The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Migrants Refuse to Leave Train as EU Assesses Crisis

    The stand-off continues. Refugees who crammed onto a train in Budapest yesterday refused to budge when officials tried depositing them at a camp outside the Hungarian capital, and now hundreds are attempting to reach Austria on foot. Today, meetings focused on the influx of migrants are being held throughout the EU, with Hungarian legislators set to vote on tightening border controls and European Commission officials en route to Greece to assess the extent of the crisis. Meanwhile, the U.N. is calling on all EU nations to share the burden and accommodate up to 200,000 refugees.

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    Markets Respond to Lower-Than-Expected Jobs Report

    America’s at full employment, but investors see the glass as half empty. Stocks slipped in early trading today on news that 173,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, well below expectations of 217,000. It means that U.S. unemployment is now at its lowest level since 2008 — 5.1 percent — which the Federal Reserve considers full employment. But the report’s mixed message makes it harder to guess whether the Fed will raise interest rates at its meeting later this month, and investors are hedging their bets.

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    U.S. to Slap Sanctions Against Chinese Hackers

    It’s a different sort of red carpet. The Obama administration plans to impose sanctions on Chinese firms linked to cyberattacks on American intellectual property just weeks before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first U.S. visit. Obama’s staff has spent months readying the measures, expected to target cases of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets. There’s been debate on when to drop the so-called bomb, but an official now says it’ll probably hit next week, giving Xi a bit of time to calm down before knocking at the White House door.

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    Judge Jails Clerk for Refusing Gay Marriage Licenses

    She prefers to answer to a higher authority. But yesterday U.S. District Judge David Bunning told Kim Davis that the Supreme Court trumps her religious beliefs, jailing her for refusing to uphold a high court order legalizing same-sex marriage. The Kentucky county clerk didn’t have to issue the licenses herself; she just couldn’t interfere with deputies doing so. Davis declined and got a room with no view, prompting some Republicans to lend their support. Meanwhile, the Kentucky clerk’s office has issued its first marriage license to a same-sex couple. 

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    Dylann Roof Faces Possible Death Penalty

    They say he should pay the ultimate price. South Carolina prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against the man charged with killing nine parishioners during a Charleston Bible study class in June. Roof, 21, allegedly confessed in police interviews, telling investigators he was trying to incite a race war, but later pleaded not guilty. Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson said the victims’ families held varying views on capital punishment — from opposition on religious grounds to all-out support — but that they backed her decision. The trial is set to begin next July.


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    Guam Lawmakers Vote to Castrate Sex Offenders

    Will it reduce sex crimes … at a fast clip? Legislators in the island territory have narrowly voted to chemically castrate parole-bound sex offenders. The four-year pilot program — prompted by a 2013 study revealing that Guam suffers 64.2 reported rapes per 100,000 people, second only to Alaska — will identify candidates to receive libido-curbing hormone treatment. Opponents fear it’ll lead to more “eye for an eye” punishments, but if Gov. Eddie Calvo signs the bill, some inmates will be required to participate to be set free.

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    Drug Proves Highly Effective at Preventing HIV

    Kaiser Permanente has good news for those at high risk of contracting the human immunodeficiency virus. Research into the efficacy of Truvada, a pre-exposure prophylaxis, showed that not one of 657 high-risk men taking the daily pill contracted the virus over nearly three years. Critics worried that the medicine might lead to a decline in condom use and, in turn, an increase in infection. While 41 percent of study participants did admit to using fewer condoms — and even contracted other sexually transmitted diseases — they didn’t fall victim to HIV.

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    First Florida Bear Hunt in 20 Years Sets Target

    The fur’s gonna fly. Black bears, once under threat for survival, have made such a comeback that the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has approved the first hunt since 1994. Nearly 2,000 would-be bear-killers have purchased licenses to take aim starting on October 24. When the allotted 320 animals — out of an estimated 3,150 — are bagged, hunters will hang up their weapons. Meanwhile, Florida’s panther population is also on alert after the commission suggested they may no longer need to be considered “endangered.”

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    Stuntwomen Aim for the Stars

    Hollywood doesn’t often say “ladies first” — but women are taking action. Those behind daring and dangerous on-screen feats have long felt the pinch of gender inequality: Four out of five stunt artists are men, and the oldest stunt performers’ organization, tellingly named the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures, still excludes women. But other organizations are encouraging women to make stunts their line of work, and females are increasingly braving the heights, fights and flames. With more and more action films featuring them, women look set to crash dramatically through yet another glass ceiling.

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    Drone Crashes Into U.S. Open Match

    Someone’s at fault. A remote-controlled drone crashed into the stands of Louis Armstrong Stadium yesterday, halting play. The device landed near empty seats as the tennis match between Flavia Pennetta and Monica Niculescu was drawing to a close. Both players were visibly startled, and Pennetta — who closed the match 6-1, 6-4 — admitted fearing that it was a bomb. The U.S. Tennis Association said no one was hurt, and New York City police are investigating while keeping their eyes on the sky.