The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Country Star Merle Haggard Dies at 79

    One of country music’s famed outlaws, who channeled outsiders and working men with songs like “Fightin’ Side of Me” and “Okie From Muskogee,” died of pneumonia on his 79th birthday yesterday. Haggard’s tunes about the hard life weren’t just an act: He grew up poor, fell into petty crime in his teens and did a stint in San Quentin for a bungled burglary. His rags-to-riches success saw him top music charts for decades, and he’s being remembered by colleagues like Carrie Underwood as “a true entertainer … a legend.”

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