The Presidential Daily Brief


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    James Comey Bashes Trump in First TV Interview

    He meant what he said. Days before the release of his new memoir, the former FBI director called President Donald Trump a serial liar during a wide-ranging interview with ABC News yesterday, describing him as “morally unfit” to hold office. Comey, who was fired by Trump last May, told anchor George Stephanopoulos, “This president does not reflect the values of this country.” Excerpts of his new book have already riled the president, who tweeted, “Slippery James Comey … will go down as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”

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    Boston Marathon Winners Break Decade-Long National Losing Streaks

    A field of 30,000 runners competed in the race, despite wet, cold conditions — but Desiree Linden, with an unofficial time of 2:39:54, took the women’s title, the first American woman since 1985 to win. Linden lost by two seconds in 2011, when she stopped to help a fellow runner get back into the race. Meanwhile, Yuki Kawauchi won the men’s competition, the first Japanese person to do so since 1987. Yesterday, Boston laid a commemorative wreath to mark five years since the Marathon was interrupted by deadly bombings.

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    Putin Warns ‘Chaos’ Could Follow Western Strikes on Syria

    In a telephone call yesterday with his Iranian counterpart, Russian President Vladimir Putin said continued “illegitimate” Western airstrikes against the Syrian government could lead to “chaos in international relations.” Both countries are key supporters of Bashar Assad’s regime, and Russia even introduced a U.N. resolution condemning the coalition attack. Meanwhile, American U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced that Washington is preparing fresh sanctions against Moscow over its support for Assad, who appeared confident on Syrian state television Saturday just hours after the joint U.S., British and French strikes.

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    Chinese Social Network Ends Ban on LGBT Content

    China’s gay community scored a public victory today after Sina Weibo, the local equivalent of Twitter, backed away from its decision last week to prohibit posts “related to homosexuality.” The social network’s ban, which it said was to ensure “a sunny and harmonious community environment,” sparked an explosion of hashtags in support of LGBT rights. Some users also posted photos of themselves with their partners or gay relatives. Homosexuality in China — also home to a notoriously restrictive internet — was decriminalized in 1997, but conservative attitudes are still prevalent.

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    Starbucks Under Fire After Arrests of ‘Trespassing’ Black Men

    “Too Little Too Latte.” That’s the message demonstrators delivered in front of a Philadelphia Starbucks yesterday in response to the recent arrests of two Black men for allegedly refusing to leave. A video of the Thursday incident showed the two being escorted out of the establishment in handcuffs while other patrons questioned the arresting officers. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson later apologized to the men — who employees had turned away from using the restroom because they hadn’t made any purchases — and called the arrests a “reprehensible outcome.”

  6. Awkward Comments, A Suspicious Death and Syrian Civilians

    Know This: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has apologized for suggesting the ongoing strikes by local teachers have left children open to sexual abuse. A Russian journalist who investigated the deaths of Russian mercenaries in Syria has died after falling from his balcony. And doctors in Australia are battling an epidemic of mysterious flesh-eating ulcers.

    Consider This: While the U.S. government has touted the efficacy of Western airstrikes against Syria, civilians on the ground believe their limited scope has done little to deter the regime from continuing its attacks against them.

    OZY Live: Editor-in-Chief Carlos Watson will be interviewing former President George W. Bush tonight at the ASU + GSV Summit in San Diego. Check in tomorrow for OZY’s Q&A!


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    Former First Lady Barbara Bush in ‘Failing Health’

    A spokesman for the wife of President George Bush and mother of President George W. Bush has announced that her health is in decline, and that after several hospitalizations she won’t be seeking additional treatment. The statement, which described the 92-year-old as “a rock” for her family, did not specify which health issues she’s battling. Still, messages of support from a range of public figures streamed in through social media. The Bushes have been married since 1945, longer than any other first couple in U.S. history.

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    Demonstrators Around the World Join March for Science

    Supporters of the scientific community took to the streets of more than 230 cities across the globe Saturday in the second annual event, established last year in response to the Trump administration’s stance on climate change and its budget cuts to scientific research. The nonpartisan march reportedly wasn’t as well-attended this year, but demonstrators nonetheless turned out with enthusiasm, carrying posters with messages like “Make America Scientific Again” and “Science Not Silence.” A Harvard professor who attended the Washington, D.C., rally explained, “Good science depends on good democracy.”

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    Will Dragon Fruit Become the New Superfood?

    Revenge is sweet. While tasters in the 1990s scoffed at flamboyant dragon fruit as bland and unpleasant, decades of selective breeding have changed that, creating a purple delicacy — also known as pitaya — that’s sweet enough to appreciate. Farmers are producing the easy-to-grow fruit in Nicaragua and Vietnam in larger quantities, and they’re hoping it’ll tap into the trendy superfruit market and become the next mango or avocado. While consumers may be turned off by its unfamiliar look, pitaya’s health benefits are hard to ignore.

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    ‘Full Metal Jacket’ Actor R. Lee Ermey Dies at 74

    At ease, soldier. The beloved character actor was perhaps best known for his Golden Globe-nominated performance as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 film — for which he drew on his own experience as a Marine Corps drill instructor. The Kansas native went on to play many archetypal hard-nosed officers, scoring roles in 55 movies including modern classics such as Mississippi Burning and the Toy Story films. Ermey also appeared in video games and hosted cable TV shows about weapons and the military.

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    Manchester City Wins English Premiere League

    The team clinched the title — its third in seven years — with rival Manchester United’s shocking 1-0 loss to last-place West Bromwich Albion yesterday. That’s in spite of United bouncing back from two goals down last week to keep the tournament going. In the end, Man City wasn’t kept waiting long. “You’re welcome,” West Brom tweeted. Man City clinched the win with five games to spare, tying a Premier League record, and is on course to become the fourth club to score 100 points in a season.