The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Toronto Van Driver Charged With Murder

    Ten people were killed and 15 injured after a van veered onto a sidewalk in northern Toronto Monday afternoon. “The actions definitely looked deliberate,” said the city’s police chief. The suspected driver, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, was arrested at the scene without shots being fired and was charged today with 10 counts of first-degree murder. His motives are unknown, but authorities believe there is no threat to national security. Canada’s largest city is currently hosting a meeting of G7 foreign ministers and the summit is continuing today as scheduled.

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    Mike Pompeo Narrowly Wins Key Committee Endorsement

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hadn’t rejected a proposed secretary of state since it began considering them in the late 19th century — but it came close with President Donald Trump’s nomination of his current CIA director for the post. Republican Sen. Rand Paul was expected to withhold his approval — but relented once Pompeo confirmed that he thought the Iraq War was a mistake and that the U.S. should leave Afghanistan. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to rally the full chamber to vote by the end of the week.

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    Armenian PM Resigns Amid Mass Protests

    You’ve got to know when to say goodbye. After 10 years as president, Serzh Sargsyan was named Armenia’s prime minister last week, sparking tens of thousands of people to flood the streets in protest. Though hundreds were arrested, including opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, Sargsyan’s now opted to bow out — a development that threatens Russian influence in the region. Meanwhile, the U.N.’s hoping to lessen Moscow’s power over its response to Syrian chemical weapon attacks, and may refer the issue to its General Assembly in order to bypass Russia’s Security Council veto.

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    Google Parent Company Sees Profits Surge

    They’re feeling lucky … for the moment. Alphabet’s quarterly profits grew 73 percent year on year, from $5.4 billion in 2017 to $9.4 billion this year. That includes a one-off tax benefit, but also a booming ad business — which led the company to engage in a spending bonanza, more than doubling its first quarter expenditures from last year. Meanwhile, new EU data protection rules are set to go into effect next month. Violations could land Alphabet massive fines and bad will as U.S. lawmakers also consider new regulations.

  5. George H.W. Bush, Apologies and a Murder Investigation

    Know This: Former President George H.W. Bush is reportedly in intensive care after his wife’s funeral. A karaoke bar fire in China has killed 18 people. And a Pennsylvania golf club has apologized to a group of Black female members after its co-owner and his father called the police on them, claiming they were playing too slowly.

    Read This: The Toronto Star has a riveting account of a botched investigation involving three murders in one family … and why the police missed the signs.

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    French Hemp Farmers Eye New Pot of Gold

    Puff, puff … pass? France has high rates of marijuana consumption and a huge hemp industry — but harsh penalties for using the drug and laws against growing plants with psychoactive levels of THC. Faced with economic depression, though, some politicians and activists are hoping to change the legal landscape, arguing that medical marijuana would not only benefit patients, but hemp farmers who could put France at the forefront of the industry. Though legalization is an uphill battle, proponents are pushing for experimental pilot programs to explore the possibilities.

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    Ferrari Is Developing a Hybrid Sports Car

    It’s changing lanes. Once extremely critical of electric cars, CEO Sergio Marchionne announced the company has been putting a silent, gasoline-electric hybrid model through its paces at a test track in northern Italy. Ferrari doesn’t plan to offer an all-electric vehicle until 2022, but hybrid technology will debut in its cars next year. That’ll help the company meet CO2 targets and keep pace with the competition: Several other high-end carmakers are taking the same route, with Porsche and Aston Martin set to release electric cars next year.

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    Veteran Receives World’s First Full Penis and Scrotum Transplant

    The late March operation, which took 11 Johns Hopkins surgeons 14 hours, was the fourth successful penis transplant in history — but the first to use so much tissue from a deceased donor. The testicles were not transplanted because they would have produced sperm with the donor’s DNA, leading to “too many unanswered ethical questions,” according to a doctor. The patient, an American soldier wounded in Afghanistan, is recovering well. Doctors expect him to be released in a week and he could regain sensation in the area within months.

  4. Stephen Curry

    Stephen Curry Moving to Media With Sony Deal

    He’s upping his coverage. The Golden State point guard is moving beyond sports with a multiyear development deal between Sony and his new production company, Unanimous Media, named after his unanimous MVP selection in 2016. Curry also boasts the most lucrative contract in NBA history, earning $201 million over five years. For his future projects, which could include film, TV, gaming and virtual reality, the superstar says he’ll focus on “inspiring content” — leading some to speculate that his company will focus on faith-based or family programming.

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    Professional Chef Dies Running London Marathon

    Matt Campbell, a onetime Masterchef semifinalist, collapsed 22.5 miles into Sunday’s race and later died in the hospital. The 29-year-old was running in honor of his father, who died in 2016, and supporting Brathay Trust, a charity his father had worked with. Campbell is remembered as “a lovely, kind-hearted and down-to-earth man,” as well as a “hugely creative and innovative” chef. This year’s London Marathon, which saw 40,000 runners compete, was the hottest on record at 75.3 degrees Fahrenheit.