The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Miguel Díaz-Canel Confirmed as Cuba’s New Leader

    The 57-year-old was sworn in as president today after Raúl Castro, the famous revolutionary’s younger brother, stepped down. It’s the first time since 1959 that Cuba is being led by someone other than a Castro, and Díaz-Canel’s ascendancy marks a key generational shift the government hopes will showcase the lasting power of communism on the island nation. Still, while Díaz-Canel will likely continue rolling out gradual reforms, any major decisions will probably need approval from the Communist Party — of which Raúl Castro is still the leader.

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    FAA to Investigate Hundreds of Jet Engines After Accident

    They want more than a wing and a prayer. After a jet engine fan blade came loose on Southwest Flight 1380 Tuesday, killing a passenger and forcing an emergency landing, inspectors are puzzled about how it did so much damage. The FAA has ordered air-worthiness checks on 220 CFM56-7B engines and promised that within weeks it’ll order ultrasound checks on older fan blades. More regulations could be coming if the Boeing 737, long a stalwart of the airline industry, is deemed to have other vulnerabilities.

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    3.4 Million Lose Power in Puerto Rico

    Seven months after Hurricane Maria, 40,000 Puerto Ricans still haven’t gotten power back — and yesterday, the whole island suffered a blackout when a private contractor knocked out a transmission line with a crane. The same contractor was reportedly responsible for a tree falling on a power line last week, causing 870,000 to lose electricity. This outage could take more than a day to fully repair, according to authorities, and comes as Gov. Ricardo Rosselló advances a plan to privatize the island’s bankrupt power authority before 2018’s hurricane season bears down.

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    Trump Warns He May Walk Away From North Korea Talks

    President Donald Trump’s upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un still doesn’t have a confirmed site or date — and now Trump says that if the talks aren’t “fruitful,” he won’t hesitate to leave, before or during negotiations. Nonetheless, he was optimistic about securing the release of three Americans detained in North Korea. Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo, Trump’s nominee for secretary of state who took a secret trip to Pyongyang two weeks ago, may see his Senate confirmation rest on the approval of undecided Democratic lawmakers.

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    Erdogan Calls Early Elections in Turkey

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has run Turkey since 2002, overseeing a huge crackdown on dissent and expanding the power of the executive branch. Now he’s used that power to call a snap election to seek another five years. While Erdogan claims the vote is necessary to rid Turkey of “the diseases of the old system,” some see it as a way to get ahead of rivals like Meral Aksener, who has challenged him from the right with a new party. The election, originally planned for November 2019, will be held June 24.

  6. Babies in Congress, a Stalker and Nigerian Parliamentary Order

    Know This: The U.S. Senate has changed rules prohibiting babies on the floor during votes, after a push from new mom and Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth. A suspected stalker armed with a knife and rope has been arrested outside Taylor Swift’s house. And three Kansas men have been found guilty on terrorism charges after they plotted to bomb a mosque and refugee housing.

    Watch This: Cameras were rolling as intruders stormed into Nigeria’s Parliament and stole a symbolic mace, without which decisions can’t be approved. Police say it has since been recovered.

    Love OZY? OZY has been nominated for a Webby Award — and you could help us win! Today is the last day to cast your vote for the hit inspirational video series “Life, Interrupted” at


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    Bitcoin Heist Suspect May Have Fled on Icelandic PM’s Plane

    When a man suspected of stealing bitcoin-mining computers escaped a low-security prison in Iceland recently, he boarded a plane to Sweden. But Sindri Thor Stefansson — arrested in February for allegedly snatching $2 million worth of computers used to mine bitcoin — wasn’t the only famous person on board: Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who was heading to Stockholm for high-level meetings, was also believed to have been a passenger. She hasn’t commented on the matter, and police have issued an international search warrant for Stefansson.

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    California Officials Probe Tesla Over Injury Reports

    After a story by the Center for Investigative Reporting claimed Elon Musk’s electric car company failed to disclose serious injuries at its Fremont, California, factory — one of several such reports in recent months — Tesla called it “an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization.” Now, state authorities have launched an “open inspection,” though they haven’t released any details. Tesla’s already facing a production crunch and financial woes, challenges some critics say have spurred the carmaker to cut corners when it comes the safety of its 10,000 factory workers.

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    South Sudan’s Farmers Are Plowing Ahead

    Amid civil war, natural disasters and sectarian violence, the last thing those in the world’s youngest country need to worry about is famine. So South Sudanese farmers are turning to modernized agriculture techniques, aided by nonprofits and the Food and Agriculture Organization, which launched a $155 million program there in 2016. Though South Sudan still faces a food shortage, crop yields have increased, with farmers skillfully mixing crops and predicting adverse weather. While agriculture may not stop war, it could give those caught in it a chance to survive.

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    Kanye West Tweets Philosophy ‘Book’ in Real Time

    We’ll let him finish. After an 11-month Twitter hiatus, the musician is back with a vengeance, announcing that he’s writing a philosophical treatise via tweets. “No publisher or publicist will tell me what to put where or how many pages to write,” West tweeted. He previously said his book would be called Break the Simulation and would deal with art, spirituality and why society loves photographs. It’s unclear when, or if, the tweets will make it into hardback. “I will work on this ‘book’ when I feel it,” West said.

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    Canelo Alvarez Suspended 6 Months for Failed Drug Tests

    It was a one-two punch. The Nevada Athletic Commission called it after the Mexican boxer tested positive twice for a banned performance-enhancing substance. Alvarez says the results were from eating tainted meat in Mexico — and investigators reportedly supported that claim — but tests can’t distinguish between taking the steroid clenbuterol intentionally or accidentally through contaminated food. Alvarez will miss his May rematch with Kazakhstani Gennady Golovkin, who’s accused Alvarez of long-term doping, but the two will slug it out over Mexican Independence weekend in September.