The Presidential Daily Brief

important

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    Trump Defends Son In Russia Email Scandal 

    Dad knows best. President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his embattled son as “open, transparent and innocent” amid a scandal in which Donald Trump Jr. responded positively via email to an offer of damaging information on Hillary Clinton, allegedly linked to the Russian government’s support for his father’s campaign. The president also called the mounting media attention “the greatest witch hunt in political history.” Critics say the emails, which Trump Jr. posted to Twitter yesterday upon learning The New York Times was about to publish them, is the strongest evidence yet of Trump campaign collusion with the Kremlin during the election.

     

     

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    Brazilian Ex-President Convicted of Corruption

    He’s won another term — behind bars. A Brazilian court sentenced ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday to nearly a decade in prison for accepting $1.2 million in bribes as part of a massive corruption scheme. Lula claims the case, which gripped the country for several years, is politically motivated. Expected to be a top contender in next year’s presidential election, the popular leftist, who led the nation from 2003 until 2011, will remain free pending appeal. But his political comeback could be dashed if an appeals court upholds his conviction. 

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    China to Open First Overseas Military Base

    They’re breaking new ground. Ships carrying Chinese troops have departed for Djibouti, where they’ll officially establish Beijing’s first overseas military outpost. China began construction last year on the logistics base in the small Horn of Africa nation — where the U.S., France, Britain and Japan all have a military presence. No details on numbers or units were given by Beijing. China says the strategically located Djibouti support base will be primarily for anti-piracy, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid, but will also be used for joint exercises and maintaining international seaways.

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    Twitter Users Sue President Trump for Blocking Them

    Do they have a right to their 140 characters? That’s the question seven Twitter users blocked by President Donald Trump want the courts to answer. They filed suit in New York yesterday claiming that being blocked keeps them from engaging with their commander in chief, noting that it’s similar to being barred from public forums like town halls or city council meetings. The White House, which has described Trump’s tweets as “official statements,” hasn’t commented on the suit. The plaintiffs are hoping for an injunction to unblock their accounts.

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    Tech Giants Stage Net Neutrality ‘Day of Action’

    Today’s the day. Google, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Kickstarter, Etsy and Pornhub are just some of the sites that have declared a day of protest to fight for net neutrality — a principle demanding that all internet traffic be treated equally and companies be prevented from creating so-called fast lanes for certain data or users. This tactic has been effective before, when it got lawmakers to drop 2012’s Stop Online Piracy Act. But with the current FCC vowing to slash regulations on ISPs, this may be a tougher battle.

  6. Health Care, Qatar’s Standoff and the Olympics

    Know This: The GOP says it’ll unveil its revised health care bill tomorrow and bring it to a vote next week, despite intraparty squabbling over significant components of the legislation. The U.S. and Qatar have inked an anti-terrorism deal, but the country’s Gulf neighbors still say it’s insufficient. And Paris and Los Angeles are set to get the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, though it’s not clear which city will host which year.

    Learn This: Online language-learning site Duolingo plans to launch a course in Game of Thrones language High Valyrian tomorrow.

    Answer This: Tell us how you really feel. OZY’s next TV show, Third Rail With OZY, is launching on PBS this fall! To kick things off, we’re shelving the PC and launching debates. Each Wednesday, we’ll post a provocative question, focusing on topics that might make it onto the show. This week: Should cheating be grounds for divorce anymore? Why or why not? Go deep. Email thirdrail@ozy.com with your thoughts or a personal story, and we might feature your answer next week.

intriguing

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    Roman Messages Found Near Hadrian’s Wall

    The writing was practically on the wall. Archaeologists have discovered an ancient cache of 25 personal letters at a site near Hadrian’s Wall in Great Britain. The first-century notes, written on thin, postcard-sized slices of wood, were discovered in a pit at the Roman Fort of Vindolanda. Researchers have already translated one: a request for time off. They say another was written on oak instead of birch, an indication of its particular importance, and it will have to be investigated with infrared light in hopes the message can be recovered.

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    The Organic Solution for Struggling Rural Towns

    They’re growing their economies. With more small American towns reeling from closing factories and disappearing jobs, communities like Viroqua, Wisconsin, are finding new value in agriculture for the local economy. From selling local produce in expanding farmer’s markets to scaling up production in order to supply Main Street shops — in turn bringing storefront vacancy down — niche food concepts are proving their worth as economic drivers. In some places, they’re even revitalizing sustainable farming communities, meaning agricultural towns don’t have to pivot to tech in order to grow.

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    Swedish Lawmakers Seek Erdogan’s Arrest For ‘Genocide’

    It’s an opening shot. A handful of lawmakers have filed a complaint with Sweden’s public prosecutor accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of genocide and war crimes, citing his government’s actions against Kurdish rebels. The motion — Sweden’s first against a head of state — could theoretically result in Erdogan’s arrest, should he ever find himself in Scandinavia. But first, the public prosecutor would have to decide to pursue the case. Supporters hope their complaint might trigger other countries to issue similar ones, restricting the Turkish leader’s travel around Europe.

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    Committee Backing Dwayne Johnson for President Files With FEC

    Do you smell what somebody’s cooking on The Rock’s behalf? It’s not clear if the wrestler-turned-actor even knows about Run the Rock 2020, set up by a man named Kenton Tilford. But Johnson, 45, has previously spoken about diving into politics — and even announced a fake campaign (with Tom Hanks as a running mate) during an SNL sketch. Tilford told media he believes Johnson can appeal to a wide enough base to unite the country, and hopes the filing will encourage the superstar to enter the ring.

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    McGregor and Mayweather Begin Megafight World Tour

    All aboard the hype train. Yesterday Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor launched a four-stop international press tour for their upcoming bout with trash talk and braggadocio. In front of a crowd of thousands, boxing’s former pound-for-pound king and UFC’s biggest star kept the sparring verbal. But heavy underdog McGregor, 28, promised fans he’d knock out 40-year-old Mayweather in four rounds. The pay-per-view August 26 fight is expected to be one of the most lucrative in history, generating hundreds of millions of dollars.