The Presidential Daily Brief


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    New Report on Superbugs Predicts ‘Post-Antibiotic Era’

    A spoonful of panic helps the medicine go down. A new report on anti-microbial resistance sponsored by the U.K. government has come to some chilling conclusions: Unless we make some changes, by 2050 drug-resistant infections will kill someone every three seconds. The report urges a massive and immediate global education campaign about antibiotic overuse, improved sanitation, banning the use of some antibiotics in agriculture, and offering $1 billion payouts to companies that discover new drugs. Otherwise, the report’s authors warn, we’ll be “heading to the Dark Ages.”

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    Trump Releases List of Potential Supreme Court Picks

    He’s still courting conservatives. The presumptive Republican nominee took the unusual step of releasing a short list of possible replacements for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. All are white and Republican-appointed, and eight of the 11 are men. One of them, Texas State Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, repeatedly mocked the Donald on social media during primary season. As the reality TV star tries to rally his fractured, skeptical party, he’s seizing an issue deeply important to activists — with ramifications that would long outlast his potential presidency.

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    Bayer Approaches Monsanto About a Potential Takeover

    They’re hoping no obstacles crop up. Bayer AG has submitted an unsolicited takeover proposal to the seed and chemical giant that, if it goes through, will be valued at about $42 billion. Monsanto says there are no guarantees, but that their board is reviewing the proposal. Less than a quarter of Bayer’s business is related to agriculture, but if the deal is accepted — and regulators okay it — it’ll push the German company much more firmly into the farming sector, which has seen a three-year profit slide.


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    The Feminist Fight for Porn

    It’s a battle of the sex. While some self-described feminist activists are working to have hard-core pornography restricted, others are changing porn from the inside. Young female filmmakers like Erika Lust and Lucie Blush, not content with the exploitative and boring sex they were seeing on screen, are instead making films that privilege women’s pleasure. But as they find themselves running up against the same anti-porn laws that were ostensibly passed to benefit women, some wonder if such legislation is just stifling sex-positivity.

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    In-Home Assistant Debuts at Google Conference

    Can this butler do it? Among the new initiatives rolled out at the I/O developer conference Wednesday was the Google Assistant, part of the company’s Home platform to compete with Amazon Echo. The assistant responds to verbal commands (“What time is Star Wars showing?”) and also connects with Android phones and Chromecast, so you can hand Google control of your entire life. The Silicon Valley giant is also upgrading its phone messaging service and investing heavily in virtual reality products for release in the coming months and years.

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    Could Scientists Wipe Out the World’s Mosquitoes?

    Here’s how to pester the pests. Scientists have developed a way to inject mosquitoes that carry malaria and other nasty diseases with genetic modifications that could, in theory, extinguish entire species. With a pilot program underway in Brazil to target the blood-sucking strain that carries Zika and dengue fever, many in the scientific community are urging caution about unintended consequences. They say the loss of certain mosquitoes might damage ecosystems and warn that the technology could easily get out of hand. But would wiping out malaria be worth it?

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    ‘60 Minutes’ Host Morley Safer Dies at 84

    The great raconteur is gone. “It’s been a wonderful run, but the time has come to say goodbye,” Safer told fans last week as he retired after 46 seasons on 60 Minutes, a milestone that was heralded in a CBS special last Sunday. Credited with revolutionizing war reporting — he showed U.S. Marines burning villagers’ huts during the Vietnam War — the Toronto native died today in New York City. Safer is being remembered by colleagues like Anderson Cooper as an “extraordinary writer and reporter, and a true gentleman.”

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    Robin Wright Reveals How She Got Equal Pay

    She stacked the cards in her favor. The House of Cards star channeled Claire Underwood to demand the same wages as costar Kevin Spacey. “You better pay me or I’m going to go public,” Wright says she threatened Netflix. And it worked. She noted how it was the “perfect paradigm” — not many programs have equal male and female leads, but hers does. And thanks to the hit political drama’s equality both on screen and off, the 50-year-old Dallas native is set to return for season five.

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    Berlusconi Threatens to Stop Paying Milan Players

    That’s quite a pep talk. As a dismal season winds down, AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi told his team it must stop being “embarrassing” or else “I won’t pay you.” The flamboyant former Italian prime minister, whose sex scandals popularized the term “bunga bunga,” dared the players to file suit, pointing out that civil cases drag on for years in Italian courts. Milan finished seventh in Serie A, meaning it needs an upset win against Juventus in Saturday’s Coppa Italia in order to qualify for next year’s Europa League.