The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Russia Vetoes UN Resolution on Syria

    A UN resolution that would have required Syria to cooperate in an investigation concerning last week’s chemical attack has been vetoed by Russia. The veto marks the eighth time Russia has used its vote to block a UN resolution concerning Syria. Earlier today, after a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Putin, it was reported that the U.S. and Russia would work together on an investigation into the Syrian attack.


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    Tillerson Meets with Putin in Moscow

    They’re not mincing words. The White House has accused Russia of protecting Syria’s government from international blame after last week’s deadly suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held village in Idlib. Today Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with President Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Tillerson said U.S.-Russia relations are at a “low point” due to severe distrust between the two superpowers. He said the U.S. remains confident that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in last week’s attack, and possibly more than 50 times in the past. 

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    GOP Candidate Narrowly Wins Kansas Special Election

    That was close. While Republicans retained the House seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Ron Estes won by a margin of just 7 percent, though President Trump took the same district by 27 points in November. Early voting saw the Democratic candidate with a slight lead despite the heavily Republican voter base and late campaigning from national party leaders. Now many are worried about 2018 midterms — and about a special congressional election in Georgia next week, where Democrats have a greater chance of snapping up a seat.

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    Scores of Top Brazilian Politicians Implicated in Corruption Probe

    This goes all the way to the middle. Allegations of corruption caused a Brazilian judge to order a massive investigation into eight cabinet ministers, the heads of both houses of Congress and four former presidents, including the recently impeached Dilma Rousseff. Current President Michel Temer wasn’t on the list, but with a third of his cabinet being investigated in the massive bribery scheme involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, he may have trouble passing his austerity agenda. Several under investigation were thought to be potential presidential candidates next year.

  5. Peace Talk, Mea Culpas and Your Side Hustle Stories

    Know This: China’s calling for calm as the U.S. and North Korea escalate their standoff. United Airlines has apologized for its violent removal of a passenger Sunday, promising to “fix what’s broken.” And a report from the U.K. House of Commons says foreign government cyberattacks may have been behind problems with the registration website for the Brexit vote.

    Check This Out: OZY is lifting the lid on the past, present and future of the side hustle this week, as Tax Day approaches in the U.S. Do you have an interesting, unique or downright wacky side gig that OZY should know about? Let us know at for a chance to be featured in the series.

    Talk to Us:  We want your feedback on the Presidential Daily Brief — what you think we’re doing right and what we should be doing differently. Send us an email at


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    White House Press Secretary Apologizes for Holocaust Comments

    “You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” So said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who’s come under fire for his false statements — Adolf Hitler gassed millions of people — while making a comparison to Bashar al-Assad’s suspected sarin gas attacks. Attempted clarifications made things worse as he explained, “[Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people.” Now Spicer, who made the comments on Passover, has issued multiple apologies as the Anne Frank Center calls for his resignation.

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    The Airbnb Model Comes to Computing

    Idle computers are this movement’s workshop. A new “distributed computing” model — think Airbnb for unused computer space — is aiming to let you make a little extra cash on the side by renting out empty hard drives. Despite ongoing concerns about safety (remember when we were nervous about getting into strangers’ cars?) and the fairly small amounts of money changing hands, those on the forefront of the movement are hoping to exploit even this small-scale idle resource, and maybe make a little extra on the side.

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    Taiwan Makes Eating Cats and Dogs Illegal

    Rover can relax. Taiwan has explicitly prohibited eating cats and dogs, or slaughtering them for human consumption — thought to be a legislative first in Asia. Under its amended Animal Protection Act, penalties for animal abuse have also increased, with fines up to $65,546 and two years in prison. The amendments follow several headline-grabbing animal abuse cases, including the discovery that one lamb hotpot restaurant was slashing expenses by using dog meat. Meanwhile in China, a controversial annual dog meat festival continues despite attracting international condemnation every summer.

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    Thriving on Nostalgia, the Tamagotchi Returns

    Who says millennials can’t handle adult responsibilities? After the toy’s 1997 worldwide release, millions bought Tamagotchi digital pets, tiny pixelated pals that needed to be fed and cleaned up after. The name’s a portmanteau of the Japanese words for “watch” and “egg.” Like any tech, the characters and graphics evolved over many iterations — but now, to celebrate the toy’s 20th anniversary, Bandai is relaunching the six original characters in a half-size gadget. Priced at about $18 on Amazon, they’re currently only available in Japan.

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    Sabres Forward Misses $2M Bonus by Minuscule Margin

    A miss is as good as a million. According to CapFriendly, Jack Eichel lost a $2 million performance bonus by 0.005 in his points per game average. With 57 points in 61 games for the Buffalo Sabres, Eichel’s average of 0.934 left him 11th in the NHL table, just a fraction of a percentage behind Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl. But missing the top ten lost him the cash — a seriously costly blow to the second-year star center, who’s been outspoken about his frustration with the Sabres’ recent performances.