The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. director robert s mueller iii us government wikimedia commons

    Former Trump Aide Burns Administration After Receiving Subpoena

    “Screw that.” That was one of Sam Nunberg’s lively responses during interviews regarding his subpoena to appear before a grand jury investigating Russian election interference. “Donald Trump caused this because he’s an idiot,” Nunberg said. He also claimed that Trump’s former campaign advisor Carter Page had colluded with the Russian government and that he believes special prosecutor Robert Mueller has ”something” on the president. While at first daring the Justice Department to arrest him for not appearing before a grand jury he later said he would end up cooperating.

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    Italy Faces Hung Parliament After Elections

    They came, they saw, they voted. Yesterday’s elections saw big gains from populist and euroskeptic parties, making a majority in Italy’s Parliament unlikely. Partial results show the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement winning the biggest share with 32 percent of the vote, while the ruling Democratic Party is projected to take just 19 percent and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia will win 14 percent. The anti-immigrant League party, projected to win 18 percent, has suggested a potential euroskeptic alliance with 5-Star in the weeks of negotiations ahead.

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    ‘Shape of Water’ Wins, Oscars Mark Changing Industry

    The sea creature-human love story took best picture and Guillermo del Toro earned best director in a ceremony that emphasized inclusion and activism. “Representation matters,” director Lee Unkrich noted after Coco won best animated feature. Meanwhile, Jordan Peele, writer and director of Get Out, became the first African-American to win for best original screenplay. Frances McDormand encouraged women to support each other’s projects while accepting her best actress award. And host Jimmy Kimmel praised the Oscar statue himself, who “always keeps his hands where you can see them.”

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    US Businesses Push Back on White House Tariff Policy

    After last week’s explosive announcement of high import duties on steel and aluminum, administration officials are defending themselves against international outrage — and against U.S. executives worried that the American economy will suffer. The EU’s already proposed a raft of retaliation measures, including high tariffs on blue jeans, bourbon and motorcycles. Meanwhile, smaller American manufacturers are crying foul over another tariff bill currently working its way through Congress, which would reduce or entirely scrap import tariffs on 1,662 products including sweaters, dog toys and toaster ovens.

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    Europe Caught Between Xi and Trump After Term-Limit Move

    After the election of President Donald Trump, who was critical of Western alliances, many European leaders were open to President Xi Jinping’s pitch that China could be a new globalist leader. But Xi’s scrapping of term limits, which paves the way for him to rule indefinitely, has made EU leaders uncomfortable and unsure of which superpowers can still be trusted to support democracy and the rule of law. Meanwhile, Trump praised Xi’s power play in a private speech Saturday, joking, “Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”


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    China Plans to Hire Civilian Astronauts

    The world’s most populous country, on its way to becoming a dominant space power just 15 years after launching its first astronaut, is now looking beyond air force pilots for its military-backed space program. New Chinese astronauts could include private sector engineers, pilots and scientists, and the Manned Space Engineering Office is also encouraging more women to join. The decision comes after NASA announced its most competitive class of astronauts ever last summer. Meanwhile, China’s planning to up the number of yearly manned missions to two.

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    United Airlines Replaces Bonuses With Employee Lottery

    They’re united against this. The airline’s opted to replace quarterly bonuses with a “lottery” in which workers could potentially win cash or prizes, suggesting it would “build excitement and a sense of accomplishment.” The drawing, which would reward about 1.6 percent of employees, is only open to those who haven’t taken any sick days. Many workers are calling the scheme “divisive” and arguing that random drawings actually disincentivize hard work. The program’s part of a new customer service initiative started after a passenger was violently dragged off a flight last year.

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    Enormous Penguin Colonies Discovered

    Though the Danger Islands archipelago off the coast of Antarctica was known to be a habitat for Adélie penguins, new aerial and ground surveys indicate that the bird colonies are much bigger than previously believed. With more than 1.5 million penguins, including the third and fourth largest Adélie colonies in the world, the new count increases the regional penguin population by 70 percent. Now researchers will try to learn more about how the birds survive — and attempt to help them by fighting for more habitat protection of their rapidly disappearing continent.

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    Pakistan Elects First Female Hindu Senator

    In a milestone for the majority-Muslim country, Krishna Kumari Kolhi has become the first female Hindu senator in Pakistan’s history. Kolhi, 39, is a member of the Dalit caste, the lowest on the Hindu social ladder. She overcame working in fields as a child and forced marriage at 16 to earn a masters degree in sociology. After campaigning against forced conversions and child marriage, she’s promised to defend the rights of women and children during her six-year term as a representative of the Pakistan People’s Party.

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    Self-Promoters Are the Future of Boxing

    They’re delivering a one-two punch. Leveraging business acumen alongside athletic prowess, a new crop of boxers are becoming their own promoters and making big money in the process. Following a road map first laid out by legends like Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr., newer fighters like MMA superstar Conor McGregor and Texas-born rising star Errol Spence are managing their own brands. Though the double workload may be difficult for full-time fighters, it also allows them to chart a more stable financial course for the future.