The Presidential Daily Brief


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    First U.S. Soldier to Die Under Trump Command Lost in Yemen Raid

    The gloves are off. American commandos raided an Al-Qaida stronghold in central Yemen early today, killing 14 militants, including three senior leaders, but one of the elite U.S. troops was mortally wounded, according to U.S. Central Command. The rare ground assault also resulted in four other soldiers being wounded and the intentional destruction of a $70 million Osprey vertical takeoff aircraft after its “hard landing.” Local sources also reported civilian casualties from the two-hour gun battle, which the military says aimed to gather information on the terrorist network.

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    Mosque Shooting Suspect Charged With Six Murder Counts

    They were gathered for evening prayers. A 27-year-old with anti-immigrant views was charged today with six counts of murder, one day after gunmen opened fire on dozens of worshippers at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre. Officials are calling it a terrorist attack. This mosque was targeted before, when a pig’s head was left on the doorstep in June. “Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while authorities beef up security at mosques around Canada.

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    White House: No More Deportations of Permanent Residents 

    Did they blink? Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus said today that green-card holders from Iraq and six other blacklisted nations will be permitted entry “going forward.” The change comes after a New York federal judge stopped authorities at U.S. airports from deporting visa holders under President Trump’s anti-terrorism immigration ban of nationals from those Muslim-majority nations, which sparked widespread condemnation. Sought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the order and Priebus’ announcement don’t apply to refugees, whom the executive order bars for 120 days.

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    Protesters, Lawyers Launch Immigration Insurgency

    In law they trust. As a reported 109 travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations faced deportation from U.S. airports following a presidential order denying entry, protesters and attorneys rushed to help. Barred foreigners included two Iraqis in New York whose case prompted a federal judge to temporarily halt deportation, an Iranian two weeks from U.S. citizenship and others with no phone access. That prompted lawyers to canvass arrival areas, asking “are you waiting for someone who’s been detained?” explained one L.A. solicitor. Many attorneys offered free representation, jumping into a legal fray that’s far from decided.

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    Trump Battles Foes While Charging Ahead With Agenda

    Now exhale. In his first week, President Trump’s rapid-fire executive orders initiated his border wall, barred refugees from certain Muslim-majority nations, punished “sanctuary cities” that shelter undocumented immigrants and revived two oil pipelines. He also proposed a tariff that upset Mexicans — and Texans, reportedly asked the U.S. Park Service director for evidence of his outlandish record inaugural crowd claim and vowed to investigate his debunked assertion that up to 5 million illegal ballots robbed him of the popular vote. As the nation catches its breath, next week’s agenda looms.

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    High Court Nod Might Hinge on Abortion  — Or Trump’s Sister

    It’s time to pay the piper. Many voters chose Donald Trump to ensure a conservative, anti-abortion Supreme Court nominee. So far, the best hint on the selection comes from Veep Mike Pence, who described the nominee, to be announced on Friday, as a “strict constructionist” — ignoring modern context when interpreting the Constitution. The experts feeding the reliable FantasySCOTUS website pick Colorado federal appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch, with no established abortion stance, while others favor Judge Thomas Hardiman, who weighs federal appeals with Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, the president’s sister.

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    The Playboy Predator Behind the Bastille Day Attack

    He fell under a violent spell. Mohamed Salmène Lahouaiej Bouhlel had no formal link to ISIS, nor was he a devout Muslim. But in the final days before the Tunisian killed 86 people by driving a rented truck into revelers in Nice, the troubled, pork-eating sexual obsessive watched video after video of gory attacks, according to French investigative documents. Lahouaiej Bouhlel was painted as an ISIS-tied terrorist in the days after the July 14 attack, but the reality is far more complicated — and harder to stop.

  8. Police brutality

    The Corporation That’s Reconciling Its Racial Ledger

    The books need balancing. Accounting giant PwC has taken an unusually direct approach to race relations — and it’s sparked the potential for corporate powers to play meaningful roles in addressing racial trauma. Following this summer’s wave of police brutality against Black Americans, PwC’s U.S. chairman Tim Ryan started a company-wide conversation that’s translated into policy. His firm’s made anti-bias training mandatory, loudly advocated for a greater awareness of race on social media, and begun to market lessons about racial inequality to other businesses ready to hold themselves to account.

  9. Roger Federer Nails 18th Open Title in Melbourne, European Leaders Criticize Immigration Ban and an ‘Inclusive’ Holocaust

    Know This: Swiss tennis veteran Roger Federer, the oldest Grand Slam finalist since 1974, beats Rafael Nadal for Australian Open title. European leaders, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s Thersa May, have criticized President Trump’s refugee ban. And 25 survivors, most of them Chinese tourists, have been rescued and six passengers remain missing after their boat sunk off of Borneo.

    Remember This: “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.” — Hope Hicks, White House spokesperson, explaining why an administration statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day made no reference to Jews.

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  1. Serena Williams lunges for point tennis shutterstock 177046136

    Serena Williams Beats Sister and Graf’s Open Record

    It was a win-win. Serena Williams, 35, may have beaten her sister, Venus, 36, to claim the Australian Open final, and her 23rd major title and wrest the record from Steffi Graf, but it was also a long-awaited comeback for the other Williams, who hadn’t been to the Melbourne final since 2003. The 6-6, 6-4 victory also allowed Serena Williams to regain her #1 ranking from Angelique Kerber, who won the same title by beating Williams last year. After the 1 hour, 22 minute match, the two siblings shared a long hug.

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    Multifaceted British Actor John Hurt Dies at Age 77

    He wasn’t a “leading man.” But John Hurt, who died Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, and his distinctive gravelly voice nonetheless captivated film audiences, often as a victim: of prejudice, in The Elephant Man (1980), totalitarianism, in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) and even a chest-bursting xenomorph in Alien (1979). The Derbyshire native earned a knighthood and wide respect for his work, as “invincible. Unflinching. Eternal,” said Chilean director Pablo Larraín, who directed Hurt’s role as Jackie Kennedy’s priest in the Oscar-nominated Jackie, set for digital release March 7.

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    The Heartland Explains Itself in One Student Essay

    Where did that come from? Many young Trump voters may have trouble articulating their position, especially without offending the sensibilities of their progressive-minded counterparts. But a recent essay by an erudite honors student from rural Oklahoma might say it best. Many poor white Americans don’t feel invested in modern America and haven’t witnessed the effects of inequality and racism. In “Plight of the Redneck,” Peter, 21, helped his liberal classmates — and now his countrymen — understand how feelings of being left behind fueled the precarious upheaval now playing out in Washington.

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    OZY Heads to Kentucky for Next Look at States of the Nation

    Practicality is his motto. Louisville mayor Greg Fischer boasts a hard-data meets soft-heart approach to juicing the economy, education and quality of life in his city — by opening the door to immigrants and driving technical innovations. But a spike in murders threatens Louisville’s inclusive image, and the Democrat says job growth is the best crime fighter. Fischer’s story kicks off the Kentucky installment of OZY’s 50-state series tomorrow, and you can catch up with West Virginia coverage here.

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    Bald Eagles Soaring to New Depredations

    Weren’t they extinct? Turns out that after the insecticide DDT almost wiped them out, America’s national symbol is thriving, and annoyingly so. Georgia free-range farmer Will Harris was fine with some predation. When some 80 of the majestic carnivores declared open season on thousands of his defenseless chickens, however, he found himself face-to-face with federal laws protecting the birds — making it illegal even to disturb them. What followed was a flurry of forms, phone calls and appeals, and ultimately the realization that far from being purged, these avian emblems aren’t going anywhere.

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    Why Writers Covet Hollywood’s ‘Black List’

    It’s where hidden gems are mined. With votes cast anonymously by Hollywood script reviewers, the screenplays on Franklin Leonard’s Black List — including the Oscar-winning The Imitation Game and The Revenant — can find new life in a vetting environment driven by safe, bankable choices. The process lets even low-ranking assistants weigh in on works rejected for commercial reasons, giving good stories a second chance with Hollywood’s decision-makers. But Leonard’s disappointed that submissions are dominated by white male writers, and he’d like to see more minority-oriented tales like The Butler leap from his database.

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    The Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and His Soundtrack of Survival

    He can still hear where he came from. Toronto Raptors’ star guard DeMar DeRozan’s sports career has been surprisingly political — as shown by the songs that trace his life story. Known for his comebacks and ability to rally “Canada’s team,” he’s also a kid from Compton, whose rich musical history and “grind and hustle” spirit helped put his career on track. Now 27 and looking back thousands of miles, DeRozan identifies tracks like Public Enemy’s “He Got Game,” his childhood basketball anthem, as lessons about what it takes to beat the odds.