The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Explosion in New York City Appears ‘Intentional’

    At least 29 are injured. On Saturday evening, an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan injured dozens on a crowded sidewalk and blew out apartment windows. It appeared to originate near a Dumpster. A second explosive device was found a few blocks away; it reportedly is a pressure cooker and resembles a device used in the Boston Marathon attacks of 2013. Officials are investigating the source of the bombs. Mayor Bill de Blasio said that at present, there is no “credible and specific threat” to New York City. 

  2. refugees south sudan shutterstock 220980955

    Vowing to Do More, Obama to Host Refugee Summit

    They’re not welcome. As 75,000 Syrians remain trapped in the desert along the Jordanian border, and Kenya constricts the world’s largest refugee camp, world leaders will meet to discuss the displaced next week. On Monday, the U.N. will hold its first-ever high-level summit on refugees and migrants. The day after the New York gathering, President Obama will host another refugee summit at the White House — on the heels of his pledge to admit 110,000 refugees into the U.S. during the 2017 federal fiscal year starting Oct. 1. 

  3. hillary clinton looking ill shutterstock 466320731

    Clinton Coughs, and Campaign Catches a Cold

    She’s looked better. Hillary Clinton’s campaign came to a shuddering halt after she swooned leaving Sunday’s 9/11 observance and belatedly revealed her pneumonia diagnosis. That condition took over both campaigns, with Clinton, 68, and Trump, 70, releasing doctors’ summaries of their fitness to serve. But with all that’s going on in the world, some asked if this is the conversation we should be having. Meanwhile, Trump, who’s nearly caught up in national polls, finally admitted President Obama was born in the U.S. — and tried to pin blame for the controversy on Hillary Clinton.

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    GMOs and the Multinational That Would Feed the World

    Can they plow through? The $66 billion proposed takeover by Germany’s Bayer AG of America’s Monsanto would create one of the world’s biggest agriculture firms — putting a massive market share for pesticides, seeds and chemicals under one roof — and influence global food supplies. But critics say Monsanto is narrowly focused on highly profitable crops, and, amid diminishing returns, American farmers are starting to question the value of its genetically modified seeds. In a hostile political environment for big business, skeptical antitrust regulators are just beginning to scrutinize the deal.

  5. theresa may shutterstock 415799044

    Theresa May Plays the Waiting Game on Brexit

    They wish they knew how to quit the EU. After the economic and emotional shock that followed June’s Brexit vote, the referendum’s impact and urgency have faded. Prime Minister May didn’t campaign to leave — so she’s not feeling beholden to Brexiteers’ nationalism or campaign promises, which have given way to bureaucratic wrangling. With mounting exit pressure, May will likely face angry constituents from both sides as she crafts compromises on immigration and economic policy. May’s mantra is “Brexit means Brexit,” but it may be some time before Britons catch her drift.

  6. Looming Brexit, Julian Assange’s Bargain and Racism in Hollywood

    Know This: Pulitzer-winning playwright Edward Albee has died at 88. Brexit could begin in just a few months, according to a top European official. And Julian Assange says he’ll turn himself in if it means Chelsea Manning gets clemency.

    Read This: Actor Riz Ahmed offers a potent look at what it’s like to be typecast in British films, American films — and airports.


  1. sangeno waterfall in mazandaran province iran public domain

    Iran’s Caspian Coast Copes With Tourist Boom

    It’s unsanctioned. Agricultural and recreational development in Iran’s shomal — Farsi for north — with its verdant mountains and Caspian Sea coastline is drawing hordes of vacationers from Tehran through exhaust-choked tunnels. But with warming relations now expected to attract Europeans and Arabs, too, a region once crippled by political isolation is growing largely unregulated into what one planner calls an “environmental catastrophe.” Activists and even Iran’s supreme leader have responded by fostering preservation areas and tighter regulations, but the next five years are projected to bring 150 new hotels and 6.3 million visitors.

  2. Big business

    Monopolies May Be Regressing the U.S. Economy

    Small businesses seem as rare as Spotify on an iPhone. Today’s megafirm economy delivers record profits but also lackluster wages and a risk-averse corporate culture — and it’s starting to resemble monopoly-ruled 1890s America. Business writer Derek Thompson blames federal antitrust policy, weakened by a “bigger is better” mentality. Reformers like Sen. Elizabeth Warren are advocates for change, but the biggest conglomerates, like Apple and Amazon, are also the most admired. As multinationals crowd out smaller concerns, we may witness a modern-day battle between trust-busters and firms too big to cross.

  3. Hospital patient

    Refrigerating Trauma Patients Might Save Lives

    Could putting them on ice keep them off the slab? Last February, a man spent nine hours in a snowbank after hitting his head walking home from a party — and survived. Similar case studies have prompted researchers to explore induced, therapeutic hypothermia, involving quick-cooling patients to prevent traumatic blood loss and brain damage while doctors treat their injuries. University of Maryland trauma surgeons are pumping icy saline solution into gun and knife victims with near-fatal blood loss to study the technique, but medical ethicists say potential patients find non-consensual experimentation somewhat chilling.

  4. Loving couple in bed under sheets shutterstock 35480437

    ‘Transparent’ Producers Document Their Trans Love Story 

    They’re claiming the space. The romance may have ended for Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, but their images live on in a new book of photographs they took during a six-year courtship while Drucker transitioned from male to female, and Ernst from female to male. Their Emmy-winning Amazon series has transgender people in and behind the scenes, and Drucker and Ernst, both 33, say Relationship — a visual diary of young love regardless of the protagonists — aims to teach society to see the ordinary lives obscured by sensational headlines.

  5. Cam Newton

    Rough Tackles Bring Quarterback Safety Into Focus

    There’s a hit … and there’s taking out a hit. An opening week of gratuitous QB-bashing spotlighted the NFL’s inability to safeguard its most valuable players from intentional harm. Roughing the passer penalties have remained steady in the past five years even as quarterbacks have thrown 900 more passes. A key problem is that the referee tasked with assessing undue violence against the quarterback is positioned behind the potential victim. The league could add officials, check video, or up the fine and yardage for dirty hits, but it’s loath to slow the game.