The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Aleppo

    Syrian Government Accused of Another Gas Attack

    The government claims it did nothing wrong. But multiple monitoring groups report that dozens in Aleppo needed medical attention after government forces dropped chlorine gas bombs from helicopters yesterday. Videos showing children unable to breathe swiftly surfaced, and at least one person reportedly died. The U.N. has confirmed previous incidents of Bashar Assad’s government using the gas, which is banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention. Meanwhile, Syrian opposition leaders are meeting today in London, hoping to draft a new plan to end the civil war and bring in a unity government.

  2. Hillary Clinton crowd Iowa shutterstock 476136379

    Clinton, Trump Trade National Security Barbs as Polls Bounce

    They’re on war footing. Donald Trump made a security push Tuesday with endorsements from retired military officials and a declaration that his temperament is his “single greatest asset” on the world stage. He attacked Hillary Clinton for her “disqualifying” email scandals and said she doesn’t have “a presidential look.” In new ads and on the stump, Clinton portrayed Trump as dangerous and pressed the Trump University scandal. Polls show a closing gap between the candidates and experts predict a volatile autumn with an unusually high number of persuadable voters.

  3. refugee children shutterstock 333324821

    UNICEF: Half of All Refugees Are Children

    This is some grim math. A new report shows that about 50 million kids around the world are refugees — that’s one child in every 200 — and the number of minors traveling alone tripled to 100,000 between 2014 and 2015. War, famine and even climate change all uproot such kids, 45 percent of whom come from Syria or Afghanistan, and research shows that underage refugees are especially vulnerable. Activists are hoping the sheer numbers will force a focus on child refugees and their need for education and special care.

  4. student loans shutterstock 398418100

    For-Profit Educational Company ITT Tech Shuts Down

    No more pencils, no more books … no more federal money. The U.S. Education Department recently decided students can’t use federal aid to get degrees at ITT after widespread accusations that the school used questionable financial and recruitment tactics. Now ITT is shutting 130 campuses across 38 states. While the government cracks down on for-profit colleges, hoping to keep pupils from getting bilked for worthless degrees, this could cost American taxpayers hundreds of millions as former students apply for loan forgiveness far beyond the $90 million ITT’s set aside.

  5. New iPhone, the Devil’s Right-Hand Man and the Taste of Bread

    Know This: Apple’s announcing the iPhone 7 today, likely bigger and sans headphone jack. Protesters with assault weapons have congregated on convicted rapist Brock Turner’s lawn. And despite Britain’s hopes for a post-Brexit trade deal with Australia, it looks like it’ll take years.

    Read This: “‘There’ll be no deathbed conversions for me,’ he said, well before he had had any idea how it was all going to end for him. ‘God help us all if that’s all it took.’” — OZY’s account of dinner with the founder of the Church of Satan.

    Remember This: Starchy, the sixth just-discovered primary taste — on top of salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami — that some scientists think could explain carb cravings.


  1. Cafe race

    Segregation Is Alive and Well Online

    On the Internet, nobody knows who you are. But a recent study shows that much of the Web, despite being billed as the world’s melting pot, is divided along racial lines. The root of this digital segregation? Most of the Internet is made by — and perhaps inadvertently for— white people, who still dominate the tech industry. Users themselves also self-segregate online, often divided by “non-racial” news sites and search engines that may skew toward a white perspective, with results that could require more than tweaking an algorithm to fix.

  2. Air pollution

    Urban Air Pollution Is Taking a Toll on Our Brains

    Maybe don’t inhale. Scientists say that airborne magnetite nanoparticles from traffic fumes can get in deeper than previously thought: all the way into our brain tissue. We’ve known for a while that toxic air pollution can be a factor in lung and heart diseases, and annually contributes to millions of premature deaths. But now, researchers warn that it could be behind big degenerative ailments like Alzheimer’s. People can protect themselves by limiting exposure, but many city-dwellers don’t have a choice in the matter.

  3. Sammezzano Castle Italy Tuscany shutterstock 309361817

    Crowdfunding Could Save Italy’s Relics

    Act now, before it crumbles. Italy’s recession-wracked government doesn’t have the money to maintain and revitalize the country’s architectural marvels, so some citizens are turning to online crowdfunding campaigns. It can be a tough sell: One man had to lower his sights from 44 million euros to 6,000 in an effort to save the 17th century castle of Sammezzano, near Florence. But small donations can knit a community together in support of its artistic treasures — and raise a site’s profile to lure a big-money “shark” benefactor.

  4. Dallas Cowboys stadium shutterstock 61526761

    Cowboys RB Elliott Won’t Face Battery Charges

    He’s in the legal clear. The Columbus, Ohio, prosecutor’s office said Tuesday that top fantasy football prospect Ezekiel Elliott will not be charged with domestic violence because of “conflicting and inconsistent information.” While Elliott’s former girlfriend told police that the Dallas rookie assaulted her in a parked car in July, witnesses — including one in the car — said they didn’t see an assault. But the NFL is still investigating this year’s No. 4 overall draft pick out of Ohio State and could impose its own discipline.