The Presidential Daily Brief


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    The Trump Doctrine Flowers in Iran and Korea

    Can he top this? On Tuesday, President Donald Trump finalized what may be his signature foreign policy decision, exiting from the Iran nuclear deal, prompting outrage among allies while showing him standing up to America’s longtime antagonist. And even as he made that announcement, he teased his next big headline: Three U.S. citizens released from North Korean captivity, whom the president welcomed home Thursday. Now there’s a date set for Trump to meet — and perhaps disarm — Kim Jong Un, making the prospect of a Nobel Peace Prize more than a punchline.

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    As the Mideast Burns, a U.S. Ribbon-Cutting

    While the Trump administration prepares to convert its Jerusalem consulate into a temporary embassy, the Middle East’s ongoing turmoil is reaching a roiling boil. Israel and Iran are exchanging fire across Syria’s frontier, raising the specter of all-out war between the region’s bitterest enemies. In Gaza, Palestinians are hurling themselves toward Israel’s border fence and gunfire. And U.S. Ambassador David Friedman’s move from Tel Aviv has prompted a Palestinian official’s announcement of a special “Day of Rage” — as if to welcome presidential advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump before Monday’s ceremony.


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    New Thinking on Russia Isn’t Changing Much

    The analysts who’ve shaped U.S. policy toward Russia since the 1990s have varied world views. But whether they’ve been ideologues or realists, Democrats or Republicans, the outcome has perpetually strained relations between Washington and Moscow. A new crop of Russia hands, deeply critical of what they consider an antagonistic stance, fuel hope that U.S. policymakers will eventually take a more nuanced approach to their Cold War rival. But so far, in spite of President Trump’s affinity for Vladimir Putin, it appears the old paradigm’s chilly western wind isn’t letting up.

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    Not Waiting for Washington, Puerto Ricans Are Stepping Up

    They’re helping themselves. Long used to fleeing economic turmoil for better mainland opportunities, many citizens of the U.S. territory are staying to cope with the devastation wrought by hurricanes Irma and Maria. “If we wanted to see a response,” said a retiree who helped start a community kitchen, “it would have to come from us.” So volunteers are installing water filtration systems, delivering meals to homebound seniors and turning the disaster — compounded by the island’s federal bankruptcy filing last year — into an opportunity to pull Puerto Rico together.

  5. Iraqis’ Choice, Paris Attack and Volcanic Threat

    The Week Ahead: Polls have closed for Iraq’s parliamentary elections and results are expected by Monday, likely giving Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi enough seats to remain in power. Don’t forget: Sunday is Mother’s Day in the U.S. And on Friday, the Missouri legislature will consider impeaching sex scandal-tainted Gov. Eric Greitens, who’s being tried on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge.

    Know This: ISIS has claimed responsibility for one stabbing death and four injuries in Paris committed by a man whom police shot to death. Scientists warn that Hawaii’s Big Island may be in for a steam-induced volcanic eruption. President Trump announced plans to tackle prescription drug prices on Friday, but didn’t say he’d allow Medicare officials to negotiate for lower costs, pleasing pharmaceutical providers. And American F-22 fighters intercepted two Russian bombers near Alaska Friday, escorting them until they flew away.

    Get up to Speed: Was President Trump right to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement? The OZY PDB Special Briefing will tell you what you need to know about the president’s reasoning and his decision’s worldwide repercussions. With carefully curated facts, opinions, images and videos, this latest Special Briefing will catch you up and vault you ahead.


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    Did Hero Rescuer Leave a Comrade Behind?

    The Air Force says its Tech. Sgt. John Chapman spent his final hour on Afghanistan’s snowy Takur Ghar mountain fighting alone, and his bravery deserves recognition. But on May 24, President Trump is to present the Medal of Honor to then-Senior Chief Petty Officer Britt Slabinski, the Navy SEAL team leader who led Chapman on a rescue in 2002 — and admits he wasn’t certain Chapman had died when he and others flew to safety. Some fellow troops are outraged at the award, and believe Chapman more than earned his own medal.

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    India’s National ID Program Is Having an Identity Crisis

    It would prevent corruption and cut out middlemen with sticky fingers. But India’s Aadhaar, a 12-digit numeric identity system that’s linked to biometric data, is causing what many are calling heartache — even starvation. Intended to verify that government benefits are reaching the right people and not being siphoned off, the system has also kept the impoverished from getting any rations if a glitch or bureaucratic mistake renders their numbers or fingerprints invalid. Despite the backlash, the government dismisses these issues as growing pains and is determined to keep registering its citizens.

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    How Biotech Abused, Then Saved Horseshoe Crabs

    Limulus polyphemus has seen dinosaurs come and go, but it’s struggling to survive mankind. Biomedical science has come to rely on its blood for its unique ability to detect bacteria-secreted toxins, which can contaminate pharmaceutical production. Some 400,000 crabs are bled for the substance annually, and an eighth don’t survive. That motivated Singapore researcher Jeak Ling Ding to genetically engineer a way in 2003 to make the testing agent without the living fossils. Even then, she struggled to gain acceptance, as drugmakers and regulators only recently began to embrace the switch. 

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    The Man Who Turned Tragedy and His House Into Art

    Some say pain makes great art. Stephen Wright would know. His home in south London — called the House of Dreams — has become an art project exploring loss. Mosaics, writings and recycled objects (preferably with a trace of the owner’s DNA) fill his rooms and halls. Much of the art deals with his own loss — his parents and the love of his life died within 18 months. But since he’s made the project public, visitors have brought their own objects, making the house a collaborative shrine.

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    Even if Vegas Loses the Stanley Cup, It Wins

    A fresh arrival in a desert gambling town, an expansion ice hockey team was the ultimate long shot. Now, after vanquishing perennial powerhouse San Jose, the Las Vegas Golden Knights could win the Stanley Cup. As their nascent fan base cheers, some question the team’s unlikely fortune, suggesting the league’s new expansion draft rules are broken. And isn’t this a slapshot to the face of legacy teams starved for a championship? If they win, it’ll be legendary. And if they don’t, it’s been a ride that’ll leave devotees begging for more.