The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. cosby shutterstock 216030190

    Jury Rules Bill Cosby Guilty in Retrial

    The first jury to try the comedian, 80, ended with a mistrial last year — but now a Pennsylvania jury has found him guilty of drugging and raping Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. More than 50 women have accused Cosby of similar misconduct over the course of several decades, and several other accusers were called to the stand to testify about their own experiences with Cosby. He could ostensibly spend the rest of his life behind bars: The maximum sentence for his crimes is 30 years in prison.

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    Kim Jong Un Becomes First North Korean Leader to Visit South

    That’s one small step for diplomacy. This morning Kim visited the demilitarized zone village of Panmunjom to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The two shook hands over a barricade marking the border, which has divided the peninsula since the Korean War armistice in 1953, before Kim crossed over, accompanying Moon to the Peace House for the historic summit. The leaders are expected to discuss Pyongyang’s denuclearization — and a formal end to the Korean War — ahead of Kim’s planned meeting with President Donald Trump.

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    Ronny Jackson Withdraws as Veterans Affairs Nominee

    He’s unfit for service. Amid allegations of professional misconduct — including claims of drunk driving and recklessly prescribing drugs — White House physician Ronny Jackson has bowed out from the running to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Still, Jackson denied the charges against him in a statement, calling them “completely false and fabricated.” Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Jackson, a Navy rear admiral who gained notoriety earlier this year for praising President Donald Trump’s health, had passed several background checks.

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    DNA Evidence Leads to Arrest of ‘Golden State Killer’ Suspect

    Sacramento’s sheriff said a combination of “emerging technology and dogged determination” helped police identify 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, a former cop they believe committed a string of murders, rapes and burglaries during the 1970s and ’80s that were attributed to the Golden State Killer. DeAngelo, charged with eight counts of murder thanks to DNA evidence, was fired from the Auburn Police Department for shoplifting in 1979 — several years into his alleged decade-long spree that’s believed to have included 12 killings and 50 rapes.

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    Michael Cohen to Plead Fifth Amendment in Stormy Daniels Case

    President Trump’s personal attorney told a federal judge he would exercise his right to avoid self-incrimination in a civil suit brought against Trump by the adult film star. Cohen said his silence was related to the ongoing criminal investigation into his affairs by the FBI and federal prosecutors, who seized electronic devices and personal documents related to the case in a raid earlier this month. Pleading the Fifth in the civil case lets Cohen avoid revealing information that could be incriminating in the criminal case.

  6. Facebook

    Facebook Posts Profit Despite User Data Scandal

    In its first earnings report since the Cambridge Analytica scandal sparked concerns over the social media giant’s handling of personal data, Facebook announced yesterday its revenues have risen 49 percent year-on-year to $12 billion, far exceeding analysts’ expectations. Net income soared by nearly $2 billion, and the site’s attracted 70 million new users in 2018. The figures suggest the company is poised to weather the ongoing privacy controversy — although they may not reflect the full picture, since most of the fallout occurred after the first quarter ended.

  7. Mike Pompeo, German Solidarity and the Influence of ISIS

    Know This: Mike Pompeo has officially been confirmed by the Senate as the next Secretary of State. The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority signaled yesterday it may support President Trump’s controversial ban against travelers from predominantly Muslim countries. Thousands of Germans across the country, many wearing kippas, participated in a march against anti-Semitism yesterday. And the Dalai Lama has said Tibet can remain part of China so long as Beijing protects the region’s culture and respects its autonomy.

    Read This: While the suspect in Toronto’s deadly vehicle massacre bore no links to ISIS, the attack shows how the terrorist group’s methods are finding appeal outside Islamist circles.

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    Ireland Is Home to Europe’s Happiest People

    Is it the luck of the Irish? In a new Eurobarometer survey measuring “fairness, inequality and inter-generational mobility,” 97 percent of respondents in Ireland say they’re contented. That figure exceeds the EU average by 14 percent — and far outshines Romania’s 59 percent, the Continent’s lowest. What’s more, 92 percent of Irish respondents believe they’re healthy, earning another top spot, compared to just 14 percent of Latvians. While the survey found most Europeans believe they receive equal opportunities, 84 percent say income disparity is still a major problem.

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    Tech Companies Trade Gun Emojis For Toys

    They’re straight shooters. As gun violence continues to plague the U.S., leading tech platforms are phasing out handgun emojis and replacing them with toy pistols. Following an example set by Apple in 2016, WhatsApp, Samsung and Twitter made the switch more recently, and yesterday, so did Google — while Microsoft said it’s adopting a squirt gun emoji, too. Facebook is expected to follow suit, though it hasn’t released any details. Still, none of the companies have explicitly linked their decisions to the issue of gun violence.

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    Thousands of Islands Will Be Uninhabitable Within Decades

    New research predicts low-lying islands, especially coral-ringed atoll chains, will suffer from flooding, a lack of fresh water and infrastructure damage caused by rising sea levels due to climate change. Most of the territories currently at risk — including the Marshall Islands, home to hundreds of thousands of people — are located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Taking into account the effects of wave-driven overwash, the study predicts drinkable groundwater will be unavailable on most atoll islands by the middle of this century.

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    FBI to Investigate Potential Hack of MSNBC Anchor

    Progressive host Joy Reid is under fire for homophobic posts on her now-defunct blog. Reid claims she was hacked and that the posts, which are critical of gay marriage and homosexuality in general, were nefariously added. Her lawyer says the FBI is investigating the matter, while a cybersecurity expert says her login information was available on the Dark Web. Meanwhile, Reid — who has previously apologized for the tone and content of old posts that she acknowledged were real — will continue to host her popular show, AM Joy.

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    Alabama Is a Sweet Home for Safeties

    They’re watching their backs. The University of Alabama has become a pipeline pumping safeties into the NFL: No college program has sent more of the defensive backs to the pros. Head coach Nick Saban’s firsthand tutelage has been key, as players get detailed instructions from the guru — and former safety — including professional-level strategy. “Their defense is an NFL defense,” says ESPN’s Matt Bowen. But with a slew of defensive backs ready for the NFL draft, the Crimson Tide is now looking to reload the position.