The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. italy 24 aug 2016 earthquake usgs map

    Death Toll Rises to 241 in Italian Quake

    “Today is a day for tears, tomorrow we can talk of reconstruction.” That was Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s message after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy early yesterday. The death toll has climbed to 241, 368 are hospitalized and thousands of rescuers are still combing through the debris for survivors. The quake has been followed by hundreds of aftershocks, including at least two exceeding 5.0-magnitude, and Italians are lining up outside blood donation centers — but many worry that, as with past natural disasters, the government’s reconstruction efforts will be ponderous and inefficient.

  2. turkey flag shutterstock 328499057

    Turkey Fires Artillery at ISIS, Kurdish Fighters 

    They’re shooting at both sides. Over the weekend in the Turkish town of Gaziantep, a suicide bombing blamed on ISIS killed 54 people, disproportionately women and children. In response, Turkey’s begun shelling northern Syria — and many expect a reported 1,500 Turkish-backed Syrian rebels mustering in Gaziantep to cross the border and attack ISIS. But Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has also been lobbing shells at Kurdish YPG forces battling ISIS in Syria, equating them with Kurdish PKK separatists fighting within Turkey, something unlikely to meet with international approval.

  3. Hillary Clinton stern close up shutterstock 352127300

    Emails: Clinton Foundation Sought Donor Access From State

    What did the donations buy? Newly released Hillary Clinton emails show a top Clinton Foundation officer trying to arrange a meeting and a favor for big foreign donors while Clinton was secretary of state. Clinton aide Huma Abedin routed requests to “official channels,” which the Clinton campaign said shows nothing untoward happened. Donald Trump called the foundation “the most corrupt enterprise in political history” and demanded its closure. Meanwhile, a federal judge urged the State Department to begin releasing 15,000 undisclosed Clinton emails recovered by the FBI sooner than planned in mid-October.

  4. angela merkel shutterstock 153070061

    Germany, France and Italy Say Brexit Won’t End EU

    They can go their own way. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande yesterday for a summit on the bloc’s future when and if the U.K. follows through on its Brexit vote. All three are facing elections before the end of 2017, and Germany and France are beset by terrorist attacks while Italy’s economy has stopped growing. The trio called for structural reforms in the EU — while maintaining that Brexit won’t leave the other 27 member states crippled or leaderless.

  5. Self driving car

    Delphi and Mobileye Collaborate on Autonomous Cars

    If you can’t beat ’em, join up. The two automotive suppliers have been working separately to develop piecemeal programs that car companies can use in promised self-driving vehicles. But their stock’s been struggling, and with Ford and GM both building research teams — and developing their own technology — Delphi and Mobileye have opted to work together to create a system that carmakers could buy and insert in any vehicle. A spokesman says it’ll cost “several hundred million dollars,” and the partners hope to have the robot driver on shelves by 2019.

  6. Pokemon Police, Antartica Brain and the Uber Killer

    Know This: How a guy who has been in jail for weeks might end up being mayor of Karachi from the joint. Thailand’s got a new police squad focused on people who drive while playing Pokémon Go. And allergy-sufferers are nervous that the price of a crucial two-pen EpiPen set has risen more than $500 since 2007.

    Listen to This: The nerdy language podcast The Allusionist gets into the marked personality changes of those who choose to live in Antarctica.

    Read This: What motivated that Uber driver who killed six people between accepting riders? This longread might get you a little closer.


  1. Passport

    Britons Scramble for Faithful EU Nations’ Passports

    A one-way ticket to Europe, please. Two months after their vote to leave the EU, Brits are clamoring for foreign passports. Ireland’s applications have gone up 17 percent, while the Hungarian embassy says it’s getting at at least 22 times as many citizenship inquiries. Brexit could cause a wave of emigration from the U.K. — or people may just want to keep their options open. But with Brits reaching out to places like Bulgaria, which rarely receives such interest, this citizenship search could redraw the map of influence within Europe.

  2. shutterstock 147996737

    A Brewing Boom Is Hitting Africa

    It’s a continent in ferment. Long enticing to investors for its untapped potential, Africa is set to emerge as the fastest growing beer market in the world. A generation of its new drinkers will soon come of age, and consumption growth in developed countries has fizzed out. The fight for market share is on as South Africa’s SABMiller — which owns most of the continent’s national brands — pulls off a $106 billion merger with Anheuser-Busch In Bev, while scrappy craft brewers aim to tickle taste buds that are developing with each draft.

  3. Jellyfish

    Jellyfish Could Help Cut Down on Screen Glare

    This could sting a bit. Jellyfish skin has inspired scientists to invent materials that could change how we use screens, made from a polyvinyl film that can change color, transparency, and consistency. Jellyfish skin has similar properties that allow the animal to frighten predators. The implications of this new “skin” could be huge: It could form patterns – or secret messages – raised by moisture, perhaps a “warranty void” sign upon fishing a phone from the toilet. More helpfully, it could greatly improve anti-glare screen covers.

  4. NBC studios Rockefeller Center shutterstock 403563646

    Olympic Ratings Swoon Raises Questions for NBC

    The performance was nowhere near the medal stand. Pathetic viewership for the Rio closing ceremonies — down about half from London’s 2012 finish — capped the worst performance for a Summer Olympics in decades for NBC, which saw double-digit declines overall. While Internet streaming takes some of the blame, escalating ratings for Michael Phelps and Simone Biles after they built buzz provided a lesson: NBC should treat competitions leading up to the Olympics like the “regular season” ahead of the “playoffs” to light the torch of fan interest.

  5. Ryan Lochte posing 2013 shutterstock 158131046

    Speedo, Others Drop Ryan Lochte Endorsements

    The current is against him. After an embarrassing Olympic saga in which he admitted embellishing his tale of being robbed at gunpoint in Rio, the gold medalist was dropped by sponsors Speedo, Ralph Lauren, hair-removal company Syneron Candela and mattress maker Airweave. Lochte, 32, has been heaped with public scorn after his tale of being robbed with three fellow Team USA swimmers was exposed as drunken hijinks and gas station vandalism. Speedo will donate $50,000 of Lochte’s fee to Save the Children in Brazil, and he faces further punishment from the U.S. Olympic Committee.