The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Obama Pushes EU-US Trade Deal

    It’s better than it looks. While Americans and Europeans protest jobs lost to globalization, deals like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership strengthen economies on both sides of the Atlantic, the U.S. president told European journalists. Today he discussed the deal — which officials predict will be concluded by year’s end — with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hanover. Tomorrow, he’ll meet with her and the leaders of Britain, France and Italy to discuss issues that include the TTIP, intelligence sharing and Syria while arguing that their nations are stronger if they all pull together.

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    Ohio Authorities Seek Answers in Family’s Mass Slaying

    They’re always senseless. But the mass killing near Piketon, Ohio, seems even more so, with no apparent motive for the execution-style shootings of eight members of the Rhoden family, ages 16 to 44, discovered Friday in four locations. The only survivors, too young to be witnesses, were a newborn found with its dead mother, a six-month-old and a three-year-old. The family was described as close-knit and hardworking, with no indications of criminal involvement, adding to the mystery as police sift through “overwhelming” tips they hope will lead to those responsible.

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    Ecuador Shaken by Worst Quake in Years

    They’re digging out … and into their pockets. The 16-million strong South American nation is reeling in the wake of last weekend’s devastating 7.8-magnitude temblor, which claimed more than 600 lives and left tens of thousands homeless. Scores are still missing, and hope for finding more survivors is fading. Reconstruction will cost billions, while the Ecuadorian economy is forecast to shrink 4.5 percent this year, and President Rafael Correa has said he’ll raise sales taxes and target millionaires with a one-time levy to help foot the bill.

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    Hillary Clinton’s Hawkish History

    She was born into it. As a Navy chief petty officer’s daughter — who says she once considered joining the Marines after law school — the Democratic front-runner is no stranger to military thinking. Some assume her aggressive tone on national security is mere posturing, but former Defense Secretary Robert Gates calls Clinton a “tough lady.” And with advisers like Jack Keane, an intellectual architect of the Iraq surge, she’d likely enter the general election with a greater tolerance for military intervention than even potential Republican opponents Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

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    These Four Men Were ISIS Hostages, and Lived to Tell

    They were deprived of sunlight, beaten regularly, left longing for food and freedom. But first they had to win the “game of survival.” Italian Federico Motka, Frenchmen Didier Francois and Pierre Torres, and Dane Daniel Rye Ottosen each had his own approach. They helped one another endure by employing ways to psychologically escape, playing games like chess and creating a self-styled lecture series to keep their minds agile. Reunited for a recent interview, the four mourn their murdered friends while cherishing the bonds that helped them survive.

  6. Gunman Fatally Shot After Wounding Two at Wisconsin Prom, Far-Right Party Wins Austrian Election

    Police kill gunman who opened fire outside Wisconsin prom. (Chicago Tribune)

    Austrian far-right party wins first round of parliamentary elections. (BBC)

    Kansas shootout leaves four U.S. federal agents injured. (USA Today)

    North Korea boasts of successful sub missile launch. (AP)

    Ted Cruz scores another delegate coup at Maine convention. (Politico)

    Solar-powered airplane completes perilous Pacific crossing. (CNN)


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    Prince’s Remains Cremated as Family and Fans Mourn

    He forever changed how we make and listen to music, says OZY’s Eugene Robinson. So “even if you don’t know who Prince is, everyone you listen to now most definitely does. He’s written all over modern music now and for the foreseeable future.” Though his cause of death may not be known for weeks, authorities found “no sign” of trauma or suicide. Family members said a “loving goodbye” and cremated remains’ “final storage” will also remain private, leaving fans to find solace in makeshift shrines, the artist’s musical legacy and his haunting cries.

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    How Esperanto Is Gaining New Life Online

    They’re hoping to spread the words. While Esperanto is the world’s most developed and prolific constructed language, with as many as two million speakers, it’s still largely regarded as a niche hobby for linguists. But now a popular online Duolingo course, the first of its kind, may be reviving the nearly 130-year-old would-be universal tongue. Organizers say they’ve seen a small uptick in activity, with more than 300,000 users signing up to breathe new life into a cultish phenomenon that may finally be finding its voice.

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    US Middle Class Faces the Financial Brink

    Brother, can you spare $400? Research shows nearly half of Americans couldn’t cope with a modest financial emergency without assistance. But we hide our paycheck-to-paycheck status, writes author Neal Gabler, admitting that he has no retirement savings and, despite having been a film reviewer, can’t afford to go to the movies. As incomes erode, more Americans are “financially illiterate” in a world of increasing complexity, fostering poor choices and living just one ER visit away from financial ruin.

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    Greenland Struggles With Epidemic of Youth Suicide

    It’s a dark statistic. The partially sovereign island nation has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. It grew during the decades of Danish-speaking leaders’ modernization — and marginalization — of traditional Greenlandic-speaking villages whose residents hunt and fish. In the 1990s, bereaved parents set up the nation’s first suicide hotline, and the rate has since plateaued. But officials and locals say resources in isolated communities are still scarce, and they fear the deadly trend among the country’s youth could take decades to bring under control.

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    Meet the Newly Mellow Guns N’ Roses

    It’s about time. After decades of being notoriously late to shows, Axl Rose has been surprisingly punctual in early reunion appearances with hard-rocking bandmates Slash and Duff. Perhaps it’s the broken foot preventing him from wandering (or keeping him stuck to a throne). Regardless, listeners are getting a crash course on a middle-aged band few have seen together since shortly after Bill Clinton took office. They may have left the jungle, but the aging rockers hope fans have an appetite for nostalgia.

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    The Year That Changed Tiger Woods Forever

    Looking back is par for the course. The 2006 death of his father, Earl, accelerated the decline of golf’s best-known player. Often secluded in the Bahamas behind a wall of security with his boats, Privacy and Solitude, the now 40-year-old became obsessed with Navy SEALs, wanting to connect with the legacy of his Green Beret dad. He didn’t win many friends rubbing elbows with elite soldiers, but the aging golfer now finds solace — and a reflection of his lost dad — in his young son, Charlie.