The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. nuclear blast bikini atoll

    Nobel Winner: Nuclear War ‘a Tantrum Away’

    Will cooler heads prevail? The head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, in Oslo accepting the Nobel Peace Prize for the group, warned that “the deaths of millions may be one tiny tantrum away.” Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the group that’s helped convince 122 nations to sign a UN treaty banning such destructive devices, was apparently referring to mercurial North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, who have traded increasingly bellicose threats, while U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has said the chance of war is increasing daily.

  2. jerusalem with golden dome of the rock behind barbed wire shutterstock 658797985

    Deadly Violence, Allies’ Ire, Erupt After Trump Israel Move

    It “ignites anger.” So said the Arab League Saturday about President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move America’s embassy there. The league’s asking the UN Security Council to condemn the move, which it says negates U.S. opportunities for brokering peace. The announcement sparked clashes between Palestinians, who consider the city occupied, and Israeli security forces. Protests turned violent near the U.S. embassy in Beirut, and in Gaza, a border clash killed two Palestinians, and two Hamas militants were reportedly killed by Israeli airstrikes retaliating for rockets fired into Israel.

  3. Roy moore

    Moore Absent From Alabama Campaign Trail

    Where’s Roy? Things are looking up for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. President Donald Trump endorsed him in a speech Saturday just outside of Alabama, and one of the women who’d accused him of sexual assault decades ago has recanted details of her story. So why hasn’t he appeared in public in four days, especially when the special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacated seat happens Tuesday? Meanwhile, his quixotic red-state Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, is appearing almost daily as polls show him stalking Moore within the margin of error.

  4. california fires from space la closeup 9dec2017 nasa

    Firefighters Make Progress in California Wildfires

    The devastation continues. Six major wildfires have killed a woman, burned 260 square miles, destroyed more than 1,000 buildings and forced 200,000 people from their homes in California in the past week. One fire, sparked Thursday in San Diego County, is now 50 percent contained, but the biggest, in Ventura County, is still going strong and President Trump has declared a federal emergency. Flames have been driven by what experts say are the driest of the region’s notorious Santa Ana winds ever recorded, and at least 8,700 firefighters are working round the clock to control them.

  5. maduroshutterstock 646602394

    Economic Reality Could Unseat Venezuela’s Maduro

    His victory’s going to cost him. Nicolás Maduro may have succeeded in outsmarting Venezuela’s opposition and quelling months of large-scale protests, but now he’s faced with an economic slump that rivals America’s Great Depression. Long propped up by handouts to some of his more disadvantaged supporters, the late Hugo Chavez’s embattled successor may now have to choose between social programs and repaying foreign debt that has increased sixfold during his regime. Add to that U.S. sanctions that prevent Wall Street bailouts, and financial pressure could create a climate that even Maduro partisans might not tolerate.

  6. shutterstock 461444965

    Something Has Happened to Ryan Zinke

    He’s taking a new path. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wasn’t always seen as conservationists’ worst enemy. The former Navy SEAL’s previously moderate positions as a Montana congressman branded him as a Prius-driving maverick. But now, he’s fighting to expand the gas industry’s access to public land, has proposed radical changes for national monuments and is planning “the largest reorganization in a hundred years” for his agencies. That, with massive downsizing of two national monuments in Utah at his behest, has some wondering where the old Zinke has hiked off to.

  7. Net Reality, Obamacare Deadline and Trump’s Civil Rights

    The Week Ahead: On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote to gut net neutrality rules. And Friday is the deadline for Americans to sign up for Obamacare health plans.

    Know This: President Trump marked the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Saturday in Jackson, praising civil rights leaders, but at an invitation-only gathering. Two people were killed when a small plane crashed into a house in San Diego. And Oklahoma University quarterback Baker Mayfield has won the Sooners’ sixth Heisman Trophy.

    Give Us the Scoop: What do you know and what do you want to discover? If you’ve got an idea for an awesome story, we’d love to hear it. Send your pitches to and our reporters and editors will run them down.


  1. Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs shutterstock 534708277

    How the War on Drugs Was Won

    It’s simple: They surrendered. In 2001, Portugal took the radical step of decriminalizing all drugs, instead focusing on voluntary treatment and harm reduction for users, including needle exchanges and even safe “consumption facilities.” Since then, HIV infections, overdose deaths and drug use have plummeted, thanks largely to a national attitude shift that’s survived conservative governments. Nevertheless, other countries persist with seemingly fruitless enforcement — and while marijuana legalization has seen a groundswell of support in many places, some Portuguese campaigners insist that treating all substances and their users equally is the path to victory.

  2. guy on phone in unfinished office shutterstock 83331472

    Fake Debt Scammers Meet Their Worst Nightmare

    He had a particular set of skills. When a “debt collector” threatened to rape Andrew Therrien’s wife and harassed his grandparents, he snapped. Using his persuasive salesman techniques to cajole, sermonize and threaten various levels of fake loan scammers, he eventually cornered the payday-loan magnate who the feds believe created $7.7 million in falsified debt and sold it for $4.2 million for others to harvest from fearful victims. In September, a judge ordered the loan king to repay $34 million in illegal gains, but Therrien remains unfulfilled as the collectors keep calling.

  3. tap shutterstock 129324716

    Battles Over Water Are Washing Over America

    Step away from the spigot. Whether in North Dakota or across the American South, the politics of water have become increasingly dire. Sometimes-violent conflicts over water are a historical and modern reality worldwide. But now such disputes are becoming common in the U.S., with states claiming underground aquifer rights on private property, even tribal land. Even Michigan — surrounded by the Great Lakes, which hold a fifth of the planet’s fresh surface water — has become a battleground in places like Flint, where the cherished “right” to water is beginning to feel like a privilege.

  4. Radio microphone sound board shutterstock 539824948

    Pariah Podcasts: A Passage From Ignominy

    Does their sound mean our fury signifies nothing? Even after the public turned against them, or they got fired or were charged with felonies, they still had podcasting. That’s what Bill O’Reilly did after a sexual misconduct scandal canceled his Fox News stardom. Doping disgrace also helped Lance Armstrong find his voice. Now radio sportscaster Craig Carton — facing trial in a federal wire and securities fraud case — is similarly doing digital rehab with no danger of firing. But are these podcasts any good — and is it OK to listen either way?

  5. russian honor guard

    Russia’s Failed Attempt at Olympic Meddling

    They gave it their best shot. Following their country’s performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Kremlin officials swore they wouldn’t let that humiliation repeat itself. So they allegedly instituted a widespread doping program leading up to their home-based Winter Games in Sochi, but couldn’t cover their tracks. Thanks in part to testimony from Moscow’s top anti-doping official, who fled his homeland after colleagues’ untimely deaths, the operation that tallied an impressive medal count in 2014 has also won Team Russia a 2018 ban — along with a fresh national disgrace.