The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Withdraws US From Paris Climate Accord

    He’s out. President Donald Trump announced yesterday that the U.S. won’t honor the environmental agreement, saying, “We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore.” France, Germany, Italy, China and Japan expressed disappointment with Trump’s decision, saying they’ll seek other partners to help fight climate change. Business leaders, including CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Tesla and General Electric, condemned the withdrawal as short-sighted. Meanwhile, the governors of Washington, California and New York are forming a “climate alliance,” with California’s Jerry Brown promising that “states will step up.”

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    White House Asks Supreme Court to Reinstate Travel Ban

    They’re in the last ditch. After the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals became the latest to block President Trump’s 90-day ban on travelers from Iran, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Yemen, the administration has petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case — and lift an injunction on the ban. With the court scheduled to wrap up its current session at the end of June, this is a difficult time to squeeze in another case, but could offer insight into new Justice Neil Gorsuch’s political loyalties.

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    Putin Suggests ‘Patriotically Minded’ Hackers Behind Cyberattacks

    Oh say, does that star-spangled malware yet wave? While the Kremlin’s maintained that Russia had nothing to do with cyberattacks meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, President Vladimir Putin departed from that line yesterday when he said that perhaps independent Russian hackers decided to “fight against those who say bad things about Russia.” Meanwhile, the FBI acknowledged that British politician Nigel Farage, one of the engineers of Brexit, is a “person of interest” in their investigation into Russia’s ties to cyberattacks and the Trump campaign.

  4. Political Tunes, Pittsburgh Pride and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: “Liar Liar GE2017,” a song slamming U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, has topped the nation’s charts on Amazon and iTunes with just a week to go until the election. James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8. And after President Trump invoked Pittsburgh in his statement pulling out of the Paris climate accord, city Mayor Bill Peduto tweeted, “Pittsburgh stands with the world & will follow Paris Agreement.”

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB quiz.

    Answer This:  Tell us how you really feel. OZY’s next TV show, Third Rail With OZY, is launching on PBS this fall! To kick things off, we’re shelving the PC and launching debates. Each Wednesday, we’ll post a provocative question, with a focus on topics that might make it onto the show. Our Third Rail With OZY question this week delves into politics: Should you be able to withhold taxes for issues you disagree with? Why or why not? Email with your thoughts or a personal story, and we might feature your answer next week.


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    Scientists Detect Third Black Hole Merger

    They’re making waves. The research team at LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, have for the third time detected a ripple in the fabric of spacetime. The latest finding, from 3 billion light years away, confirms last year’s first evidence of gravitational waves being produced from the merger of two massive black holes, and validates one of Albert Einstein’s theories. LIGO astronomers are hoping that with instrument upgrades they could soon detect a black hole merger a day, thus deepening our understanding of dark matter and the beginnings of the universe.

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    Twelve-Year-Old Claims National Spelling Bee With ‘Marocain’

    M-A-R-O-C-A-I-N. And with that, Ananya Vinay correctly spelled her way into the history books as winner of the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee. In the tense final round, her last remaining opponent stumbled over “marram,” while Vinay correctly spelled the winning word, “marocain” — a type of heavy crepe fabric. Her victory ends a run of three consecutive ties, and also means Vinay will be going home to Fresno, California, with $40,000 in cash and a serious collection of reference books.

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    Lyft Releases First Corporate Diversity Report

    They’ve Lyfted the veil. The ride-sharing company released its first diversity report months after its main competitor, Uber, released its own. While Lyft’s workforce is 42 percent female, compared to its rival’s 36 percent, it doesn’t fare so well on racial diversity: Only 6 percent of its 1,600 employees are Black. Lyft said releasing the data will help keep the company accountable and close notable gaps — like the fact that only 18 percent of tech and engineering positions and 13 percent of leadership roles are held by women.

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    ‘Stan,’ Coined by Eminem, Added to Dictionary

    It’s official. Seventeen years after the release of the Detroit rapper’s “Stan,” the term has been adopted by the Oxford American Dictionary. The entry credits Eminem’s song from The Marshall Mathers LP as the genesis of the word, officially defined as “an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity.” Since the 2000 hit’s release, the word has enjoyed widespread use describing devoted and enthusiastic (though not usually homicidal) fandom, and, as the dictionary explains, “stan” can be used as either a noun or a verb.

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    Del Potro Consoles Opponent During French Open

    “I just do what my heart feels.” That’s how Juan Martin del Potro explained his impulse to breach the net and console his opponent during their second-round match. Nicolás Almagro, forced to resign during the third set when his knee injury resurfaced, collapsed, sobbing loudly, on the court. Del Potro helped him up and walked him to the bench, accepting a bear hug from Almagro and reminding him of positive things to focus on. “Sometimes, the heart is first,” said del Potro. He’ll next face gold medalist Andy Murray.