The Presidential Daily Brief

important

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    Mueller Finds No Evidence of Trump-Russia Collusion

    Lifting a major pall over President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr reported to Congress yesterday that special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence that Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia to secure his 2016 election. Barr, who can decide what to release from Mueller’s report, also wrote that it “did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other” about whether there was any obstruction of justice.

    Now what? Investigations in Congress and New York’s southern district are still ongoing — though as OZY reports, some believe Democrats would be wise to avoid re-litigating the special counsel’s probe.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on how to read the Mueller report.

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    Rockets From Gaza Hit Central Israel

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will end his visit to Washington early after at least six people were wounded this morning when a rocket fired from Gaza struck a house 15 miles north of Tel Aviv. Hours ahead of a planned meeting with President Trump, Netanyahu pledged to “respond forcefully” to the “criminal attack.” Meanwhile, eyewitnesses in Gaza reported the ruling Hamas government was evacuating its members there.

    What could this attack mean? Both sides may be buckling down for a confrontation — especially after this month’s previous rocket strike from Gaza, which was allegedly a mistake, and with Israeli elections only weeks away.

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    Suspicion Looms Over Thai Election

    Unofficial results show Thailand’s pro-military Palang Pracharat party pulling ahead of its opposition after voting closed yesterday in the country’s general elections. But complaints of voting irregularities and accusations of fraud have already marred the results, which appear likely to return coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha to power. The election is the first since former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was ousted in 2014.

    When will final results be in? Electoral authorities said they’ll announce the official results May 9, though failure by any single party to win an outright majority will lead to political wheeling and dealing to form a coalition.

    Read this OZY feature on Thailand’s staggering inequality.

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    Apple Preps for Major Video Launch

    Keep watching. In a highly anticipated event today, CEO Tim Cook is expected to unveil Apple’s bid to offer TV and movie services to boost revenue and compete with major media companies like Amazon and Netflix. Analysts say it’ll be the company’s “biggest strategic move” in more than a decade, and one aimed at easing its reliance on product sales. Apple will also reportedly announce a revamped subscription-based news app.

    What’s the company’s strategy? Sources say Apple will bundle some networks to sell them at a discount while also spending $2 billion this year on creating original content.

  5. Also Important…

    Boeing says it has invited more than 200 pilots, technicians and regulators from around the world to an information session at its Renton, Washington, factory on Wednesday. A second survivor of last year’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has reportedly committed suicide. And the U.S. military sent a Navy destroyer and a Coast Guard cutter through the Taiwan Strait yesterday ahead of high-level trade talks between Beijing and Washington.

    #OZYfact: Throughout two years, special counsel Robert Mueller spent $25 million on 19 lawyers and 40 support staff; sent 2,800 subpoenas and 500 search warrants; and summoned 500 witnesses to interviews. Read more on OZY.

    Listen Up! Get inside the minds of Lorena Bobbitt, James Holmes and John Hinckley — and explore the history of the insanity defense — with Season 4 of The Thread, the latest installment of OZY’s popular podcast. Subscribe now on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

intriguing

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    Uber Mulls $3B Deal to Buy Middle Eastern Rival

    The Silicon Valley giant is expected to announce a $3.1 billion acquisition of Careem Network FZ, a $1 billion Dubai-based ride-hailing company with operations across the Middle East. The deal, which reportedly involves a $1.4 billion cash payment with another $1.7 billion in convertible notes, comes ahead of Uber’s highly anticipated IPO, which could value the company as high as $120 billion.

    Is this a change in strategy? It’s a break from Uber’s usual move of seeking to cut high overseas operating costs by purchasing stakes in local companies.

    Read this OZY feature about Asia’s women-only ride-sharing apps.

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    This Is Where Art and Gaming Collide

    The emergence of festivals, collectives and pop-ups offering indie games to the public in curated artistic settings is bringing gamers together, OZY reports, bucking the norm of private home gaming. So-called “artcades” afford venues for multiple generations with a shared love of games who don’t necessarily feel at home in the mainstream gaming industry. Operating them isn’t profitable, but a labor of love — while playing badly, given people’s unfamiliarity with the games, is part of the fun.

    Will these artcades come to a neighborhood near you? Rather than remaining loosely connected, some organizers are attempting to forge a global network to foster greater creativity and collaboration.

  3. A HOG member from Schaafheim Germany inspects a line up of Harley-Davidson motorcycles at IBW.

    Thousands of Philippine Bikers Ride in Protest

    They’re rebels with a cause. More than 10,000 motorcycle owners staged a “unity ride” in Manila yesterday to oppose new regulations requiring them to display larger, color-coded license plates on both the front and rear of their bikes. Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this month, the law is a response to increased crime by people on motorcycles.

    Will the law be effective? Opponents aren’t so sure — noting those who use motorcycles to commit crimes probably don’t use their own vehicles.

    Check out OZY’s dispatch from the coziest motorcycle shop in Paris.

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    Report: UK Charity ‘Hoarding’ Money

    Leveraging famous funny folks to raise money for charitable causes, British organization Comic Relief is reportedly sitting on nearly $155 million while still asking for more donations. The charity’s accounts show it spent nearly $16 million on salaries in 2017 but has yet to distribute around $87 million in grants — while also keeping some $66 million in emergency funding.

    Does Comic Relief have a fraud problem? The charity itself is investigating three such allegations, totaling more than $1 million, while government officials have expressed concern about its use of donations.

    Read OZY’s Flashback on the fighter pilots who took charity to the skies.

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    Patriots Star Rob Gronkowski Retires

    After nine seasons with New England, the 29-year-old tight end announced his retirement Sunday, one month after his team’s victory in Super Bowl LIII. Selected as the 42nd overall draft pick from the University of Arizona in 2010, Gronkowski set NFL single-season records for touchdowns (18) and receiving yards (1,327) by a tight end just a year later. Famous for his infectiously upbeat personality, he’s also been recognized as one of the most philanthropic players on the team.

    What’s next for Gronk? While he hasn’t revealed his future plans, there’s already chatter about his potential first-ballot induction into the Hall of Fame in 2024.