The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump, Kim Set for Historic Summit in Singapore

    It’s a date. After weeks of teasing the prospect, President Donald Trump announced yesterday that his meeting with Kim Jong Un will take place June 12. “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” Trump tweeted. After months of inflammatory boasts and threats between the two leaders, the talks are expected to hinge on Kim giving up his nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, analysts praised the choice of Singapore for the summit, noting its experienced security forces, restrictions on protests and warm ties with both countries.

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    US Hits Iran With New Sanctions

    The Treasury Department injunctions, in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, name six Iranians and three companies accused of funneling millions of dollars to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force to support its “malign activity.” The special forces unit is thought to be responsible for many of Iran’s foreign operations, and has been accused of bombarding Israeli military positions from Syria this week. The sanctions, which come days after President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, give companies up to six months to sever business ties with Tehran.

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    Seven Dead in Rural Australia Shooting

    Police in Western Australia say four children are among the victims discovered in the town of Osmington, near the tourist destination of Margaret River. Reports suggest it may have been a murder-suicide. Authorities confirmed they found two firearms at the scene and the victims had gunshot wounds, making this the worst mass shooting Australia has seen since 1996. The victims were described as popular in the community, socially active and interested in sustainable farming, and the state police commissioner said the tragedy would have a “lasting impact” on the area.

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    Facebook Stocks Recover After Data Privacy Scandal

    They’re back. Weeks after the company lost some $134 billion in value on news that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed up to 87 million user profiles, Facebook shares have bounced back: Yesterday they reached their highest level since closing at $185.09 the day before the scandal hit. The social network’s impressive first-quarter earnings report and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent appearance on Capitol Hill seem to have boosted investor confidence in the stock — even though the company still faces potential federal fines and increased regulation.

  5. Hostile Acts, Terrible Comments and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an immediate end to “hostile acts” in the Middle East after Israel and Iran exchanged bombardments in Syria this week. White House aide Kelly Sadler reportedly mocked Sen. John McCain’s brain cancer during a staff meeting yesterday. And Elon Musk says he’s planning to launch the same rocket into orbit twice in a single day by next year.

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.

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    Man Charged in Scam to Redirect UPS HQ Mail to His Home

    He’s got mail. Chicago resident Dushaun Henderson-Spruce has been charged with theft and mail fraud after receiving thousands of pieces of correspondence meant for executives and other employees of the global shipping giant. Federal prosecutors claim the 24-year-old former UPS employee used a change-of-address form to redirect mail destined for the company’s Atlanta headquarters — including $58,000 in checks he allegedly cashed — to his modest, one-bedroom apartment. He’s currently in custody awaiting a detention hearing next week.

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    Buying Frenzy Grips Chinese City on North Korea Border

    Wait till they meet the neighbors. The Chinese city of Dandong, overlooking North Korea across the Yalu River, saw home sales spike to an eight-year high in March — a trend that’s shown no signs of abating amid the diplomatic flurry that could help pry open the Hermit Kingdom. “Two Koreas shake hands, and Dandong rises!” one real estate agency proclaimed. That’s because economic improvement in North Korea would significantly benefit the city of 2.4 million, which is already a major trading post between the two countries.

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    Record Warm Waters Supercharged Hurricane Harvey

    Before the Category 4 storm brought flooding and devastation to Houston last August, the Gulf of Mexico’s waters were warmer than ever before, according to a new analysis, boosting the hurricane’s fury over the ocean basin and fueling its rains over land. “Harvey could not have produced so much rain without human-induced climate change,” wrote a scientist from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which conducted the study, in the journal Earth’s Future. He predicted more such storms as global warming continues.

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    Spotify Ousts R. Kelly From Playlists Over Misconduct Claims

    He’s out of tune. The streaming service will no longer promote the R&B singer in its curated and algorithmic playlists as part of a new policy cracking down on “harmful or hateful” conduct. Kelly has been accused by multiple women of sexual abuse, coercion and running a “sex cult,” sparking a #MuteRKelly campaign in recent weeks. While Spotify isn’t removing Kelly’s music from the service, it said, “We want our editorial decisions … to reflect our values.” Rapper XXXTentacion, facing multiple domestic violence charges, has also been removed from playlists.

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    Skechers Sues Adidas Over Student Athlete Payments

    The two companies will face off in federal court over allegations that Adidas gained an unfair advantage in the market because it secretly funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to high school and college athletes. Two Adidas employees were arrested last year following an FBI investigation into bribery in college basketball. The government claims they paid high school students to sign with Adidas-sponsored colleges and promise they would enter endorsement deals if they went pro. Adidas called Skechers’ lawsuit “frivolous and nonsensical.”