The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. olympic 7979820674 0d3b088bba h

    Olympic Games Will Go Ahead, Despite Zika

    Pregnant women should steer clear, but the show will go on. That’s the message from Brazil just hours after WHO declared “a public health emergency of international concern” over the mosquito-borne virus. There’s no cure for the illness, which normally involves mild symptoms but is suspected of causing thousands of cases of the severe birth defect microcephaly in babies whose mothers were exposed during pregnancy. Brazilian authorities say there’s no risk to athletes or spectators — unless they’re pregnant — and that the Rio Games will proceed this August.

  2. rainbow 16379207486 efa37135da o

    India’s High Court Agrees to Reconsider Criminalization of Gay Sex

    They’ve offered a rainbow of hope. India’s Supreme Court today ordered a new legal look at a 2013 judgment that upholds a 19th century law criminalizing gay sex. The court agreed to hear an NGO’s “curative petition” against Section 377, referring it to a bench of five judges who will decide whether the sodomy law should be overturned. Such reversals are rare — it’s only happened three times since the review process began in 2002 — but the LGBT community is rejoicing in the chance to prove the law unconstitutional.

  3. marissa mayer

    Yahoo to Cut 15 Percent of Staff, Explore ‘Strategic Alternatives’

    Will Marissa Mayer be next? The Yahoo CEO announced today that the company, which has been struggling, will be cutting about 1600 jobs. Yahoo’s stock has dropped 35 percent in the last year, and five regional offices will be closing as well — which, with the staff cuts, should save the company about $400 million. Mayer also announced that the company’s open to being acquired — Verizon is expected to be one of its suitors — in what some see as an attempt to save her own job.

  4. abdullah 6436574483 2ba93e21f6 o

    King Abdullah: Jordan at ‘Boiling Point’ With Refugees

    “The dam is going to burst,” he warns. After decades of accepting Palestinians, Iraqis and now 635,000 of the 4.6 million Syrians registered as refugees with the U.N., the monarch says Jordan can no longer handle the strain. Jordanians are suffering, he says, with the state spending a quarter of its budget on migrants. King Abdullah’s en route to London, where he plans to tell European leaders that he’ll need help providing jobs for his countrymen if he’s expected to employ the new influx of refugees.

  5. david cameron

    Draft Proposal Released to Renegotiate UK-EU Relationship

    It’s not done yet. The U.K. has been in hard negotiations over its role in the European Union, and now the E.U.’s proposed changes to that role, which would give the U.K. more leeway over free movement rights for European citizens but don’t drill down into specifics, have gone public. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron says he’s happy, but Polish and Hungarian leaders are meeting Wednesday to determine their response to the U.K.’s demands for special treatment — and to mull the possibility of Britain voting to leave the E.U. in an upcoming referendum.

  6. alph 8535694970 f819d08bc8 k

    Alphabet Nabs Most Valuable Crown From Apple

    Who says “A” is for “Apple”? Google’s parent firm has topped the iPad maker as the world’s most valuable company, with shares soaring as much as 9 percent in after-hours trading on news of fourth-quarter profits of $4.9 billion. Alphabet is now worth roughly $568 billion — compared to Apple’s $535 billion — and the surge is expected to continue in early trading today. Advertising revenue was up across the board, and investors seem to be rewarding the firm’s gambles on technologies like driverless cars and Google Glass.

  7. Heavy Snow Strands 100,000 at Chinese Train Station, ISIS Bomber Kills Iraqi Troops Near Ramadi

    Heavy snow strands 100,000 at China’s Guangzhou station. (BBC)

    ISIS suicide bomber kills Iraqi troops near Ramadi. (Al Jazeera)

    Obama announces he’ll seek $1.1 billion to fight drug abuse. (CNBC)

    Historic agreement declared to protect swath of B.C. rainforest. (Reuters)

    BP reveals steep fourth-quarter loss, announces 3,000 job cuts. (WSJ) sub

    Pennsylvania groundhog predicts early spring on Groundhog Day. (Time)

    Navy SEAL to get Medal of Honor for Taliban rescue. (USA Today)

    Texas authorities say Zika virus can be sexually transmitted. (CNN)



  1. sarajevo bosnia

    The Best Country for Whistleblowers

    Want to inform on your employer? We hope you live in the Balkans, because just one European country offers pretrial protections for people who expose corruption at public institutions: Bosnia. Whistleblowers there have been threatened, fired and even killed. Now the country is on the forefront of laws protecting their jobs and, if needed, their personal safety. This speeds Bosnia ahead of France and Germany, and advocates hope it will help stem the country’s culture of corruption — maybe even winning Bosnia goodwill for a future bid to join the E.U.

  2. microsoft

    Microsoft Floats Idea of Underwater Data Centers

    They’re making waves. The tech giant is looking into parking its servers underwater, and its prototype — named Leona Philpot after the Halo character — has performed swimmingly. The company put the test data center inside a giant steel capsule 30 feet underwater about half a mile off the California coast. While humans couldn’t interact with the pod, it accomplished all the necessary functions. Now Microsoft is considering a chain of underwater servers, which they say would help serve coastal communities and generate greener energy through the movement of seawater.

  3. hieronymus bosch painting

    Dutch Master’s Painting Found in Kansas City

    They were sitting on treasure. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has revealed that “The Temptation of St. Anthony,” a 16th century oil painting it acquired in the 1930s, is the work of Hieronymus Bosch. The Kansas City museum had believed it was created in Bosch’s workshop, but new analysis indicates it was painted by the master himself, making it an incredibly rare, valuable masterpiece — one of only 25 known Bosch paintings. It’s now visiting the Netherlands as part of a 500th-anniversary exhibition of the master’s work.

  4. oyster

    Microplastics Hurt Oyster Reproduction

    This is a mood-killer. Oysters that digest tiny plastic particles see a significant decline in reproduction, which is worrying since microplastics — pieces from 5 mm to less than 1 nanometer — are increasingly clogging up ocean waters. These saltwater clams unintentionally filter in particles as they feed on plankton, but in bivalves exposed to microplastics, males produced sperm that was 23 percent slower, and females’ egg counts plunged 38 percent. This could also affect mussel and sea cucumber harvests, and researchers hope their findings will lead to improved waste management.

  5. wwf champion bret hart

    Ex-Wrestler Bret Hart Is Battling Cancer

    He’s facing the fight of his life. The legendary former WWE and WCW champion known as “The Hitman” has revealed that he’ll soon undergo surgery for prostate cancer. The 58-year-old Hall of Famer has suffered several health setbacks, including a severe concussion in 1999 and a stroke in 2002, before briefly returning to wrestling. He’s also overcome the tragic loss of brother Owen Hart, who died during a wrestling stunt. Admitting he’s full of “hesitation and fear,” Hart’s promising to be “emboldened” by the love of his fans.