The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Roger Ailes, Fox News Founder, Has Died at 77

    He built a juggernaut. There are no further details about Ailes’ death, which was reported on Fox News, the channel he built from scratch into a massive conservative empire. Ailes began his career working for President Richard Nixon, then moved on to creating the wildly popular conservative channel and vaulting many right-wing commentators to superstardom. Ailes stepped down last year over a sexual harassment scandal that alleged he’d tried to trade career boosts for sexual favors, among other offenses, one that cost him tens of millions in settlements, as well as his job.

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    1 Dead, 22 Injured as Car Rams Pedestrians in Times Square

    A speeding vehicle mounted the sidewalk in Times Square, New York City, at the corner 7th Avenue and 45th Street. At least one person was killed and about 19 more were injured when an intoxicated man drove his car against traffic and over the curb. The New York Police Department has sealed the area and the driver, a 26-year-old Bronx man with a history of driving while intoxicated, is in custody. Police say there’s no indication the incident is linked to terrorism.


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    Deputy AG Appoints Special Counsel for Russia Probe

    The stakes just soared. Yesterday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian election meddling and possible collusion with President Donald Trump’s administration. The surprise announcement followed last week’s firing of James Comey, reports that Trump divulged sensitive Israel-provided intel to Russian officials, and reports that he asked Comey to stop investigating ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn. Mueller’s investigation will be semi-autonomous and will likely review new reports of 18 undisclosed contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

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    Chris Cornell, Soundgarden Singer, Dies at 52

    Chris Cornell’s death last night while touring in Detroit with Soundgarden was “sudden and unexpected.” A medical examiner determined the singer committed suicide by hanging. His musical peers, among them Billy Idol and Dave Navarro, paid tribute to the grunge movement innovator, whose band Soundgarden was central to ’90s grunge culture. Cornell later released solo albums, as well as being a member of Audioslave — and reuniting with Soundgarden 15 years after the band broke up for their 2012 reunion album King Animal. The band had reportedly been working on new songs.

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    Brazil’s President Implicated in Bribery

    It’s on the record. Secret recordings of Brazilian President Michel Temer allegedly discussing paying hush money to a jailed associate have been handed in to prosecutors, as angry crowds and politicians call for his impeachment. Temer denies that he authorized illicit payments to silence Eduardo Cunha, former speaker of Brazil’s lower house — and possible witness in a corruption inquiry. Cunha is currently serving 15 years in prison for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. Temer was himself central to the corruption scandal that brought about the impeachment of his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff.

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    Arrests of Immigrants Up 38 Percent in US

    There’s no border wall in sight. Nevertheless, under President Trump’s administration, an average of 400 immigrants per day are being arrested — more than 41,300 during his first 100 days. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said about 75 percent have criminal records, but arrests of those without rap sheets have more than doubled from last year. Meanwhile, deportations are down 12 percent, leading many to wonder where the arrested immigrants are — though ICE officials blame the discrepancy on delays in overburdened immigration courts.

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    Facebook Fined $122 Million Over Misleading Information

    They’re still getting away with merger. According to the European Union, Facebook provided misleading information to regulators when requesting clearance for its 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp: It claimed the messaging app’s data couldn’t be used by Instagram and Facebook advertising platforms, but then proceeded to do exactly that in 2016. The company insists it acted “in good faith,” and while it’s been slapped with a huge fine — on top of Tuesday’s $167,000 fine from France’s privacy watchdog — the EU isn’t retroactively overturning the approval of the merger itself.

  8. Sudden Death, Side Hustles and American Values

    Know This: Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell has died at the age of 52. The Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander says that until recently he had a part-time side hustle as a co-pilot for commercial airline KLM. And U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will reportedly promise to cut benefits for the elderly and fine companies employing immigrants if her party is re-elected June 8.

    First Amendment: “This is the United States of America. We do not do this here. There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior.” So said Sen. John McCain in a tweet linking to a video of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail attacking pro-Kurdish protesters in Washington, D.C. The State Department also condemned the attack on a peaceful protest.

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  1. princess mako wikimedia

    Japan’s Princess Mako to Marry Commoner, Give Up Royal Title

    All you need is love. Princess Mako, 25, met future husband Kei Komuro while they were both studying at Tokyo’s International Christian University. Now they’ve announced their betrothal — which means she can no longer be a princess. But the royal family, like Japan’s general population, has been shrinking. With the country’s cabinet expected to approve a bill tomorrow to allow 85-year-old Emperor Akihito to step down, some wonder if other imperial rules might also change — like those restricting the throne to male heirs.

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    Survey: 28 Percent of Americans Would Worry Over $10 Expense

    Forget avocado toast. A survey of 1,000 Americans reveals that more than a quarter would be stressed by an unexpected expense as small as $10. A sudden expense of $100 would worry 49.5 percent, and 81 percent would be stressed by $1,000. That anxiety likely stems from instability: Only 48 percent of respondents said they were paid a consistent amount every month. It’s “fear of the unexpected” rather than unemployment causing stress, say researchers — which may explain why anxiety about the economy lingers even when economic indicators improve.

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    More First-Time Mothers in Their 30s Than Ever Before

    The biological clock is being set forward. According to new CDC statistics, 2016 saw more first-time mothers in their 30s than in their 20s — though just barely, at 103 births per 100,000 women aged 30-34 and 102 for those aged 25-29. Some believe women are waiting longer to have children because of the financial burden associated with having a family, though a steep decline in teen pregnancies was also a factor. The overall U.S. birth rate slipped to just 62 births per 100,000 women.

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    Netflix Debate Reignited at French Film Festival

    Cannes you not? Will Smith has waded into a debate with Cannes jury president Pedro Almodóvar over the digital platform’s place at the festival. After initially accepting two Netflix titles to contend for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize, Cannes reversed course for next year, demanding any film in competition have a French theatrical release — something Netflix’s titles haven’t had. While Almodóvar opined that he “cannot conceive” of prizes going to films unavailable on the silver screen, Smith quickly sang the praises of Netflix, calling it “nothing but an absolute benefit.”

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    Celtics Get Top Pick in NBA Draft Lottery

    Luck isn’t everything. When Boston drew the top draft, it seemed like the championship was already in sight. No conference-topping team’s gotten first pick since 1982, when a lopsided trade left the Lakers in an enviable position not unlike today’s Celtics. Yet nothing is guaranteed. With Boston likely to pick super freshman Markelle Fultz — despite an already guard-heavy roster — some adjustment will be needed to make it work, and with LeBron’s Cavs unbeaten in the playoffs, it’s all still up for grabs.