The Presidential Daily Brief


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    North Korea Fires New Missile Over Japan in Latest Provocation

    North Korea has fired a missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean, traveling higher and further than the previous missile launch on August 29, according to reports from South Korean and Japanese officials. The launch came just hours after North Korea threatened to sink Japan and reduce the U.S. to “ashes and darkness” for leading Monday’s round of increased U.N. sanctions. Japanese officials have described the most recent launch as an “excessive provocation.”


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    Trump Denies Deal With Democrats on Dreamers and Border

    Have they mastered the art of the deal? After a dinner at the White House yesterday, Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced an agreement with President Donald Trump to protect DACA participants, a week after Trump axed the program for those brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The Democrats said the deal would include funding border security, but not Trump’s long-promised border wall — and that action on DACA could happen within weeks. But this morning Trump tweeted, “No deal was made.” Now, he says, “I think we’re fairly close.”

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    Eight More Dead in Irma’s Aftermath

    The danger hasn’t passed. Eight patients died after a power outage caused by Hurricane Irma cut a southern Florida nursing home’s air conditioning in 92-degree heat. Police have opened an investigation into the deaths, and Gov. Rick Scott has temporarily forbidden the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills from admitting new patients, blaming the nursing home for not giving senior citizens adequate care. Meanwhile, millions of Florida residents remain without power and utility companies warn it could take weeks before it’s fully restored. President Trump plans to visit the state today.

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    Dozens of Students Die in Kuala Lumpur Dormitory Fire

    They couldn’t escape. At least 22 teenage boys and two teachers were killed today when a dormitory at a religious school in the Malaysian capital caught fire. Eleven people were rescued, and seven more remain hospitalized. Preliminary inquiries indicate the blaze, believed to be Malaysia’s deadliest in decades, was sparked by a short circuit, but the death toll was exacerbated by metal grilles over windows that made escape impossible. Authorities say the investigation may help prevent future tragedies, while the families of the dead gather to mourn.

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    US Treasury Secretary Faces Inquiry Over Honeymoon Jet Request

    Business class wouldn’t do. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, reportedly sought a government-funded, $25,000-per-hour Air Force jet for his European honeymoon this summer, but decided against it when it turned out that protected communications were available on other aircraft. Mnuchin and his wife, actor Louise Linton, sparked the inquiry when they traveled to Kentucky last month during the solar eclipse on a taxpayer-funded plane. Linton has since agreed to reimburse the government for her travel costs when accompanying her husband.

  6. A Modern Lynching, Bodega Defenders and Zimbabwe’s Elections

    Know This: Authorities in New Hampshire are investigating the attempted hanging of an 8-year-old biracial boy as a potential hate crime. U.S. government departments have stopped using software from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab over concerns about Kremlin ties. And a tech startup promising to put bodegas out of business has raised the internet’s ire.

    Watch This: Zimbabwe says it will use biometric registration technology for the first time in its elections next year, meaning all voters must register anew by January.

    Come See Us: OZY and WGBH have teamed up to create a provocative new show for PBS, Third Rail With OZY. The show tapes every Friday in NYC in front of a live studio audience. Want to get in on the action? Sign up here. We’re also hosting a watch party this Friday, Sept. 15 at The Well in Brooklyn. RSVP here to attend!


  1. Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte Flickr

    Philippines Votes to Defund Human Rights Budget to $20

    They’re penny-pinching. The Philippine government is likely to face criticism after lawmakers voted to slash the annual budget for its Commission on Human Rights to a mere $20. The embattled institution, which investigates abuses related to the country’s notoriously tough war on drugs, says the move amounts to payback from controversial President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters in the legislature. The restrictive measure now awaits approval from the country’s Senate, and it’s not the only one: Lawmakers have also proposed defunding drug rehabilitation programs by around 75 percent.

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    Martin Shkreli Jailed Over Clinton Hair Tweet

    “It was just a prank, bro!” That was the so-called pharma bro’s protest when it turned out his Twitter offer of $5,000 to anyone who ripped out and brought him a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair violated the terms of his bail. Already convicted of securities fraud, Shkreli’s still awaiting his sentence — but now he’ll have to do so from jail. Even his lawyer’s explanation that sometimes Shkreli “says things that are stupid” didn’t impress the judge, who booked him for “solicitation of assault” against the former presidential candidate.

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    Germany Claims World’s Highest Quality of Life

    They’re on top of the world. Germans continue to enjoy the highest quality of life on the planet for the sixth year running, according to the Quality of Nationality Index. The ranked list of citizenships, which claims to be the world’s only objective appraisal, draws from a range of social and economic data to analyze the freedoms, opportunities and limitations each national group faces. While France, Denmark and Iceland didn’t lag far behind the leader, the United States came in 29th, and Afghanistan dropped two spots to the lowest ranking.

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    Ukraine’s New Musical Superstars Tackle Post-Soviet Angst

    They rose from the ashes like … fungus? Rap group Grebz, whose name is a play on the Russian word for mushrooms, have overcome Ukraine’s poorly developed music sector to become genuine sensations across Eastern Europe and even in Russia. Their songs about sex and partying still manage to capture the distress of a down-and-out generation, and are a departure from Ukraine’s overtly wealthy, self-promoting pop stars, winning them wild crowds at live shows — which Grebz abruptly announced they’ll stop playing after this year.

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    White House Calls ESPN Host’s Trump Tweets ‘Fireable Offense’

    She spoke her mind. Jemele Hill, host of the sports network’s The Six, posted a series of outspoken political tweets earlier this week calling President Trump a “white supremacist” who has empowered racists. In response, ESPN issued a brief disclaimer that her views don’t represent the network, and Hill, a Black woman, was inundated with racist, abusive comments on social media. Yesterday, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Hill expressing her opinions online was a “fireable offense,” suggesting ESPN may be facing political pressure to dismiss her.