The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. colombia mountains shutterstock 362937191

    Brazilian Soccer Team’s Plane Crashes in Colombia

    A chartered plane that left Bolivia with 81 people aboard crashed during the night in a mountainous area of Colombia after it reported electrical problems while approaching the city of Medellin. Reports say there are five survivors, including three members of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team, which was traveling to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final. The South American Football Confederation has suspended all games after the crash. Rescue forces can only reach the mountainous crash site by land, but their efforts have been hampered by poor weather.

  2. Donald Trump Twitter shutterstock 416111896

    Trump Makes Baseless Fraud Claim as Recount Looms

    The Twitter transition continues. Hillary Clinton’s team will join a Wisconsin recount initiated and funded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, but narrow losses in three states would have to be overturned to change the election’s outcome, something experts call unlikely. Donald Trump mocked the effort on Twitter, adding a debunked claim that Clinton’s popular vote lead of 2.2 million is from “people who voted illegally.” Meanwhile, foreign policy analysts worry that Trump’s favor as president will be courted by global governments via sweetheart deals for his international business projects.

  3. Aleppo

    Syrian Government Retakes Huge Chunk of East Aleppo

    It doesn’t look good for the rebels. Government victories have split rebel-held territory within the besieged city, and thousands of people have reportedly fled oncoming forces, with many taking refuge in a Kurdish-held area. The city’s 250,000 remaining residents have completely run out of food, according to a U.N. spokesman. Observers say this was the rebels’ biggest defeat in Aleppo in several years, and Syrian media indicates that the government’s next step may be to push for surrender or state-controlled reconciliation for rebels still fighting.

  4. francois fillon shutterstock 193182959

    François Fillon Wins French Conservative Primary

    He’s two steps from the presidency. Former Prime Minister Fillon was considered a distant third during the Républicain primary, but a huge electoral groundswell won him 66.5 percent of the vote in yesterday’s final round. With France’s left fractured and the ruling Socialist party deeply unpopular, he’s expected to come up against (and likely defeat) ultranationalist Marine Le Pen in the final voting run-off in April. Some wonder, though, if Fillon’s ties to Russia and his attack on the welfare state will turn centrists off too much.

  5. oil refinery shutterstock 313491527

    Oil Stocks Slide Ahead of Vienna OPEC Meeting

    Uncertainty’s fueling the jitters. Oil prices are in recovery and fuel companies that weathered the lowest prices in 12 years are ready for the rebound. But Wednesday’s OPEC meeting has investors nervous again: Many fear the coalition won’t be able to agree on terms of promised production cuts that they hope will bring prices back up, with Saudi Arabia pressuring Iran and Iraq over sharing cutbacks. Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih says that even without a deal, markets will stabilize next year, further dampening hopes of curbed output.

  6. Ohio state

    Police Kill OSU Attacker, 11 Injured on Campus

    It was over in less than a minute. An Ohio State University police officer quickly shot and killed 18-year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a student who rammed six people with his car before injuring five more with a butcher knife. Artan, identified as a Somali refugee living legally in Columbus, Ohio, had been quoted in the campus paper on the first day of class explaining that he was afraid to pray openly as a Muslim. Authorities are now investigating Artan’s motive and possible links to terrorist groups.

  7. India’s ‘Day of Rage,’ the Future of Cuba and China’s Fertility Crisis

    Know This: A so-called hard Brexit would damage nearly every sector of Britain’s economy, according to a new study. Indians are protesting against the recent ban on common bank notes. And South African President Jacob Zuma’s power is imperiled as more officials join the fight to compel him to step down.

    Read This: President Obama made Cuba a focus — and Fidel Castro’s death is putting unexpected pressure on President-elect Donald Trump.

    Just Keep Swimming: Less than 20 percent of would-be sperm donors in China had semen that qualified as sufficiently healthy, which could add to a fertility crisis as the country struggles with the world’s lowest birth rate.


  1. hole in ground shutterstock 473667766

    Cards Against Humanity Raises $100K to Dig Massive Hole

    Dig in. The game manufacturer put its own spin on Black Friday, collecting $100,573 to dig an enormous hole in the ground. They specified that there’s no “deeper meaning or purpose” to Holiday Hole, and that those who donated more would simply receive “a deeper hole.” This follows previous Black Friday stunts like selling literal bull feces in their game boxes (bringing in $180,000) and asking people to donate $5 to the company (which 11,000 people did). The dig’s concluded, but video of the action’s available on YouTube.

  2. San francisco

    Hackers Take Down San Francisco’s Light Rail System

    Talk about off the rails. San Francisco’s Municipal Railway was hacked this weekend, as a Russian email address flashed onto screens along with the message: “You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted.” The ransomware attack shut down the computer system that processes fares, so Bay Area riders took transit for free Saturday as the hackers reportedly demanded a ransom of $73,000 in bitcoin. The MUNI system is now back up and running and the city’s launched a full investigation, while many worry this presages further attacks on vulnerable transit systems.

  3. Tatiana Navka shutterstock 423009469

    Holocaust-Themed Ice Dancing Raises Hackles

    Zero points for taste. Olympic ice dancer Tatiana Navka — who’s married to Vladimir Putin’s spokesman — performed a pairs routine on Russian reality TV based on Roberto Benigni’s 1997 film Life Is Beautiful, about a father and son imprisoned in a WWII concentration camp. Navka and her partner skated in striped uniforms branded with yellow stars. International audiences are enraged by the performance, and by a Nazi-themed routine from Russia’s version of Dancing With the Stars, though Navka insists the aim was to educate children about “that terrible time.”

  4. Delhi bazaar night shutterstock 248757445

    India’s Take Back the Night Challenges Cultural Norms

    They call it “break the cage.” Indian women are heading to bus stops and having tea in the streets after dark in defiance of societal pressure and landlords’ rules that keep female students cooped up after sunset. A series of gruesome rape and murder cases sparked fear-driven safety solutions, including curfews at university housing and bans on women wearing shorts. But growing activism is putting pressure on universities — and on those who have been trained to be afraid by being told that curfews are necessary.

  5. tom brady

    Tom Brady Ties NFL Record With 200th Win

    He did it again. Building his case as perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time, Brady tied Peyton Manning’s win record yesterday with a fourth-quarter comeback in a 22-17 victory against the New York Jets. Fighting a knee injury, the 39-year-old also reached 60,000 career passing yards, fifth of all time. His Patriots once again look like Super Bowl contenders in a year that lacks a dominant team, though long stretches of lackluster play and another injury to tight end Rob Gronkowski raise some doubts.