Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 22, 2016

Julie Kliegman
Purported vehicle of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour after U.S. airstrike
Abdul Salam Khan/Associated Press


Poll: Clinton and Trump neck-and-neck in general election matchup

Among registered voters, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump holds a 2-point lead over Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical general election matchup, an ABC News/Washington Post poll out Sunday shows. The difference between the billionaire business mogul's 46 percent support and Clinton's 44 percent is within the margin of error. In March, Clinton led the same poll by 9 points. Trump's gains are likely due to him all but securing the Republican nomination, while Clinton still faces a longshot challenge from Bernie Sanders. [The Washington Post]


U.S. kills Taliban leader in airstrike, Afghanistan says

A U.S. airstrike killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour on Saturday, Afghan officials said Sunday. "Peace is what we want," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. "Mansour was a threat to that effort." The attack, on the Pakistan side of the nation's border with Afghanistan, is likely to derail peace talks. Mansour's death could deepen the rifts within the Taliban first exposed in 2015, when it was revealed the group's former leader had been dead for almost two years. [Reuters, The Guardian]


Bernie Sanders to back DNC chair's primary opponent

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders vowed to support Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's primary opponent. He also said in the interview airing Sunday on CNN's State of the Union that, if elected, he would remove her from her DNC post. Throughout his campaign, Sanders has accused Wasserman Schultz of favoring frontrunner Hillary Clinton, a charge the chairwoman has repeatedly denied. [CNN]


Obama departs for historic Asia trip

President Obama departed Saturday for his 10th trip to Asia. His first destination is Vietnam, where he'll make stops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In Japan, he'll attend the G7 Summit before becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. Asia "is critical to our future prosperity and also central to a whole host of critical U.S. national security interests," said White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. [ABC News]


Austria may elect first far-right EU leader

Should Austrian Freedom Party presidential candidate Norbert Hofer emerge victorious from Sunday's run-off election, the European Union will see its first-ever far-right head of state. Polling shows a tight race between Hofer and Greens-backed Alexander Van der Bellen, running as an independent. Candidates from both centrist parties were eliminated in April in the first round of voting, the first time that's happened since World War II. [Reuters, BBC News]


Mark Cuban says he'd consider joining Hillary Clinton's ticket

Mark Cuban would "absolutely" consider signing on as Hillary Clinton's running mate if asked, the billionaire entrepreneur told NBC's Meet the Press in an interview set to air Sunday. He'd want the Democratic presidential frontrunner to move more toward the center of the aisle before joining her ticket, though. "If she's willing to listen, if she's willing to hear other sides of things, then I'm wide open to discussing it," the Dallas Mavericks owner said. [NBC]


Exaggerator upsets Nyquist to win Preakness

Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist saw his first loss in nine races Saturday when rival Exaggerator passed him to win the muddy Preakness Stakes. Exaggerator won by 3 1/2 lengths over Cherry Wine. Nyquist, who was thought to have a shot at winning the Triple Crown in June, took third. "I had a dream trip today," said Exaggerator's jockey, Kent Desormeaux. "It was an amazing race, and Exaggerator is an amazing horse." [ESPN]


2 horses die in Preakness races

Two horses died in the first four Preakness Saturday races. After winning the day's first race, 9-year-old Homeboykris collapsed on his way back to the barn. The cause of death is unknown. Then, 4-year-old Pramedya was euthanized after collapsing in the middle of the fourth race with a broken leg. Jockey Daniel Centeno broke his right collarbone. Animal rights group PETA called for the release of both horses' veterinary records and lists of their recent medications. [The Washington Post]


Raptors snap Cavaliers' conference playoff winning streak

The Toronto Raptors snapped the Cleveland Cavaliers' 17-game playoff winning streak in the East on Saturday with a 99-84 victory. The franchise's first-ever conference finals game win puts the series at 2-1. The Cavaliers shot just 35.4 percent from the field. Catch the teams face off in Game 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET Monday on ESPN. [ESPN, Yahoo Sports]


French Open to kick off sans Roger Federer

The French Open is set to kick off Sunday without the injury-plagued Roger Federer, who will miss his first Grand Slam since 1999. The top seeds belong to Novak Djokovic and defending champion Serena Williams, who is still chasing Steffi Graf's record-setting 22 Open-era major titles. Catch the first round of action from the clay courts on the Tennis Channel. [SB Nation, SB Nation]