The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Second Deadly Package Explosion Hits Texas Capital

    Police in Austin, TX, are warning local residents not to accept suspicious packages after a 17-year-old boy was killed and another person injured today in an explosion that appeared to be linked to a similar deadly attack earlier this month. Officials say both parcels — Monday’s, and a March 2 package that killed a 39-year-old man — were left on the victims’ doorsteps overnight, not delivered. While police haven’t established a motive, they say the fact that all the victims were African-Americans may indicate a hate crime.

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    British PM: Russia ‘Highly Likely’ Behind Chemical Attack

    This may have poisoned their relationship. Though the Kremlin hasn’t been formally linked to the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter on U.K. soil, British Prime Minister Theresa May said it’s “highly likely” Russia ordered the attack. Meanwhile, the National Security Council met to discuss potential retaliatory measures, reportedly including sanctions. Russia has denied it was behind the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal, while police are urging anyone who ate at the same Salisbury restaurant as Skripal the day he was poisoned to wash their clothes to avoid contamination.

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    White House Forms School Safety Board, Vows to Arm Teachers

    Under pressure to tackle the issue of school shootings, the Trump administration is launching a new commission on school safety headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, as well as reallocating Justice Department funds to provide weapons training for teachers. Though the White House announced support for strengthened background checks, missing from its proposal were guidelines to raise the age limit for buying certain weapons: The NRA filed a lawsuit to stop similar age-restricting legislation in Florida. DeVos’ commission is expected to offer recommendations within a year.

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    US Officials Defend North Korea Meeting as Kim Stays Silent

    Though it’s far from clear that a groundbreaking planned meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un can actually achieve denuclearization, CIA Director Mike Pompeo defended the plan yesterday, promising Trump “isn’t doing this for theater.” Kim hasn’t yet formally accepted the meeting. Meanwhile, Trump’s longstanding threat to abandon a nuclear deal with Iran could jeopardize negotiations by eroding trust in America’s ability to honor agreements, even as it puts pressure on the self-styled dealmaker president to win a more favorable agreement with North Korea.

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    Five Die in NYC Private Helicopter Accident

    Only the pilot survived when a chartered helicopter carrying six people plunged into New York City’s East River yesterday evening. The Eurocopter AS350 was in the middle of a private flight allowing its five passengers to take photos of the Manhattan skyline. A helicopter crash in 2011, also in the East River, killed three tourists, and nine died in 2009 when a copter collided with a small plane over the Hudson. The cause of last night’s accident is still unclear, but authorities say the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.


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    Fashion Icon Hubert de Givenchy Dies at 91

    The legendary French designer — known for outfitting icons like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy — died in his sleep Saturday, according to his partner. A well-mannered aristocrat who befriended many of his famous clients, the 6-foot-6 Givenchy, known as “Le Grand Hubert,” became a household name through his eponymous fashion house. It described him in a statement Monday as “a gentleman who symbolized Parisian chic and elegance.” After selling his label in 1988 for $45 million, Givenchy remained its chief creative designer before retiring in 1995.

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    France’s National Front Considers Name Change

    The notorious far-right party will vote on changing its name to National Rally as part of a rebrand that leader Marine Le Pen hopes will help voters see past its xenophobic and often Holocaust-denying reputation ahead of next year’s European Parliament elections. However, some have pointed out that the name sounds similar to National Popular Rally, a group that advocated collaborating with Nazi Germany during WWII. Meanwhile, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon spoke at the party convention and told members it’s a “badge of honor” to be called racist.

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    Bono’s ONE Charity Faces Misconduct Allegations

    The U2 frontman turned philanthropist has apologized, describing himself as “reeling and furious” after reports surfaced of bullying, abuse and sexual coercion at the Johannesburg office of his anti-poverty charity. Seven former employees are threatening legal action over allegations dating from 2011 to 2015. One said she was demoted after refusing sex with a Tanzanian politician, and others claim they were forced to do domestic work for their supervisor. The organization is promising to make internal reforms, and Bono said he wants to apologize to the alleged victims face to face.

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    How Rwanda’s Ancient Caves Are Delivering New Hope

    There’s no need to hide. While the Musanze caves once sheltered members of the victimized Tutsi community during Rwanda’s genocide in 1994, the 32 caverns have since become a tourist attraction. Foot traffic through the ancient caves, which stretch more than a mile across the foothills of Volcanoes National Park, is helping to boost the local economy through an influx of cash and job creation. But it’s also promoting a more positive image of Rwanda, turning terrifying recent memories into a source of hope.

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    ‘Black Panther’ Breaks $1 Billion Mark at Box Office

    In just its fourth weekend, the Marvel superhero epic is only the 33rd film ever to pull in more than ten figures in worldwide ticket sales — and the first with a predominantly Black cast to do so. This weekend’s opening of A Wrinkle in Time, helmed by Ava Duvernay, also marked the first time two films by Black directors have held the top two box office spots. With $562 million domestically, Black Panther is now the second-highest grossing superhero movie — and could still catch The Avengers.

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    Tiger Woods Claws His Way Back Toward the Top

    He’s come roaring back. The 42-year-old golf legend placed second at this weekend’s Valspar Championship in Florida, one of few major tournaments he’s competed in since undergoing back surgery last year. Still one of the world’s highest-paid athletes despite years out of the spotlight, Woods finished one stroke shy of the winner, British golfer Paul Casey, and had commentators tipping his return to the top. Next he’ll play the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he’s won eight times — the last in 2013.