The Presidential Daily Brief


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    North Korea Accuses Trump of Escalating Tensions

    “We will go to war.” So said North Korea’s foreign minister, saying his country won’t shy away from conflict if the U.S. continues to provoke it — and adding that President Trump’s belligerent tweets are “causing trouble.” As Pyongyang reportedly prepares for its sixth nuclear test this weekend, longtime ally China has pleaded for calm and a return to peaceful negotiations, saying military force isn’t a solution. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence will travel to South Korea on Sunday to shore up the U.S. relationship with North Korea’s longtime enemy.

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    Deadly Protests Spread Across Venezuela

    They’re not backing down. Even though five people have died amid anti-government protests that have now dragged on for three weeks, the opposition to President Nicolas Maduro shows no sign of letting up. More than 100 people have been arrested during the demonstrations, which have been galvanized by food and medicine shortages as well as moves like Maduro’s now-reversed attempt to strip the legislative branch of government of its powers. Now the opposition is preparing for what they hope will be the “mother of all marches” next Wednesday.

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    Credit Suisse Execs Slash Proposed Bonuses

    Tighten those belts. Advisers for the Zurich-based bank were publicly critical of an executive plan to award $77.6 million in bonuses, suggesting shareholders should veto the expense at their annual meeting later this month. Now they won’t have to: After two years of posting losses and a 33 percent stock fall in 2016, CEO Tidjane Thiam and other bank leaders agreed to cut their own bonuses by 40 percent. Thiam says he hopes the move will “alleviate” concerns as Credit Suisse wades through its three-year plan to cut costs.

  4. Deadly Prejudice, Abuse of Power and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: LGBT people in the Russian republic of Chechnya are reportedly going into hiding as reports surface of informal detention facilities where gay men are tortured and killed. Choate Rosemary Hall, one of America’s most elite boarding schools, has acknowledged that at least 12 former teachers have molested or raped students. And after its Eurovision contestant was barred from entering Ukraine, this year’s host country, Russia has said it won’t even broadcast the international song competition.

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB quiz.

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    Michigan Doctor Accused of Female Genital Mutilation

    It’s thought to be a first in the United States. Detroit emergency room doctor Jumana Nagarwala has been charged with performing female genital mutilation, or FGM, on two seven-year-old girls, allegedly with the consent of their parents. Officials say she’s likely the first person prosecuted under a 1996 federal law banning the brutal procedure, recognized internationally as a human rights violation. Investigators have identified other children who may have been victimized by Nagarwala. The doctor denies the charges, but if found guilty she could face a 15-year felony sentence.

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    Instagram Stories Blitzes Snapchat

    Flattery will get you everywhere. Snapchat copycat Instagram Stories, only nine months old, has now surpassed its predecessor, boasting 200 million daily active users. That’s a third of all Instagrammers — and a big increase from 150 million daily users in January. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s growth has slowed since the launch of the rival product: It reported 158 million daily users in the fourth quarter of 2016. To commemorate its milestone, Facebook-owned Instagram announced new features that continue the trend of mimicking Snapchat, including geostickers, sticker pinning in videos and selfie stickers.

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    Gene-Editing Tool Could Help Diagnose Infections

    The game is afoot. Scientists think a new diagnostic system they’ve dubbed SHERLOCK could one day be a cheap and easy tool to revolutionize how infections are identified. Based on the controversial gene-editing technique CRISPR, SHERLOCK can detect viruses like Zika and dengue, as well as several bacterial strains like E. coli — and researchers say it takes as little as 30 minutes. While it’s still in the lab phase, the technology could eventually be packed into a cheap handheld device similar to a pregnancy test.

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    Health Violations Flagged at Mar-a-Lago

    Something’s rotten in the state of Florida. Health inspectors say President Trump’s resort, where he hosts world leaders and where memberships cost upwards of $200,000, had 13 health code violations at its latest inspection. Trump’s been known for a hands-on approach to the kitchen — 2015 saw only two violations — but his new job may be keeping him busy. Investigators found rusty shelves in coolers and raw chicken stored at a balmy 49 degrees. Though three of the infractions were labeled “high-priority,” the restaurant passed its inspection.

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    Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney Dies at 84

    The flag at the Pro Football Hall of Fame is at half-staff today. Before Rooney became manager in 1969, the Steelers were strangers to NFL title games. Under Rooney, they saw six championships, including four Super Bowls in six years in the 1970s. Later, the Pittsburgh native served as U.S. ambassador to Ireland under President Obama. He’s also remembered for the Rooney Rule, requiring at least one minority candidate be considered for senior coaching and front office jobs — a rule that’s since spread to other sports and businesses.