The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Extent of Iranian Cyber Attacks on U.S. Navy Network Revealed

    The Iranian infiltration of a U.S. Navy computer network turns out to have been far more extensive than previously thought. Not only did the attack show weaknesses within the Navy’s security network, it also demonstrated the growing ambitions of Iranian hackers. Since early 2012 they have increasingly carried out attacks against U.S. bank websites and a Saudi oil company. Vice Adm. Mike Rogers, who oversaw the operation to repulse the attack, is the Obama administration’s pick to take over the National Security Agency.

    Source: WSJ

  2. U.S. Ice Dancers Win Gold and Bobsledders End Medal Drought

    Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the first Americans to win gold in ice dancing, beating long-time rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, who took silver. The U.S. bobsled team claimed bronze to give the U.S. its first two-man bobsledding medal in 62 years while the Russians won gold. The U.S. and Russia are currently tied and leading the medal count with 18 apiece. Today brings more hockey and curling, ladies’ giant slalom, men’s freestyle skiing half-pipe qualification, and the men’s snowboard cross final.

    Sources: NPRESPNNYT

  3. Islamist Group Claims Responsibility for Egypt Bus Bomb

    Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, an Islamist militant group, has said it was responsible for the suicide attack on a South Korean tourist bus in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. The attack on Sunday, which the group declared was part of its economic war against a “regime of traitors,” killed three South Koreans and the Egyptian bus driver. Islamist attacks have increased since the jailing of former president Mohammad Morsi, but this was the first to target tourists in almost 10 years. The attack is bound to damage Egypt’s already crippled tourist industry. 

    Sources: BBCUSA TodayAl Ahram

  4. British Police Confirm Letter Bombs Are Work of Irish Republicans

    London’s Metropolitan Police have confirmed that a series of letter bombs sent to army recruitment offices across England were the work of the New IRA. The group claimed responsibility for the bombs on Saturday in a coded message, which has now been confirmed by authorities. Luckily, none of the bombs detonated and presented little threat, but there are fears of a continued risk of terrorist activity from this splinter group. Staff at the Royal Mail have been told to “remain vigilant.”

    Source: The Guardian

  5. U.S. Criticizes Russia Over Syria, Police Officer Killed in Thailand

    Kerry scolds Russia over support for Assad regime in Syria. (NYT). 

    Thai police officer and three others killed as authorities try to retake government sites. (DW).

    Violence at asylum center in Papua New Guinea kills one, injures many. (CNN).

    Iran nuclear talks to open in Vienna. (BBC).

    Florida artist smashes million-dollar Ai Weiwei vase in protest. (The Guardian).  


  1. Huge Asteroid Due to Pass Close to Earth Today

    Be on the lookout today for an asteroid the size of three football fields. Just a year after a 20-yard wide meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, astronomers will be looking to the skies for an even bigger interstellar traveler. The asteroid — dubbed 2000 EM26 — will be passing close to the Earth at a whopping 27,000 MPH. Don’t worry, though, it’s not going to crash through the atmosphere, but it will come within 2.1 million miles of us. Maybe an updated tracking system isn’t such pie in the sky thinking after all.

    Source: The Guardian

  2. New ‘Tonight’ Host Debuts With Sincere Gratitude

    Jimmy Fallon introduced The Tonight Show viewers to a newly located, New York-based, late-night extravaganza last night as he picked up Jay Leno’s mantle. He set aside comedy (briefly) for candor and told fans he plans “to do the best I can” to carry on the legacy of Leno and Johnny Carson, who helped the show reach its now 60th year. He thanked everyone and said he hoped to continue to entice viewers in this on-demand age. With the sincerity complete, he then got on with a star-studded show. 

    Sources: NYTUSA Today

  3. Young Children Are Forming A Taste For E-Cigarettes

    Electronic cigarettes may be a healthier alternative to traditional smoking, but that doesn’t make them healthy. Intended primarily as an aid for smoking cessation, e-cigarettes are increasingly finding their way into the hands of young non-smokers. According to a new survey, 20 percent of middle school children in 2012 who had puffed on an e-cigarette had never smoked a real one. It suggests the sweetly flavored e-cigarette, with its nicotine vapor, may be serving as a gateway to addiction. Without more restrictions, plans to stop youthful nicotine cravings may go up in smoke.

    Sources: NPRQuartz

  4. California Considers Soda Warning Labels

    Lawmakers in the Golden State are drawing ire from beverage manufacturers with a groundbreaking new bill to label sugary soft drinks with a warning. Drinkers would be told that sugared drinks contribute to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. Supporters hope the label would help citizens make better choices and curb the obesity epidemic. If the bill passes, the warning — a nationwide first — would resemble the one on cigarette packs, and appear on bottles, vending machines and restaurant menus. It won’t pass without a fight though, as opponents have no thirst for living in a “nanny” state.  

    Source: The Verge

  5. Olympic Success Could Lead to Political Future

    Olympians winning gold may fear their careers have peaked, but there could be a silver lining. There is a history of athletes later entering politics, and it seems Olympic victories can lead to electoral success. Bill Bradley, Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Ralph Metcalfe all won seats in Congress thanks in part to the name recognition they enjoyed after winning their Olympic golds. Most Olympians are under 30 when they compete, leaving them plenty of time to develop non-athletic careers later. So perhaps it’ll be slopestyle to senator for Joss Christensen when he packs up his skis.

    Source: NPR