The Presidential Daily Brief


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    US Supreme Court Won’t Hear DACA Appeal

    The country’s highest court declined yesterday to hear the administration’s request to overrule injunctions keeping the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in place, despite President Donald Trump’s determination to end it. The decision effectively frees the Supreme Court from ruling on the fate of “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors, sending the controversial issue back to the lower courts. While the White House planned to let DACA expire March 5, injunctions from federal courts have blocked deportations. Now Congress may have months to negotiate a compromise.

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    Trump Says He Would Have Rushed School Shooter

    “I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon.” That’s what President Trump said regarding the Parkland shooting, while criticizing the deputies involved. The White House later clarified that the president meant he would have stepped up “as a leader.” Trump also reiterated support for banning bump stocks — although he dropped the issue of increasing the age for gun ownership. Meanwhile, Florida Republicans are calling for the suspension of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who has praised student activism and called his own leadership “amazing.”

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    Putin Orders Daily Cease-fire in Syria

    Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a humanitarian pause in the besieged Damascus suburb of Ghouta — which has seen more than 560 killed in eight days — after a U.N. Security Council resolution requested a month-long cease-fire for the entire country. The daily break in fighting will reportedly take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning today. Russia said the U.N.’s cease-fire could begin once “all sides have agreed how to implement it.” Meanwhile, a new report says aid workers in southern Syria are trading goods for sex.

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    Comcast Offers to Outbid Rupert Murdoch for Sky

    The biggest cable operator in the U.S. has made a $31 billion bid for the U.K.’s Sky, jeopardizing a planned buyout by Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. Comcast, reportedly offering a 16 percent premium, would also be throwing a wrench in Disney’s plans to buy Fox assets, including Sky, once that deal was done. Murdoch’s purchase had been held up by regulatory concerns that the conservative media mogul’s company would control too much of the market. Comcast’s chief executive said he was confident his deal would be approved by regulators.


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    Russian TV Airs Video Game Footage as Syria Fighting

    They’ve got console, but they’re not soldiers. State-run Channel One aired a video package honoring Russian soldiers fighting in Syria’s civil war — but it used footage from video game ARMA 3, a fact not lost on sharp-eyed social media users. A key cheerleader for the Kremlin’s policies, Russian state TV has been caught using similar images before on air and Twitter. Meanwhile, Russian message board users are arguing over whether the use of fake footage was deliberate — or, as Channel One claims, accidental.

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    More Refugees, Less Aid Spell Disaster for Zambia

    The southern African country is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis after accepting tens of thousands of Congolese refugees amid cutbacks in foreign aid. Following accusations of corruption, Sweden and Finland have stopped payments to a farming collective, while the U.K. reported three Zambian election-monitoring nonprofits to police for misappropriation of aid money. A chilling effect on aid could push Zambia into crisis — especially if outbreaks of Ebola and cholera in Congo follow the refugees — and the country’s leaders are desperately calling for more international support.

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    Norway’s Seed Vault Gets New Crops and Upgrade

    You reap what you sow. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault marked its 10th anniversary yesterday with the arrival of more than 70,000 new seeds — pushing the total over 1 million — and $12.7 million in additional federal funding. The vault, located on an isolated island, was designed to protect the genetic material of both staple and unique crops in case of a global catastrophe. Planned construction will add a new access tunnel and emergency power units after a permafrost thaw in 2016 caused water to leak into the vault’s entrance.

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    John Oliver Announces Bid for Italian Prime Minister

    Noting that there’s no rule in Italy’s Constitution against foreign citizens standing for elections, the popular late-night host skewered the country’s infamously tumultuous political landscape on Sunday, telling Last Week Tonight viewers that he’ll run for prime minister. Oliver announced his farcical bid during a sketch in which he poked fun at several scandalous Italian candidates, while also warning of their increasingly xenophobic bent and the dangers of ”dabbling with fascism.” The HBO host told viewers, “incredibly, I am far from your worst option” for the March 4 election.

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    NFL Orders Cowboys Owner to Pay Millions

    The league will reportedly seek at least $2 million from Jerry Jones to recoup legal fees spent by other owners during high-profile court battles last year. Jones first fought commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to suspend Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games after claims of domestic abuse. He later contested the five-year, $200 million extension of Goodell’s contract — and in the process threatened to sue other owners. The call for reimbursement, reportedly made by owners and not Goodell, was approved by the NFL’s finance committee.