The Presidential Daily Brief


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    UK Prime Minister Calls Surprise Snap Election for June

    She said she’d never consider it. But in a shock announcement, Theresa May said that without a stronger conservative majority Brexit could be in jeopardy, and today U.K. parliament voted in favor of an early election, with 522 voting for and 13 against. Recent polls place May’s Conservative party more than twenty points ahead of its opposition. An election might be a landslide victory for conservatives, but both the struggling Labour party and the upstart Liberal Democrats will likely try to seize the opportunity to win votes from anti-Brexit Britons.

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    “Facebook Killer” Commits Suicide After Car Chase

    The body of Steve Stephens, who posted a murder on Facebook, has committed suicide. Stephens randomly shot and killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin on an Ohio street and posted the video to the social media site. Pennsylvania State Police reported that after a short vehicular pursuit, 37-year-old Stephens shot himself. Police had tracked Stephens via his cell phone signal, along with 400 tips across the country.





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    Shooting in Fresno Leaves 3 Dead

    A gunman has opened fire in downtown Fresno, California, near a Catholic Charities building, killing three people. The man has been taken into custody by police, and has been identified as 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, who was also wanted in connection with the deadly shooting of a security guard at a Fresno mall over the weekend. The attack appears to be random.



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    Erdogan Extends State of Emergency After Referendum

    “Talk to the hand.” So President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told critics after claiming victory in Sunday’s constitutional referendum with just over half the vote. He’s extended Turkey’s already months-long state of emergency, which could give him what opponents say are autocratic powers until his new constitutional authority takes effect in 2019. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump called Erdogan to congratulate him, a marked contrast to Europe’s more cautious leaders, some of whom are advocating abandoning Turkish ties that were once considered a prelude to the country’s eventual inclusion in the EU.

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    With Minutes to Spare, Court Halts Arkansas Execution

    He thought he’d eaten his last meal. Less than half an hour before his death warrant expired, convicted murderer Don Davis had his execution stayed by the Arkansas Supreme Court, along with that of another inmate. Five more prisoners are due to be killed over the next 11 days as the state attempts to use its lethal injection drugs before they expire. Gov. Asa Hutchinson says authorities will pursue two more executions on Thursday, the first in Arkansas in 12 years, but legal challenges are expected at every step.

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    North Korea Promises Frequent Missile Tests

    Everyone’s on high alert. Pyongyang says it will begin testing missiles “on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,” and threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike if it believes the U.S. plans to attack. Most experts believe North Korea does not yet have a missile capable of reaching the United States. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence pointed to recent strikes in Syria and Afghanistan in a bid to reassure Japan and South Korea that President Trump won’t hesitate to use force when it comes to protecting America’s allies.

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    Trump to Order Crackdown on Skilled Worker Visas

    It’ll be a lottery no longer. The U.S. admits 85,000 highly skilled foreign workers on H-1B visas annually, chosen at random from a massive pool of applicants. But President Trump will reportedly sign an executive order today forcing companies to demonstrate that only the very highest-skilled workers are entering the country, and ending what he calls the practice of paying foreign workers less, thus driving down American wages. The order will also require companies to privilege domestic goods, and launch a study of U.S. trade agreements.

  8. Campaign Promises, Tax Returns and Huge Nightmare Worms

    Know This: French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says if elected she’ll suspend all legal immigration into France. Some lawmakers say they won’t work on tax code reform until President Trump releases his taxes, because without them it’s impossible to know how proposed changes might benefit the Trump empire. And scientists have discovered the first living giant shipworm in the Philippines.

    Read This: With just Los Angeles and Paris still in the running to host the 2024 Olympics, many question whether politics should play a role in the decision.

    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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    UN Archives on Nazi War Crimes Finally Open to Public

    Some things can’t be forgotten. For 70 years, only researchers approved by both the U.N. and their own governments had been allowed to peruse the files, which detail early evidence of Nazi war crimes, but beginning this week the entire archive will be available at London’s Wiener Library and online. The records may shed light on the 20th century’s darkest moments — for example, how Allied officials turned away Jewish refugees despite already knowing that millions had been murdered — and serve as a powerful tool against Holocaust denial.

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    Changes in Sea Levels Will Affect Middle America Too

    Wherever there’s a coast, there can be coastal elites. Rising seas caused by climate change will affect every single state, according to a new University of Georgia study. If the global sea level rises as predicted — 6 feet by 2100 — it could mean 13.1 million environmental refugees migrating from the coasts to previously landlocked states, putting a significant strain on inland resources and infrastructure. Researchers predict that only the wealthy will be able to afford the adaptive measures required to maintain homes with ocean views.

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    Texas Wants to Lead in Mental Health Care

    You’re not alone in the Lone Star State. With just 10.5 psychiatric beds per 100,000 people — far below the recommended 40-60 beds — Texas has fallen short in mental health support. But some new bipartisan agreements on state legislation, supplemented by federal funding, are allowing Texas to lay the groundwork for greater psychiatric care, even as federal support for public health is in question. The starting point: Overlooked populations like 18- to 25-year-olds, who often get caught between programs aimed specifically at children or adults.

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    Bangkok to Ban Street Food Stalls by 2018

    Snacks barred. For two straight years Thailand’s capital has been named the world’s top destination for street food, but now city officials say all vendors will have to clear the sidewalks by the end of the year as part of a city-wide cleanup. Stalls selling DVDs and clothes have already been targeted by the military junta that’s ruled since a 2014 coup, and street begging has been banned as well. Thailand’s powerhouse tourism industry could be affected, as travelers following the famous roadside food seek snacks elsewhere.

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    First Female Boston Marathoner Returns 50 Years Later

    You can’t keep a legend down. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer broke new ground as the first woman to enter the iconic Boston Marathon, overcoming violent threats and sexist jeers. Images of her mid-run escape from an angry official became a symbol of women’s struggles against needless discrimination. Now 70, Switzer returned to run the marathon again yesterday, finishing with a remarkable time of 4:44:31 — just 24 minutes off her pace from half a century ago. Meanwhile, Kenyan nationals Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat were declared the race’s winners.