The Presidential Daily Brief


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    South Korea, US Agree on Missile Defense System

    The best defense is … probably going to piss off the neighbors. The U.S. and South Korea, citing threats from North Korea, have agreed to deploy the THAAD system, which can ostensibly detect and destroy hostile missiles before they land — something that’s become more urgent since Pyongyang described new U.S. sanctions as “an open declaration of war.” But China’s not happy about the development: North Korea’s most prominent sort-of ally is concerned that the new system will be able to spy into its own territory with radar.

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    Theranos Founder Gets Two-Year Operations Ban

    There’s blood in the water. Theranos was once considered a leader in medical innovation, peddling blood tests that required only a finger stick rather than an entire vial drawn from a vein. But the Silicon Valley company’s seen a spectacular downfall: It voided test results en masse after accuracy questions arose, and now it’s lost regulatory approval in California, while founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes has been banned from running a lab for two years. The company, which is also facing fines, has shuttered its lab for rebuilding and retraining.

  3. Chelsea Manning Hospitalized In Health Crisis, Dozens Die at Sacred Shia Site

    Officials confirm Chelsea Manning hospitalized after health crisis. (The Guardian)

    Dozens killed in Eid bombing at sacred Shia site in Iraq. (The Guardian)

    Trump doesn’t rule out quitting, even if he wins the presidency. (NYT)

    Pamplona hosts traditional Running of the Bulls. (USA Today)

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


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    Sicilian Judge Takes on Mafia ‘Trial of the Century’

    It’s an offer many justices would refuse. Judge Antonino Di Matteo has more than 20 bodyguards protecting him around the clock as he presides over what many Italians are calling the “trial of the century.” The defendants? Ten men accused of coordinating a conspiracy between the Mafia and the Italian government. Though the Cosa Nostra’s power may be waning, this case represents a major step towards confronting Italy’s fraught relationship with organized crime, and some of Di Matteo’s judicial predecessors have been assassinated for trying to do just that.

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    Beer Brewed by Artificial Intelligence Hits the Shelves

    It’s the foam of the future. London brewery IntelligentX has launched the world’s first line of beers made with the help of artificial intelligence. Customers answer questions about taste and color via a Facebook Messenger bot, which gathers and processes detailed feedback much faster than a human team could, then passes it along to the brewers. The four beers’ recipes are slowly altered over time based on the machine-learning algorithm’s analysis. As a result, these next generation brews have evolved 11 times in the past year.

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    Los Angeles Planning World’s Largest Power Storage Battery

    A charge is coming. The winner of a competition to replace an aging Long Beach natural gas plant will be composed of 18,000 lithium-ion battery packs, each the size to power a Nissan Leaf, charged by cheap off-peak solar and wind energy and deployed when Angelenos crank their air conditioning. The new plant will help California utilities meet their goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. Despite the area’s urgent energy needs, the battery will not be up and running for five years.

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    ‘Star Trek’ Franchise Reveals First LGBT Character

    It only took 50 years of fan fiction. Star Trek’s first openly gay character will be Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu. Originally played by gay activist George Takei, Sulu will be revealed to have a husband in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond. The space saga has a history of pioneering on-screen diversity, but it’s been criticized, along with other franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, for its lack of LGBT representation. The decision reflects “where I hope we are going as a species,” says current Sulu actor John Cho.

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    Host France Will Face Portugal in Euro 2016 Final

    C’est magnifique! France captured its first win against Germany in a major tournament since 1958 with a 2-0 triumph Thursday. Germany dominated play, but the tournament’s top scorer, Antoine Griezmann, was the only player who could find the net, with one goal in each half for the hosts. It was an emotional night in Marseille, as memories were stirred of last year’s Paris terror attacks — which broke out during a France-Germany friendly. The win vaults Les Bleus into Sunday’s final against Portugal.