The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Obamacare Critic to Lead HHS, Petraeus in Running for State

    He’s bringing his scalpel. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon who authored an Affordable Care Act replacement plan, has been tapped to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. Price’s plan leaves some of the structure of Obamacare in place, but defunds it — which could see insurance companies exit the program to avoid the expenses of covering policy-holders’ adult children and pre-existing conditions. Meanwhile, Donald Trump met with former Gen. David Petraeus in his ongoing quest to find a secretary of state.

  2. park geun-hye shutterstock 346298879

    South Korean President Leaves Resignation to Parliament

    She’s done making decisions. The country’s parliament planned to discuss impeaching Park Geun-hye this week — but the scandal-battered president beat them to it, offering to step down in a surprise address. She left everything, including the timing of her resignation and the planning to avoid a power vacuum, in the hands of the legislature. Park’s approval rating has fallen to 4 percent and thousands have demanded she resign. The Democratic Party, her main opposition, dismissed the speech as a ploy and says impeachment talks will go ahead.

  3. Struggle Against Sessions, Cheap Noodles and a Michigan Recount

    Know This: China wants to introduce a new “social credit” system for ordinary citizens. Senate Democrats are signaling they’ll fight Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general. And Japanese police are trying to get the elderly to quit driving — by offering discounted ramen if they give up their licenses.

    Read This: ”I didn’t sleep since yesterday, I am hungry. I want to live, I don’t want to die.” A 7-year-old girl tweeting from Aleppo, where her family’s caught in the midst of Syria’s civil war, has been chronicling the battles of the last few days that have displaced 16,000 people.

    Remember This Number: $800,000. That’s how much a recount of the presidential election in Michigan — which Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s expected to request by tomorrow — is forecast to cost.


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    Great Barrier Reef Sees Massive Coral Die-Off

    There goes a natural wonder. A recent survey found two-thirds of coral in a 435-mile stretch at the northern tip of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has died in the past nine months, the largest die-off ever recorded. Scientists say carbon emissions have caused record-high ocean temperatures to bleach the coral, calcifying the reef, and they estimate it could take 15 years to recover. Meanwhile, Australia’s politicians battle over the existence of climate change — and the tourism drought a dead reef could bring to the region.

  2. Social media

    Erasing Yourself From the Internet Has Never Been Easier

    It’s like you were never here. Decades on the internet have left many of us with a web of interlinked accounts that can be tricky to track down and wipe clean, but a Swedish app,, is trying to make it easier. The app finds any accounts linked to your Gmail, then deletes them with the touch of a button. With internet privacy under attack from laws like the U.K.’s new sweeping surveillance policy, total deletion might offer freedom from past mistakes — or at least embarrassing Myspace photos.

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    That Italian Summer Home Could Be a Death Trap

    It’s a volatile place. Though Italy’s a favorite destination for tourists, one local environmental organization warns that 77 percent of its towns are at risk of natural disaster. Beware floods, mudslides, landslides and earthquakes — but more than that, beware the fact that many of the nation’s picturesque villages have never been updated to modern safety standards. In the wake of multiple summer earthquakes, the Italian government has worked to bring buildings up to code — but the money is hard to track, sometimes pilfered and often used ineffectively.

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    DirecTV Bundle Boasts 24-Hour ‘Taylor Swift NOW!’ Channel

    This sick beat plays all night. AT&T is making a big push into streaming with the debut of DirecTV Now, and a channel devoted to the megastar singer — featuring Swift’s concerts, special events and behind-the-scenes footage — is designed to build buzz for a set of streaming bundles launching Wednesday. The company’s going after the 20 million households that don’t subscribe to paid TV, starting with cheap, bare-bones offerings — nonstop Tay-Tay aside — aimed at customers who don’t want to commit.

  5. Michigan football stadium Big House shutterstock 5187742

    Michigan Fined for Harbaugh’s Rant Against Refs

    He drew another penalty. After Saturday’s 30-27 loss to Ohio State — an instant classic edition of The Game — Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh ripped officials’ “outrageous calls,” including a controversial spot on fourth down in the second overtime that allowed the Buckeyes to triumph. The Big Ten Conference responded yesterday by fining the school $10,000 and publicly reprimanding Harbaugh for violating sportsmanship guidelines. With new rankings to be released today, Michigan is likely to be on the outside looking in at the four-team College Football Playoff.