The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Says No Way Home for American-Born ISIS Bride

    President Donald Trump said yesterday that Hoda Muthana, an Alabama woman who joined the terror group in 2014, would not be allowed back into America. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed, saying the 24-year-old was not a citizen, though he didn’t provide a rationale for the decision. Muthana, who traveled to Turkey on a U.S. passport, is living in a Syrian refugee camp with her young son.

    Will this be challenged? Most definitely: Although her father was a Yemeni diplomat — which would disqualify her from birthright citizenship — he reportedly stepped down before she was born.

    Read this OZY story on ISIS brides trying to reach home.

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    US Coast Guard Officer Charged With Planning Terror Attacks

    Prosecutors described Christopher Hasson, a 49-year-old lieutenant arrested last week on drug and gun charges, as a White nationalist and domestic terrorist planning a killing spree. Court documents revealed Hasson had a spreadsheet of targets including Democratic politicians and journalists. The Maryland native, found with 15 firearms, was stockpiling narcotics, steroids and human growth hormone.

    Who influenced him? Investigators say Hasson studied the 1,500-page manifesto of Anders Breivik — a Norwegian terrorist who killed 77 in 2011 — and copied his attack preparations. He also wrote to an American neo-Nazi leader about creating a “white homeland.”

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    Dhaka Fire Kills at Least 78

    A blaze that consumed a residential building in the historic Chawkbazar district of the Bangladeshi capital late Wednesday has left scores dead. The fire reportedly started at a chemical warehouse but quickly spread to nearby buildings. The number of victims is expected to rise as rescuers search the high-density area known for narrow streets. Another fire in the coastal city of Chittagong killed nine people on Sunday.

    Why is this a recurring tragedy? Lax regulations have been blamed for a number of deadly fires in Bangladesh, including one in 2010 that left 124 dead in Dhaka’s Nimtali district.

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    Supreme Court Deals Blow to Asset Forfeiture by Police

    The highest U.S. court ruled 9-0 Wednesday that civil forfeiture programs, which let police seize property including cash, cars and houses, must comply with constitutional protections against excessive fines. Critics have argued that “policing for profit” initiatives create bad incentives and disproportionately impact the poor. The ruling came in the case of Tyson Timbs, whose $42,000 Land Rover was seized after he was caught selling $225 worth of heroin.

    How will this affect law enforcement? Those convicted can now argue in court whether the amount of property seized was excessive.

    Read this OZY story on courts ending cash bail.

  5. Also Important…

    Pope Francis vowed “concrete and efficient measures” for victims of sexual abuse at the start of a Vatican conference on the topic. The completion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation could come as early as next week according to sources. And the Duke Blue Devils lost to the North Carolina Tar Heels yesterday after their star player, Zion Williamson, injured his knee 36 seconds into the game.

    #OZYfactOver half of women today say sexual harassment in the workplace hasn’t improved since the ’90s. Read more on OZY.

    We’re hiring! OZY is looking for a talented Executive Assistant and Office Manager to join our team. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


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    Report: US Hate Groups Rise for Fourth Straight Year

    A Southern Poverty Law Center report found the number of organizations it classifies as hate groups has grown 30 percent in the past four years — and 7 percent in 2018 alone — to a 20-year high. The SPLC counted 1,020 radicalized groups, many of them aligned with White supremacist ideology, and attributed their rise at least partly to the rhetoric and policies of President Trump.

    Is the SPLC objective? The civil rights watchdog has been fighting groups like the Ku Klux Klan since 1971, but during the Trump administration it’s been accused of political bias and sued at least four times by groups objecting to their inclusion on the list.

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    Scientists Uncover New Reason for Zebras’ Stripes

    That’s a fly coat. A new study suggests the African herbivore’s stripes help prevent bites from disease-carrying flies, offering an alternative to refuted theories of camouflage or temperature control. Researchers observing horses in zebra costumes found flies landed on the striped pattern 25 percent less often. Video showed the insects had more uncontrolled approaches and aborted landings on zebra coats.

    What’s the next level of research? Scientists will explore whether stripes mess with bugs’ optic flow and what types of patterns might deter more of them.

    Check out this OZY story on the future of safaris.

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    Lessons in History Are Paying the Rent in Sarajevo

    The gig is up. With few opportunities for work, the youth of Bosnia and Herzegovina have turned to teaching foreigners about their country’s rich history, OZY reports. While the small Balkan country has the world’s highest youth unemployment rate at 55.5 percent, foreign tourism has increased by more than 20 percent in the last three years. That’s led to a boom in young tour guides, with potentially hundreds — the majority unlicensed — operating in Sarajevo alone.

    But will it keep them home? The country’s working-age population has declined by 4 percent in two years due to economic migration.

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    Jussie Smollett Turns Himself In

    The Empire actor was charged with felony disorderly conduct after Chicago authorities accused him of filing a false police report last month. Smollett, who turned himself early today, claimed he was attacked by assailants wearing MAGA hats and yelling racist and homophobic jeers. Police are reportedly presenting evidence to a grand jury that Smollett staged the incident. The 36-year-old could face up to three years in prison.

    Will this change how hate crimes are reported? Journalists and politicians have been criticized — especially by the right — for not being skeptical of Smollett’s claims from the beginning.

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    ACLU Accuses School of Poor Cheerleader Treatment

    Be not so aggressive. The American Civil Liberties Union threatened a Wisconsin school district with a federal lawsuit over what it described as a hostile environment for female students. Parents and staff reportedly complained that cheer coaches at Tremper High School gave students awards including “Big Booty” and “String Bean” at an annual dinner. The district said it would end the prizes.

    What’s the lesson? The ACLU said the school has a broad culture of body shaming and “serious indifference” to how young women are treated.

    Don’t miss this OZY flashback to when cheer squads booted males.