The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Germany Agrees to $6 Billion in Migrant Assistance

    They’re throwing money at the problem. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government has agreed to spend billions to cope with the refugees flooding their borders. Over the weekend, thousands more arrived at German train stations and were taken to temporary housing, and plans are in place to build additional reception centers to accommodate some of the 800,000 migrants expected this year. German leaders are asking other European nations to follow their lead — the UK has pledged to take up to 20,000 — but many are wondering whether anything will stem the tide.

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    China Revises Economic Growth Figure for 2014

    Will this make investors see red? Beijing cut last year’s growth rate from 7.4 to 7.3 percent, citing the service sector’s lower-than-expected expansion, which helped explain the gross domestic product for 2014 being down around $5 billion from earlier estimates. The change, which could be revised once again when final results drop in January, comes amid heightened scrutiny of China’s data. While domestic investors didn’t seem too unsettled — the Shanghai Composite closed down just 2.5 percent — it’s bound to add jitters to global markets.

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    Kim Davis Appeals Contempt Ruling, Eyes Compromise

    She wants to come out. The Kentucky clerk whose refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses landed her in jail last week is appealing a contempt of court ruling. Davis cited religious beliefs in opposition to the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay unions, and U.S. District Judge David Bunning said the clerk would remain jailed until she’s willing to obey the law. But Davis has no plans to resign or reverse her stance and is instead hoping for a compromise that would remove clerks’ names from the licenses.

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    U.S. Bolsters Plan for Rebel Force in Syria

    They know it’ll take more. American efforts to build a rebel force capable of battling ISIS require an overhaul, and the Pentagon’s on the case. It hopes to boost numbers of fighters in safer zones, send trainees back into Syria in larger groups, and improve intelligence services and combat training. The calls for change follow a July attack on the first Syrian graduates from the program. While no specific proposals have been approved, the planning signals intentions to stabilize a region from which thousands of refugees are pouring into Europe.


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    Obama Extends Paid Sick Leave to Government Contractors

    On a holiday celebrating the rights of workers, Barack Obama courted their unions with a stab at making life better not just for federal employees, but for anyone who has to do government work — an executive order that he says will help employers retain a healthy workforce. From 2017 on, all government contractors will get, at a minimum, a hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. Next he says he’ll be pushing Congress for legislation that would mandate more paid parental leave for government employees.

  2. Tomio Okamura

    Immigrant Politician Seeks to Curb Immigration

    There’s no place like your adopted home. Tokyo-born politician Tomio Okamura moved to the Czech Republic — his mother’s homeland — as an adult, became an influential blogger and founded a right-wing populist party. He’s vehemently anti-migrants, encourages Czechs to antagonize local Muslims and warns about the danger of too many refugees. Colleagues turned their backs on him earlier this year, leaving his party in shambles. But he’s since launched the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party — and has no intentions of being forgotten anytime soon.

  3. a galaxy

    Scientists Discover Oldest, Farthest Known Galaxy

    It’s not quite as old as the universe. But galaxy EGS8p7, according to Caltech astrophysicists, is 13.2 billion years old — compared to the universe’s 13.8 billion — and smashes expectations by having what’s known as a Lyman-alpha line, a spectral signature caused by superhot hydrogen gas, usually only present in very young galaxies that are churning out stars. The researchers plan to investigate further and hope the galaxy’s unique spectrographic signature will help inform our understanding of the universe’s infancy and evolution.

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    Are Chinese Drivers Killing Pedestrians on Purpose?

    Look both ways … twice! A Chinese law aimed at assisting injured pedestrians is having a deadly side effect. Security footage allegedly reveals that drivers in China often ensure that the people they hit end up dead. The law says drivers who strike pedestrians only have to pay a one-time burial fee for the deceased, but are responsible for paying lifelong medical bills for those they injure. While legislators are trying to clamp down, fines and limited sentences seem to be doing little to get drivers to hit the brakes.

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    Zelda Williams Pens Letter About Depression

    “I live my sadness every day, but I don’t resent it anymore,” the daughter of deceased comedian Robin Williams wrote on Instagram over the weekend, more than a year after her dad’s suicide. She suggests that people should not avoid deep feelings like sadness because ignoring them is “not the same thing as being happy.” Williams has been vocal about her father’s struggle with depression and encourages people to hold on to hope, and to speak out about their own feelings — while getting the help they need.

  6. Matt Harvey

    Mets’ Matt Harvey Vows Playoff Run

    So much for doctor’s orders. Despite a dire warning to limit the mileage on his surgically repaired elbow, the 26-year-old pitcher penned an op-ed insisting that he’s committed to the postseason. With 166 innings already under his belt this year, he’s close to the 180-inning maximum imposed by the surgeon who got him back in the game. But Harvey’s enjoying a strong season, looking forward to a big start against Washington tomorrow, and he promises fans that if the Mets make the playoffs, he “will be there.”