The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Mike Pence: Turkey Agrees to Ceasefire in Syria

    Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that the U.S and Turkey agreed on a five day ceasefire in Syria. During that time, the U.S will facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish YPG fighters from Turkey's proposed safe zone. The agreement also lifts U.S sanctions that were imposed on Turkey for launching a bloody offensive that Washington permitted. Trump nonetheless hailed the ceasefire over Twitter, claiming "Millions of lives will be saved."

    How will the ceasefire be enforced? Details haven't been disclosed. But it will be difficult for the U.S to monitor the ceasefire since after pulling out all its forces from Northern Syria last week.

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    A Brexit Deal Is Finally Within Sight

    British and European officials say they've finally reached a long-awaited agreement on the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU. But its prospects at home appear dim: Citing concerns with customs and taxes, the Democratic Unionist Party — a key ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government — announced it won't support the deal "as it stands." Some say it's a "body blow" to Johnson, though the DUP still seems open to negotiating.

    How important is their support? Johnson no longer has a majority in Parliament and many of his fellow Conservatives won't back any deal without the DUP's approval.

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    Trump Has 'Meltdown' Over Syria Criticism

    President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused one another of having a "meltdown" during a tense meeting yesterday about the U.S. troop pullout in Syria. Trump, at least, had reason to fume: Amid growing bipartisan anger, two-thirds of House Republicans voted for a resolution condemning his decision, which left the formerly U.S.-backed Kurds open to attack from Turkish forces. Democratic leaders ditched the meeting after Trump reportedly called Pelosi a "third-rate politician."

    How tough will Trump get on Turkey? In a recent letter, he told President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, "Don't be a fool!" But he'll be tested by Erdoğan's repeated dismissals of international pressure to call a cease-fire.

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    The GOP Is Gearing Up for Impeachment

    As House investigators continued their probe of the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his colleagues to prepare for an impeachment trial by Thanksgiving. McConnell's comments, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation on the process, came as a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told congressional investigators he resigned partly over the politicization of Trump's foreign policy.

    Is the GOP worried? Besides hoping to force a speedy trial, Republicans are also said to be concerned about the heightened partisanship that's likely to result from impeachment.

  5. The Longest US Auto Strike in Decades May Be Over

    A monthlong labor dispute that's involved 46,000 employees and halted work at more than 30 factories across the country may end after United Auto Workers reached a tentative deal with General Motors. The agreement reportedly addresses job security and better pay for temporary workers. But while UAW's negotiating team could accept the agreement today, it still needs approval from rank-and-file employees — who could continue to picket until the deal is actually signed.

    How damaging has this strike been? GM will report its third-quarter results later this month, but analysts believe it has cost the company around $1.5 billion.

  6. Also Important...

    Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, who participated in the Trump impeachment inquiry, died Thursday at 68. Electric carmaker Tesla has been granted approval to begin manufacturing in China. And the son of Tarzan actor Ron Ely was gunned down by police this week after stabbing his mother to death.

    #OZYfact: World Wrestling Entertainment earns annual revenue of around $1 billion. Read more on OZY.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for an analytical and globally minded 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. Feds Bust Massive Child Porn Site on Dark Web

    The U.S. Department of Justice, working with British and South Korean investigators, announced the shutdown of the dark web site Welcome to Video. The bust resulted in the arrest of 337 alleged pedophiles in 38 countries and the rescue of 23 children from abuse. The website's South Korean administrator was caught after U.S. authorities discovered that he was receiving bitcoin payments under his real name.

    Is child porn on the rise? Tech companies identified 45 million cases in 2018 — double the volume of 2017 — and officials attribute the increase to encrypted messaging services.

  2. In European Politics, Saving the Planet Is Now a Priority

    After leading the world's youngsters on the streets, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg could send them to ballot boxes across Europe. Politics on the Continent is shifting solidly green, bucking decades of center-right dominance. The inward-looking protectionism that's long defined Europe is out of fashion, OZY reports: Now, impassioned citizens are using their votes to show elites just how serious they are about environmental issues.

    Is it the end of centrism? Particularly in central Europe, voters are souring on the middle-ground parties, which they say have done little to address climate change.

  3. Not Getting Enough Sleep? Blame Your DNA

    A study published in Science Translational Medicine credits a mutated gene for some people needing significantly less sleep than others. University of California researchers spotted the gene thanks to a father and son — both short-sleepers — who reached out to them after reading their previous work. The findings, experts say, could one day lead to a pill that allows everyone to sleep less without feeling ill effects.

    What's next? The authors are focused on identifying the mechanisms of healthy sleep to reduce the risk of cancer and dementia.

    Don't miss OZY's original series, The Science of Sleep.

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    Leonardo da Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man' Can Travel, Court Rules

    After a two-year legal battle, an Italian court yesterday reversed a decision blocking the famed 1490 drawing from leaving the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice. It's now on its way to the Louvre in Paris for a retrospective opening Oct. 24 that marks the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance artist’s death. Italia Nostra, an advocacy group for Italian heritage, had claimed the drawing was too fragile to travel.

    What else will be on display? To Italy's dismay, the Louvre already holds five of the fewer than 20 surviving Leonardo paintings, but it will also borrow a handful of other works from Florence's Uffizi Gallery.

    Read OZY's profile of the artist who dares to paint God as a Black woman.

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    US Boxer Dies of Brain Trauma Days After Bout

    After suffering a traumatic brain injury during a fight with Charles Conwell in Chicago Saturday night, middleweight Patrick Day succumbed to his injuries, his promoter announced yesterday. The 27-year-old was knocked out in the 10th round of a super welterweight title match and left the ring on a stretcher. He never regained consciousness. A guilt-ridden Conwell posted a letter to Day on social media Monday, saying, "I never meant for this to happen to you ... If I could take it all back I would."

    What were Day's accomplishments? The Long Island native won the 2012 New York Golden Gloves tournament and was an Olympic alternate that year.