The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Clinton Will Be Democratic Nominee, Some Counts Show

    She’s the one. Tallies by the Associated Press and CNN indicate that when pledged delegates are combined with commitments from surveyed superdelegates, Hillary Clinton has crossed the finish line to become the first woman to lead a major party’s U.S. presidential ticket. Her camp said they’re “flattered,” but indicated that the call is premature and their focus remains on today’s primaries in California and five other states. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders’ campaign complained of the media’s “rush to judgment,” arguing that superdelegates can’t officially be counted until July’s party convention.

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    Ukraine Says Terrorist Planned to Attack European Soccer Championships

    He was armed to the teeth. Gregoire Moutaux, a 25-year-old Frenchman with no criminal record, was arrested on the Ukraine-Poland border last month with two grenade launchers, five Kalashikovs, and a cache of explosives. Now they say he was planning to attack the Euro 2016 soccer tournament in Paris, as well as mosques, bridges and a synagogue, and Ukraine’s security service says he was motivated by a desire to stop the spread of Islam. France has 90,000 security forces in place to protect the Euro, which is going ahead as planned.

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    Scientists Create Human-Pig Hybrid Embryo

    Are we making pigs of ourselves? Researchers at UC Davis working on a project to grow transplant organs inside pigs say they’ve successfully inserted human stem cells into pig embryos. Their hope is to grow donor organs for human beings — using CRISPR DNA editing to create a genetic “niche” — inside the engineered pigs, which otherwise look and behave like normal porkers. The U.S. National Institutes of Health has said it won’t support research into so-called chimeras until it determines whether the implanted cells make the animals more human.

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    Iraqi Forces Close in on Fallujah as ISIS Shoots Fleeing Civilians

    The only way out is the river. As the Iraqi army, supported by a U.S.-led coalition, enters what may be the final phase of recapturing the ISIS stronghold, the estimated 50,000 civilians still trapped inside are trying to flee. Many are attempting to ford the Euphrates River, but humanitarian groups report that ISIS is targeting non-combatants. Meanwhile, camps housing 3,000 displaced families who managed to escape Fallujah in the last few weeks worry about resources dwindling as more refugees arrive.

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    Saudi Arabia Slashes Oil Prices as Iran Ramps Up Production

    They’re drilling down on the competition. Iran’s trying to make up for lost time in the oil export game, and is now shipping 400,000 barrels a day to Europe. That’s about half of Saudi Arabia’s daily total, but it’s enough that the kingdom, also jockeying with Iran for political power and influence in the Middle East, is playing hardball, slashing European prices by 10 to 35 cents a barrel. Meanwhile, it upped prices by 10 cents in the U.S. — where Iran’s not yet allowed to sell.

  6. Jordanian Officers Killed in Camp Attack, US Set to Approve Private Moon Mission

    Jordanian officers killed in ‘terrorist attack’ on Palestinian refugee camp. (BBC)

    Sir Peter Schaffer, playwright of Equus and screenwriter of Amadeus, dies aged 90. (BBC)

    U.S. set to approve commercial moon mission. (WSJ) sub

    Award-winning NPR photojournalist killed in Afghanistan. (CNN)

    Turkish school trip bus crash kills 14. (AP)

    Anti-establishment party likely to control Rome with first female mayor. (Reuters)

    Australia hunts 20-foot shark after fatal attack. (SCMP)


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    Switzerland Votes Down Guaranteed Income

    Money for nothing remains elusive. By more than a 3-to-1 margin Sunday, Swiss voters rejected a proposal to give each adult a monthly income of about $2,500, regardless of how much they work. The measure’s supporters were pleased to win 22 percent because it shows the notion of combating inequality with a guaranteed income is gaining steam. Opponents say it’s too expensive and would make the nation a magnet for layabouts. Wealthy Switzerland was the first to hold a national vote, though the Finnish government is also studying the issue.

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    Meet India’s New Startup Capital

    It’s a smart-looking town. Pune, India, has been compared to many places — Oxford, Detroit, Austin — but it’s making a name in its own right. With 800 colleges and 880 startups in a city of 2.5 million, Pune’s primed for explosive growth as former Microsoft and Amazon employees foster tech companies there. That puts the onus on local planners: With the population expected to double by 2030, they’ll have to make sure Pune doesn’t become a congested, expensive mess like IT hub (and cautionary tale) Bangalore.

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    Greek ‘Ruins’ Were Actually Built by Microbes

    It was all just gas. Structures discovered a few years ago off the coast of the island of Zakynthos are not, as first believed, submerged ancient Greek floors and colonnades. New research from the University of East Anglia found that the structures are natural formations built by tiny microbes feeding on methane gas to produce a kind of organic cement, with different sizes and shapes created by variations in the gas leaks from the Earth’s crust. The findings could also relate to supposed antiquities discovered off the coast of Japan.

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    Jack Black Lives, Despite RIP Tweet

    Rock is dead, he sang, but Jack’s not. His band, Tenacious D, says reports of the actor’s death tweeted early Sunday — “I’m sad to officially annouce [sic] the death of Jack Black at the age of 46, rest in peace brother” — were just a “sick ‘prank’” by a hacker. Distraught fans had already shared condolences on a page that quickly drew nearly one million Facebook likes. But reps for the Kung Fu Panda star say all is well, and to “stop believing what you see on the Internet.”

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    Novak Djokovic Nets Career Grand Slam at French Open

    He aced it. The Serb dismissed Scotsman Andy Murray in the Paris final yesterday, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, earning his career Grand Slam and a place in history as the fifth man to do so in the Open era and the first since 1969 to hold all four titles concurrently. Djokovic reflected on the feat, noting, “I’m just so overwhelmed with having this trophy.” Even Murray tipped his hat, saying, “It sucks to lose the match but … I’m proud to be part of today.”