The mystery of what was said during the two-hour private meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has deepened, with Russia saying they made “verbal agreements” on arms treaties. Trump now insists he was tough on Putin, despite his earlier accounts and his docility at their joint press conference Monday. Meanwhile, the White House says the president’s against an offer by Putin to allow the U.S. to question the Russians indicted in the Mueller probe in exchange for interviewing certain American officials.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The social media giant said it will begin removing misinformation that could lead to violence after recent rumors spread via Facebook in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India reportedly led to attacks on ethnic minorities. Founder Mark Zuckerberg faced criticism after using Holocaust denial as an example of unintentional misinformation, saying that and InfoWars — known for perpetuating false conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook school shooting — won’t be taken off the site. Facebook plans to partner with local groups to identify and remove content that may incite “imminent violence.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, known for gun-filled campaign commercials and promises to personally deport undocumented immigrants, won President Trump’s endorsement yesterday in his primary runoff against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Meanwhile, a state judge upheld Kemp’s ruling that Maria Palacios, a longtime Georgia resident who gained U.S. citizenship last year, is ineligible to run for the state legislature due to not having been a “citizen of Georgia” long enough. The GOP primary winner will face Democrat Stacey Abrams, who could become the nation’s first Black female governor, in November.
Apparently something gold can stay. A controversial measure that would see the Golden State split into three has been removed from November’s ballot after California’s Supreme Court voted unanimously yesterday to delay putting the question to voters. Its author, venture capitalist Tim Draper — who twice before introduced measures to split the state and twice failed — responded, “Apparently the insiders are in cahoots.” The court asked Draper and California’s secretary of state to explain why the measure has merit before Aug. 20, preserving the possibility of a future vote.
Know This: Israel’s legislature has passed a controversial bill that defines the country as a Jewish state. A company in New Zealand that ran a trial four-day workweek for employees says it not only improved work-life balance, but sparked productivity and innovative thinking. A group of Muslim girls in hijabs were kicked out of a public pool in Delaware. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Bolivia, where a secret vegan restaurant is making a mark in La Paz.
Read This: After their rescue from a cave, the 12 boys of Thailand’s Wild Boars soccer team are sharing their experiences — and how their coach helped keep them calm and alive.
Talk to Us: This year, OZY is going Around the World on a year-long tour to visit every single country, and we’d love for you to get involved. Where in the world are you when you read OZY? Send us pictures — they might make it onto OZY.com — and tell us what rising stars, new trends, music and food we should be writing about. Or even pitch us a story! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top scientists and tech innovators agreed to avoid bringing on the robot apocalypse by signing a pledge against developing and manufacturing autonomous weapons. “The decision to take a human life should never be delegated to a machine,” reads the document signed by more than 170 organizations and 2,400 individuals, including Elon Musk and Google DeepMind’s co-founders. Introduced by the Future of Life Institute, the pledge urges nations to pass laws banning violent military artificial intelligence applications, which are covered in depth in OZY’s series on the future of warfare.
The East African nation is attempting to solve its electricity shortage with a $2 billion hydropower project that will dam the Rufiji River this summer. But the costs of the project may outweigh the rewards: The construction will wash away chunks of the Selous Game Reserve and clear 148,000 hectares of forest. Conservationists worry that would irreparably damage the country’s wildlife — and its tourism industry — as well as depriving local farmers and fishermen of their livelihood. Similar concerns halted a massive bioelectricity project in 2016.
Was it ahead of the curve? Scientists discovered the 99 million-year-old creature, which dates back to the Late Cretaceous period, encased in tree sap in Myanmar’s Kachin Province. The headless hatchling specimen, labeled a new species and dubbed Xiaophis myanmarensis, will be valuable for studying the maturation process of ancient snakes. The discovery also provides key evolutionary clues, revealing that snakes migrated to forested areas earlier than previously thought, and illustrating that the legless reptiles haven’t needed to evolve very much over time.
Jeff, uh, finds a way. British telecom company Now TV has erected a 25-foot-tall likeness of the eccentric actor to honor the 25th anniversary of the first Jurassic Park movie. Located near Tower Bridge in Potters Field Park and weighing about 330 pounds, the statue — depicting Goldblum’s character, Dr. Ian Malcolm, reclining with his shirt hanging open from a famous scene in the film — took about 250 hours to make. Goldblum, who’s earned a cult following throughout his career, hasn’t yet responded to the gesture.
The Orioles’ four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner is going west in exchange for five Dodgers, including top prospect Yusniel Diaz. Machado, 26, leads his new team with a .315 average and 24 home runs. The Dodgers, sitting atop the NL West, have won 37 of their last 54 games, and this trade’s expected to make them competitive with the dominant Cubs for a World Series berth. Machado will become a free agent at season’s end, giving the Dodgers several months to convince their new shortstop to stay.