The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Anti-abortion protest Topeka, Kansas shutterstock 40340845

    Conservative Icon Phyllis Schafly Dies at 92

    She’d always fight for the right. The Eagle Forum founder almost single handedly defeated the Equal Rights Amendment — which would have barred gender distinctions in federal and state law — and mounted decades-long battles against abortion and Communism. Positioning herself against the feminist movement, Schafly reshaped American politics with a volunteer force that served as ground troops for conservative intellectuals. Her biting rhetoric incensed many, but even her foes did not doubt her influence — seen in the religious right’s continued sway over Republican politics.

  2. umbrella movement shutterstock 223117750

    Pro-Independence Parties Forecast to Win Seats in Hong Kong

    They’re gaining a foothold. Umbrella movement leader Nathan Law, 23, is one of four politicians under 35 from three different radical parties to gain seats in Sunday’s elections for Hong Kong’s 70-member Legislative Council. It’s a first taste of power for autonomy activists after a poll with a record 58 percent turnout. It also provides a hedge against restrictive policies from Beijing if, as expected, pro-democracy parties retain the one-third of seats necessary for veto power after vote counts are finalized today.

  3. shutterstock 193353437

    As Campaign Hits Labor Day, Signs of Tightening

    It’s crunch time. Donald Trump is closing his massive polling gap against Hillary Clinton as the campaign enters the fall, with the crucial first debate just three weeks away. Part of the Democrat’s problem: A lack of enthusiasm, even hostility, from young Black voters who see her as part of an establishment that’s marginalized and incarcerated them. The mogul’s worry is a hostile map: Even usually red Arizona is in play, and fresh polls Sunday showed Trump down 8 points in Pennsylvania and 4 in North Carolina — both critical prizes.

  4. hangzhou landscape shutterstock 201103454

    World Leaders Gather at G20 Summit as North Korea Fires Missiles

    They’re talking business. But while China’s trying to turn the focus to the benefits of globalization (and away from its steel overproduction) at the Hangzhou meeting, other issues provide dizzying distractions. North Korea fired three missiles off its coast, risking alienating China, its only powerful semi-ally. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tried and failed to secure a deal on Syria with his Russian counterpart, even as Turkey says it’s driven ISIS from its Syrian border, and Japan’s putting pressure on the UK over potential Brexit terms.

  5. Spacex

    Firm Demands Restitution From Musk After Explosion

    Is he bringing the private space industry down with him? Elon Musk’s latest SpaceX rocket exploded during prelaunch tests last week — and the blast is still reverberating for Israeli firm Space Communication, or Spacecom, which saw shares decline 9 percent and is demanding either $50 million or a free flight to space from SpaceX. When Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite was destroyed, it also blew a hole in the firm’s $285 million deal to sell itself to Beijing Xinwei Technology Group, and while Spacecom’s renegotiating, its value is expected to fall by $30 million.

  6. Saint Theresa, Queen Bey and the Ultimate PTA Mom 

    Know This: Mother Theresa is your newest Catholic saint. Bomb blasts across Syria have killed dozens today. And soccer star Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his racial injustice protest.

    Watch This: Like a hobbit giving everyone else presents on her own birthday, Beyoncé’s celebrating the big 3-5 by releasing her music video for “Hold Up” on YouTube.

    Read This: The LA Times went deep with this longread on vengeance, drugs and PTA moms. 


  1. Visa

    US Still Struggling to Keep Track of People Who Overstay Visas

    Overstay away. Last week, Donald Trump criticized the Obama administration’s failure to enforce such immigration laws — and now he says he’ll implement an entry-exit tracking system to detect overstays, which constitute perhaps half of the U.S.’s 10 to 20 million undocumented immigrants. Visitors are now fingerprinted as they enter the U.S., but getting fingerprints on the way out is tougher, requiring that exit checkpoints be reconfigured. And many contend that calling for further biometric checks is, in this election season, politically hazardous — and to many, racist.

  2. shutterstock 285569396

    Massive Celestial Explosions Provide Cosmic Origin Clues

    She’s always watching. Caltech astronomer Mansi Kasliwal leads a global ring of telescopes tracking astrophysical transients — when neutron stars or black holes collide and produce explosions a million times larger than the sun — viewable from Earth. Kasliwal, who at 15 emigrated from India, has been a pioneer in discovering new types of explosions, and the means to capture them before they’re obscured by sunlight. The fireworks show might help us learn how the calcium in our bones or the iron in our blood came into existence in a cataclysmic cosmic flash.

  3. Happy panda

    Giant Pandas Are Officially Off the Endangered Species List

    They’re safe – for now. Over a decade, the worldwide panda population rose an impressive 17 percent, taking them from “endangered” to “vulnerable” status. A great deal of this conservation miracle is thanks to 67 Chinese reserves, which protect the 1,864 pandas left in the wild. But not everyone is hailing the major comeback of the World Wildlife Fund’s mascot. Some argue that we expend a disproportionate amount of conservation effort on pandas because they’re well-known, rather than environmentally beneficial, while 23,928 other species are still listed as nearing extinction.

  4. Mel Gibson beard shutterstock 425822317

    Mel Gibson Seeks Redemption With ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

    Can he put the controversies behind him? Tarnished by alcohol abuse and recorded racist and anti-Semitic comments, superstar Mel Gibson is mounting a comeback at the helm the of pacifism-themed World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge. The film, which follows the first conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor, premiered last night to warm reviews at the Venice Film Festival. It’s Gibson’s first directorial gig in a decade, and the 60-year-old acknowledged his many faults as he told reporters his relationship with Hollywood is, simply, “survival.”

  5. University of Texas Austin Darrell K. Royal football stadium shutterstock 164995685

    Texas Upsets Notre Dame in Wild Opening Weekend

    Way to start the season. Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes secured his place in Texas football lore with a lunging 6-yard touchdown run in the second overtime to give the unranked Longhorns an opening 50-47 triumph over No. 10 Notre Dame. Texas coach Charlie Strong’s had two losing seasons, and took a chance by starting freshman QB Shane Buechele, who scored two touchdowns before Swoopes took over. The Fighting Irish couldn’t overcome a bad start — and might have to dump their two-quarterback rotation policy as a result.