The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. candles for paris attacks shutterstock 341095121

    Belgians Hunt for ‘Hesitant’ Paris Bomber

    Obama says not to “succumb to fear,” but with a suicide bomber at large, it’s not easy. Brussels remains on alert, looking for suspected Paris terrorist Salah Abdeslam, believed strapped with explosives. Bars and restaurants closed early Saturday, expecting attacks like those that killed 130 in the French capital Nov. 13. Abdeslam is reportedly anxious to get to Syria, but ready to detonate himself, according to one of his incarcerated accomplices. Some speculate that he balked at blowing himself up in Paris, and his friends say he’s caught between authorities and  ISIS operatives unhappy he’s alive.

  2. syrian refugees

    U.S. Lawmakers Battle Over Syrian Refugees

    Huddled masses, take a number. On Thursday, the U.S. House passed a bill — which Obama has vowed to veto should it clear the Senate after Thanksgiving — adding tough migrant screening requirements. It’s drawn comparisons to America’s World War II-era refusal to accept European Jewish refugees, who were subsequently murdered en masse. But 26 U.S. governors say security concerns dictate they shun Syrian newcomers to their states, even if they have no power over the asylum process. They could, it’s feared, slow resettlement while sowing anti-immigrant sentiment among their constituents.

  3. After yesterday's Russian airstrikes hit Syrian rebel targets, rather than ISIS-held areas, many are wondering what Putin's up to. Source: Getty

    Can ISIS Draw Obama and Putin Together?

    Putin’s misadventures in Ukraine seem to have taken a backseat to fighting the so-called “caliphate.” The downing of a Russian jetliner last month by what ISIS claimed was a soda-can bomb has Putin eager for revenge. The development comes as welcome news to Hollande, who’s reportedly already coordinating airstrikes with Russia following Friday’s wave of terror. But when France’s leader visits Moscow and Washington next week to push for a militant-crushing coalition, he’ll first have to wage a battle against both sides’ obstinance over Assad, who says his troops are advancing with Russian help. 

  4. minneapolis police car

    Minneapolis Is Looking a Lot Like Ferguson

    What exactly happened to Jamar Clark? He was shot by police in Minneapolis, but the circumstances surrounding his death remain cloudy. Protesters converged on the Minnesota metropolis to demand justice this week, and the FBI and Justice Department are now on the case. Police say the shooting occurred when Clark reached for an officer’s gun, while witnesses say the 24-year-old Black man was handcuffed at the time. Faced with violent unrest, the Minneapolis Police Department is fighting to salvage its reputation … and keep the peace.

  5. Myanmar Jade Mine Landslide Kills Nearly 100, Iran Sentences U.S. Journalist to Prison

    Nearly 100 bodies found after Myanmar jade mine landslide. (Reuters)

    Iran sentences Washington Post journalist to unspecified prison term. (AP)

    Mauricio Macri leads exit polls to be Argentina’s next president. (Bloomberg)

    Democrat John Bel Edwards wins Louisiana gubernatorial runoff. (NYT)

    Novak Djokovic ends his best tennis season with fourth straight ATP title. (USA Today) 


  1. Jpay  06

    Selling Tech to a Captive Audience

    His profit is their gain. Ryan Shapiro’s company, JPay, has made millions selling tablet computers and digital pay services to prison inmates in 34 states. Not everyone thinks people should make money off the incarcerated, but the 38-year-old Miami-based entrepreneur says he’s helping convicts stay connected to their families, educational opportunities and job prospects, which could help America’s disastrous recidivism rates. And the self-described conservative Republican is giving back, promising to install free college coursework in his newest, jail-bound tablets to show that he’s serious about reform.

  2. a westboro church member

    A Westboro Defection, Courtesy of Twitter

    It helped her fly the coop. Megan Phelps-Roper, a member of the Westboro Baptist Church and granddaughter of founder Fred Phelps, took to social media to spread what she thought was God’s word. A millennial holy warrior, she found Twitter to be a perfect vehicle for the anti-gay propaganda of a church that cheered the deaths of AIDS victims and U.S. soldiers as America’s punishment for tolerating homosexuality. But the medium works both ways: Those Megan met online opened her mind, fomenting an epiphany that led her out of a world of extremes.

  3. teenage girl depression shutterstock 331037777

    Is Success Killing West Coast Teens?

    This is one area where they’d prefer lower scores. Along with academic trophies and a pipeline to Stanford, Silicon Valley’s Gunn High School and nearby Palo Alto High share a very dark statistic: Their 10-year suicide rate is between four and five times greater than the U.S. average. Why, in the birthplace of technology that delights teenagers worldwide, do so many kids lose hope? Many, especially students, are quick to blame the pressure to succeed, but experts say the jury’s still out on the causes behind this tragic phenomenon.

  4. Calabria is the southernmost region of the Italian peninsula. Peak of Monte Sant'Elia (579 m) and view to Palmi.

    Italian Chef’s Secret Recipe: A Dash Less Mafia

    It’s a risky business model. But Filippo Cogliandro didn’t like what the ’Ndrangheta crime syndicate had done to his beloved Calabria. While inventing unorthodox recipes for seafood from the Strait of Messina seven years ago, he let authorities record the local mafia’s extortion visits. A couple of convictions later, he and his L’Accademia restaurant were famous, and he’s serving up his monkfish risotto and marinated cuttlefish to grateful diners. The “Octopus” syndicate is still in business, but the “tax” they collect is dropping as defiance among Calabrians dares to grow.

  5. Doug Flutie Statue

    How Canada Returned Pro Football to Baltimore

    They burned bright and fast. The Baltimore Stallions only existed for two years as part of a major U.S. expansion of the Canadian Football League, losing one championship and winning another in 1995. In that short time, the team helped bruised fans recover after the Colts suddenly moved to Indianapolis, and it demonstrated that Charm City was worthy of its incoming NFL Ravens. But a year after the CFL title, the league punted its American experiment, shipping the Stallions to Montreal, where they became the Alouettes and scrubbed all references to their former expat glory.