The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. athens greece

    Tsipras Asks for Two-Year Bailout Program

    They will not pay. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis confirmed Greece will default on its $1.8 billion loan to the IMF. Payment was due tonight to avoid a Greek default, which many fear will lead Greece to drop out of the eurozone, and though Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras requested a two-year bailout program and a slight extension on the bailout deadline, European officials ignored his call, sending stock markets around the world reeling. Meanwhile, Greek banks have been closed this week — though they’ll open Wednesday to let pensioners withdraw small amounts. 

  2. Indonesian Military Plane Crashes

    Military Plane Goes Down in Indonesia

    Authorities are still digging bodies out of the wreckage. Authorities now believe the C-130 Hercules was carrying 122 people crashed into a hotel shortly after taking off from an air force base in Medan — and that everyone aboard has perished. Though it was a military plane, Indonesian civilians sometimes hitch rides, and the military is now investigating if any of those civilians paid for their tickets, which would violate protocols. The cause of the crash is still unclear. They’re now investigating the possibility of ground casualties as well.


  3. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks with media after casting his vote during the New Jersey governor election in Mendham Township, New Jersey, in this November 5, 2013, file photo.

    Chris Christie Cannonballs Into 2016 Race

    New Jersey’s governor is known for his bombast and impressive girth, both appealing to the fabled “ordinary American” — and he’ll have to use both to stand out in a race that now includes 14 declared candidates just for the Republican nomination. Christie’s polls give him only 4 percent of the vote now — behind Donald Trump — but he’s promised to fight against what he calls a broken system nonetheless. He’ll kick off with rallies this week, in an attempt to dispell naysayers who suspect Christie’s moment in the sun is long past. 

  4. Man in front of large panoramic wall of monitors

    NSA Allowed to Resume Data Collection

    They’re not ready to hang up just yet. A secret court has allowed the NSA to continue its infamous data collection program for another six months, in line with the provisions of the recently passed USA Freedom Act. Other recent cases threw the six-month grace period into doubt, but the Obama administration asked for permission to restart the collection anyway, and now a court has granted it that right. Ostensibly the half year will be used to allow the agency to establish a new system of surveillance, one that’s more in line with new laws.  

  5. stock market

    Stock Markets Show Slight Gain After Sell-off

    U.S. markets suffered their worst day of the year on Monday. But today saw some gains, despite continued volatility — that’s being laid at the feet of Greece’s uncertain future as part of the eurozone and the potential for massive shake-ups in European mindsets if — or when? — the country is forced to bow out of the single currency. Today’s improved numbers are an indication of slight optimism in the markets, though analysts expect things to stay jumpy until the Greek public referendum on austerity measures this weekend. 

  6. President Obama will give his State of the Union address tonight at 9pm ET.

    Obama to Raise Overtime Eligibility

    The Obama administration has proposed a rule change that could expand overtime eligibility to millions of Americans as soon as next year. Workers with a salary up to $50,440 will be qualified for overtime pay at one and half times their wage. This proposal restores the overtime salary threshold to 1975 levels and, officials say, could raise incomes of middle-class citizens. Many businesses say the rule will costs jobs while some economists think it’ll force employers to reduce worker’s hours to avoid overtime. Expect the ruling to be challenged on the floor of Congress, as well as in the courts.

  7. The hands of a same-sex couple

    Resistance to Gay Marriage Slowly Fades

    They’re not quite ready to commit. Though the Supreme Court sanctioned same-sex marriage on Friday, several conservative states continue to fight what even many opponents of marriage equality concede is a lost cause. The Texas attorney general insisted that employees could refuse to marry gay couples on religious grounds, while Louisiana advised clerks to wait three weeks — the limit for justices to re-hear a case — and some Alabama officials simply said “no.” Despite the resistance, many local clerks in the irate states appear to be rubber-stamping same-sex nuptials anyway.

  8. A bullet train

    Bullet Train Passenger Self-Immolates

    It’s no way to go. A 71-year-old man in the first carriage of an ultra-fast Shinkansen train from Tokyo to Osaka doused himself in flammable liquid and set himself ablaze. The man did not survive, and another passenger in the car died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Dozens more were treated for smoke inhalation and injuries. Now that authorities have evacuated the train’s thousand passengers safely — bullet trains have an impeccable record, with zero crash deaths in 51 years — they will be investigating the dead man’s motives, which are still unclear.

  9. The current U.S. Supreme Court members as photographed in 2010.

    Supreme Court Shakes the Nation

    Now that was a swinging session. In one week, America’s top court flexed its muscles as it hadn’t done in years, issuing surprise smackdowns to Republicans — who had appointed the majority of the justices — by legalizing gay marriage and rejecting a challenge to Obamacare. But they waited until yesterday, the session’s last day, to reaffirm their conservative tilt, hobbling the EPA’s authority to curb emissions and rejecting a challenge to a lethal injection drug. The X-factor? Justice Anthony Kennedy, who swung left again for the final ruling, siding with Texas abortion providers.


  1. Carli Lloyd

    U.S. Beats Germany, Advances to World Cup

    They’re in a league of their own. The U.S. trounced the German team 2-0, and despite a disappointing performance from striker Alex Morgan, who missed three chances to score, Olympic gold medalist Carli Lloyd brought it home with a masterful penalty shot. The team’s defense got a workout, successfully keeping the German team from scoring even once. Now the U.S. will move onto the final, facing the winner of the Japan-England match in a showdown on Sunday in Vancouver. 

  2. Vaccination Shot

    California Vaccination Bill Becomes Law

    Take your medicine. Governor Jerry Brown signed into a law a bill requiring all schoolchildren to be vaccinated in order to attend public or private school, regardless of their parents’ personal or religious beliefs. The bill raced through the state legislature after a measles outbreak at Disneyland drew national headlines, and ire, last December. Despite protests from the anti-vaccination community, more than two-thirds of Californians support the bill, along with nearly every major statewide health organization, making the law just the third of its kind in the nation, joining Mississippi and West Virginia. 

  3. A cricket

    Burger Chain Hops Onto Insect Trend

    Is that cricket? Wayback Burgers first broached the idea of a bug-filled milkshake on April Fool’s Day, but they decided to make the joke a reality after they tested an Oreo mud pie milkshake with chocolate-flavored cricket protein powder — and found customers jumping at the chance to imbibe. The insect-infested shake will be available from tomorrow through September, but the chain says that if consumers aren’t bugged by the idea of slurping down ground-up crickets, they’re open to putting it on the menu permanently.

  4. Misty Copeland

    American Ballet Theater Makes Racial History

    She’s dancing into history. Misty Copeland was named the first African American female principal ballerina in the theater’s 75-year-history. It’s been a memorable run for the 32-year-old dancer, who just last week became the first black ballerina to dance Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House. Copeland has openly advocated for the position since first being named a soloist with the ABT back in 2007. Now that she’s got the big promotion, some dance critics say Copeland should focus on perfecting her solo moves to truly define her legacy as both a dancer and cultural pioneer.

  5. Victoria Xipolitakis

    Airline Crew Fired Over Piloting Pinup

    She wasn’t cleared for takeoff. Playboy Playmate Victoria Xipolitakis has been banned from Argentine airline Austral Líneas Aéreas for five years after two pilots not only invited her into the cockpit, but let her steer during takeoff on a flight from Buenos Aires to Rosario. The company fired both pilots after videos and selfies Xipolitakis took during the joyride went public. Now Austral, which is planning lawsuits of its own against the trio, is bracing for legal action from passengers who didn’t pay to be piloted by a nymphet neophyte.

  6. Grapefruits

    Study Links Citrus With Melanoma Risk

    It’s a sour note. In a study of more than 100,000 Americans, researchers found that those who regularly consumed orange juice or fresh grapefruit were more likely to get skin cancer. The finding has inspired scientists to delve more deeply into the photoactive chemicals in citrus fruits, which are known to make skin more sensitive to sunlight and were even used in suntan lotions until 1996. But the researchers stressed that the fruits don’t necessarily cause cancer — and that the prudent strategy is to limit sun exposure, not citrus intake.

  7. Velociraptor

    Hasbro Fixes Misgendered Raptor Toys

    They’re devouring gender stereotypes. When toymaker Hasbro marketed its fleet-footed, flesh-eating Jurassic World dinosaurs with “he,” “him” and other masculine pronouns, fans and feminists attacked. Like, everybody knows dinos of the Jurassic Park franchise are female, so they can’t breed and run amok. One outraged petition later and Hasbro has caved. Now the plastic velociraptors’ marketing pronouns are feminine, raising hopes of redefining toys’ gender boundaries — and permitting little girls to bare their teeth and imagine running through the underbrush, sniffing for fresh prey.

  8. Chile's Jose Manuel Rojas and Gary Medel celebrate after defeating Peru 2-1 during their 2015 Copa America football championship semi-final match, in Santiago, on June 29, 2015.

    Chile Roars to Copa America Final

    They were one kick short. Peru started strong, but after Carlos Zambrano was red-carded for kicking an opponent in the 20th minute, the 10-man squad never managed to recover. Eduardo Vargas scored twice in Chile’s 2-1 victory, and even Peru’s equalizer in the 60th minute was a Chilean own goal — a serious bummer for the estimated half of Peru’s population that tuned in. For the first time since 1987, the Chileans have punched their ticket to the championship, where they’ll face either Paraguay or powerhouse Argentina in the final.