The Presidential Daily Brief


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    15 Die in California Mudslides

    Rescuers are still combing for survivors. Southern California, recently scorched by devastating wildfires, saw its first rainfall in months — which caused massive mudslides and flooding on coastal roads overnight. At least 15 people have died, scores have been hospitalized and the mud is five feet deep in some areas. Meanwhile, about 300 are trapped in Romero Canyon as officials, using borrowed helicopters, attempt to airlift them to safety. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said the scene resembled “a World War I battlefield,” and officials warn the death toll is expected to rise.

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    Judge: DACA Must Continue Until Lawsuit Resolved

    It’s a temporary stay. Though President Donald Trump decided to discontinue DACA, the program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, a judge has ruled that those with DACA status can renew it until a pending legal challenge has gone through the courts. During a rare televised meeting on immigration with congressional leaders yesterday, Trump said he would sign new legislation to replace DACA in exchange for Congress funding his border security projects, causing outcry from conservatives. But Democrats say they’re not counting on Trump to stick to his word.

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    Steve Bannon Steps Down From Breitbart News

    He went from right-hand man to left behind. After an explosive rift with President Trump over Bannon’s comments in Fire and Fury, the alt-right leader — who was deeply influential in Trump’s rise to power and a sea change in conservative media — has stepped down as executive chairman of Breitbart News. His fall comes after he was abandoned by the Mercer family, Breitbart investors and longtime Bannon supporters, who’ve recently distanced themselves even as Bannon attempted to get back into the president’s good graces. It’s unclear what Bannon will do next.

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    UK Bashes EU Over Preparations for No-Deal Brexit

    Did they not realize Brexit means Brexit? The EU has been sending memos to various industries warning British companies of the steps they’ll need to take in case the U.K. drops out of the bloc without a trade deal. British officials have long warned that the U.K. would prefer no deal to an unfavorable agreement, but Brexit Minister David Davis nevertheless sought legal advice over whether the EU was violating Britain’s rights with the memos. European representatives responded, “We are somehow surprised that the United Kingdom is surprised.”

  5. Coastal Protections, Power On and the Steele Dossier

    Know This: After Florida’s Republican governor questioned the Trump administration’s decision to open U.S. coasts for oil drilling, his state was given an exception to the order. Power has been restored to 92 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria knocked out much of the region’s electricity. And as Republicans worked to discredit the Steele dossier, which makes explosive claims about President Trump’s ties to Russia, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein released testimony from a Senate investigation that indicated the FBI might have had a source inside the Trump organization for some of the information.

    Watch This: A Louisiana teacher was reportedly pushed to the ground, handcuffed and taken to jail after questioning whether the school superintendent should get a raise at a school board meeting.

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  1. Ski lift

    Thousands of Tourists Stranded in Swiss Ski Village

    This could quickly go downhill. Three feet of snow Monday trapped 13,000 tourists inside the Swiss resort town of Zermatt, population 5,500, with roads closed and trains canceled due to fear of avalanches. Helicopters evacuated some to a nearby town with bus service out of the area. Officials have assured Zermatt that there is no danger, despite power outage warnings, and a spokesperson said it’s “a little bit romantic.” Meanwhile, Italian authorities have raised the avalanche threat level, and Swiss police plan to trigger small avalanches as a preventative measure.

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    African Air Carriers Are Taking Off

    Pack your bags. Flights around Africa are still frustratingly long and prohibitively expensive, but the African Union’s hoping the new Single African Air Transport Market could smooth things out. Eventually it’ll mean visa reform to enable free movement of Africans around their continent, but for now it’s concentrating on encouraging competitive pricing and tamping down political meddling. Intra-African flights more than doubled between 2001 and 2014, but safety remains a concern for many: The continent accounts for 3 percent of global air travel, but 20 percent of commercial aviation accidents.

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    Climate Change Turns Sea Turtle Populations Female

    Don’t count your turtles before they’ve hatched. The sex of a turtle hatchling is determined by the temperature of the sand surrounding its egg: Above 87.4 degrees Fahrenheit means it’ll be female. A new study shows that some green sea turtle populations nesting on warmer northerly beaches around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are now 99 percent female. Researchers say the feminization of the turtles began two decades ago and that climate change is responsible for the potentially disastrous shift. While turtles may adapt, it’s unclear whether they can outpace warming seas.

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    ‘Fire and Fury’ Mix-up Makes WWII Book Bestseller

    A rising tide lifts all boats. Many readers who thought they were ordering Michael Wolff’s White House tell-all actually bought a 2009 book called Fire and Fury about the Allied bombing of Germany during World War II — enough, in fact, that it became a bestseller, suddenly landing on three Amazon top 100 lists. Author Randall Hansen, who won’t know sales numbers until next month’s royalty check arrives, says he hopes those who ordered it by mistake will read it and “reflect on the morality of war.”

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    Japanese Kayaker Banned for Framing Rival

    He’s sunk. Kayak superstar Yasuhiro Suzuki has received an eight-year ban from the sport after he confessed to spiking the drink of teammate Seiji Komatsu with anabolic steroids at last year’s national championships. Komatsu subsequently failed a drug test and his results at the competition were voided. Investigators say Suzuki had previously sabotaged other competitors by stealing their gear. Suzuki, 32, and Komatsu, 25, were top prospects for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and while Komatsu’s doping ban has been lifted, it’s unclear if he’ll qualify for the national team.