The Presidential Daily Brief


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    With ISIS Leader Reported Dead, Now What?

    "He died like a coward." That's how President Donald Trump reported the death of long-hunted ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Sunday. The self-appointed caliph, allegedly "whimpering and crying," blew himself and his three children up when cornered by American commandos in northwestern Syria. But U.S. officials quickly cast doubt on the more colorful part of Trump's account, saying the drone feed he watched didn't relay such sounds.

    Is this a major blow for ISIS? Analysts note that while it has also been hobbled by the loss of its territory in Iraq and Syria, its potential to regroup shouldn't be ignored.

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    California Wildfires Force Mass Evacuations

    As winds whip wildfires across more than 54,000 acres in Northern California's Sonoma County, some 180,000 people are being forced to ditch the area. Another 2 million face precautionary power blackouts. On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency after the Kincade Fire — only 5 percent contained by more than 3,000 firefighters — destroyed 94 structures, while smaller blazes burned elsewhere in the state.

    What else are authorities worried about? Apart from potential fatalities, they're battling to keep the fires from crossing Highway 101, which demarcates an area of farmland and forest that hasn't burned since the 1940s.

    Don't miss this OZY piece on Indonesia's wildfire prevention.

  3. Argentina's Peronists Stage Political Comeback

    Although his financial reforms won support from international creditors, center-right President Mauricio Macri was rejected by Argentine voters at the polls yesterday. Alberto Fernández, successor to the political dynasty established in the 1940s by Juan and "Evita" Peron, emerged as the victor, with 48 percent to Macri's 40 percent. Ex-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, considered the campaign's strategic mastermind, will be vice president despite facing corruption charges.

    How will Fernández govern? He's pledged to "build the Argentina we deserve" — but hasn't explained how he'll tackle the country's recession or wild currency swings.

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    Reports: LVMH Eyes Tiffany in $14.5 Billion Bid

    In an apparent attempt to expand into the lucrative U.S. jewelry market, the French owner of luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Givenchy has reportedly offered to buy the iconic New York-based jeweler. Tiffany is said to still be considering the all-cash bid, which values the company at around $120 per share, even though the two entities aren't officially negotiating.

    Why does it matter? The move could boost Tiffany's sluggish sales growth while also providing LVMH a key player in one of the luxury industry's fastest-growing sectors — worth about $18 billion last year.

  5. Also Important...

    The European Union has offered the U.K. a three-month Brexit extension. Democratic Rep. Katie Hill of California has resigned amid an ethics probe into allegations, which she denies, of an inappropriate relationship with a staffer. And in a joint video message, Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma have challenged American pugilist Floyd Mayweather to a fight.

    #OZYfact: Florida's Lee County saw an 8-percentage-point leap in voter turnout in 2016 — the largest of any big county in the nation. Read more on OZY.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for a skilled full stack marketer who can help make OZY a household name. Check out our jobs page and read the description here.


  1. Former US Rep. John Conyers Dies At 90

    The longest-serving African American lawmaker in congressional history died at his Detroit home yesterday. He was 90 years old. During his 53-year stretch representing Michigan in the House, Conyers was a civil rights champion who fought for fair housing and criminal justice reform, among other progressive causes. The prominent Democrat also hired Rosa Parks after her historic bus segregation protest.

    How will he be remembered? Despite his 2017 resignation amid allegations of sexual misconduct, Conyers' legacy will likely be that of an ardent fighter who "never once wavered," tweeted his successor, Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

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    Lawsuit Claims Southwest Pilots Watched Potty Cam

    The U.S. airline is preparing to "vigorously defend" itself after a flight attendant and her husband claimed it retaliated against her for complaining about an alleged bathroom livestream set up by two pilots during a 2017 flight. The suit also claims the pilots — who cited security measures after being discovered — quickly ditched the plane after landing, which is against federal rules, and even left a gun in the cockpit.

    What does Southwest say? It denies the potty cam's existence, and claims the video in the suit was "an inappropriate attempt at humor."

    Read OZY's feature about the rise of the "granny state."

  3. Are Ghosts Hitching Taxi Rides in Japan?

    The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that tore through Japan in 2011 left 16,000 dead and flattened towns along the coast. But the departed don’t go quietly in a place where ghosts are culturally accepted, OZY reports: One sociologist studying the phenomenon quizzed taxi drivers who reported passengers having simply vanished from their cabs. Firemen, meanwhile, have been known to pray for the deceased residents of destroyed homes after receiving ghostly calls from the properties. 

    Is Japan haunted? Probably no more than other places — but the prevailing Shinto religion, which requires that spirits be cared for to ease their journey to the afterlife, means locals may be more ghost-conscious.

  4. Long-Lost Masterpiece Painting Fetches $26.6 Million

    The elderly and unwitting French owner of a 13th century painting is now mega-rich after it sold at the Acteon Auction House Sunday for about four times more than expected. An auctioneer discovered the 8- by 10-inch work by Cimabue — called Christ Mocked and believed to be one part of a three-piece diptych — in the woman's house earlier this year. The other two panels are currently on display in New York and London.

    Who's Cimabue? Experts consider him to be the forefather of the Italian Renaissance, one whose artwork had never been auctioned before.

  5. Astros Aim for Title After Beating Nats in Game 5

    After dropping their first two games at home, Houston is back on top. The Astros won World Series Game 5 yesterday, beating host Washington Nationals, 7-1. Houston pitcher Gerrit Cole allowed only five men on base in seven innings, while scheduled Nats ace Max Scherzer was sidelined by a neck injury. Home runs from Astros sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Carlos Correa and George Springer sealed the deal.

    What's next? If they win at home Tuesday night, the Astros could clinch their second championship.

    Read OZY's Flashback exposing the angry side of baseball legend Ted Williams.