The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Hillary Clinton Accepts the Democratic Presidential Nomination

    She’s made history. Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first female presidential nominee of a major U.S. party last night, delivering a convention speech that pushed inclusion over security fears — while handling rumblings from a few scattered protesters. Clinton mixed hopeful rhetoric with derision toward Donald Trump, saying, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” OZY co-founder Carlos Watson predicts she’ll benefit from a post-convention polling bump if her speech resonates, but “whether all that will last is a different story.”

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    French Police Identify Second Suspect in Church Attack

    They were both 19 years old. Police had been hunting for Abdel-Malik Nabil Petitjean when he and Adel Kermiche, who was under surveillance for trying to get to Syria multiple times, took several people hostage in a small French Catholic church. The two, who murdered a priest before being shot by police, reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS in a video released by the group. Now some are questioning whether France’s state of emergency, which gives the government extra powers to stop suspected terrorists, is effective at saving lives.

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    As Gloom Lifts, Federal Reserve Revisits Rate Increases

    Everyone’s looking toward September. Though the Fed held off raising rates at its June meeting as it waited to see the effects of a potential Brexit, officials now say that it looks like the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU, among other factors, won’t have the catastrophic effects on the global economy that were initially feared. With three meetings left in the year, the Fed could raise rates as soon as September, to continue its plan of gradual increases after the first interest hike in seven years last December.

  4. Aleppo Could Open Escape Routes for Civilians, Flight Simulator Deepens MH370 Mystery

    Russia promises to open Aleppo ‘exit corridors’ to allow rebels, civilians to flee. (BBC)

    MH370 pilot’s home flight simulator had course plotted to Indian Ocean. (CNN)

    Turkey closes 128 media entities in post-putsch purge. (France 24)

    Indonesia prepares to execute 14 death row prisoners. (The Guardian)

    No convictions for any officers accused in Freddie Gray case. (Baltimore Sun)


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    Ice Bucket Challenge Funds ALS Breakthrough

    That’s refreshing. People dumped ice water on themselves on YouTube, donated to the ALS Association, and challenged others to do the same. The viral campaign netted more than $100 million — and results, funding genome sequencing for 15,000 afflicted with ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease. That led to the discovery of NEK1, a gene contributing to the disease. Critics called the challenge narcissistic “slacktivism,” but it seems it’s done some permanent good, with scientists saying they can target the gene with new therapies to help put the chill on ALS.

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    Video Games to Explore the Dungeons of Depression

    Talk about Dark Souls. A new wave of personal video games under development, including Please Knock on My Door and A Song for Viggo, put the user in the shoes of a depressed person. The experience might be less classically “fun” than shooting aliens, but could prove to be therapeutic for those who struggle with the condition and enlightening for others. Originally set for spring, release dates for the games have been postponed. But don’t despair — developers simply want to make sure the experience is honest and true.

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    One Orangutan Could Hold the Key to Human Speech

    Do they have something to tell us? For years, scientists have been stumped by how and when humans developed speech as they evolved. It’s been thought that big apes, our closest relatives, can’t learn new sounds. But 11-year-old orangutan Rocky, a resident of the Indianapolis Zoo, has mimicked researchers’ noises to create something resembling vowels. Rocky’s ability to control his voice, a key factor in developing spoken language, might unlock some hidden aspects of our evolutionary history – and suggest apes can still teach us a thing or two.

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    James Alan McPherson, First Black Fiction Pulitzer Winner, Dies at 72

    The final chapter is closed. McPherson spent his life writing fiction and essays exploring race and class in America, starting with his teenage days as a railroad waiter. After working as a janitor while putting himself through Harvard Law, he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for Elbow Room in 1978. As a teacher at the Iowa Writers Workshop, he pushed young authors to delve into cultural and racial subtexts. To be truly American, he said, one had to “experience diversity … and distill wisdom from its tragedies.”

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    PGA Championship Tees Off as Title Holder ‘Running on Empty’

    It’s chipping away at him. World No. 1 player Jason Day, who captured his first major championship with the PGA title last year, says he is exhausted and “under the weather” after spending the night in the hospital with his wife, who had an allergic reaction, and getting less than his usual practice at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. Many of his competitors likely feel the same after an unusually quick turnaround from this month’s British Open and the searing heat ahead of Thursday’s opening round.