The Presidential Daily Brief

important

  1. white house 02

    Trump Invites Congressional Leaders to White House

    “Let’s make a deal?” So tweeted President Donald Trump yesterday — the 11th day of the partial government shutdown — inviting the eight key Republicans and Democrats to meet today to talk about border security. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, expected to serve as speaker when Democrats take over the House Thursday, said Trump has “given Democrats a great opportunity to show how we will govern responsibly.” It’s still unclear whether the meeting will happen — and if it does, whether it’ll break the impasse, since both sides are reluctant to compromise.

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    Xi Jinping Pushes ‘Reunification’ With Taiwan

    In a speech commemorating the end of a military campaign against Taiwan 40 years ago, the Chinese president said the self-ruled island “must and will be” reunited with China. While pushing for a “peaceful reunification,” Xi said his government reserves the right to use “all necessary measures” to bring Taiwan back into its fold — a top priority for Beijing, but a move Taiwanese independence supporters have long feared. The island state has found itself increasingly isolated in the global community as allies drop direct diplomatic relations under Chinese pressure.

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    US Agents Fire Tear Gas Over Mexican Border

    Customs and Border Protection authorities said they used the nonlethal measure early Tuesday against “rock throwers” among a group of 150 migrants attempting to illegally cross into the United States. The incident occurred near the same border fence between San Diego and Tijuana where authorities drew widespread criticism in November for taking similar action. This time, officers used tear gas “only after there were rocks and there were kids involved,” a spokesman said, referring to children being dangerously hoisted over the concertina wire. Officials say 25 migrants were detained.

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    Mystery Deepens Over US ‘Spy’ Arrested in Russia

    The brother of Paul Whelan, who was arrested Friday in Moscow on espionage charges, said yesterday that the 48-year-old former Marine disappeared while traveling to attend a wedding. “His innocence is undoubted,” David Whelan tweeted. Russia’s Federal Security Service has provided no details beyond saying Whelan was detained “during an espionage operation.” The U.S. State Department has reportedly asked for access to Whelan, the director of global security for a Michigan-based auto parts firm. If convicted of spying, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

  5. Mitt Romney, Emperor Akihito and Cholera

    Know This: Republican Senator-elect Mitt Romney of Utah sharply criticized President Trump in a Washington Post op-ed. At least six people have died in a train accident in Denmark. And Japanese Emperor Akihito made his final public New Year’s appearance today before his planned abdication later this year.

    #OZYfact: Cholera cases in Yemen have plummeted by an estimated 92 percent.

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intriguing

  1. Baby Rescued Under Debris Russia

    Baby Found Alive Under Rubble of Russian Explosion

    An 11-month-old infant was rescued Tuesday after spending 35 hours buried under debris from the New Year’s Eve blast that hit a 10-story apartment building in Magnitogorsk, Russia, killing at least 19. The child sustained a head injury, leg fractures, frostbite and hypothermia, having endured lengthy exposure to subzero winter temperatures. Rescue workers who heard the boy crying credited his survival to the fact that he was protected by his crib. He was reunited at the hospital with his mother, who also survived the blast.

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    Hackers Threaten Dump of 9/11 Insurance Files

    Notorious hacking group The Dark Overlord is demanding an undisclosed ransom in bitcoin — or it will release 18,000 stolen documents from various insurance companies related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The group, which previously stole unaired episodes of Orange Is the New Black from a production studio, claimed to have files from Hiscox Syndicates, Lloyds of London and Silverstein Properties that would provide “many answers” to “conspiracies” if leaked. Hiscox confirmed the breach, saying the stolen files were likely linked to litigation related to the attacks.

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    These Countries Are Heading to the Polls in 2019

    From the world’s largest democracy to the most populous Muslim-majority nation, people will cast votes this year in elections that will shape global governance. Secular and traditional parties will battle it out in India and Indonesia, while Africa’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, will choose leaders they hope will steer those countries away from recession. A new European Union Parliament will be elected two months after a planned Brexit, with euroskeptic parties expected to gain seats. And Israel, Ukraine and Argentina are also facing significant elections.

  4. Hassan Minhaj, Patriot Act

    Netflix Pulls Comedy Show on Saudi Arabia’s Request

    Saudi authorities requested the streaming service remove an episode of Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj because it reportedly violated the country’s anti-cybercrime legislation. Aired shortly after the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the episode features Minhaj saying the kingdom has been getting away with “autocratic s***” like the murder “for years.” The former Daily Show correspondent also criticized the Saudi-led war in Yemen and described the kingdom as “the boy band manager of 9/11.” Netflix said it removed the episode from its Saudi service last week.

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    As Bowl Frenzy Ends, Undefeated Teams Vie for BCS Title

    Yesterday outgoing Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer led the Buckeyes to a 28-23 Rose Bowl win over Washington, while Louisiana State broke Central Florida’s 25-game winning streak in a 40-32 Fiesta Bowl triumph. Meanwhile, the Sugar Bowl saw a clash of animal mascots on the sidelines as Texas’ longhorn steer smashed through a barrier to charge Georgia’s bulldog before a 28-21 Longhorns victory. Next Monday’s title game pits Clemson, which routed Notre Dame 30-3, against Alabama, which outlasted Oklahoma 45-34.