The Presidential Daily Brief

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    Angry Republicans Storm Impeachment Hearing

    "Let us in! Let us in!" That's what some two-dozen Republican lawmakers chanted while disrupting the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's Ukraine diplomacy yesterday. They stormed a closed House hearing, delaying a Defense Department official's deposition by more than five hours. The moved reflected anger among Trump supporters over what many believe is a politically motivated inquiry. “This is a Soviet-style process,” said GOP Rep. Steve Scalise.

    Are Republicans united in defending Trump? Not exactly: Top members, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are equivocating after administration witnesses have said the president used foreign policy for political gain.

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    British Police Probe Mass Truck Deaths

    Following yesterday's grisly discovery of the bodies of 39 suspected migrants inside a refrigerated truck container near London, police are investigating what 25-year-old driver Mo Robinson — arrested on suspicion of murder — had to do with it. Authorities searched two addresses in Northern Ireland, where Robinson is from, and are also probing possible links to organized crime. Meanwhile, police said identifying the bodies would likely be a "lengthy process."

    Why organized crime? British authorities say the truck crossed from Belgium, which human traffickers have been favoring recently to avoid stringent checks at other ports of entry.

  3. Calling Turkey's Cease-fire 'Permanent,' Trump Lifts Sanctions

    Praising Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for halting his offensive against formerly American-allied Kurds in northeastern Syria, President Trump said yesterday he'd scrap all U.S. sanctions against Ankara. "Let someone else fight over this long-bloodstained sand," he told reporters at the White House. Meanwhile, Washington's envoy to Syria suggested Turkish-backed forces have committed war crimes there.

    Now what? While the move adheres to Trump's long-held belief that U.S. involvement in foreign wars is unnecessary, some say he'll pay a political price among his own base for ditching an ally.

    Read OZY's Fast Forward about Syria's illegal pill trade.

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    Tesla Posts Surprise Profit — But Can It Last?

    Shares in the electric carmaker soared 20 percent in after-hours trading yesterday after it reported a third-quarter profit of around $1.86 per share — defying expectations of a 42-cent loss. It's also got around $5.3 billion in cash reserves. CEO Elon Musk credited cost-cutting for the surprise performance, and also promised to introduce a cheaper SUV next year and better self-driving technology to compete with Tesla's larger rivals.

    Will the good news last? Some analysts warn that global demand for new vehicles is headed for a slump, while the elimination of federal tax credits to Tesla customers could strain U.S. sales in particular.

  5. Also Important...

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was reportedly worried about the pressure to investigate President Trump's political rivals two months before the two leaders' July 25 phone call. A Bangladesh court has sentenced 16 people to death for killing a teenage girl who refused to rescind a sexual harassment complaint against the principal of a religious school. And the remains of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco will finally be exhumed today and transferred to a family mausoleum outside Madrid.

    #OZYfact: Across the major Division 1 conferences, 45 percent of Black male athletes fail to graduate within six years. 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.

intriguing

  1. AR Will Turn Your Home Into a Haunted House

    Developers are marrying technology and terror in a way that’s never been done before, OZY reports. They’re using virtual and augmented reality to create experiences where everyday settings, from a kitchen to a warehouse, turn into haunted houses the moment you put on goggles. VR additions to escape rooms and museum exhibitions are cropping up across the country, and could soon find their way into your own home.

    Should this tech be feared? Its terrifying potential isn't held back by the temporal limitations of brick-and-mortar haunts — which should appeal to Americans, who spend more than $300 million on haunted house tickets annually.

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    Mark Zuckerberg Defends Libra Before Congress

    The Facebook CEO told lawmakers yesterday that if the U.S. derails the fledgling cryptocurrency, the world will favor digital currency developed by China instead. Zuckerberg's warning came at a tense session during which he failed to commit to blocking anonymous Libra accounts that could be used to launder money. But he also promised consumers' financial data would be protected.

    Will Congress come around? Some members of the House Financial Services Committee expressed concern that aggressively regulating Libra would weaken America's global financial dominance.

    Check out this OZY op-ed on why countries will turn away from Libra.

  3. Watchdog: Jordan Must End Its Male Guardianship System

    In a new report, human rights group Amnesty International is calling for Jordan to reform laws that give men control over women. The group reported that 149 Jordanian women are languishing in administrative detention, 22 of them accused of "absence" from their homes without the permission of a male guardian, or of having sex outside of marriage. Some women reported having their newborn child taken from them because they weren't married. The government denies women are being held for "absence."

    Will Jordan address the issue? In recent years, authorities have opened safe houses to shelter women from abusive households.

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    Rose McGowan Sues Weinstein, Lawyers Over 'Conspiracy'

    The 46-year-old actress has filed a lawsuit against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein and his attorneys, David Boies and Lisa Bloom, claiming they've waged a "diabolical and illegal effort" to curb her 1997 rape allegation against the cinema mogul. The racketeering lawsuit includes accusations of fraud and invasion of privacy, among others, over the group's effort to discredit her claims — detailed in her 2018 book, Brave.

    What methods were allegedly used against McGowan? The suit claims security firm Black Cube sent a "spy" to befriend her, record conversations and steal a draft of her book.

    Read OZY's original series about #MeToo going global.

  5. Belgian Paralympian Dies Via Euthanasia

    Marieke Vervoort chose to end her pain-wracked life earlier this week, officials from her hometown of Diest confirmed yesterday. Best known for winning Paralympics wheelchair racing medals in 2012 and 2016, the 40-year-old was diagnosed at age 14 with a rare degenerative spinal disease. She was a longtime advocate of assisted suicide, which is legal in Belgium. “For me it’s something peaceful," she explained.

    How will Vervoort be remembered? As a fighter who pushed herself despite excruciating pain: In 2017, she said, "If I want something, I go for it."