The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Nicolas Maduro Wins Re-election in Venezuela

    Maduro himself hailed the election day that’s given him a second six-year presidential term as a “big democratic fiesta,” but the election was heavily criticized by observers and his Venezuelan opposition. Turnout was about 46 percent. Both the U.S. and Chile have already said they won’t recognize the results, and the EU, among others, has suggested sanctions be imposed. Main opposition candidate Henri Falcón — one of the few who didn’t boycott — said his team documented 900 cases of voting irregularities at polling places.

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    Giuliani: Mueller Obstruction Probe Could End by September

    Is the end nigh? Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that the inquiry into whether President Donald Trump obstructed the Russia probe could be closed by September, citing communication with special counsel Robert Mueller last month. The cutoff could minimize the impact on midterm elections. But that date was contingent on Trump sitting for an interview, something he’s expected to refuse unless he’s given access to details about an FBI informant who was in contact with the Trump campaign. The obstruction inquiry is just one element of Mueller’s broader Russian collusion investigation.

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    Despite School Shooting, Texas Has Little Appetite for Gun Control

    Though a Florida school shooting in February led to a student protest movement that continues to demand safer schools and restrictions on firearms, the Friday rampage that left 10 dead at rural Santa Fe High School has seen students and officials use the case as an argument against gun control. Just a month earlier many of the school’s students participated in a national walkout protesting school violence. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has called on schools to reduce the number of entrances and said more teachers should be armed.

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    US Officials Issue Conflicting Statements on China Negotiations

    After days of talks, it’s still unclear what concessions the countries will win from each other. Yesterday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the trade war is “on hold” and tariffs on Beijing won’t be collected while the two sides negotiate. But America’s top trade official, Robert Lighthizer, issued a statement emphasizing the importance of tariffs. Mnuchin is set to give President Trump a progress report today on potential new U.S.-China trade rules. Meanwhile, editorials in Chinese state media expressed relief that tensions with the U.S. appear to have lessened.

  5. Spanish Speakers, the Italian Open and Royal Conversations

    Know This: A border patrol agent in Montana detained two U.S. citizens after hearing them speak Spanish at a gas station. Rafael Nadal has won the Italian Open for the eighth time. And the U.K. is preparing to issue new laws governing social media companies. 

    Watch This: A lip-reader offers her opinions of what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said to each other during their wedding Saturday. 

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    China Launches Satellite for Lunar Mission

    They’re heading for the dark side of the moon. Today China launched a communication satellite called Queqiao, or “bridge of magpies,” to support its mission to become the first nation to land a rover on the moon’s far side. It’s also carrying a radio antenna — a joint project between Chinese and Dutch scientists — designed to pick up frequencies from the early universe while stationed 37,000 miles behind the moon, away from Earth’s noisy surroundings. China’s growing space program aims to launch its moon rover, Chang’e-4, later this year.

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    Electric Scooter Craze Creates New Gig Economy Jobs

    As scooter-sharing startup Bird spreads to more American cities, it relies on an ever-increasing army of “bird hunters” who roam urban areas at night to collect the devices for charging at their homes. Registration is easy for the contract workforce, mostly made up of high schoolers and young professionals, and the pay can be hundreds of dollars a night. And while competition can be fierce, with reports of rage incidents and hunters stealing personal information to lock others’ accounts, many say the job feels like a game.

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    French Researchers Confirm Adolf Hitler’s Death 7 Decades Later

    “We can stop all the conspiracy theories.” French anthropologists say they’ve definitively concluded the Nazi dictator died in his Berlin bunker from ingesting cyanide and shooting himself in the head. “He did not flee to Argentina in a submarine, he is not in a hidden base in Antarctica or on the dark side of the moon,” said professor Philippe Charlier. Researchers were allowed into the Russian archives that house Hitler’s remains, where they examined a skull fragment and teeth to determine that he died as reported in 1945.

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    Cannes Film Festival Ends With Awards, Warnings

    Fin. The 71st Cannes International Film Festival ended Saturday evening with Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda winning the Palme d’Or for his family drama Shoplifters. Spike Lee won the Grand Prix for his satire BlacKkKlansman, which he said he hopes can spread “truth, goodness, love and not hate.” Meanwhile, Italian actress Asia Argento told the audience she was once raped by Harvey Weinstein at the festival. She warned that some in the crowd still haven’t been held accountable for their misconduct toward women, adding, “We know who you are.”

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    Why Tiny Cape Verde Is a Giant of Soccer

    This small country brings a big game. Despite its size — comparable to Rhode Island, with a population 100 times smaller than South Africa — Cape Verde outshines its African neighbors when it comes to soccer. It’s the only country of less than 1 million that’s consistently broken into FIFA’s top 80 since 2010. Experts say that’s partly due to training programs and stadiums funded by China and FIFA, and partly a Cape Verdean diaspora that funnels talented players back home. The next step: Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.