The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. State Dept. Plans to Release Clinton Emails in 2016

    Officials are scouring 55,000 pages worth of emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal account in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit. This week, authorities will hand over nearly 900 pages of her Benghazi-related emails, but they say it’ll be mid-January before the rest can be released. Clinton’s testimony regarding the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya, set for this week, will likely be delayed until the House panel is satisfied that it has all relevant correspondence.

    NYT, USA Today

  2. Former Thai Prime Minister Pleads Not Guilty

    She refuses to go quietly. Yingluck Shinawatra’s trial began today as the ousted leader maintained her innocence in the face of negligence charges, saying her legal trouble is politically motivated. At issue is her role in a rice subsidy program in which rural farmers, known to support her Pheu Thai Party, were sometimes paid more than half the market value. Yingluck, who’s expected back in court in July and could face up to 10 years in prison, will argue that she wasn’t involved with the program’s daily operations.

    DW, BBC

  3. L.A. Raises Minimum Wage to $15

    They’re riding the wave of the living wage. L.A. may be following San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle into a pledge to have a $15 minimum wage by 2020, with a new proposal tentatively approved by the city council that would mandate yearly hikes. Businesses are pushing back, particularly against a last-minute provision that could mandate paid days off for workers, but labor leaders are taking this as a sign that their efforts are paying off, saying California could lead a push toward an elevated state or even federal minimum wage. 

    LA Times, NYT

  4. Greece Says It’s Close to Securing EU Deal

    Is Alexis Tsipras screaming “uncle”? The Greek leader and his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, claim they’re close to reaching a deal with eurozone creditors. Tsipras, trying to prevent a run on Greece’s beleaguered banks, says Athens is ready to compromise in exchange for more stable economic prospects. Varoufakis expects a bailout deal within a week but sang a slightly different tune, vowing that the leftist government — opposed to reforms involving pension cuts and increased market liberalization — would reject a “non-viable” compromise.

    DW, The Guardian

  5. Oil’s Slide Fuels Energy Project Slump

    Prices aren’t high enough to fuel spending. Energy companies have responded to the oil collapse by cutting $100 billion from at least 26 major projects worldwide, particularly in western Canada. If prices stay low, experts fear that 17 nations — including Nigeria and Australia — will suffer investment drops by more than 50 percent before 2020. The project downturn will cost an already suffering industry thousands more jobs, and analysts predict that a continued investment slump could negatively impact future production levels.

    FT (sub)


  1. Rain of Spiders Blankets Australian Town

    Bring back cats and dogs! The rural city of Goulburn, New South Wales, awoke to find itself wrapped in a sticky white blanket … crawling with millions of eight-legged critters. Young spiders often relocate by “ballooning” — getting up high and producing enough silk to catch the wind, which carries their little bodies in tow. But the phenomenon, known as spider rain, is rarely so concentrated in one place. Scientists blame freak weather and warn that arachnids could drop from the sky again in August.

    9News, Weather Network

  2. European Parliament Debates Foie Gras Ban

    Five EU legislators are calling for a ban on serving the controversial dish — often made by force-feeding ducks and geese to enlarge their livers — at the parliament’s restaurants and catered events. Some 27,500 tons of the stuff, which sells for upwards of $50 a pound, were made in Europe last year, creating 50,000 jobs. While activists decry the animals’ inhumane treatment as a form of torture, French representatives are vowing to defend the delicacy as a national treasure — and a booming industry.


  3. Science Defends the Existence of Men

    If you think a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, think again. Scientists have long wondered why men, providing nothing but sperm for creating offspring, haven’t been eliminated by evolution in favor of all-female asexual reproduction. But a new 10-year study of beetles concludes that males are necessary because they improve the gene pool through competition, with dads being chosen to pass along the strongest, most desirable traits. Researchers say beetle populations without sexual selection died out within 10 generations.

    NYMag, Nature

  4. Disney Set to Open Indiana Jones-Themed Bar

    It beats whips and asps. Florida’s most famous resort has announced plans to open a bar in Downtown Disney honoring the beloved professor and adventurer. Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar, named after the snake-owning good guy who rescued Jones in the first film, aims to rustle up business with aviation and archaeology-themed decor and grub like Rolling Boulder Meatballs. It’s set to open this autumn, giving folks plenty of time to visit and toast the new Indy film currently in development.

    CNET, AV Club

  5. Lightning Pull Even With Rangers Behind Hat Trick

    They called, he responded. Tyler Johnson, 24, put the Tampa Bay Lightning on his back yesterday in Game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals, scoring the franchise’s first-ever playoff hat trick to help beat New York 6-2. The Washington native leads the league in postseason goals and has followed four of his team’s losses with two or more goals in subsequent matches. The series, now tied at one game each, continues with games tomorrow and Friday in Florida.