForWhatever ad campaign is being lambasted for the distasteful tagline “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night,” with critics pointing to connotations of sexual assault. The campaign — which also came under fire for a St. Patrick’s Day tweet about pinching strangers — aims for lighthearted fun, but is clearly suffering from hiccups. Budweiser apologized, saying that it doesn’t condone “disrespectful or irresponsible behavior,” and promised to pour its controversial slogan down the drain.

    Quartz, Bloomberg

  5. iPad Glitch Grounds Commercial Flights

    Installing updates is super important. Several American Airlines flights were unable to take off last night after suffering a software glitch with their onboard iPads, which contain reference materials to help pilots manage trips. An AA spokesperson said a few dozen flights were affected, with some planes needing to physically pull up near airport terminals to establish a WiFi connection and resolve the issue. It’s unclear whether it was a software flaw or the airline’s fault, but AA says it’s working on a permanent solution.

    The Verge, Engadget

  6. Hollywood Stars Dominate Tony Nods

    Nominations for Broadway’s top awards have dropped, with An American in Paris, a ballet-heavy version of the 1951 movie and the season’s surprise hit, snagging 12 nods. Blockbuster star Bradley Cooper is up for best actor in The Elephant Man, with screen queens Helen Mirren and Elisabeth Moss up for best actress. The awards ceremony airs on CBS on June 7, hosted by stage and screen darlings Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth, the latter of whom is also up for an award.

    Variety, Forbes

  7. UFC Star Suspended, Stripped of Title

    He’s no longer a contender. Jon Jones was banned indefinitely from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and had his belt taken away after turning himself in to Albuquerque police. On Sunday, the 27-year-old allegedly ran a red light, striking a car and injuring a pregnant woman, before fleeing on foot. The district attorney now has two months to decide whether to proceed with the case. Meanwhile, “Bones” Jones — the youngest champ in UFC history — becomes the first to lose his title for disciplinary reasons.