The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. trump shutterstock 312962375

    Trump Questions ‘Stamina’ and ‘Temperament’ 

    Them’s fighting words. The Donald has come out swinging, taking a page from the left’s playbook to describe his opponent as unfit for the presidency. The billionaire said Clinton “lacks the judgment … stability and temperament and moral character to lead our nation,” and the “mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS.” In laying blame at the former secretary of state and President Obama’s feet for the rise of ISIS, Trump said he would work to “halt the spread of radical Islam,” and demand “extreme vetting” of any foreigners coming into the U.S., including a tougher immigration test.

  2. umbrella revolution shutterstock 144809617

    Hong Kong Student Protest Leaders Avoid Jail

    Is protest itself a crime? Maybe that depends on its success. A Hong Kong court sentenced Nathan Law, Alex Chow and Joshua Wong, who’s only 19, to community service for leading the city’s pro-democracy Umbrella movement in 2014. Protests seized imaginations worldwide, but failed to wrest political change from Beijing. Convicted of unlawful assembly, the trio faced up to two years in jail, but observers warned that a harsh sentence might trigger a backlash. Now Wong and Law have started a new political party, Demosisto, and Law’s running for city council.

  3. Pile of old newspapers isolated on a white background shutterstock 60998620

    Donald Trump Blames Media for Tailspin

    He’s hinted at shooting candidates, so why not the messenger? At rallies and on Twitter, the GOP nominee has blamed the “disgusting and corrupt media” for polling misfortunes, zeroing in on a New York Times story describing him as “sullen and erratic.” Meanwhile, the GOP is considering redirecting their funds to Congressional races rather than focusing on Trump, and some commentators argue that if Trump doesn’t improve by September, he should hand the nomination to running mate Mike Pence. The mogul plans a policy speech today to try to shift the conversation to national security.

  4. shutterstock 196171082

    EU to Tighten Regulations on Skype, Facebook

    Can the Wild West be tamed? Brussels is poised to set new regulations on “over-the-top” services — loosely controlled online utilities like Skype and WhatsApp. Traditional — and heavily regulated — European telecom companies are annoyed that online calling and text services have it easy. And without the input of Britain, which strongly advocated for the rights of WhatsApp and other companies to function unimpeded, there’s little hope that companies like this will continue to operate outside of normal telecom rules. The new guidelines are expected in September.

  5. Skateboarding’s Drug Habit, Milkwaukee’s Troubled History and Sexism in Tennis

    Know This: Is Olympic skateboarding, set for a 2020 debut, going to have a weed problem? Corsica’s still seething after an armed riot over burkini gawkers. And South Africa’s just sentenced a woman to 10 years in jail after it turns out she’d stolen her teenage daughter from a maternity ward.

    Read This: As Milwaukee erupts after a police shooting, it’s worth looking back at this Toronto Star investigation of “the most segregated place in America.” 

    Remember This: When a BBC presenter congratulated Andy Murray on being “the first person ever” to win two gold medals for tennis, the Scottish champion shot back ”Venus and Serena have won four each.”


  1. Usain Bolt Beijing Olympics 2008 celebration shutterstock 29711467

    Bolt Wins 100-Meter Dash, Biles Triumphs on Vault

    This time, he didn’t showboat — much. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt became the first Olympian to win three 100-meter dash gold medals, showing a calmer, victory dance-free side, as American ex-doper Justin Gatlin got silver and a few boos. Simone Biles became the first U.S. woman to win on the vault, keeping her five-gold quest alive with two events to go. But Sunday in Rio had a dark side for Team USA, as swimmer Ryan Lochte and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint by assailants with “police badges.”

  2. Iceland protest

    Iceland’s Pirate Party Poised to Take Power

    Who’s coming to Iceland’s rescue? They arrre. The Pirate Party, founded by hackers and activists, has only been active since 2012. But the ruling Independence Party, still reeling from losing leader Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to the Panama Papers scandal, has just moved elections up from next spring to this October — and the Pirates are leading in polls. The party is calling for a 35-hour workweek, asylum for Edward Snowden and possibly turning polling stations into Pokéstops, though if elected they’ll have to form coalitions with less swashbuckling parties.

  3. Mercenary

    America’s Wars Are Increasingly Dependent on Mercenaries

    Have hired gun, will travel. Over the past decade, the U.S. has relied more and more on mercenaries — privately hired soldiers, often ex-military themselves, who fight alongside the regular military. Private troops made up 10 percent of American soldiers in World War II, but that’s soared: In Afghanistan 75 percent of U.S.-controlled troops are contracted, and they suffer the majority of casualties. One problem? International laws don’t apply to contractors, opening up room for abuses – and making it all too possible for private companies to wage their own wars.

  4. Japanese students Tokyo spring shutterstock 72403516

    Japan Confronts Demographic Crisis on Campus

    It’s called “the 2018 problem.” In two years, the number of college-bound 18-year-olds in Japan will hit an all-time low — and continue shrinking from there. The prospect of abandoned middle- and lower-tier campuses across the country has schools scrambling to compete for a smaller customer base. They’re going global, with more English-language instruction and study-abroad opportunities. They’re also dabbling in U.S.-style liberal arts, which would be a revolutionary shift away from longstanding “cram school” culture of rote memorization.

  5. adele

    Adele Turned Down Super Bowl Performance

    Never mind, they’ll find someone. Adele told fans in Los Angeles that she was offered a gig at the big game in early 2017, but declined because “that show is not about music” and “I can’t dance.” Many stars have seized the chance to perform in front of a massive global audience, including Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars in February. The NFL denies offering Adele the gig formally, though there were reports they wooed her in an attempt to rally from this year’s critically unpopular mash-up. Either way, they’ll have to look elsewhere.