The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Unrest Sweeps US as Minneapolis Officer Jailed

    Even the White House locked down. Violent protests against Monday's death of a Black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis police custody spread across America yesterday. Prosecutors, meanwhile, charged the officer who knelt on Floyd's neck with third-degree murder. Minnesota's governor has also apologized to a CNN news crew state police briefly detained while covering the protests, looting and arson. Detroit authorities are investigating shots fired from an SUV at protesters, killing one — one day after President Donald Trump tweeted that when "the looting starts, the shooting starts."

    Catch up with OZY's Special Briefing on the crisis.

  2. Trump Quits the World Health Organization

    After repeatedly blaming it for the extent of the deadly pandemic that's claimed more than 100,000 American lives, President Trump on Friday said he was terminating his nation's membership in the World Health Organization. Trump cited "malfeasance of the Chinese government" that he believes was concealed by the WHO in his announcement. The move alarmed public health experts, including former CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden, who noted that America helped create the body, and leaving it "makes the world less safe." Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against a California church challenging the state's lockdown rules.

    Follow OZY's pandemic coverage here.

  3. China Says US Hong Kong Efforts 'Doomed'

    Threats from the White House to restrict trade and travel with Hong Kong are "doomed to fail," Beijing announced today through a state-run media outlet. What's upsetting Washington is the mainland's security legislation, which could soon be enacted, to enable its agencies to enforce laws used to restrict free expression in Hong Kong. But "its real target is Taiwan," which is gaining international support for its successful pandemic policies, writes OZY Senior Editor Charu Sudan Kasturi in his Butterfly Effect column. And while protests in the semiautonomous territory continue, protesters are deleting social media profiles to hide potential "sedition" evidence, while many Hongkongers with the means are relocating.

  4. It’s a New Day for the Mortgage Vultures

    Don’t blow it this time. That’s the message underlying Homewreckers, a new book by investigative journalist Aaron Glantz, senior reporter for public radio show Reveal. He examines how previous leaders have goosed the economy back into shape, citing President Franklin D. Roosevelt aggressively helping many 1930s homeowners (regrettably only white ones) keep their homes despite the Great Depression, while more recent presidents fostered a predatory mortgage market and movement of wealth from homeowners to big investors. Glantz argues that this time the government can do good and foster goodwill by incentivizing real estate interests to provide housing that Americans can afford — and keep.

  5. Also Important...

    If the weather cooperates, SpaceX will launch from Florida this afternoon in the first-ever private crewed space mission. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declined an invitation to visit the U.S. for next month's G-7 summit because of the pandemic. And citing alleged accounting exaggerations, Forbes has dropped Kylie Jenner from its list of billionaires.

    In the week ahead: Six U.S. states and the District of Columbia have primary elections scheduled for Tuesday. On Wednesday, Warner Music Group begins selling stock in what may be New York's largest 2020 IPO. And Friday is National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

    Coronavirus update: India has reported its worst one-day spike, reporting almost 8,000 new infections.


  1. Brazil’s Legacy of Slavery Worsens the Pandemic

    They’re in this together. Much of Brazil’s middle class had household slaves later than the rest of the Americas. But for the nominal income paid to largely dark-skinned servants, it’s as if human bondage hadn’t been outlawed in 1888, writes German journalist Marian Blasberg. That’s manifesting itself in a new and deadly way as the country becomes the world’s coronavirus hot spot: Affluent Brazilians believe they can’t live without domestic help in dangerous proximity, and their maids, who can’t afford adequate COVID-19 treatment, can’t live with it.

    Read this OZY examination of how the pandemic is deepening racism in India.

  2. Journalism: Another Pandemic Casualty

    In the current pandemic, “patient zero” may well be the truth. Reporters Without Borders has observed that many nations have found the situation to be a convenient time to silence local journalists. Reporters and editors can be locked away or worse in the name of fighting purported “fake news” that’s often calling attention to how COVID-19 is ravaging hot spots from Manila to Cairo. When it’s not bars or guns, it’s nuisance defamation lawsuits. With increased government repression, diminished public trust and economic ruin facing many news organizations, the next decade threatens the very existence of free media the world over.

  3. Big Tech’s Big Break

    Big Tech is defining the pandemic, from shopping to streaming to possibly even governing. It’s a far cry from the recent past when talk of breaking up Google, Amazon and Apple preoccupied a Congress concerned about privacy violations and unassailable corporate monopolies. But the titans of digital commerce have had more than a reprieve via the pandemic, riding to the rescue with contact tracing and a global supply network. Even shadowy counterparts like data-mining firm Palantir have become essential in their own right.

    OZY briefs for the next tech battlefield.

  4. singapore airlines 777 shutterstock 384100357

    When National Airlines Are the Lucky Ones

    With travel locked down, the global aviation industry is estimated to lose up to $314 billion this year. Private carriers are begging their respective governments to bail them out before they become permanently grounded. But some competitors are in much better shape, OZY reports. State-owned carriers like Singapore Airlines, Finnair and Emirates are receiving financial help with ease and are counterintuitively thriving. One reason is that they have performed heroically: While countries like the U.S. have had to hire charters to repatriate citizens, those with national carriers were able to easily bring citizens home on their own planes.

  5. The All-Star Pitcher Who Lost Everything

    He lived to give. In fact, Esteban Loaiza seemed to have given away most of the $44 million he made pitching for the Chicago White Sox and seven other teams in the 1990s and 2000s. Friends say those gifts of houses and cars and lavish trips to relatives in Mexico, which hails Loaiza as one of its two greatest pitchers, may explain why he’s in prison. Loaiza went from being a revered celebrity, married to a Mexican pop star, who died in a mysterious plane crash, to being imprisoned last year for smuggling cocaine, leaving fans shaking their heads.