The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Prince Died of Painkiller Overdose

    Tests conducted after the famed ‘Purple Rain’ singer’s death reveal that it was an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl. Investigators have already spoken with a doctor who saw Prince twice in the weeks leading up to his death, when prescription painkillers were found at his home. A warrant reveals that Dr. Michael Schulenberg prescribed meds to the 57-year-old star just a day before his death. Schulenberg has reportedly left the clinic where he worked at the time, but what those pills were, or whether the star consumed them, remains unclear.

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    Paul Ryan Plans to Vote for Donald Trump

    He has spoken. After weeks of withholding his endorsement, the U.S. Speaker of the House has said he’ll be voting for the billionaire. In a Wisconsin newspaper’s op-ed, Ryan acknowledged that while they still disagree on some points, he was encouraged by the real estate mogul’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees, as well as their chats about potential policy reform. Ryan didn’t call his vote an endorsement but said he believes Trump would further the House agenda better than Hillary Clinton.

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    Oveturned Army Truck Leaves 5 Dead, 4 Missing at Fort Hood 

    A troop carrier overturned at a flooded low-water crossing at Texas’ Fort Hood on Thursday, the U.S. Army said, leaving five soldiers confirmed dead and another four missing. Three soldiers were rescued and are in stable condition. Rescue personnel were called in late Thursday morning when the two-and-a-half ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle got stuck while crossing Owl Creek, according to Fort Hood authorities. Severe flooding has been reported across wide swaths of Texas after heavy rains in recent days. The search for the remaining soldiers was ongoing.

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    German Parliament Recognizes Armenian ’Genocide’

    How will history remember them? German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to smooth things over with Turkey after the Bundestag voted to join more than 20 other countries (and Pope Francis) in recognizing the World War I-era mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as “genocide.” Turkey’s not taking this lightly: President Recip Tayyip Erdogan has withdrawn his ambassador from Berlin and implied that this could damage ties permanently. Meanwhile, the EU is still depending on Turkey to take in Europe’s migrants under the terms of a deal struck in March.

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    Seine Bursts Its Banks, Louvre to Close Amid Floods

    The City of Light is far from bright. Thousands have been forced to flee their homes after heavy rains caused severe flooding across France, Belgium and Germany. At least four people have died, including three in southern Bavaria and another in central France, where non-stop rain has caused the worst flooding in a century. President François Hollande has declared a state of emergency in some areas, promising funds to deal with the damage, and the famed Louvre museum will be closed tomorrow as staffers race to excavate artworks from its underground storage areas.

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    Western Coalition Urges Air Drops of Food to Syria

    People are starving. France, the U.S. and the U.K. are pressing the United Nations to start dropping humanitarian aid to besieged populations. Yesterday — the agreed-upon deadline for the Syrian government to allow widespread aid — the 8,000 remaining residents in the rebel-held town of Daraya saw the first aid convoy since 2012, but it contained no food or surgical kits. While some air drops have been unsuccessful, the U.N. will meet Friday to consider their options before time runs out for the estimated 600,000 besieged Syrians.

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    Clinton Fights for California as Nomination Fight Tightens

    California, here they come. Polls show a deadlock between the former secretary of state and Bernie Sanders ahead of the state’s June 7 nominating contest. Though Hillary Clinton may lock down the nomination earlier that day with a win in New Jersey, a Golden State loss could weaken her general election prospects, so she’s making an unexpected campaign trip to San Diego today. Meanwhile, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has declared that he’s gunning for California’s 31 electoral votes in November, though no Republican’s won the state since 1988.

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    Saudi Arabia Throws $3.5 Billion at Uber

    The juggernaut is driving ahead. Uber, which is now valued at $20 billion more than General Motors, just got a huge chunk of cash from the Middle Eastern kingdom’s wealth fund — the largest one-time investment that’s ever been made in a private company. The wealth fund’s managing director, Yasir Al Rumayyan, is taking a boardroom chair at the company, of which Saudi Arabia now owns approximately five percent. Uber operates in five Saudi cities, but says the new funding doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be expanding there.


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    British Historians Dig Up Victorian-Era Trash

    What a rubbish idea. “Garbology” specialists in Britain are digging up dirt and century-old packaging remnants to figure out “how we became a throwaway society.” Tom Licence, a historian at the University of East Anglia, and his team are busy unearthing tombs, homes and bones to figure out what Victorians threw away 150 years ago. Before the Industrial Revolution and throughout most of history, people reused everyday items — and Licence hopes that by lifting the lid he can help us return to more old-fashioned ways.

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    How the Fertility Industry Is Upgrading Itself

    Talk about early adoption. More and more couples hoping for a baby are choosing to take responsibility for someone else’s embryo. This so-called embryo adoption, cheaper and faster than IVF, is on the rise — thanks to a backlog of 600,000 stored embryos created for other couples’ IVF treatments. And while this method has conservative pro-life roots, it’s catching on in the mainstream, partly due to its high success rate regardless of maternal age, which could help fuel the already booming trend toward becoming a mom later in life.

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    ‘Emoji Movie’ Finds Itself in Copyright Spat

    Fortune’s not exactly smiling … or winking. Though emojis have been around since the late 1990s, the term wasn’t copyrighted until 2013, when former video game executive Marco Husges staked his trademark claim. He doesn’t own the rights to all actual emojis — which get more diverse today as Facebook rolls out new race and gender options for its emoticons — but he’s got the word on lock, which could spell trouble for Sony project The Emoji Movie. The film’s due in 2017, if Husges’ threatened lawsuit doesn’t derail production.

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    Crosby Leads Penguins to OT Victory Over Sharks

    He planned it all along. Pittsburgh beat San Jose 2-1 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final, and though Captain Sidney Crosby didn’t score, he put the wheels in motion. After winning the crucial overtime faceoff, he swept the puck to Kris Letang, who passed to rookie Conor Sheary down the middle, setting up the game-winning goal — exactly the way Crosby choreographed it. The Pens lead the series 2-0, but the Sharks are eager to get back on home ice for Saturday’s Game 3.