The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. parsons green station tube map shutterstock 367925699

    Islamic State Claims London Tube Attack

    It was rush hour. Authorities say 29 people were injured after an improvised explosive device detonated on a District Line London Underground train near Parsons Green station, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State. Video taken inside the train carriage shows a white bucket on fire, and witnesses described hearing a loud bang and seeing a fireball. Several commuters were treated for burns, as well as for injuries sustained in the crush of people fleeing the scene. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the country’s terror alert to “critical,” its highest level.

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    North Korea Fires Missile Over Japan in Latest Provocation

    They’re not letting up. Pyongyang has fired a missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean, traveling higher and farther than the previous launch last month, 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” over Monday’s round of increased U.N. sanctions. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on China and Russia, Pyongyang’s main economic allies, to respond with “direct action” as the U.N. Security Council reconvenes today.

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    Trump Continues to Play Both Sides on DACA and Neo-Nazis

    Will he? Won’t he? President Donald Trump offered a confusing set of statements about his support for a Democrat-led deal on DACA that could protect 800,000 young undocumented immigrants. Contradictory statements on both potential amnesty and the timing of Trump’s prize border wall abounded yesterday, alienating some congressional Republicans. Meanwhile, at the unanimous urging of both houses of Congress, Trump signed a resolution condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists — just hours after complaining that there are “very bad people on the other side also.”

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    Google Sued Over Alleged Discrimination Against Women

    “It is time to stop ignoring these issues in tech.” So said software engineer Kelly Ellis, one of three former employees now suing Google in a class action lawsuit claiming that women are systemically paid less than men for similar work and are held back from rising through the ranks. The company, which denies any gender bias, is also under investigation by the U.S. Labor Department for “extreme” pay discrimination against women. The company currently employs four male engineers for every female one, but says it’s working to improve the situation.

  5. Take-Backsies, Cassini’s Finale and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: Harvard University has withdrawn the title of visiting fellow from Chelsea Manning, who’s still welcome as a speaker, after a senior fellow resigned in protest over her inclusion. The Cassini spacecraft will plunge into Saturn today. And Russia’s currently being hit by a wave of hoax bomb threats in cities around the country.

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

    Tune In: 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 tonight at The Well in Brooklyn. RSVP here to attend!


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    President Nicolas Maduro Tells Venezuelans to ‘Eat Bunnies’

    He’s gone down a rabbit hole. Venezuela’s leader has a solution for his country’s food shortage: Plan Rabbit. Bunnies, ministers say, breed like, um, rabbits — plus they’re chock full of protein and could help the struggling nation of 30 million fight off what Maduro calls an “economic war” he claims is being waged by President Trump and the “imperialists.” The problem? Venezuelans prefer to treat the furry little mammals like pets, not dinner, meaning the government is now campaigning to convince the populace that rabbits are just another meat.

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    How Disappearing Sand Connects the Entire World

    Our lives are built on sand. The planet’s third most-consumed natural resource is necessary for making buildings, bridges, roads, and glass — and it’s running out. What’s more, a new study has outlined the potentially hazardous “butterfly effect” involved in the global sand trade: Significant demand in one part of the world can fuel illicit “sand mafia” control of the resource in another, while mining damages local environments through habitat loss and coastal erosion. With ever-expanding consumption far exceeding natural renewal rates, experts worry about an impending sand crisis.

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    Indiana Officials Use Statistics to Confront Opioid Epidemic

    Put a lid on it. A hotbed of opioid addiction, Indiana is full of startling statistics: It leads the U.S. in pharmacy robberies, and in 2012 its number of opioid prescriptions was roughly the same as its population. These data points may be depressing, but they’re also helping state officials better understand disturbing trends and, they hope, fight back. Indiana’s new effort to centralize drug-related information involves 16 government agencies, and answers a longtime call for more rigorous, data-driven methods of waging the nationwide war on drugs.

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    New Ken Burns Documentary Examines Vietnam War

    It’s time to do some soul-searching. More than four decades after the Vietnam War ended, its painful legacy is still woven through the fabric of American politics and society — and that’s exactly what a new 18-hour documentary from celebrated filmmaker Ken Burns and director Lynn Novick will explore. The 10-episode series, which begins Sunday on PBS, attempts to sort fact from propaganda, in what some commentators are already saying should be required viewing for Americans still living through the aftermath of the war.

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    Cleveland Indians Extend Winning Streak to 22 Games

    They were down to their last strike. Trailing the Royals 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Indians were on the brink of snapping their AL-record 21-game streak. But Francisco Lindor had another clutch hit in him, smashing an RBI double off the wall to force extra innings. Jay Bruce finished the job in the 10th, scoring Jose Ramirez with a walk-off double to set a modern era record. The Indians, who have outscored opponents 142-37 during the streak, now chase the 1916 New York Giants’ 26 consecutive wins.