The Presidential Daily Brief


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    North Korea: Our Nuclear Reactor Is Fully Operational

    It wants to be armed and more dangerous. Pyongyang, with an eye toward expanding its atomic arsenal, has restarted its main nuclear facility for plutonium production and is ready to meet U.S. hostility with “nuclear weapons any time,” according to the state-run news agency. Assessing the Hermit Kingdom’s nuclear capability is impossible after international talks broke down in 2009. But claims that it’s capable of fitting a small device to a nuclear warhead and hints that it’s preparing to launch satellites mounted on long-range rockets are fueling regional tensions.

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    EU Puts Off Migrant Quotas, Hungary Toughens Up

    European leaders have agreed to relocate 40,000 migrants, but have not accepted proposed quotas for resettling another 120,000. Budapest, for one, is cracking down, giving police the authority to detain anyone who tries breaching Hungary’s Serbian border, where there’s likely to be a buildup of desperation soon. The stalled effort was greeted this morning by news that a migrant boat bound for Greece capsized in the Aegean Sea, killing 22. European leaders, meanwhile, won’t resume their talks until October, which bodes poorly for Jean-Claude Juncker’s pleas for “immediate action.”

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    Delta State Shooter Kills Himself

    He wasn’t going to jail. That’s what shooting suspect and geography teacher Shannon Lamb, 45, told Mississippi police before he killed himself yesterday, ending a day-long standoff after the murder of his live-in girlfriend, Amy Prentiss, and his Delta State University colleague, history teacher Ethan Schmidt. School officials say Lamb had reported a medical issue to the university — which had been preparing to celebrate its 90th anniversary when the shots rang out. Instead, it’ll hold a candlelight vigil today to remember Schmidt as police work on establishing a motive.

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    Credit Demotion Inspires Brazil to Seek Budget Cuts

    No more downgrades, please. That’s the message from President Dilma Rousseff’s administration, which has just announced a proposal for an emergency $17 billion package of budget cuts and tax hikes. The move, which follows Brazil’s credit rating demotion to junk last week by Standard & Poor’s, immediately boosted the Brazilian real against the dollar. But analysts say the proposals — with targets marking a complete reversal from those announced just two weeks ago —  require congressional cooperation and will prove difficult to deliver.

  5. Weather Offers Brief Hope in California, Utah Flood Kills Eight

    Fire crews race to quell Calif. flames before hot temperatures return. (USA Today)

    Flash flood kills eight, leaves five missing in Utah. (NBC)

    Two high school students die in Houston school bus crash. (ABC)

    Is Moscow basing fighter jets in Syria on Assad’s behalf? (WSJ) sub

    Malcolm Turnbull takes the helm as Australia’s prime minister. (SMH)

    Bernie Sanders talks Golden Rule with evangelicals. (NYT)


  1. a father and son

    Study: Handsome Sons Make Men Hotter

    Like son, like father? Dads gain capital in the currency of Darwinian selection from their smokin’ sons, according to a new study. A team at Slovakia’s Trnava University has found that men who have handsome male children are seen as more attractive based on research involving 260 female volunteers. It’s too soon for “divorced dads to start hitting the clubs with very young wingmen,” Sean Braswell writes, owing to the limited scope of the study. But it has prompted interest in further research into how children’s characteristics affect perception of parents.

  2. virtual reality gear

    Facebook Is Developing Virtual Reality App

    Want to experience your girlfriend’s vacation videos in 3-D? A virtual reality app that’ll work with both Apple and Android phones — anticipated since the social media giant bought virtual reality firm Oculus Rift last year for $2 billion — is in the works. The standalone app will allow users to look around within 360-degree videos by moving their phones. Details are sketchy, but VR technology is having a moment: A virtual reality game just won an Emmy, and Mark Zuckerberg predicts it’ll be the next major tech platform.

  3. Green Cross

    Scientists Produce THC From Yeast

    Their work is high-minded. Researchers at Germany’s Technical University of Dortmund have discovered a way to yield THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, from the leavening agent responsible for beer and bread. Rather than plans for munchie-inducing microbrews, scientists say the goal is to use it for clinical studies, and to reduce production costs by using chemical synthesis instead of plant derivatives in medicine. They hope to improve their lab-grown version, but admit that cannabis’s ability to organically produce high-grade THC had their team green with envy.

  4. Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Takes Over ‘Apprentice’ Job

    He told you he’d be back. NBC has tapped the Terminator star and former California governor to take the helm of Celebrity Apprentice — a reality show where celebs compete as entrepreneurs to raise money for charity — replacing Donald Trump. The network severed ties with the contentious presidential hopeful in June. Schwarzenegger has already practiced Trump’s famous “You’re fired!” line in True Lies, and while the former body builder says he’s excited to get started, it’ll be more than a year before the beefed-up new season hits our screens.

  5. Eli Manning

    Eli Manning Takes Blame for Giants Loss

    It wasn’t his best call. The two-time Super Bowl champ admits he told running back Rashad Jennings on Sunday to bypass a late-game touchdown against the Cowboys to run down the clock. Had Jennings scored, New York would’ve been up 10 with less than two minutes remaining. But the plan backfired: Dallas regained possession and Tony Romo’s team scored the winning TD with seven seconds left. Manning, who’d been confused about the number of timeouts remaining, vowed to do a better job managing the game and the clock.