The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Obama, Kaine Headline as Democrats Strike Trump Contrast at DNC

    The Dems dished it out. The night of Tim Kaine’s acceptance as the party’s pick for VP unfolded like a one-liner contest against the Donald. Vice President Joe Biden said Trump “has no clue. Period.” Mike Bloomberg, an independent, added: “New Yorkers know a con when we see one!” Kaine offered up impersonations of the “slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting, one-man wrecking crew.” Meanwhile, President Obama jabbed at the “homegrown demagogue,” while endorsing Clinton — who joined him onstage for a hug to close the night.

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    Donald Trump Calls On Russia to Hack and Release Clinton Emails

    He knows how to send a message. The GOP candidate addressed cameras during a press conference yesterday, saying: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” He was referring to assertions by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia was likely behind the recent hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s email servers. Critics condemned what they saw as inciting a foreign power to commit espionage against the U.S. But his campaign insists that Trump didn’t actually encourage Russian hacking.

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    John Hinckley Jr. To Be Released 35 Years After Reagan Assassination Attempt

    He’s out. John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan, is set to be released after 35 years. In March 1981, the then-25-year-old Hinckley attacked Reagan as he exited Washington DC’s Hilton Hotel, shooting the president in the lung and wounding three others. According to evidence at his trial, he was acting in an attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster, who he’d stalked for months leading up to the shooting. Hinckley has been in a psychiatric hospital since he was found not guilty due to insanity. But a judge has now found him fit to live with his mother in Virginia.

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    Dilma Rousseff Won’t Attend Olympic Opening Ceremony

    She had no interest in the silver medal. Former President Rousseff, who’s been suspended over alleged budgetary shenanigans, had planned to appear in Rio de Janeiro alongside her successor, interim President Michel Temer. But she’s said she’ll only attend the ceremony in the role of president, so rather than take a “secondary role” to Temer, whose allies she accuses of persecuting her, she’ll sit out the ceremonies alongside former President Lula da Silva, despite his help securing Brazil’s 2016 host status. Rousseff will have to attend one event after the Games — her impeachment trial. 

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    Twitter Sees Slump as It Struggles to Innovate

    The early bird gets … the shaft? The social media giant reported second-quarter results yesterday that grew 20 percent over the same quarter in 2015 — but the $602 million in revenue was still below projections, and the microblogging platform says earnings next quarter, expected to be around $680 million, might end up as low as $590 million. That’s bad news for a service trying to entice advertisers into committing more of their budgets to Twitter, even as trend-setting Instagram and Snapchat look like sexier swipes for investors.


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    London Artist Shows the Dark Side of Webcams

    Are they watching you? One British artist’s exhibition suggests it’s more likely than you think. In a groundbreaking new work, Nye Thompson gives audiences a glimpse of other people’s lives — using webcams people put in their own homes. Many internet-connected cameras have very little security, meaning it’s unnervingly possible to hack your way into a view of someone’s living room. Thompson hopes her work, culled from search engines, will clue people in to the rise of personal surveillance — and the ways we make ourselves vulnerable.

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    ‘Virtuous Reality’ Links Couch Potatoes With Good Causes

    It’s more than a game. Virtual reality headsets can be used to immerse yourself in social justice fights around the globe without having to leave your living room. Groups including the United Nations and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are getting on board and seeing financial windfalls as they explore a new way of connecting potential donors and volunteers with their causes, down to the feel, taste, smell and temperature. But some worry people could come to regard VR as cynical emotional manipulation — or merely a fad.

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    Should Doctors Treat Guns as a Health Hazard?

    It may be worth a shot. Guns cause twice as many deaths in the U.S. as cancer among those under 24. So why don’t we consider guns a public health hazard? That’s what many health experts urge in the fight against gun violence, while legislators in several states have sought — successfully in Florida — to prevent doctors from asking patients about guns at home. Such legal efforts may have made doctors uncomfortable with asking such questions, so advocates of gun control are working to give medicine more ammunition.

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    Apple Buys ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Series

    Crank up the tunes and fasten your seatbelts. The tech giant just won a bidding war to license 16 unscripted episodes of Carpool Karaoke, based on viral hits from The Late Late Show with James Corden that feature the host driving around with the likes of Michelle Obama and Adele singing along to the stereo — and racking up 800 million YouTube views. Apple Music said the drive song downloads boost competitiveness with rivals like Spotify, and the move is one of several the company is making into Netflix-style original content offerings.

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    37 Russian Athletes Now Banned from Olympics For Doping

    The hits keep coming. With the booting yesterday of 19 rowers, a total of 37 Russian athletes across six sports have been blocked from participating in next month’s Olympic Games by various athletic governing bodies. The move comes after a damning report by the World Anti-Doping Agency on state-sanctioned performance-enhancing drug use, though the International Olympic Committee decided against banning Russian participation altogether. The drug problem goes beyond performance: Authorities found the official “Rio 2016” logo stamped on local bags of cocaine, exploiting a timely branding opportunity.