The Presidential Daily Brief


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    US Economy Surges 4.1% in Second Quarter

    Analysts credit consumer spending, exports and business investment for boosting gross domestic product by nearly double the first quarter rate of 2.2 percent, marking the strongest growth since late 2014. Widely expected by economists, the impressive reading means the Federal Reserve will likely continue hiking short-term interest rates — though experts also warn the fast-track growth could be short-lived. “Personal consumption would need to keep up with this impressive pace to see a solid second half,” one analyst said.

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    Trump Denies Knowing About Russia Campaign Meeting

    According to his former personal lawyer, President Donald Trump knew in advance about the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his campaign and Russian operators. Cohen says Trump — who denied the claim — gave his blessing for Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and campaign chair Paul Manafort to meet with a small group of Russians about material damaging to Hillary Clinton. That meeting has become a focal point in the special investigation led by Robert Mueller. Meanwhile, Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Cohen has “been lying for years.”

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    Hundreds of Migrant Children Still Not Reunited With Parents

    The court-ordered deadline to reunite migrant families separated at the border came and went yesterday, and an estimated 757 children, including 46 under the age of 5, have not been returned to their parents. U.S. authorities said they’d fulfilled their obligations by reuniting all “eligible” families, claiming the other parents failed background checks or waived their right to reunification. But lawyers for some of the 120 parents who allegedly relinquished their rights say they did no such thing. Meanwhile, an estimated 431 parents were deported without their children.

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    North Korea Delivers War Remains of US Soldiers

    On the 65th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, Pyongyang returned remains it says belong to 55 Americans killed during the conflict — fulfilling part of the agreement from the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The remains will receive a formal military ceremony at the U.S. Osan Air Base in South Korea before being flown to Hawaii for DNA testing: In the past North Korea has been accused of handing over non-American bones. The Pentagon estimates that nearly 7,700 Korean War troops remain missing.

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    Facebook Takes Record Plunge, Amazon Reports Record Profit

    While Facebook’s revenue grew 40 percent year-on-year last quarter, investors turned tail after the company’s forecast of slower growth in the face of increased regulation and content monitoring over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Shares in the social media giant were down 19 percent as trading closed yesterday, wiping away more than $120 billion in market value — the U.S. stock market’s biggest ever one-day plunge — and $15 billion from founder Mark Zuckerberg’s personal fortune. Meanwhile, Amazon’s quarterly profit topped $2 billion for the first time.

  6. Wildfires, a Fighter Pilot and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: A government official in Greece says there are indications of arson in at least one of the massive wildfires that have devastated the country. Far-right Australian politician Pauline Hanson will be replaced by a cardboard cutout of herself while she is on vacation, as her One Nation party contests a by-election over the weekend. Mary Ellis, one of the last surviving female WWII pilots, has died at the age of 101. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, where tourists often come seeking the former Yugoslavia.

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

    Watch This: Tune in tonight to PBS for Breaking Big, OZY’s latest TV show exploring the secret sauce behind successful people. Host Carlos Watson sits down with Michael Strahan to find out how he broke through, and broke big.


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    Teen Burglar Asks Homeowners for Wi-Fi Password

    Police haven’t identified the 17-year-old who reportedly broke into a house in Palo Alto, California, and woke the residents to ask for their Wi-Fi password because he was out of data. The couple chased away the masked teen, who was arrested for prowling and burglary after two kitchen knives were discovered missing from the house. Police say hours earlier the same person was found lurking outside another nearby home, where he also demanded the Wi-Fi password and stole a bike, which has since been recovered.

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    Amazon Facial Recognition Misidentifies Politicians as Arrestees

    Time to face the facts. While Amazon’s been marketing its Rekognition software as an extremely accurate identification tool, a test run by the American Civil Liberties Union saw it mistakenly match 28 members of Congress to its database of mug shots. People from both parties and of both genders were misidentified, though the ACLU noted that Rekognition had more trouble identifying people of color. Amazon criticized the exercise, saying the ACLU should have used more stringent settings than the software’s default. Multiple police departments are already using Rekognition to identify suspects.

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    Education Secretary’s Yacht Set Adrift in Ohio

    An unidentified person untied and set adrift one of the 10 yachts belonging to the family of Betsy DeVos, according to police in Huron, Ohio, where the boat was docked. The yacht, worth an estimated $40 million, sustained as much as $10,000 in damage and authorities are seeking security footage to help them identify the perpetrators. Meanwhile, DeVos’ department proposed an overhaul of student loan forgiveness rules that would cut about $13 billion in Obama administration funding that was used to help students who’d been defrauded by for-profit colleges.

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    Papa John’s Founder Sues Company for Records

    John Schnatter recently stepped down as the pizza company’s chairman after he admitted to using a racial slur during a media training exercise — but he’s now calling his resignation a mistake and denies using the N-word “as a racial epithet.” Schnatter stepped down as CEO in December after blaming slow sales on NFL national anthem protests. He’s now suing for access to company records, calling his treatment “unexplained and heavy-handed,” and his lawyer’s called on Papa John’s to create a special committee to review incidents surrounding Schnatter’s resignation.

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    Conor McGregor Cops a Plea to Avoid Prison

    The Irish MMA star agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, thereby avoiding jail time and a criminal record for his April attack on a bus carrying UFC staff and fighters in New York City. The former lightweight and featherweight champion was caught on camera throwing a dolly through the bus window — injuring fighters Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg, but reportedly targeting current UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. McGregor, 30, must complete five days of community service and attend anger management classes.