The Presidential Daily Brief

important

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    Trump Crosses Into North Korea, Revives Talks With Kim

    President Donald Trump met today with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea in an outburst of diplomacy arranged during Friday’s G-20 summit in Japan. It’s the first time a sitting American president has set foot in the Hermit Kingdom, called a “great honor” by Trump and “very courageous” by Kim.

    Is this a diplomatic success? Trump set no expectations, but the 50-minute chat became an icebreaker. Both men agreed to reopen talks, stalled at a February summit in Vietnam, aimed at dismantling the pariah state’s nuclear arsenal.

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    G-20: Trump Invites Kim, Agrees With Xi on Reviving Trade Talks

    U.S. President Donald Trump has dominated this weekend’s Group of 20 meeting in Japan, meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and restarting stalled trade talks. The American leader said he’d lift a ban on stateside firms buying from Chinese communications giant Huawei, and Chinese media said he’d also agreed to further delay imposing 25 percent tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods. 

    What did he say about North Korea? Today Trump’s visiting South Korea, and tweeted that he’d like to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the North Korean frontier to “say hello.”

    Read OZY’s Special Briefing on how Hong Kong protests impact trade negotiations.

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    New Supreme Court Sheds Its Veil

    The high court’s 2018 term ended Thursday with some major rulings, falling in both conservative and liberal directions. It ruled Thursday that federal courts can’t overturn blatantly partisan legislative redistricting — a win for Republicans. But that same day it also wouldn’t contradict what President Donald Trump called “Obama judges” who nixed a potentially Democrat-damaging citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. census. Justices also refused to intervene in lower-court rulings that voided an Alabama anti-abortion law.

    So where do things stand? Depending on whom one asks, not much different from retired swing Justice Anthony Kennedy’s court, but with nuanced differences.

    OZY examines how Congress could fix redistricting without court help.

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    Moldova’s New Leader Must Bridge West-Kremlin Abyss

    Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu is betting her Eastern European nation’s future on the West. But there’s a catch: Her government, formed this month, hangs on the thread of a parliamentary coalition that includes pro-Kremlin parties. Despite their differences, Sandu’s ACUM bloc unseated oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc’s ruling Democratic Party, but she concedes it’s “not an ideal means to that end.”

    Where does that leave Moldova? Sandwiched between European Union member Romania and Transnistria, a Soviet-style breakaway Moldovan region that continues to host Russian troops Sandu wants removed.

    Let OZY introduce you to Moldova’s rabble-rousing reporter.

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    Democrats Are Ignoring Foreign Affairs

    America first appears to be a bipartisan sentiment, at least during primary season. Or so intimates Jonathan Tepperman, Foreign Policy’s editor in chief. Few of the seemingly endless supply of would-be Democratic nominees to challenge the president appear terribly concerned about overseas policy, and fewer still have the experience to speak about it with authority. Even front-runner Joe Biden, who’s been vice president, isn’t showing much interest.

    Is that worrisome? Surprisingly less than one might imagine. The United States still has the heftiest military and economy in the world, Tepperman writes, and in spite of perceived Trumpian image setbacks, a true rival superpower hasn’t materialized.

  6. Also Important…

    Thousands of protesters braved searing Madrid heat Saturday to protest the city’s lifting of a vehicle ban to fight pollution. Opposition activists in Sudan have called off a press conference, saying their offices were raided by the military. And Republican state senators have returned to work in Oregon after a walkout by the minority party that killed a bill to impose a carbon limit to fight climate change.

    In the week ahead: Not so fresh from the G-20 Summit in Japan, European Union heads of state will tussle Sunday over filling the bloc’s top posts. On Tuesday, NASA will launch its empty Orion crew capsule to test its emergency abort system in preparation for a manned 2022 Moon mission. And on Thursday, President Trump will controversially headline Fourth of July celebrations in Washington, D.C.

    OZY Fest is back! Join OZY in New York’s Central Park July 20-21, where some of the biggest names and boldest thinkers — from John Legend and Trevor Noah to Stacey Abrams and Malcolm Gladwell — will help make this year’s OZY Fest the most memorable yet. Click here for tickets.

intriguing

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    Addicted Gamer? Try China’s Reeducation Camps

    Some Chinese parents are interning their children at the Adolescent Psychological Development Base near Beijing and similar centers. Seemingly modeled after both rehab and reeducation centers, these facilities treat youths believed to be gaming addicts by their parents. China recognized the condition in 2008 — 10 years before the World Health Organization. Rehab typically lasts three months and includes counseling, medications, physical workouts and lectures for parents. 

    Does it work? Parents paying more than $1,400 a month appear to think so, but patients report being tied to beds and the APDB admits using solitary confinement. The government has promised to increase oversight.

    OZY observes: Games’ masculinity is going through detox.

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    A Half-Century Later, Lunar Lamentations Endure

    Neil Armstrong hadn’t yet made his giant leap for mankind when “If we can put a man on the moon, then why can’t …” became a thing. Its meaning? We’ve accomplished the unthinkable, so how can simpler problems remain unsolved? From agriculture commissioners fretting about wheat gluts to homemakers yearning for easier-to-clean carpets, the lunar landing quickly became the measuring stick for mankind’s failures.

    Are we moving on? With the 50th anniversary of the moon shot coming July 20, the phrase remains — even to ask why NASA has long ignored Earth’s natural satellite.

    OZY asks what’s next for NASA and private cosmic exploration.

     

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    The Next Celebrity Chef, by Way of Prison

    Chef Fernando Ruiz didn’t get to culinary school the easy way. After acquiring his GED while incarcerated in an Arizona prison on drug and gun charges, he considered returning to the streets, OZY reports. But Ruiz learned to love the art of cooking working in the prison chow hall, with a style shaped while growing up between the U.S. and Mexico. That landed him both a job innovating beef and game recipes in an upscale New Mexico restaurant and appearances on shows such as Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay.

    What’s next for Ruiz? He’s seeking more TV opportunities and developing a line of knives — strictly for culinary use.

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    An Oil Business Drama ‘Dallas’ Couldn’t Touch 

    Mark and Bryan Knight owned Louisiana’s Knight Oil Tools, valued at $800 million and the largest firm of its type. But the brothers battled over control, and reportedly hired local cops and a henchman who shocked himself cutting a live power line. Mark planted drugs in Bryan’s car, setting up his 2014 arrest, 15 years after Eddy Knight, the father they worshiped, died. Eddy had implored the jet-setting, profligate Mark to care for his reckless, substance-abusing brother.

    How did it all turn out? The company was restructured amid the discovery of spending irregularities by Mark, who pleaded guilty this year to bribing police and lost his CEO position.

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    Fans Love Kevin Durant Better on the Bench

    He is one of basketball’s greatest scorers, and yet haters abound. The two-time NBA Finals MVP has a sensitive streak on social media, and it’s earned him more detractors with every trophy he’s collected, opines sportswriter Brian Phillips. But in finals Game 5 on June 10 — 20 days before Durant’s free agency begins — he ruptured his Achilles tendon and could well be out for the coming season.

    So fans are sorry for him? Pretty much, Phillips writes. Haters are particularly sore at his completion of the Golden State Warriors superteam, and with his setback, that could all unravel as Durant becomes a tragic figure.