The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Terror Suspect Arrested Near UK Parliament

    During a stop-and-search operation on Whitehall a man has been arrested for carrying knives. The man is in his 20s, and is suspected of terrorism related offenses, with police issuing an official statement saying he will be investigated for the ”commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.” There were no injuries at the scene, and the investigation is ongoing. Security has been on high alert around UK Parliament following the terror attack on March 22 that left five dead at Westminster.

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    Despite Rumors, Trump Opts Against Dismantling NAFTA

    That bluff didn’t last long. Yesterday administration sources leaked that President Donald Trump was considering an executive order to withdraw from NAFTA as early as Saturday. Later in the day, however, the White House said calls with Canada and Mexico had convinced the president to renegotiate the pact instead. The two countries account for $1 trillion in trade with the United States. Many see the threat more as a play for approval than a serious policy option, as Trump approaches his 100th day in office without any significant legislative victories.

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    US Promises Tighter Sanctions on Pyongyang

    They’ve opted for diplomacy. After weeks of tension between North Korea and the U.S., the White House summoned the entire Senate for a briefing — and announced that instead of a military option, it’ll be using sanctions to pressure Pyongyang to step back from its nuclear program. The U.S. already bans all trade with North Korea, so it’s not clear how it could impose further sanctions. Meanwhile, a North Korean official said the country would “never stop” its nuclear tests as long as it considers the U.S. to be hostile.

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    Hard-line GOP Caucus Backs Edited Trumpcare Bill

    It’s alive. The deeply conservative Freedom Caucus initially rejected the GOP’s Obamacare replacement, the AHCA, as too liberal. But they’ve endorsed a revised version of the bill that would allow states to waive some “essential” coverage requirements, like maternity and mental health care, and would let insurers boost premiums for those with pre-existing conditions. Members of Congress have exempted their own health plans from these waivers. It remains to be seen whether moderate Republicans — or voters covered by Obamacare — will stand for the changes.

  5. Arrests in Hong Kong, Venezuexit and British Insults

    Know This: Police have arrested nine pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong in connection with last year’s massive anti-government protests. Venezuela is leaving the Organization of American States, an unprecedented move that will take two years. And Syrian media reports an Israeli missile strike on a military site near the airport in Damascus.

    Remember This Insult: With snap election campaigning in the U.K. ramping up, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson went after opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying he’d be a danger to the country if elected, and referring to him as a “mutton-headed old mugwump.”

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    United Settles with Passenger Dragged Off Flight

    Can you buy back public trust? Passenger David Dao, 69, who suffered a concussion and lost his front teeth while being violently removed from a United flight after refusing to surrender his seat, has reached an “amicable settlement” with the airline. In a statement, Dao’s lawyer Thomas A. Demetrio said United has “taken full responsibility” for the incident. United is also attempting to make amends with a series of policy changes. Now customers who volunteer to be bumped from overbooked flights can be compensated up to $10,000 and the airline has promised that law enforcement won’t be called to force passengers off planes.

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    Pope Francis Delivers Surprise Video TED Talk

    Give us this day our daily TED. Pope Francis made an unprecedented surprise appearance at TED 2017 in the form of an 18-minute talk in Italian, prerecorded in Vatican City. Speaking to the largely tech- and science-focused crowd at the Vancouver, British Columbia, event, the pontiff pontificated about climate change, inequality, education and immigration, all the while urging the audience to cultivate human togetherness and solidarity. “The future of humankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders,” he said. “We all need each other.”

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    Did Human Ancestors Roam the Americas 130,000 Years Ago?

    It’s not set in stone. California archaeologists claim new fossil evidence shows hominids were present more than 100,000 years earlier than previously thought, based on mastodon bones that appear to have been smashed by human tools. Other scientists dispute the find, noting the bones were unearthed by a backhoe, which could have crushed them. The long-held scientific consensus is that Native American ancestors arrived via a land bridge from Asia no more than 25,000 years ago — but there are still gaps in human knowledge about migration history.

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    Jonathan Demme, Oscar-Winning Director, Dies at 73

    His best-known film was a horrifying thriller. But Demme’s work went beyond The Silence of the Lambs: He excelled at screwball comedies like Married to the Mob and message-driven dramas like Philadelphia — and got his start as a documentary filmmaker with the acclaimed cult film about the Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense. He died in Manhattan yesterday due to complications of esophageal cancer. Demme continued directing until the end: He helmed last night’s episode of Fox’s Shots Fired and an upcoming episode of Netflix’s Seven Seconds.

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    Baseball Looks for Success in Mental Well-Being

    This is one taboo that needs breaking. Though talk of psychology and mental health has long been scoffed at in sports, the industry’s beginning to acknowledge that athletes at the highest levels often have to deal with mental stress of the highest levels — which can adversely affect the individual or team. Today, more than half of all MLB teams have at least one full-time mental health coach on the payroll — coaches who use language about performance and potential rather than the traditional buzzwords of psychoanalysis.