The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Panama Papers Leaker Offers to Help Authorities for Immunity

    He’ll come clean … if they’ll look the other way. The anonymous source who leaked the financial papers from Mossack Fonseca law firm — revealing hundreds of hidden assets by current and former world leaders — has released an 1,800-word statement saying his motive was “income equality.” On the same day that President Obama spoke out about the U.S. economy and the need to tackle corporate tax evasion and corruption, the Panama Papers’ “John Doe” told prosectors that he’s happy to help them if can escape charges himself.

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    North Korea Kicks Off Rare Party Congress

    And only three decades late. The Workers’ Party is supposed to hold a congress every five years, but the last one was in 1980, before Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was born. Scores of foreign reporters were bused in to cover the event … and then denied access and taken to tour a factory. Nonetheless, many are eagerly anticipating the announcement of potential economic reforms that they hope will ease the Hermit Kingdom into the world market and shift it away from its dependence on the nation’s military.

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    Paul Ryan ‘Not Ready’ to Endorse Trump

    They say the House always wins. The Donald may have secured the GOP nomination, but he hasn’t locked down the loyalty of its leaders. The biggest slight came from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who declared Thursday that the billionaire must show more allegiance to conservative principles. Trump fired back that he’s not ready to embrace the agenda of the failed 2012 VP nominee. While some former critics like Rick Perry are lining up behind the presumed nominee, other Republicans are hedging their bets — worried about getting Trumped down the ballot this fall.

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    UN: Syrian Camp Airstrike Could Be War Crime

    So much for a truce. Just a day after the Syrian ceasefire was extended to cover more of the north, including Aleppo, an airstrike on a Sarmada refugee camp has left at least 28 dead, including women and children, and dozens wounded. The U.N. says if the attack was deliberate, it may have been a war crime — but there’s been no confirmation of who was behind the bombing. Local reports suggest it was a Syrian or Russian plane, but officials say further investigation is necessary before pointing fingers.

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    Oil Prices Up as Canadian Tar Sands Blaze

    Alberta’s oil future could be going up in smoke. As a massive wildfire encroaches on Canada’s oil sands, energy companies have evacuated their personnel from the area, reducing the country’s production by nearly 25 percent. The price of oil, which has been falling for months due to excess supply, perked up 1.2 percent Thursday at the news. Alberta’s outage is expected to be temporary, but analysts say if it stretches on, it could put pressure on the Canadian economy — and wipe out the global oversupply of oil.

  6. Erdogan Refuses to Change Anti-Terror Laws, U.S. Job Creation Drops to Seven-Month Low

    Turkey’s Erdogan refuses to change laws, turns back on visa-free EU travel. (BBC)

    U.S. economy last month added fewest jobs in seven months. (Reuters)

    Trump tells West Virginia voters to ignore primary, despite local races. (Washington Post)

    U.K. Labour Party sees losses in regional elections, awaits London mayoral results. (Reuters)

    North Carolina refuses to repeal bathroom law by Monday deadline. (NYT)

    Gucci apologizes to Hong Kong funeral homes over paper replica ‘fakes’ battle. (BBC)

    Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB quiz. (OZY)


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    KFC Releases Edible Chicken-Flavored Nail Polish

    It’s fingertip lickin’ good. Colonel Sanders’ fast food chain is now peddling chicken-flavored nail varnish, giving customers the chance to apply, dry and lick their way into an original recipe addiction. Made in partnership with McCormick and sporting a secret mix of 11 natural spices, the polish comes in three flavors: original, hot and spicy. Customers in Hong Kong get to narrow the field, weighing in on which flavor should be mass-produced, and there’s no word yet on where folks will get to watch the paint dry next.

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    Long-Term Study Finds No Link Between Cell Phones and Cancer

    Do the fears ring false? A 29-year Australian study shows no correlation between brain cancer and the rise of cell phone usage. Researchers found brain cancer rates to be stable among women (with a slight increase among men) from 1982 to 2012, even as cell phone penetration went from zero to 90 percent. Studies in the U.S. and elsewhere have found similar results, but the debate is sure to rage on, as critics say there is a long lag time between heavy cell use and cancer diagnosis.

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    Oldest Species Have a Leg Up to Survive Climate Change

    Respect your elders. Animals like sea lions and cane toads that have been on Earth for millions of years have a greater ability to adapt to climate change than younger species, according to a new Swiss study of vertebrate survival. But age isn’t the only factor: Animals that come in different colors and those that give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs, are also better equipped to handle global warming. Researchers hope their work can help identify and protect species at risk of becoming endangered.

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    The Next Frontier in Young Adult Literature

    You can’t judge these books by their covers. Stories about LGBT teens are commonplace these days, but a few authors are treading new ground with fiction featuring intersex characters — people born with ambiguous genitalia or unusual sex chromosomes. These stories are tailor-made for teens, often featuring narratives about young people finding their identities and learning to be comfortable in their own skin. But as young adult literature matures and covers increasingly taboo topics, some worry that censors will keep these books away from the kids who need them.

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    Judge Reveals Paterno Knew of Sandusky’s Abuse in 1976

    A child told Penn State football coach Joe Paterno about assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s ongoing molestation in 1976, according to a court document. Sandusky, who remained on staff for decades, now sits in prison for 45 counts of sexual abuse. A prior investigation concluded the legendary head coach knew as far back as 1998, but Paterno wasn’t charged with any crime and died in 2012. The document remains sealed, but was referenced by the judge in a related insurance case involving $60 million the university paid in civil suits.