The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Pope Francis during the Sunday Angelus' prayer in Saint Peter's square.

    U.S. to Give Francis the Superstar Treatment

    Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble — especially when thousands of Americans clamor to see you and the president, Congress and U.N. roll out the red carpets. That’s the reception awaiting Pope Francis — after a Cuba visit that began today — when he lands near Washington on Tuesday for a six-day visit that includes a procession through Central Park and the canonization of a controversial California friar, Junipero Serra. It’ll be more than mere adulation, however, as liberal politicians expect a papal blessing for efforts to mitigate income inequality and global warming.

  2. migrants in serbia shutterstock sized 312568142

    Doors Slam Shut as Migrants Flood Europe

    It’s someone else’s problem. That’s what some countries seem to be saying in response to an ever-mounting influx of migrants. Hungary’s building fences and Croatia’s vowing that refugees landing there will be “moved on” to prevent the country from becoming a “migrant hot spot.” Even Germany is curtailing train service to slow arrivals while imploring fellow EU members for help. There’s no letup to the flow of huddled masses, nor the conflicts they’re fleeing, so European leaders at Wednesday’s emergency summit in Brussels will be under pressure to step up and share the burden.

  3. black prison inmates sized shutterstock 270053339

    How Mass Jailings Have Harmed Black Families

    It’s nothing new. As far back as 1965, a government report on the state of America’s Black families warned that mass incarceration was crippling their community, encouraging a matriarchal system kept in place by the disproportionate locking away of Black men. The warning backfired, and today, the problem has only worsened — and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates worries that if the U.S. government attempts to tackle its broken prison system without addressing systemic racism — investing in poor neighborhoods, for instance — the solution may be a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.

  4. fire shutterstock 218958643

    Western Wildfires Are Just the Beginning

    Call it global burning. Climate change has a very tangible manifestation in the American West: After destroying 8 million acres — even in normally snowy Alaska and the damp Pacific Northwest — wildfires are approaching record levels with months of fire season remaining. The U.S. Forest Service says global warming is to blame, and even with serious CO2-cutting efforts, weather experts say major fires in some western areas will increase sixfold by 2050. That means the service’s firefighting and prevention budgets need a big boost — something even climate-science-skeptical lawmakers are hot for.

  5. Turkish Strike ‘Kills’ 55 Kurds in Iraq, Kerry Says Russian Jets in Syria Raise ‘Serious Questions’

    Turkish airstrikes reportedly kill 55 in Kurdish camp in Iraq. (AFP)

    U.S. concerned about Russian fighter jets on Syrian bases. (AP)

    Israel strikes Gaza after Palestinian militants fire rockets. (Reuters)

    Arizona highway shootings suspect says he’s ‘the wrong guy.’ (CNN)

    Japan stuns Rugby World Cup by beating South Africa. (SB Nation)


  1. risperdal

    Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal Overdose

    This might make you ill. America’s seventh-most valuable public company and most admired health-product conglomerate is also the maker of Risperdal, an antipsychotic medication that has generated thousands of lawsuits against the company, costing nearly $3 billion in settlements. The suits claim salespeople urged doctors to prescribe the drug for the young and elderly despite possible risks such as strokes and hormonal disorders that caused a boy to grow breasts. The litigation hasn’t rattled the company’s bottom line, but new revelations concerning the alleged tactics could leave some executives reaching for their meds.

  2. haunted house shutterstock 209857252

    Gruesome L.A. Death Legend Picks Up Steam

    Next on House Haunters: The best-known scary mansion in Southern California is probably at Disneyland, but 2475 Glendower Place, Los Feliz, is climbing the charts. That’s where a doctor used a hammer to murder his wife in 1959, and it’s been vacant ever since, except for occasional paranormal sightings. An Internet obsession has turned it into a must-see for the macabre-minded, a reputed time capsule of 1950s domestic bliss, Christmas tree included. The property is valued at $4 million — a hefty investment that could haunt a homeowner forever.

  3. bo jack 2

    Meet the Dark Prince of Comedy

    It’s time to put the creator before the horse. Netflix’s animated sad-com BoJack Horseman has been picked up for a third season, which should make its talkative auteur, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, ecstatic. But that wouldn’t fit his gloomy, eccentric world view. The 31-year-old comedian with a sketch-comedy background dabbles in genres, like anonymous Twitter accounts and parodies of Craigslist, and he’s pushed for women writers, staying true to his feminist San Francisco roots. This horse is going places, as long as he can keep it dark in the spotlight’s glare.

  4. ariana grande fans shutterstock 165022838

    The Resurrection of Tiger Beat

    Read about its secret makeover! The legendary tween magazine’s new owner, Mark Patricof, thinks he has a winner — even in the age of instant online gratification. His secret? A system surprisingly similar to that which floated classic Hollywood heartthrob fan magazines of the 1950s and got Tiger Beat started in 1965: strong relationships with studios like Nickelodeon and Disney, providing access to young stars like Ariana Grande and hard-copy swag such as posters, keepsakes and faux magazine covers featuring readers’ faces. How will it end? Only the 12-year-olds know that secret.

  5. Zen Surfing

    Surfing Away the Anguish of Warfare

    They’re looking for a break. Battered and traumatized by war, some 1,000 U.S. Marines have hit the beach. Ocean Therapy, started in 2007, uses surfing to treat those suffering from PTSD and even physical brain injuries. Compared to expensive and potentially debilitating drugs like antidepressants, neurochemicals such as serotonin that flood the brain during physical exertion and mental focus are all natural. The program boasts 75 percent attendance, unlike sporadic participation in more traditional forms of therapy, and could help reduce the $3 billion the VA spends annually to treat its psychically scarred warriors.