The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Boris Johnson

    Johnson Races to Beat Brexit Clock

    Following a fresh setback in a parliamentary session Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is back on the horse. Although lawmakers narrowly passed an amendment forcing him to ask the EU for an extension to next week's Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, he could still pry his country from the bloc: If Johnson heeds the amendment's requirements and can get enabling legislation passed this week, he might have enough votes to get his exit bill approved.

    What's next? First, Johnson will again try for a direct vote on his divorce agreement with the EU today, but Parliament Speaker John Bercow could deny him that chance.

  2. Trump Scraps Plan to Host G-7 Summit at His Resort

    Days after announcing plans to host the upcoming G-7 summit at his private golf resort near Miami, President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that he'd dropped the plan "based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility." Last week the White House touted the Trump National Doral Golf Club's virtues, while many officials in Washington cringed at how the executive decision would enrich the president.

    What else prompted the reversal? Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump knew the arrangement "looks lousy," but was "surprised by the level of pushback."

  3. lebanon shutterstock 446503069

    Is the Lebanese Government Listening to the People?

    Prime Minister Saad Hariri has announced a package of reforms in the wake of Lebanon's biggest anti-government protests since 2005. On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people across the country joined in the fourth day of demonstrations, initially sparked by a tax on messaging apps, with demands including the resignation of Hariri's government. The protests are seen as a reaction to a crumbling economy that seems to have had little effect on ruling elites. Among the slated reforms are huge pay cuts for officials.

    Where could this lead? Officials have cautioned against the instability of a leadership vacuum, while the public dissent brings to mind 2011's Arab Spring protests — many of which were met with violent crackdowns.

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    Chileans Riot Amid State of Emergency

    “We are at war." So said Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on national television yesterday, describing the violent clashes that have rocked his country in recent days. Protests over an increase in subway fares erupted two weeks ago but turned deadly over the weekend, when at least seven people were killed during arson attacks. Piñera said the state of emergency he enacted in the capital Santiago on Saturday would be extended to other cities.

    Can Piñera cool things down? Despite suspending the price hike, some observers suggest his inflammatory rhetoric — such as calling rioters "a powerful and implacable enemy" — is only making matters worse.

  5. Also Important...

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of President Trump's highest-profile backers, said in an interview aired Sunday that if new evidence emerged, he might consider supporting impeachment. Switzerland's Green parties made major gains in yesterday's parliamentary elections amid concerns about melting alpine glaciers. And every Australian newspaper's front page featured blacked-out text today in protest against the country's censorship laws.

    #OZYFact: Eighty percent of professional women over age 45 interviewed by OZY experienced ageism. Read more on OZY.

    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. African couple shutterstock

    Ugandans Are Gulping Viagra-Laced Energy Drinks

    Herbal drinks infused with the active ingredient in Viagra are a growing market in Uganda, OZY reports. But side effects like raised heart rates and headaches — or, for that matter, abnormal erections lasting hours — have public health experts concerned. The government has issued warnings, but the health ministry admits many consumers are likely ignoring the message.

    Why aren't authorities cracking down more? The swift proliferation of such drinks, as well as widespread corruption, has complicated those efforts, while the country's low literacy rate makes public awareness campaigns less effective.

  2. Facebook Post Sparks Deadly Clash in Bangladesh

    Social media posts that reportedly insulted the Prophet Muhammad spurred 20,000 Bangladeshi Muslims to protest Sunday in Borhanuddin, about 120 miles south of the capital, Dhaka. Police fired on demonstrators, who were said to be throwing rocks, killing four and injuring 50. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged restraint, claiming that a Hindu man's Facebook account was hacked to "spread lies."

    How unusual is this? After similar posts in 2012 and 2016, angry mobs attacked Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries, leaving authorities scrambling to defuse tensions.

    Read OZY's profile of an Indian police commander fighting social media incitement.

  3. Egyptians Reveal 30 Mummies from 3,000 Years Ago

    In one of the biggest such discoveries since the 19th century, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced Saturday that archaeologists had uncovered 30 sealed wooden coffins containing perfectly preserved mummies near the city of Luxor, site of the ancient capital of Thebes. The coffins have been labeled the "cachette of the priests," since some of the mummies appear to have been priests buried around 3,000 years ago.

    Where will the collection be displayed? Next month, the coffins will be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, just outside Cairo.

  4. Fans Descend on New York's 'Joker Stairs'

    Thanks to the film's now-famous dance scene, Instagrammers are flocking to a flight of stairs at the corner of Shakespeare and Jerome Avenues in the Bronx, where they're mimicking Joaquin Phoenix's cinematic villain. But locals warn that real-life larceny and bodily harm are risks that come with the authentic fire-escape-framed urban canyon. Meanwhile, Joker continued to make a killing at the box office this weekend.

    How are neighbors reacting? Some have expressed dismay at the attention, with one suggesting that residents are "encouraged to tax anyone" who visits.

    OZY profiles the raunch-com director who became Joker's scandalous mastermind.

  5. Astros Will Meet Nationals in World Series

    Astros slugger Jose Altuve might be a little guy — but he's a big reason Houston's headed to the World Series for the second time in three years, having dispatched the Yankees with a walk-off homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth Saturday. Houston will now host the Washington Nationals in Game 1 Tuesday. But the Astros' dynasty-building may not be MLB's most compelling motivation, OZY reports: While the Nats have only waited 15 years for a pennant, a D.C.-based team hasn't won the championship since 1924.

    What can we expect in the Fall Classic? Analysts are touting the pitching possibilities, from Houston's Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander to D.C.'s "Mad Max" Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.