The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Gunman Kills One, Wounds Several Others at New York City Hospital

    Police say a man shot and killed one person and wounded at least five others on Friday after walking into a New York City hospital with a rifle concealed under a lab coat. The suspect — identified as 45-year-old Dr. Henry Bello, a former employee of the hospital — reportedly killed himself at the scene. Officials are investigating the shooting, which occurred at the 1,000-bed Bronx Lebanon Hospital, home to one of New York City’s busiest emergency rooms.  


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    Trump Travel Ban Comes Into Effect

    They’re getting the ban back together. President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban was finally implemented yesterday following the Supreme Court’s interim decision to partially uphold it Monday. That means all refugees and visitors from six Muslim-majority countries without close family or business ties will be stopped at the border for 90 days. The Trump administration added fiancés to the list of qualifying close personal relationships — which includes immediate family but not grandparents — at the last minute, as Hawaii filed an emergency motion seeking clarification over the ban’s scope.

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    Germany Votes to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    Make way for more European unions. Germany’s expected to be the 23rd country to legalize gay marriage after a vote this morning passed the Bundestag 393-226. Chancellor Angela Merkel is credited with engineering the result when she encouraged her party members to vote freely on the legislation — even though she herself voted “no” and her conservative CDU party has long opposed such a change. If the bill passes in the upper house next week, same-sex German couples will have full legal rights to marry and adopt children.

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    Trump Approves New Sale of Weapons to Taiwan

    Score one for Tsai Ing-wen. The Taiwanese president, who’s nettled China with her refusal to recognize their “one China” policy, has agreed to buy weapons worth $1.42 billion from America — the first arms sale of the Trump presidency. The U.S., Taiwan’s only weapons supplier, has made such sales before under past presidents. Though a State Department spokesperson took care to specify that the U.S. still accepts Beijing’s supremacy over Taipei, the sale — which includes missiles, torpedoes and radar — is likely to rankle Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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    In Senate Health Care Bill, Tax Cut Is on the Table

    It’s a tough sell. Desperate for a majority and beset by accusations that the GOP’s proposed Obamacare replacement bills make health care less affordable for ordinary Americans while cutting a 3.8 percent tax on the country’s highest earners, Senate Republicans are reportedly considering keeping that tax — and with it $172 billion in government revenue over the next decade. That won’t win over diehard conservatives who feel the Senate’s plan is too liberal already, but it could potentially sway enough moderates to get the bill passed.

  6. Fukushima’s Aftermath, Jay-Z’s Latest and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: Six years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, three former Tepco executives are going on trial for professional negligence. The former head of Venezuela’s National Guard has been charged with “serious and systemic” human rights violations. And Jay-Z’s new album 4:44 dropped overnight on Tidal — but will likely be available elsewhere within a week.

    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, focusing on topics that might make it onto the show. This week: Should you need a license to have a child? Go deep. Email with your thoughts or a personal story, and we might feature your answer next week.


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    Republicans Blast Trump’s Tweets About Mika Brzezinski

    “Please just stop.” So tweeted GOP Sen. Ben Sasse after President Trump launched a vitriolic attack on the TV host, describing an incident in which he said Brzezinski was “badly bleeding” from plastic surgery and labeling her “low I.Q. Crazy Mika.” Other Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Lindsay Graham, also condemned the comments. Meanwhile, Melania Trump, asked about her past commitment to fight cyberbullying, stood by her husband’s statements as “punching back,” while some wondered why he hasn’t been banned from Twitter for violating its anti-harassment rules.

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    Teenagers: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Laptops

    Large screens be damned. A recent survey has suggested that while a quarter of American teenagers think they could last a month without a laptop, 71 percent of 13-17-year-olds said they couldn’t forgo their smartphone for even a week — and over a third said they wouldn’t even last 24 hours. While the data suggests the nation’s youth put more importance on social connectivity than potential productivity, researchers maintain that the content they’re consuming is more relevant than which device they use to access it.

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    ‘Harry Potter’ Sparks Illegal Indonesian Owl Trade

    This spells trouble for wildlife. A new study in Global Ecology and Conservation explains the “Harry Potter Effect”: Before the series was released in Indonesia, owls accounted for only 0.06 percent of black market birds. Less than a decade later, owls — now known locally as Burung Harry Potter, or Harry Potter birds — constituted 0.43 percent. But conservationists worry that most of those sold in Indonesian markets were illegally caught in the wild, which could deplete local populations. India and the U.K. have seen similar spikes in owl trading.

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    Sony to Resume Pressing Records After 29-Year Break

    The hipsters have won. Sales of vinyl started to bounce back a decade ago, and they’ve been growing for years — making it tough for the few vinyl pressing plants left to keep up with the market. Now Sony Music, which abandoned records in 1989, says it’s beefing up old-school pressing technology and hiring engineers with expertise in cutting vinyl. The company, which also started producing new turntables last year, says its Tokyo facilities are already up and running: It’ll resume pressing records next spring.

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    Venus Williams at Fault in Deadly Car Accident

    It’s still under investigation. But Florida police determined the tennis star was at fault for a June 9 car crash. Williams claimed that backed-up traffic forced her to stop in a six-lane intersection, but police say the seven-time Grand Slam champion violated another vehicle’s right of way. Jerome Barson, a 78-year-old passenger in a car that slammed into Williams’ SUV, suffered head trauma and died June 23. Police say Williams wasn’t under the influence or texting while driving, and so far she hasn’t been charged.