The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton has joined the White House as its national security adviser. Source: Getty

    Dems Dig Deeper Into White House for Testimony

    As House committees investigate his dealings with Ukraine, lawmakers are reaching further into President Donald Trump's administration for testimony. Today, top Russia aide Tim Morrison is scheduled to testify, while ex-national security adviser John Bolton is also said to have been summoned. But it's unclear whether Bolton, reportedly alarmed by Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into probing his opponents, will appear voluntarily. Meanwhile, the House will likely pass rules for public hearings today.

    Will Morrison spill any beans? The first White House political appointee to testify, he could detail the "sinking feeling" he's reported to have experienced over Trump's effort to nudge Ukraine's leader into publicly committing to investigating Joe Biden.

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    Twitter Trolls Facebook by Banning Political Ads

    In an apparent response to what critics say is Facebook's reluctance to crack down on fake news and false ads, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey yesterday announced a ban on political advertisement starting Nov. 22. His statement coincided with the release of his rival's quarterly financial report, highlighting the stark differences between the two social media giants in handling political speech.

    Will Twitter take a financial hit? While it's generated 86 percent of its revenue from advertising this year, analysts say political ads are only a small portion of that.

    Read OZY's feature about skeptical Arab youth turning to social media for news.

  3. Pentagon Warns of Retribution After Baghdadi Hit

    "We are postured and prepared." That's how the head of U.S. Central Command described the readiness of U.S. forces for potential blowback following the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a commando raid last weekend. Yesterday the Pentagon released grainy, black-and-white portions of aerial footage from the operation in northwestern Syria. Gen. Frank McKenzie also said the U.S. collected a "substantial" amount of documents and electronics.

    How serious is the threat? The acting director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center says ISIS, endowed with a "deep bench," could appoint a new leader within weeks or even days.

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    It's Official: Fiat Chrysler Is Merging With Peugeot

    The two auto giants confirmed today that they're eyeing a 50-50 marriage that would create the world's fourth-largest carmaker. Shares will be listed in New York, Paris and Milan, while Peugeot chief Carlos Tavares will serve as CEO and Fiat Chrysler's John Elkann will become chairman. The new entity will be based in The Netherlands.

    What's next? Besides catching up with emerging technology and stricter emissions standards, analysts say the company will also have a tough time breaking into China's car market — the world's largest.

  5. Also Important...

    At least 73 people were killed Thursday after a Pakistani train caught fire while in transit. The U.S. Federal Reserve has cut interest rates for the third time this year, but said it won't cut further without signs of a slowing economy. And the Malaysian financier at the center of his country's massive corruption scandal will give up $700 million in assets — the largest-ever U.S. civil forfeiture.

    #OZYfact: The number of "boot camps" for troubled teens has grown 23 percent since 2017. Read more on OZY.

    Check it out! Don't miss this curated package of OZY ghost stories on Flipboard.


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    Nats Win World Series — And Make History

    In a franchise first, the Washington Nationals are World Series champions, thanks to a 6-2 comeback yesterday over the Houston Astros. The title — the city's first in baseball since 1924 — is an improbable ending to a storybook season for a team that began the season 19-31. It was also the first championship series in any major U.S. sport in which the visiting team won every game.

    Who was the most heroic Nat? Pitcher Stephen Strasburg was named MVP, while last night Max Scherzer allowed two runs in five nail-biting innings after neck spasms cancelled his Sunday start.

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    Pathologist Suggests Jeffrey Epstein Was Strangled

    A private forensic pathologist said Wednesday the disgraced financier may have died by homicide, not by hanging himself. Skeptical of the official account of the jailhouse death, Epstein's brother hired celebrity pathologist Michael Baden, who claimed multiple fractures of the hyoid neck bone indicates that the convicted sex offender could have been strangled. New York's medical examiner — a job Baden once held — stands by her determination.

    Will the new finding matter? With no definitive evidence to confirm murder, Baden's conclusion will probably only fuel conspiracy theories that Epstein was killed to keep him from implicating other influential men.

  3. Female Entrepreneurs Thrive in North Dakota's Oil Fields

    Williston, North Dakota, was once the closest thing 21st-century America had to the Wild West, its booming fracking industry attracting hedonistic single men and Vegas strippers. But the collapse of oil prices meant these hard-partying workers were replaced by families — and these days, OZY reports, the isolated town looks a lot different. Female entrepreneurs have moved in to fill the void, a pattern that's been observed statewide, and now North Dakota is a leader in employment vitality.

    Why women? Experts suggest that female entrepreneurs, often overlooked by investors, are driven to set up in viable markets where start-up costs remain low.

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    Memories Traumatize Young Rohingya Refugees

    Aid groups say a staggering one in five refugee children are experiencing a "mental health crisis" after witnessing atrocities the Rohingya reportedly suffered in Myanmar before fleeing to Bangladesh. Isolation and poor conditions in refugee camps have compounded the emotional trauma, aid workers say, adding that stressed-out migrant parents can also pile on the strain, causing a "spill down effect" for kids.

    What can be done? Improving daily living conditions is an important step, and so is boosting access to education — since only 11 percent of teens aged 15 to 18 receive schooling.

  5. New York City Bans a Cherished Delicacy

    City legislators voted 42-6 yesterday to ban foie gras, labeling it a "force-fed poultry product." Part of a broader animal rights package, which also protects horses from pulling carriages on especially hot days, the ban begins in 2022 and fines violators up to $2,000. The rich French culinary staple is made from engorged livers of geese or ducks fed via tubes inserted into their throats.

    Who will feel the impact? While animal rights activists are celebrating, farmers and meat distributors say they'll lose out on millions of dollars and will be forced to cut hundreds of jobs.