The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Jr. Releases Emails On Russia Meeting 

    “I love it.” That’s how Donald Trump Jr. responded to the prospect of sensitive information — courtesy of the Russian government — that would incriminate Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. released the explosive email chain with publicist Rob Goldstone on Tuesday after The New York Times first reported on its contents. The correspondence will likely play a key role in the ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election. The White House has downplayed the meeting last year between Trump Jr. and the allegedly Kremlin-connected attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya.




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    Sixteen Die in Marine Corps Plane Crash in Mississippi

    There were no survivors. Local firefighters in Leflore County attempted to extinguish the blaze, but were reportedly driven back by several large explosions after a U.S. military plane left a five-mile trail of debris and crashed in a soybean field Monday afternoon. All sixteen people aboard died, and while officials said “most of them are going to be Marines,” it wasn’t clear if any civilians were among the dead. No information about the cause of the KC-130’s crash has yet been released.

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    US Election Fraud Commission Freezes Voter Data Demands

    The lawyers will have to sort this one out. Multiple lawsuits were filed yesterday to prevent the commission from collecting data — including birth dates and partial social security numbers — on voters in all 50 states. Most states had already refused the sweeping request for information issued by the election fraud commission, created this spring after President Donald Trump made unsubstantiated claims that millions voted illegally in 2016. Now the commission has put its demands on indefinite hold as opponents, who saw its efforts as a prelude to voter suppression, celebrate.

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    Australia’s Energy Crisis Blamed on Exports

    You’ve got to keep a little for yourself. Australia, the world’s No. 2 exporter of liquefied natural gas, couldn’t satisfy its own domestic demands for fuel to keep air conditioning cranked during a recent heat wave, resulting in power cuts. The country’s gas prices have increased sevenfold in three years, and are double those in the U.S. after producers turned to wealthy overseas markets to defray the costs of fracking. While America’s network of pipelines outstrips Australia’s, some worry that its export boom could lead to similar domestic shortages.

  5. Wildfires, Umbrella Woes and Vegetarian Flights

    Know This: Thousands in California are fleeing multiple massive wildfires on the state’s central coast. A Chinese umbrella-sharing startup has lost nearly all of its stock in just three months of operation, but is still planning to grow. And Air India says it will only serve vegetarian meals to its economy-class passengers as a cost-saving measure.

    Look at This: A warehouse northeast of Denver is crammed with 1.3 million contraband items made of endangered animals — some donated and some confiscated from would-be traffickers.

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    Pope Francis: No Gluten-Free Communion Wafers

    Wheat be with you. In a move that might upset those suffering from celiac disease among the Roman Catholic Church’s 1.27 billion followers, the Vatican has declared that wafers used to celebrate the Holy Communion during Mass cannot be gluten-free. According to Catholic doctrine, the bread must be unleavened and all-wheat, and the exclusion of gluten, bishops believe, alters the natural state of bread too much. “Low-gluten” wafers are fair game, though — as is bread made from genetically-modified organisms.

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    Idaho Workers Just Can’t Catch a Break

    They’re all work and no play. It turns out folks from Idaho are the least likely in America to actually take a day off. A new survey found a whopping 78 percent of full-time workers from the Gem State said they avoided using their vacation days, compared to the national average of 54 percent. Many expressed a fear of taking time off, citing economic worries. But with an estimated 662 million vacation days left untouched by American workers last year, experts say $128 billion is being lost in tourism spending.

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    Study: Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Already Underway

    It’s worldwide “biological annihilation.” So said Rodolfo Dirzo, co-author of a new study that suggests the “prelude” to Earth’s sixth mass extinction is already happening — and humans are the leading cause. After mapping the populations and ranges of 27,600 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals globally, researchers found nearly a third were declining, amounting to a “massive erosion of the greatest biological diversity” in Earth’s history. Now they predict the first mass extinction event in 66 million years — since the dinosaurs were wiped out — will have drastic consequences.

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    Kermit the Frog Performer Steve Whitmire Leaves Muppets

    Nobody croaked. But it’s still unclear why Whitmire, who’s been with the Muppets since 1978, is being replaced. He was handpicked to be the man behind the puppet after the death of Jim Henson, Kermit’s creator and original voice, in 1990. Matt Vogel, who performed Kermit-impersonator Constantine in 2014’s Muppets Most Wanted, will take over as the beloved frog. So far neither Whitmire, Muppets Studio nor Kermit himself have commented on the reason for the change. Vogel’s first appearance as Kermit will be in an online video next week.

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    Yankees’ Judge Wins 2017 Home Run Derby

    He literally knocked it out of the park. New York outfielder Aaron Judge, 25, put on an outstanding display of heavy hitting to claim this year’s Home Run Derby crown. His final-round rival, Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano, offered up 10 homers with an average distance of 416.5 feet, which was easily bested by Judge. Over the whole tournament, Judge proved himself the slugger supreme with an astounding 47 home runs flying a total of 3.9 miles, including a 119-mph blast and a 513-foot monster.