The Presidential Daily Brief


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    US Compels Public Schools on Transgender Bathrooms

    They’ve decided it’s the way to go. The Obama administration is demanding that public schools allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with, threatening lawsuits and federal funding cuts for noncompliance. Signed by officials from the departments of Education and Justice, the letter warns that denying transgender students access to the facilities of their choice constitutes sex discrimination under Title IX. The move, which coincides with an Obamacare ruling protecting transgender patients from discrimination, nationalizes the DOJ’s ongoing legal dispute with North Carolina and is already drawing fire from Congressional Republicans.

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    Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff Faces Impeachment Trial

    She’s been shown the door. After an exhausting 20 hours of debate, the Brazilian Senate voted 55-22 to impeach. In doing so, legislators have launched legal proceedings that immediately suspend Rousseff from office, handing power to VP Michel Temer for up to six months pending a decision on whether to remove the president permanently. While supporters clashed with police outside, Rousseff — who denies allegations of illegally manipulating finances to hide a growing deficit — packed her bags, made plans to dismiss her cabinet and is refusing to ease the transition.

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    US Mulls How to Handle Future ISIS Captives

    Taking no prisoners may not be an option. The American administration, hoping to avoid echoes of Guantanamo, is now grappling with how to handle ISIS terrorists who surrender as the U.S.-led alliance bears down on the strongholds of Raqqa and Mosul. Obama is loath to revive huge detention operations or house captured jihadi extremists, and it’s unclear whether Middle East allies can, or are willing to, do so. But the lack of planning has human rights activists concerned that desperate measures will lead to inhumane treatment of detainees.

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    Next ‘Bern’ Phase Could Be Grassroots Anti-Trump Effort

    Will the movement live on? Bernie Sanders’ allies are discussing how to channel the energy (and vaunted email list) of his insurgent campaign into November and beyond, should the Vermont senator fall short and exit the race. One proposal calls for a Sanders-driven “convention” running parallel to the DNC, and a massive independent political campaign against Donald Trump. The question is whether he’ll comply and drop out after the June 7 primaries in California and elsewhere, when he’s still likely to trail Hillary Clinton in delegates.

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    Nissan to Take 34 Percent Stake in Scandal-Plagued Mitsubishi

    They’re fueling a rescue effort. The giant Japanese auto manufacturer is buying a huge chunk of its smaller rival, which recently admitted to fudging fuel efficiency data. Nissan, already allied with French carmaker Renault, will become Mitsubishi Motors’ largest shareholder, buying the stake for an agreed $2.2 billion, with plans to help the beleaguered brand restore customers’ trust. Having seen drops of more than 40 percent after the scandal, Mitsubishi’s shares were suspended yesterday but saw prices rise alongside buy orders, and Nissan shares dipped 1.6 percent.

  6. Bush-Appointed Judge Rules Against Obamacare Funding, Debris ‘Almost Certainly’ From MH370

    Federal court ruling that Obamacare funding is unconstitutional heads for appeal. (LA Times)

    Debris found off the coasts of South Africa, Mauritius believed to be from MH370. (BBC)

    House Speaker Paul Ryan and Donald Trump meet to mend fences. (CNN)

    Golden State closes out series with win over Portland. (USA Today)

    George Zimmerman plans to auction gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin. (The Guardian)

    Federal court gives former New York GOP leader five years for corruption. (NYT)


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    Woody Allen’s Cannes Debut Revives Rape Chatter

    It’s no joke. Café Society’s unveiling at the Cannes Film Festival saw a French comedian draw gasps from the audience when he told Allen, “It’s very nice that you’ve been shooting so many movies in Europe, even if you are not being convicted for rape in the U.S.” The director’s son, Ronan Farrow, penned a passionate op-ed comparing his 80-year-old father to Bill Cosby. He said the “dangerous” silence from the press and Hollywood about sexual assault allegations by his sister, Dylan Farrow, discourages victims everywhere.

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    Education Is the New Bridal Ornament for Indian Girls

    How old-school! Regional governments in India are pushing hard for young women’s education, offering financial incentives and free bicycles to get enrollment as high as 96 percent in some areas. This, in a country with the world’s second-highest rate of child marriage, also aims to keep females in school longer. Yet social values placing marriage above education — except as a bargaining tool for a lower dowry — are still going strong, and they could bring down those trying to cut through the wed tape.

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    Teen’s Mayan ‘Discovery’ May Be an Old Pot Field

    Was it a pipe dream? Experts seriously doubt Canadian teen William Gadoury’s widely reported “finding” of an ancient city in Mexico. It appears the youth did not, sitting at his computer and studying satellite images and pre-Columbian star charts, locate a centuries-hidden 282-foot pyramid. First, the spot is already near a known archaeological site. Second, the “pyramid base” is more likely a fallow marijuana field, a Mesoamerican archaeologist has declared, so the lost city of K’aak Chi, as the teen dubbed it, will likely become the stuff of legends.

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    Scientists Find 2.7 Billion-Year-Old Micrometeorites

    They had breathing space. Australian researchers have found 60 sand-sized flecks embedded in limestone that are about a billion years older than other spacedust samples. The virtual time capsule reveals a surprising clue about the chemical evolution of Earth’s upper atmosphere: It was about 20 percent oxygen, like today. Scientists had assumed it wouldn’t contain much of the gas, since the lower atmosphere was virtually oxygen-free at that time. More study is needed to figure out Earth’s multilayered prehistoric atmosphere, which could inform the search for life on other planets.

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    Elon Musk’s High-Speed Pod Travel Has First Public Demo

    Full speed ahead! Hyperloop One, the electromagnetic propulsion system envisioned by the SpaceX founder, staged its first public demonstration in the Nevada desert yesterday. The test sled’s brief acceleration along a straight track wasn’t the most thrilling sight, but it’s a milestone for the travel revolution dream of moving large numbers of people at 700 mph. Hyperloop faces more hurdles, though: The sled doesn’t have brakes yet (it stopped by plowing into sand), and it traveled on rails instead of the ultimate goal of low-pressure tubes.

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    Max Scherzer Strikes Out 20 to Tie MLB Record

    He aced it. The Washington Nationals right-hander dismissed 20 batters in yesterday’s 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers, joining the exclusive 20-K club of Roger Clemens, Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson. ‘’That’s some serious company,’’ said Scherzer, who also tied John Lackey as the only active starters with wins against all 30 major league clubs. The 2013 Cy Young winner built excitement early on, racking up eight strikeouts in three innings, and by the eighth he knew he was on his way to making history.