The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Queen Delivers Johnson's Agenda in Brexit's Shadow

    They were not amused. Queen Elizabeth II opened Parliament with her annual speech today, spelling out a litany of initiatives and legislation traditionally dictated by the prevailing government. But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's growing chorus of critics assailed it as a bread-and-butter Conservative Party manifesto ahead of probable new elections — a likelihood if MP's reject the message.

    What did the speech contain? It contained 26 bills, including seven Brexit-related regulatory measures, as well as seven tough-on-crime bills. It also spelled out initiatives to improve health care and environmental regulation, as well as assure that restaurant tips go to servers, and not management.

    OZY explains who's not immigrating to Britain.

  2. Forsaken by US, Kurds Cut Deal With Assad

    Hours after the Pentagon announced the withdrawal of another 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria, the region's Kurdish-led administration announced a deal with the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Syrian government troops will be deployed along the Turkish border to help the Kurds fight off Ankara’s military offensive, according to a Kurdish statement.

    What else has the Turkish offensive triggered? Nearly 800 family members of ISIS fighters escaped Kurdish custody amid the fighting, stoking fears that the vacuum created by America's exit could help revive the extremist group.

  3. In-Home Texas Killing Sparks Anger Against Police

    Seeing a door hanging open Friday night, a neighbor called the Fort Worth police to check on Atatiana Jefferson's safety. Instead, an officer shot and killed her through her window. The city's Black community, still reeling from a recent case in neighboring Dallas where an officer killed a Black man in his apartment, is furious over what the Jefferson family's attorney described as murder. "There's no forgiveness for this one," said one community activist.

    What happened? Body cam footage shows police arriving at her front door early Saturday, then circling the house and shooting Jefferson, who had reportedly been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew.

    Read this OZY Special Briefing on the Dallas shooting.

  4. Japan Digs Out After Typhoon's Fury

    With some reports putting the death toll from Typhoon Hagibis as high as 47, Japan has mobilized more than 110,000 troops and other rescuers to search for those trapped by floodwaters, landslides and other destruction. The Category 5 storm slammed into Honshu Island early Saturday and veered back out to sea Sunday, leaving a trail of devastation including collapsed levees and a toppled railroad bridge.

    How bad was the storm? One of the most powerful typhoons in a generation, Hagibis brought 130-mph gusts and caused 21 rivers to flood in and around Tokyo and several other cities.

    OZY explains how the jet stream is changing weather.

  5. Hunter Biden Quits Chinese Corporate Board

    The former vice president's son released a statement yesterday saying he's decided to step down from his position on the board of Chinese investment firm BHR. "Hunter will agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign-owned companies” if his father is elected president, the statement said. The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump was sparked by his request that Ukraine investigate Joe Biden's son for his corporate ties to that country.

    Why do this now? It may help tomorrow, when the senior Biden faces fellow hopefuls in the fourth Democratic presidential debate.

  6. Also Important

    Spain's top court has handed down sentences from nine to 13 years to leaders of 2017's Catalan separatist movement. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit plans seemed to falter today when EU officials warned that they're far from reaching an agreement. And the Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees 3-2 last night with a Carlos Correa home run in the 11th to even the ALCS at one game apiece.

    #OZYFact: Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker already has as many 50-point games as Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade and David Robinson had in their entire careers. Read the story here.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for an analytical and globally minded tech reporter to sniff out today’s most important stories in science, technology and health. Check out our jobs page and read the description here.


  1. California Blackout Nearly Scrubbed a NASA Launch

    The head of the University of California's Space Sciences Lab sent an urgent email to his Berkeley team last week, warning that a PG&E power cut — designed to prevent wildfires — could sabotage the launch of NASA’s ICON satellite. Employees rushed to purchase cable extensions and brought in generators to power the control servers. Bad weather ended up delaying the launch until Thursday, when the satellite eventually took off despite the Bay Area blackout.

    Was there any doubt? Plenty. But the university was able to skirt a NASA rule requiring a primary power source for such launches.

    Don't miss this OZY story about how India's space program got started.

  2. Fortnite Blows Up, Leaving Users Staring Into Black Hole

    What better way to stoke interest in one of gaming's most addictive phenomena than deprive people of its pleasures? That's exactly what Epic Games has done with Fortnite as Season 10 ended yesterday with a mysterious rocket cracking the sky of its online multiplayer world. A meteor emerged, triggering a black hole that sucked in everything, including all players' avatars and the entire map. The game and all of Epic's social media accounts now show just the black hole.

    Is this Game Over? PlayStation has reassured gamers that their Fortnite items and money won't be lost, while loyal players have decoded clues hinting that they won't have long to wait for the next season.

  3. GOP Rebels Fight Fat Cat Tax Cuts

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said he saw the cloud forming around the U.S.’s silver economic data earlier this year. Stellar unemployment figures and a long-running bull market hid a problem: low business investment. Now, ahead of 2020 elections, Rubio and some Republican colleagues are recentering tax policy away from elite business interests and toward the regular Americans who could return them to office, OZY reports. But some experts warn that it’s a one-sided policy shift that misses the bigger picture.

    What does a people-first policy look like? Instead of corporate tax cuts, it would boost things like the Child Tax Credit and medical expense deductions.

  4. Trans Activist Daphne Dorman Dies at 44 of Apparent Suicide

    The 44-year-old comedian and trans activist said farewell on Facebook, writing, "I hope you'll remember me in better times." The Philadelphia native, who devoted her life to advocating for the trans community, was an accomplished software engineer and actress. She was also known for inspiring part of Dave Chappelle’s standup special Sticks and Stones. While it was criticized as being transphobic, Chappelle claims Dorman thanked him for "normalizing" trans people.

    How have people reacted? The news generated an outpouring of grief and support, with many expressing sadness that they couldn't "have helped you through the darkness," as Dorman's sister, Becky Kugler, posted.

    Check out this OZY story about the deadly dilemma facing trans migrants.

  5. Eliud Kipchoge Runs History's First Marathon Under 2 Hours

    The Kenyan Olympic medalist accomplished the seemingly impossible on a cool autumn morning in Vienna. Aided by 41 pacesetters, an electric pace car and flat terrain, the 34-year-old completed 26.2 miles in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40.2 seconds. Though it's the fastest marathon time ever recorded, it won't count as an official world record since Kipchoge ran on a closed course with no competitors.

    What’s next for Kipchoge? Probably some rest and reflection. He already holds the official world record, explaining that this race was merely about proving that no human is limited.

    Read OZY's story about the 15-year-old who could be America's next top sprinter.