The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Plans to Spend $54 Billion on Defense

    Priorities, right? The first budget proposal from the President seeks to increase Pentagon spending by $54 billion, or 9 percent, according to an Office of Management and Budget official. The margin will be made up by cutting equal costs elsewhere, including a big reduction in foreign aid spending, as well as funding to most government agencies. How the increased budget would be spent would be at the discretion of the Department of Defense. 


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    16 Jewish Community Centers and Schools Receive Bomb Threats

    It’s more than trying to get out of a test. Today, at least 16 Jewish community centers and schools across the country reported receiving bomb threats. Threats were received in states including North Carolina, Delaware, Alabama, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Florida and Indiana, and all were discovered to be hoaxes. Despite Trump saying he is the “least anti-Semitic person”, many see Trump’s race-based policies as emboldening racists in the community. Today is the fifth wave of threats against the Jewish community, and comes after a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia was vandalized over the weekend.


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    Father of Slain Navy SEAL Calls for Investigation

    “All of a sudden we had to make this grand display?” That’s the question from Bill Owens, whose son Ryan was killed during a controversial Jan. 28 raid in Yemen. Owens, who refused to meet with President Donald Trump when his son’s body was delivered home, says the operation should be investigated. A spokeswoman said she believed that Trump, set to ask for sharp increases in military spending today, would support such an investigation. The White House previously asserted that questioning the raid’s success would devalue Owens’ sacrifice.

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    Contamination Leaves Millions Without Water in Chile

    You wouldn’t think a flood would cause a water shortage. But after months of drought and wildfires, deadly deluges and landslides in Chile have contaminated the Maipo river, which is the water supply for at least four million people in Santiago. Restaurants and businesses were closed, and the start of the school term postponed as residents stocked up on bottled water. Three have died in the floods and 19 more are missing. Governor Claudio Orrego says there’s no word on when the drinking water will come back on.

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    Deutsche Borse-LSE Merger at Risk Over Antitrust Concerns

    You have to give up to get. While the London Stock Exchange was prepared to sell its French operation for $540 million to appease regulatory concerns about its planned merger with Deutsche Börse, it says it won’t be selling its Italian trading platform — and that such a sale would be too complex anyway. That doesn’t sit well with EU regulators worried about the planned mega-exchange, which would be Europe’s largest and worth about $29 billion. But LSE says without new terms it’s prepared to walk away.

  6. Bilden Withdraws, Ukraine’s Rebels Attack and Refugee Reprisals Spike

    Know This: Philip Bilden, President Trump’s pick for secretary of the Navy, has withdrawn from consideration over conflicts of interest. The suspect in a New Orleans truck crash that injured 28 people Saturday had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit. And the U.S. has condemned pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine who opened fire on civilian monitors and seized a drone collecting information about frontline violence.

    Remember This Number: 3,500. That’s how many attacks on shelters, refugees and migrants Germany saw last year, according to its interior ministry — an average of almost 10 per day. More than 560 people were injured in the attacks, including 43 children.

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    Nokia Resurrects Classic Phone

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Finnish tech company has announced the revival of a turn-of-the-century classic: the Nokia 3310. First launched in September 2000, the rugged phone went on to sell more than 126 million units and is widely considered one of the most important ever made — especially for those who spent hours playing Snake. The retro favorite, soon to be re-launched alongside Nokia’s latest Android smartphones, plays on users’ nostalgia but also on a desire for simplicity as mobile devices become increasingly complex.

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    World’s Only Sample of Metallic Hydrogen Disappears

    As the scientific method says, replication is key. Harvard researchers reported last month that they’d managed to create metallic hydrogen — which can superconduct electricity at room temperature without resistance — by using massive amounts of pressure and a diamond vice. Now they say the sample, which was stored at a temperature near absolute zero, has disappeared, though they couldn’t tell whether it had been moved or simply evaporated. Next the scientists will attempt to recreate their experiment and make more of “the holy grail of high-pressure physics.”

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    The International Rise of ‘Cholo Goth’

    Opposites attract. Starting with the two-man, cross-border band Prayers, a new aesthetic is bubbling up from Southern California’s underground scene. An unlikely combination of androgynous synth-infused Euro goth and barrio-born Mexican-American metal, the influence of “cholo goth” is spreading — in clubs from Mexico City to Tokyo and even onto international fashion runways. But can cholo goth, born of gang-related strife and deep introspection, survive commercialization and appropriation? Prayers’ singer Rafael Reyes isn’t worried, proclaiming, ”Our music isn’t going to be devalued by who listens to it.”

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    Kurt Busch Wins Daytona 500

    He who laps last…. The only lap first-time winner Kurt Busch led on Sunday was the final one, but that’s all he needed. It was the first race using NASCAR’s new format, dividing the 500-mile event into three stages in order to make drivers race harder. It worked: The race went from mundane to madness, with 35 of 40 cars involved in accidents, including pre-race favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. Even Busch’s car was “completely thrashed” by the time he claimed victory with a last-lap pass of Kyle Larson.