The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Chile Coast

    Massive 8.3 Quake Slams Coast of Chile

    They’re bracing for the worst. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck 34 miles off the coast of Illapel, Chile raising fears that deadly tsunami could be imminent. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries but Chile’s national emergency agency did issue a formal tsunami warning, asking residents to seek shelter and began leading widespread coastal evacuations. The National Weather Service issued its own tsunami warning for Hawaii as well. Although the quake did not technically hit the mainland, a powerful aftershock could be felt 142 miles to the south in the nation’s capital.

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    Hungary Cracks Down as Refugees Flee

    Slamming the door left them looking for a window. Desperate migrants, facing tear gas and razor wire at the newly shut Hungary-Serbia border, have found a new route north. Scores have begun walking across Serbia into Croatia, with plans to head toward Schengen-member Slovenia, then Austria, and finally Germany. Croatian leaders said today they are ready to welcome the refugees, but Austria has implemented temporary measures limiting the numbers allowed across its border into Germany. Meanwhile, Hungary has detained over 500 refugees and is starting to issue criminal charges, offering even more incentive to get out.

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    U.S. Ponders Russia’s Intentions in Syria

    Are they Putin American foreign policy at risk? U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to clarify why Moscow is boosting its military presence in Syria. The Kremlin says it’s helping President Assad fight ISIS, but Kerry warns that aiding his regime could risk our “shared goal” of fighting terror. He emphasized that the U.S. would happily welcome Russian support for its anti-ISIS push but that Assad could not take part. Obama, meanwhile, is mulling whether to meet with Vladimir Putin in New York City this month to discuss the crisis.

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    Floods in Utah Kill at Least 16

    Rescue crews are searching the flooded areas along the banks of Short Creek in southern Utah today after days of rain and flash floods killed 16 and left at least one missing. Twelve of the victims were washed away in Hildale — where many from Warren Jeffs’ polygamous religious sect still live — and the other four were Zion National Park hikers killed by flood waters in a narrow canyon. Questions are being raised over whether locals knew about the flood warnings as teams continue combing through the wreckage.

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    HP Plans to Cut 30,000 More Jobs Before Split

    To fit into its new role as two publicly traded firms — HP Inc. for printing and Hewlett Packard Enterprise for cloud initiatives — Hewlett Packard is going on a diet. It plans to slash up to 30,000 jobs to save $2.7 billion a year. The cuts follow 55,000 other job losses in recent years, but CEO Meg Whitman says this should be it for corporate restructuring. And while she expects lackluster growth for the HP operation, Whitman says HPE could grow 20 percent annually.

  6. Gearing Up for GOP Debate and Potentially Higher Interest Rates

    Everyone’s an outsider at tonight’s GOP debate, even the insiders. (OZY)

    UBS chair: U.S. will likely see interest rate hike tomorrow. (CNBC)

    Israel mulls tough penalties for stone-throwing Palestinians. (Al Jazeera)

    Report: Marine-life populations have fallen 49 percent since 1970. (BBC)

    Muslim teen in Texas arrested over homemade clock, mistaken for bomb. (The Independent)


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    The Sexual Revolution Goes to Church

    Did they pray for this miracle? The “worlds of piety and bedroom pleasure” are converging as more religious institutions heed the good word that sex is here to stay. Religious-minded sexpreneurs are trying to get on top of it by marketing sex toys to the faithful. These God-friendly shops eschew porn and condoms for candy-pink gadgets, relying heavily on euphemisms like “intimate areas” for vaginas and “posterior toys” for anal plugs. As more “enjoy the intimacy He gifted us,” many hope it’ll boost belief … in sexual empowerment.

  2. parrots

    Birds More Sucessful When They’re In Love

    Matchmaker, matchmaker, leave us alone. That seems to be the road to happiness for birds, which according to a newly published study of zebra finches are 37 percent more reproductively productive when allowed to choose their own partners. Germany’s Max Planck Institute studied the romantic behavior of 160 birds, and those that were allowed to mate for love appeared more stimulated and motivated than those whose matches were pre-arranged — findings which may or may not translate to other species in future studies.

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    Facebook Is Developing an Empathy Button

    ”Like” means never being able to say “I’m sorry.” While the social media giant’s execs have expressed disdain for a “dislike button,” they’re now working on something to enable their 1.49 billion monthly users to respond to posts about break-ups, illnesses and deaths with something other than a thumbs-up. CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledges, “Not every moment is a good moment.” He confirms that his company is working on a way — soon to be tested — for folks to express a bit of empathy.

  4. Pregnancy

    Stem Cell Treatment May Extend Women’s Fertility

    Can ladies beat the biological clock? Fertility firm OvaScience says it can help women have healthy babies well into their forties without freezing eggs. Its OvaPrime treatment, which is not yet commercially available, focuses on protecting egg precursor cells — stem cells in the ovaries that become fertile eggs — by moving them to a different area of the ovary. There they can mature without suffering the biological damage associated with aging, allowing doctors to later use them for IVF and hopefully exceed today’s 20-35 percent success rate.

  5. Nina Tassler

    CBS Entertainment Chair Nina Tassler Leaves Without Regret

    She’s switching to family friendly programming. After 18 years as a top media exec, the Jewish Latina is stepping down to make time for her teenage daughter and 82-year-old mother. She acknowledged that the move, coming halfway through her current contract, got the industry rumor mill turning, but said it was really about doing what was best for her and her family. She’ll remain an advisor for two years, but the baton passes to Glenn Geller, who faces the challenge of maintaining Tassler’s ratings.

  6. Marshawn Lynch

    Seahawks Player’s Mom Wants Coach Fired

    Give the woman a whistle. Marshawn Lynch’s mother, Delisa, called foul on offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell via Facebook, calling him the “worst playcaller ever” over his choices in last season’s Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, and Sunday’s overtime loss to the Rams. Her comments followed Bevell’s decision to give Marshawn the ball on fourth-and-1 from the Rams’ 43 — a “dumb azz play … to justify the one yard that wasn’t called in the Super Bowl” — and she insists Bevell should’ve been permanently pulled from the game.