The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Aaron Hernandez Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

    Guards discovered the former New England Patriots tight end, 27, hanging from a bed sheet in his Massachusetts prison cell this morning. Attempts to resuscitate him failed and Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd, was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. Last week, Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder, but could still expect to spend the rest of his life imprisoned without parole for his previous convictions. Local police are reportedly investigating the death.

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    US Warships Didn’t Sail Toward North Korea, But Away

    Was it a ploy, a lie … or just a mix-up? Nothing is clear except that while President Donald Trump told both The Wall Street Journal and Chinese President Xi Jinping that he’d dispatched “an armada” toward North Korea, a tension-raising move that provoked Pyongyang, the strike group in question was actually sailing the opposite direction, into the Indian Ocean. A White House official blamed the Pentagon for the error, but some worry it could degrade the credibility of Trump’s threats in future dealings with North Korea.

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    Georgia Special Election Heads to Runoff

    He couldn’t make it over the top. Jon Ossoff, hoping to be the first Democratic congressman from Georgia’s Sixth District since the Carter administration, got 48 percent of ballots after an 18-candidate race where he encouraged voters to “make Trump furious.” Ossoff, 30, and Republican Karen Handel will face off in a June 20 runoff for Tom Price’s seat. It’s a dicier prospect for the Democrat as Republicans can now unite, but analysts say he could still win — which would sound alarm bells for the GOP ahead of 2018’s midterms.

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    UK Parliament Approves PM’s Surprise Election

    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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    Jakarta Vote Escalates Religious Tensions

    Early results are in. Jakarta’s embattled governor, known as “Ahok,” is facing the political fight of his life as 7.1 million voters in the Indonesian capital head to the polls today for a runoff election. Ahok, an ethnic Chinese Christian currently on trial for blasphemy, is facing former education minister Anies Baswedan, who’s riding a wave of hard-line Islamic sentiment. After a first unofficial “quick count” of 100 percent of the votes, it’s being reported that Baswedan has won with 58 percent of the vote, although official results won’t be released until early May.

  6. Murders in California, Unrest in Brazil and New Prince

    Know This: Three men were killed and one wounded when a Black man in Fresno went on a shooting spree that police say may have been racially motivated. Police unions attempted to storm Brazil’s congressional building over a proposal to raise the retirement age to 65. And 92-year-old former President George H.W. Bush has reportedly been hospitalized for pneumonia.

    Listen to This: On the first anniversary of Prince’s death this Friday, a surprise posthumous EP will drop, featuring original music from the rock legend.

    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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    Bill O’Reilly Dropped From Fox News

    “They did it because we persisted.” So said the attorney for one of the women making sexual harassment complaints about the Fox News host, who was fired yesterday. The decision to drop the longtime anchor of one of the conservative network’s flagship programs came after what Fox described as “a thorough and careful review.” The network previously paid $13 million to settle five other women’s claims. O’Reilly, currently vacationing in Italy, called the decision “tremendously disheartening” and maintained that the claims are unfounded. Tucker Carlson has been tapped to replace him.

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    DNA Testing Enters the Beauty Industry

    Beauty is more than skin deep … or that’s what aficionados pushing for DNA deconstruction claim. While home genome testing was first popularized by biotech companies like 23andMe, which offered customers a genetic investigation into their ancestry, a new mini-industry in beauty and cosmetics is growing out of that potential. These companies are using DNA testing, anticipated to be a $10 billion market by 2022, to tailor skin care regimens to each customer. While some question its effectiveness, this reveals an ongoing trend towards greater personalization in the beauty industry.

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    Facebook Sets Focus on Augmenting Reality

    Do not adjust your phone. Facebook has announced the beta launch of a new augmented reality platform called Camera Effects, which uses existing smartphone cameras. Speaking at the company’s annual F8 conference in San Jose, CEO Mark Zuckerberg implored developers to take up the baton and build augmented maps and other user tools in its AR Studio. While the company’s working on building AR glasses, Zuckerberg says cameras will do for the moment — and he’s hoping they can move beyond the “primitive” augmented reality of Snapchat filters and Pokémon Go.

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    Data Aims to Promote Understanding of Homelessness

    Knowledge is the first step. While homelessness is an issue most Americans are aware of, basic details — even just figuring out how many homeless people may live in a given area — can be a complex problem. Understanding Homelessness, a project by designers and urban planners, used volunteers to count 546,580 homeless people across the U.S. in 2015. The team’s data visualizations and interactive maps offer insights into the specialized needs and concerns of Americans who have nowhere to live, and paths forward for those who want to help.

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    Ivanka Trump Dines With Xi Jinping, Wins Chinese Trademarks

    Keep your friends close and your business interests closer. The first daughter received approval from Beijing for three trademarks on April 6, the same day she dined with the Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago. Trump placed her business, which has seen record sales since her father’s inauguration, in a blind trust to take a position in the White House. But many are concerned that such wheeling and dealing may breach ethics rules prohibiting the president’s family from making government decisions that affect their empire’s bottom line.

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    First Woman Earns NCAA Football Scholarship

    “I’m still shocked.” So said Becca Longo, a high school senior from Arizona who’s made history by becoming the first woman to receive a college football scholarship from a Division II or higher school. The 18-year-old kicker signed a letter of intent with Colorado’s Adams State University after sending out her kicking highlight reels to several universities. She now joins an elite group of about a dozen women who have played football for NCAA schools, but by getting in on a scholarship, she’s in a league of her own.