The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Decries ‘Rigged’ Google Searches

    Shortly after President Donald Trump accused Google of altering its search results to stifle conservative voices, his administration announced it would explore ways to regulate the search engine. Although Google has denied allegations that it’s politically biased, the president’s allies can still find ways to hamper the company by investigating its market dominance or forcing it into public hearings. “They’re really treading on very, very troubled territory,” Trump said later, also targeting Facebook and Twitter. Tech firms and lawmakers from both parties expressed concerns that censoring the internet would violate the First Amendment.

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    Candidates Emerge From Florida, Arizona Primaries

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum could become the swing state’s first Black governor after winning yesterday’s Democratic primary in Florida. Despite being outspent, the Bernie Sanders-backed progressive beat establishment favorite Gwen Graham. Meanwhile, Republican voters tapped Rep. Ron DeSantis, a congressman endorsed by President Trump. “It’s the perfect matchup,” said one political consultant of their November showdown. Meanwhile, Rep. Martha McSally has won the GOP nomination to fill Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat, setting her up against Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in one of the country’s most competitive races.

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    UN Chief Calls for Justice in Myanmar Crisis

    A day after international investigators accused Myanmar’s military of committing war crimes against the country’s Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres demanded the government be held accountable. Citing a State Department investigation with similar findings, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called on her U.N. colleagues to push for prosecutions over the crisis, which has left tens of thousands dead and forced some 700,000 to flee. “The world can no longer avoid the difficult truth of what happened,” she said.

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    US, Canada Scramble to Rewrite NAFTA

    Can she seal the deal? Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Washington this week in a bid to negotiate her country’s new role in the landmark 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. After he struck a separate deal with his Mexican counterpart on Monday, President Trump told Canada — America’s second-largest trading partner — to decide by Friday whether it wants to stay in a revised version of the three-nation pact. “This is going to be a full-steam-ahead effort,” Freeland told reporters. Trump’s ultimatum was met with skepticism from Congress.

  5. Puerto Rico, Extreme Heat and ICE

    Know This: Officials in Puerto Rico have raised the death toll from last year’s Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975. Activists have called on Google to refrain from offering a censored version of its services in China. And extreme heat forced five competitors to bow out of their first-round matches during the second day of the U.S. Open.

    Remember This Number: More than 150 people were arrested by ICE agents at a north Texas manufacturing plant Tuesday in what officials said was one of the largest work site enforcement operations in the past decade.

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    Canada Considers Ban on Handguns, Assault Weapons

    Following a mandate from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal officials will study a potential ban on the two types of firearms, as well as other measures to reduce gun crime. Last month’s mass shooting in Toronto drew renewed focus on the issue of gun control, and city councils there and in Montreal have called for local bans. But critics say a federal law would amount to “political suicide” for Canada’s Liberal government ahead of next year’s election. “You don’t expect that stuff in a democracy,” one gun advocate said.

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    Artificial Intelligence Is Making Customer Service Smarter

    How can they help you? Relying on “emotionally intelligent” chatbots, a growing number of companies are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to make customer service more tolerable, putting prerecorded menus and other familiar frustrations in the past. These bots can understand natural written language to better identify a customer’s intent, won’t ask questions that have already been addressed, and can connect users with human representatives when necessary. Early adopters of the technology say customers are satisfied, suggesting the helping hand of artificial intelligence could be a game-changer.

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    Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hit Record High in US

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clocked a record high of almost 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017 — 200,000 more than the previous year. While chlamydia remains the most common infection, health officials are especially concerned about the disturbing increase in gonorrhea and syphilis, which have climbed by 67 and 76 percent respectively since 2013. Experts blame drastic federal budget cuts to funding for health centers and prevention efforts, while some advocates are even calling on President Trump to declare STDs a public health crisis.

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    Report: Woody Allen to Take Break From Film

    The 82-year-old filmmaker is said to be pausing his film-per-year pace for the first time in decades following what one report claims is difficulty finding funding amid the #MeToo movement. His adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, accused Allen of sexually abusing her as a child, though he was never charged. Allen’s spokesman denied speculation that he’s taking a break, and the famously prolific director’s 48th feature, A Rainy Day in New York, will be released this year by Amazon — which owes him three more films.

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    NY Knicks Fan Sells Team Loyalty on eBay

    Citing an emotional roller coaster over the NBA team’s performance, lifelong fan Evan Perlmutter has auctioned off his fandom for $3,500 — and become a Los Angeles Lakers devotee at the request of the winning bidder. “I have reached my absolute breaking point,” Perlmutter wrote in the 2,178-word item description. Per his sale terms, the 33-year-old will bet $500 on his new team’s record, attend two Lakers games and burn three pieces of New York memorabilia. A Knicks spokesman dismissed Perlmutter as an “attention-grabbing gentleman.”