The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Ends Interview After Wiretapping Question

    Talk to the hand. The President abruptly cut short an interview on CBS after being queried about his false claim that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during his election campaign. The interview, conducted by Face the Nation host John Dickerson, was prerecorded in the Oval Office and broadcast on CBS This Morning today. Trump appeared agitated, and when pressed about a Tweet in which he called the ex-President a “sick” man, Trump told Dickerson didn’t have to ask him that, “Because I have my own opinions. You can have your own opinions.” He then terminated the interview.



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    US President Says He’d be “Honored” to Meet Kim Jong-un

    Can’t everyone just get along? President Trump said he’d be willing to meet with the North Korean leader amidst escalating nuclear tensions, in order to curb unease between the two countries. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Trump said he’d be ”honored” to meet the dictator “under the right circumstances.” The two have never met before, despite Trump evincing much the same sentiment on the campaign trail. While Trump’s been banking on diplomacy and working closely with China, Japan and South Korea for a solution, it’s unclear how Kim Jong-un will respond.


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    Stabbing Leaves 1 Dead, 3 Injured at University of Texas Campus

    One person has been reported killed and three more injured in a stabbing at the University of Texas campus in Austin today. The injured have been taken to hospital with “potentially serious injuries,” while several others were also hurt, but with non-life-threatening consequences. According to the Austin Police department, one person is in custody. The Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene along with local and university police. The stabbings occurred near the Gregory Gym, and police are advising people to avoid the area. The story is still developing.

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    Congressional Leaders Reach $1 Trillion Budget Deal

    Crisis averted. Bipartisan congressional leaders have successfully negotiated a new spending bill to keep the government running through September. The deal includes a $12.5 billion increase in military spending and $1.5 billion more for border security — although nothing for President Donald Trump’s signature wall. It also keeps at-risk funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and Planned Parenthood mostly untouched and increases money for the National Institutes of Health. If Congress passes it this week, the $1 trillion package will be the first significant bipartisan agreement of the Trump administration.

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    Deposed Italian PM Begins Comeback

    Rieccomi! Matteo Renzi, 42, resigned leadership of Italy in December after staking his career on a constitutional referendum — which voters rejected. Nevertheless, yesterday he was overwhelmingly re-elected as leader of his party, the ruling Democrats. That puts Renzi back in the spotlight with a year to prepare for 2018 parliamentary elections. After his departure this winter, though, the party fractured: Leftist factions split to form their own party, poking holes in the dominance of the Democrats, who have recently been slipping behind the populist Five Star Movement in polls.

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    White House Defends ‘Friendly’ Duterte Invitation

    It’s a controversial choice. This weekend, President Trump asked Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — who’s been accused of widespread human rights abuses for his hard-line tactics against suspected drug dealers — to visit the White House. That set off alarm bells not just for human rights activists, but reportedly for senior State Department officials, who say they expect internal objections. White House aides, meanwhile, defended the choice as a national security issue, citing instability in North Korea as a key factor in the decision to shore up relationships with other Asian nations.

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    Fox and Blackstone Look to Buy Tribune Media

    They’re making moves. Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is reportedly in talks with private equity firm Blackstone to make a joint bid for conglomerate Tribune Media, which operates 42 local TV stations. Fox has seen a number of serious shake-ups, including a postponement of its $15 billion takeover of U.K. pay-TV broadcaster Sky. Meanwhile, Sinclair Broadcasting group has also expressed interest in Tribune, suggesting merger deals may increase amid rumors that FCC restrictions on station ownership will be relaxed under President Trump.

  8. A California Shooting, Tax Attacks and the Avocadopocalypse

    Know This: Seven people were wounded and two, including the shooter, died yesterday after a man opened fire at a San Diego pool party. White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka is expected to leave his job, possibly for another administration role, as controversy swirls about his ties to Europe’s far right. And New York state lawmakers are crafting legislation that would force President Trump to release his state tax returns.

    Remember This Number: 44 percent. That’s how much California avocado production is expected to fall this year, even as demand for the fruit has risen dramatically. Prices in the U.S. are now about 30 percent higher per avocado than they were in April 2016.

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    WGA Talks Avert Writers’ Strike as Contracts Expire

    Now shake. Negotiations over a new three-year collective bargaining agreement for Hollywood writers had scribes biting their nails as talks stretched past the midnight deadline. But they’ve reportedly reached a tentative agreement that’ll offer protections for workers’ health care and for writers on short-season TV shows. It’s a huge victory for the Writers Guild, which had hoped to avoid a rerun of the 100-day strike a decade ago. Now the industry will turn its attention to a renegotiation of actors’ contracts, which begins later this month.

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    Reince Priebus: Expansion of Libel Laws ‘Being Looked At’

    Is that a threat? Speaking to ABC News, the White House chief of staff confirmed the administration is still seriously considering President Trump’s promise to change laws in order to let politicians sue the press over unfavorable stories. On the campaign trail, Trump promised to “open up libel laws,” which in practice would require altering the First Amendment of the Constitution. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle slammed Priebus’ suggestion via social media, affirming the importance of press freedom and promising to fight against efforts to abridge it.

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    Dubai Becomes First City to Get Its Own Font

    Update all official correspondence. Dubai and the United Arab Emirates have announced “a new global medium for self-expression” … at least expression made in the Persian Gulf hub’s new Microsoft-designed Dubai font, the first created and named for any city. Available in Arabic and Latin script, the sans serif font is free and has its own social media accounts, which have been using the hashtag #ExpressYou — even as human rights advocates point out that the U.A.E. is known for restricting freedom of speech and quashing constitutionally protected dissent.

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    Study Renews Hope for Those With Eating Disorders

    Here’s data you can sink your teeth into. A recent long-term study suggests that those affected by eating disorders may become more likely to recover as time passes. The study, which followed 246 women, showed that after a decade, 31.4 percent of women with anorexia and 68.2 percent of women with bulimia had recovered. But after 22 years, the anorexia numbers doubled, with 62.8 percent successfully overcoming the disorder. The findings give new hope to long-term patients by demonstrating that, as study authors say, “Recovery is possible.”

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    Eminem Sues New Zealand’s National Party Over Song

    You own it, you better never let it go. Eminem’s representatives have brought suit against New Zealand’s National Party, saying the backing track for a 2014 commercial is a blatant knockoff of Academy Award-winning “Lose Yourself.” Today lawyers and a high court justice listened intently as rap music was played in the courtroom. The National Party denies the charges, despite email evidence that they were concerned about copyright infringement regarding the track, which was reportedly originally titled “Eminem-abbr.” The trial is expected to last six days.

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    Legendary Climber Ueli Steck Dies Near Everest

    There’s danger in discovery. “The Swiss Machine,” considered the greatest speed climber of his generation, fell to his death Sunday while preparing a new route through the Himalayas. Steck, 40, was famous for running routes most could only tackle with ropes and harnesses. In 2008 he ascended the Eiger’s deadly north face, which takes most climbers two days, in just 2 hours, 47 minutes. Steck had been planning an ambitious new route to summit both Everest and neighboring peak Lhotse — the world’s fourth tallest — in a single expedition.