The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Bolivia's Embattled Ex-President Flees to Mexico

    Following his resignation Sunday after weeks of revolt, Evo Morales was spirited out of his country late Monday on a plane operated by the Mexican government, which has granted him asylum. But the former llama shepherd and cocoa farmer — who was reelected in an Oct. 20 vote marred by allegations of fraud — promised to "return soon, with more strength and energy."

    Why does it matter? As OZY reports, Morales' resignation before events became bloodier could serve as a lesson for other leaders facing public unrest, such as Hong Kong's Carrie Lam.

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    Israeli Airstrikes Kill Palestinian Militant Leader

    Islamic Jihad announced today that commander Bahaa Abu el-Atta was killed in a Gaza air raid by Israel's military — which also reportedly targeted the militants' Damascus-based political leader, who survived. The Gaza attack provoked retaliatory rocket fire and a warning from Hamas, while Tel Aviv said Abu el-Atta was a "ticking bomb" who'd been planning more attacks on Israel.

    What's next? Analysts say the raids on the Iranian-backed group could prompt "an extremely dangerous escalation," since Israel hasn't targeted Palestinian leaders in a such a way for while.

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    Police, Protesters Face Off Again in Hong Kong

    Authorities warned that the semi-autonomous Chinese territory is on “the brink of total breakdown” as more violence followed yesterday's police shooting of a protester. Today officers fired tear gas on hundreds of demonstrators who descended on the city's financial district in a flash mob, while riots also gripped two university campuses.

    Do protesters have a plan? Their current strategy of blocking weekday traffic across the city has proven more effective than weekend violence, experts say — even if it's not sustainable.

    Check out OZY's Special Briefing on Hong Kong's face mask ban.

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    Is Southwest Flying Poorly Inspected Planes?

    According to documents released Monday by the Senate, a top Federal Aviation Administration official warned that Southwest Airlines has been operating dozens of planes purchased from foreign carriers without having complete records of repairs. In a memo to the FAA's chief, H. Clayton Foushee recommended that the jets — which U.S. regulators had allowed to continue flying — be grounded until they could be fully inspected.

    What does Southwest say? The airline insists it never hid any problems, which it attributed to documentation lapses from previous owners, and said it conducted a "thorough audit" of the planes.

  5. Also Important...

    Ex-President Jimmy Carter entered the hospital yesterday for brain surgery. Nissan has reported a 70 percent drop in quarterly profit amid slumping sales. And Poland has expressed dismay with a Netflix documentary's depiction of Nazi death camps as being located within its modern-day borders, instead of within German-occupied territory.

    #OZYfact: The impact of climate change on increased rainfall is much clearer in Iowa and the upper Midwest than anywhere else in the country. Read more on OZY.

    OZY needs you! Tell us about the last great film you saw, book you read, podcast you discovered or concert you went to ... and we'll share it in OZY's Weekender newsletter. Email your picks to


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    Twitter Wants Your Help to Fight Deepfakes

    The microblogging platform is seeking public input on its proposed policy to fight manipulated photos, video and audio. In a survey open through Nov. 27, Twitter is asking users whether it should flag or remove deepfakes on its platform. The move is part of a wider debate about what actions social media should take against false or misleading content.

    Could Twitter catch all the deepfakes? It's unlikely: The technology used to identify manipulated content is often inferior to the advanced techniques used to create it.

    Check out OZY's feature on the "digital black hole" states.

  2. US Cops Are Learning to Deal With Autism

    According to a recent study, 1 in 5 Americans with autism will be stopped by police before they turn 21. But local authorities, universities and hospitals across the country are joining forces to help change that troubling trend, OZY reports. New legislation and officer training are aimed at improving relations between the autistic community and the police, while a recent federal law provides an extra $1.8 billion in funding over the next five years. 

    Will everyone benefit? Undiagnosed people, as well as minorities, may be less likely to experience the benefits due to broader health care and policing issues.

  3. British White Helmets Trainer Found Dead in Istanbul

    James Le Mesurier, a former British military officer who trained Syrian search and rescue volunteers, was reportedly found dead Monday in the Turkish capital. While the cause of death wasn't immediately clear, some reports suggest he fell from his balcony. Last week, Russia's Foreign Ministry cast Le Mesurier, who founded the Mayday Rescue organization that trained Syria's famed White Helmets, as a spy with "connections to terrorist groups."

    How will he be remembered? Le Mesurier dedicated his life to saving civilians in Syria and other conflicts.

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    'Jeopardy' Contestant Blows $2K on Alex Trebek Tribute

    "We love you, Alex." That's the answer Dhruv Gaur wrote in response to a Final Jeopardy question during Monday's show — spending all but $5 of his cash in a heartwarming hat-tip to the legendary host. Earlier this year, the 79-year-old announced he's suffering from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, but returned to the show in late August to record a new season. Gaur's message caused Trebek to choke up.

    What's his current status? Before taping Monday's episode, Trebek told the contestants he's back in for more treatment.

    Don't miss OZY's True Story about surviving cancer thanks to air guitar.

  5. NHL Broadcaster Don Cherry Fired for Anti-Immigrant Rant

    The outspoken Hockey Night in Canada commentator's 38-year career came to an end Monday for questioning the patriotism of new Canadians. In a rant on Saturday's broadcast, the 85-year-old addressed immigrants in Toronto as "you people," suggesting they don't support veterans as much as Canadian-born residents of smaller cities. Cherry's co-host, Ron MacLean, offered an apology Sunday for not interjecting during the broadcast.

    How has Cherry responded? He claims his statements were simply patriotic — while some commentators expressed surprise he wasn't fired earlier for previous controversial remarks.