The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Soldiers Seize Zimbabwe State TV in Military Takeover

    The revolution will, apparently, be televised. Last week, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 93, fired his vice president and appointed his own wife to the post. On Monday, Gen. Constantino Chiwenga, who’d been accused of treasonable conduct, threatened to “step in.” And today soldiers have taken Zimbabwe’s national broadcaster, with Maj. Gen. SB Moyo reading a statement on air saying the operation was targeting “criminals” in government and wasn’t a coup. South African President Jacob Zuma said he spoke with Mugabe, who is confined to his home but otherwise “fine.”

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    Australians Vote to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    “They voted ‘yes’ for fairness, they voted ‘yes’ for commitment, they voted ‘yes’ for love.” So said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the results of a two-month mail-in poll on same-sex marriage: 61.6 percent were in favor, with participation around 80 percent. A bill on the matter has already been introduced and is now expected to be amended, particularly by conservative politicians who are pushing for strong religious freedom protections. Turnbull says he hopes to see marriage equality be the law of the land “by Christmas.”

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    Gunman Attacks Northern California School

    The targets seemed random. Police say Kevin Neal killed a female neighbor, fired on a woman driving her children to school, then rammed the fence at a Rancho Tehama elementary school and sprayed the classrooms with bullets. Fortunately staff had locked down the campus, preventing a massacre. Five people were killed — including Neal’s wife, who was later found dead — and 10 injured. Officers shot and killed Neal as he was firing on another car. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump was criticized for being disrespectful by tweeting condolences to “the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas” — a different mass shooting.

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    UK Officials Vow Post-Brexit Free Movement for Bankers

    Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit for everyone. David Davis, the minister tasked with negotiating the U.K.’s 2019 exit from the EU, is trying to stem the anticipated exodus of financial service companies to the Continent by offering perks for London’s banking industry. Though ordinary British citizens are expected to lose the right to live and work in the EU after Brexit, Davis promised special regulations that will preserve free movement for bankers. EU officials believe divorce terms and a transition deal may be solidified as soon as next month.

  5. Obamacare Repeal, Roy Moore’s Past and Herbal Supplements

    Know This: Senate Republicans plan to fold Obamacare repeal into their tax reform bill in an attempt to offset the costs of permanent cuts to the corporate tax rate. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called for an independent probe into Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis. And Roy Moore, currently under scrutiny after multiple women came forward and alleged sexual misconduct, apparently challenged an Alabama law protecting rape victims while he was chief justice of the state’s highest court.

    Read This: While many Americans say herbal drug kratom treats their depression and anxiety, or is a substitute for addictive opioids, the FDA isn’t so sure about its safety.

    Talk to Us: What book got you back to reading? Send the title and a paragraph on why it had that effect to


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    Thousands of Scientists Send New Warning to Humanity

    Maybe the second time’s the charm? Twenty-five years after a letter from the Union of Concerned Scientists urged mankind to take action against environmental damage, the world’s researchers are at it again. Yesterday’s letter, signed by 15,365 scientists from 185 countries, says humans have failed to prevent “potentially catastrophic” climate change, even warning that many species could be extinct by the century’s end. It’s not all bad news, though: They note that humans have stabilized the ozone layer, reduced extreme poverty and made significant gains in renewable energy.

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    Pakistan’s Burgeoning Startups Are Fighting Tradition

    They’re venturing down a new path. More and more young Pakistanis are swapping traditional careers for entrepreneurial ventures, battling conservative social norms and occasional scorn from older family members. Over the past five years, startups spanning music, health, food, science, beauty and more have sprung up across Pakistan, which boasts more than 20 startup incubators. But it’s a risk leaving a stable job in a country that’s notoriously unstable for investors. And the near future could prove critical as investors watching global risks decide whether to get into the game.

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    Native Americans Struggle to Combat Sexual Assault

    Not everyone trusts the system. A new poll shows 36 percent of Native Americans don’t call the police when they need help, and half believe the legal system has failed them. It’s an especially disturbing reality for the estimated 1 in 3 Native American women who are sexually assaulted, many of whom are caught between toothless tribal courts and overburdened federal authorities. Now many hope the recent Tribal Law and Order Act may help change the culture of impunity by reducing wait times and letting tribal courts pass harsher sentences.

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    Watching Movies in Public Is Becoming More Common

    They’re so bored they could stream. Netflix surveyed 37,000 global users on their viewing habits and found that 67 percent now use the streaming service outside their homes. Eleven percent have seen spoilers while peeking at someone else’s screen and 22 percent have cried in public while watching. With services and data plans evolving to encourage streaming anywhere, those numbers are only going up. But not all human connection is lost: 35 percent of public viewers said someone had interrupted them to discuss what they were watching.

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    US Soccer Floats Idea of Pre-World Cup Competition

    Maybe everyone will get participation trophies. The U.S. Soccer Federation is looking into the idea of hosting pre-World Cup matches with Italy, Netherlands, Ghana and Chile — teams that unexpectedly didn’t qualify for the tournament. With talks in the very early stages, it’s unclear whether this would be a series of friendlies or an actual tournament. Either way it may be difficult to get football associations to pitch in and release their players. Some may also be anxious about the possibility of coming in last among losers.