The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. U.S to Rule Israeli Settlements Aren't Illegal

    The U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the Trump administration will no longer classify Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories as a violation of international law. The highly symbolic move jeopardizes claims to Palestinian statehood, and puts the U.S at odds with a global consensus of ending the conflict via a two-state solution.

    What's the incentive? The decision could be an attempt to boost the image of Israel's conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is struggling to form a coalition to save his political career.

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    Police Battle Activists in Hong Kong University Siege

    Police in Hong Kong arrested protesters today as they tried to escape from a university campus they've held all weekend, battling police with weapons that included Molotov cocktails, catapults and bows and arrows. As the fiery battle raged, a Hong Kong court invalidated the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's ban on face masks in a win for for the pro-democracy movement.

    What's Beijing's stance? The state-run People's Daily said today there's "no room for compromise" on China's control over Hong Kong, while Chinese troops were deployed to remove debris from abandoned roadblocks.

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    Four Die in California Football Party Shooting

    "Unknown suspects" sneaked into a backyard football-watching party in Fresno Sunday evening, shooting 10 people, four of whom died. Police said the gathering of about 35 people was "very likely" targeted by the assailants. "Luckily, most of the women and children were inside," said the city's police chief. The victims were "Asian males" in their 20s and 30s, police reported.

    Who's responsible? Authorities haven't named suspects or the type of firearms used, but indicated that federal agents would assist with the investigation.

    Read this OZY Special Briefing on mass shootings.

  4. Trump Stumping Again Falls Short in Louisiana

    Despite pleading with Louisiana voters for a win after Kentucky's Republican governor was ousted, President Donald Trump lost once more this weekend. He campaigned fervently against Gov. John Bel Edwards, but the Democrat was narrowly reelected Saturday. While Trump's supporters are downplaying the defeat, observers say the president needed a win to shore up GOP support amid an ongoing impeachment process.

    What's the latest on impeachment? After Trump's mid-hearing tweetstorm attacking a witness Friday, Democrats running the investigation have invited the president to share his views in person.

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    SoftBank Merger to Create $30 Billion Tech Firm

    In a bid to forge a viable data and artificial intelligence competitor, Japan's SoftBank Corp. plans to merge its Yahoo Japan business, recently renamed Z Holdings, with the messaging service Line. The deal would create a $30 billion tech conglomerate, half owned by SoftBank and the other half owned by South Korea's Naver Corp., which is the majority owner of the unprofitable Line.

    What's unusual about this? Analysts say that if all goes well, the merger will be the biggest cooperative venture in a decade to bridge the nations, whose trade relations have recently suffered.

  6. Also Important...

    The International Criminal Court is considering investigating the BBC's allegations that British troops covered up the killings of civilians in Afghanistan. Potential Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has apologized for the stop-and-frisk policy — seen as unfairly targeting people of color — while he was mayor of New York. And Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in today as Sri Lanka's new president.

    #OZYfact: Singer Rihanna's Fenty Beauty business raised $100 million in its first 40 days. Read more on OZY.

    OZY is changing! Share your feedback as we evolve and improve: Fill out our short 2019 User Survey, and you could win a $100 Amazon gift card — or even a trip to meet the OZY team in California!


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    Trump May Shelve E-Cigarette Curbs

    Has his resolve evaporated? In September President Trump vowed to ban flavored e-cigarettes, said to entice young people, after a spate of sometimes fatal illnesses linked to vaping. This weekend reports emerged saying he was backing away from a ban in favor of further study after aides warned of repercussions at the ballot box in swing states.

    What happened? White House insiders said the president's initial pledge was prompted by first lady Melania and daughter Ivanka, but it triggered a backlash under the hashtag #IVapeIVote.

    Check out OZY's Special Briefing on e-cigarettes under fire.

  2. Iran Suspends Internet to Quell Protests

    Internet watchdogs said the Islamic Republic shut down access this weekend in response to nationwide protests over a sudden fuel price increase. Iranians abroad said they couldn't connect with anyone inside the country except by phone, and some feared calls could be monitored. However, the Iranian government is still tweeting as it tries to control the flow of information.

    Does it end there? Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that security forces would be dealing with "key perpetrators" of the protests, which have already caused at least two deaths, signaling an offline crackdown.

    OZY examines internet restrictions in Kashmir.

  3. Accuses Qantas Flight Attendant of Racism

    Australian police met the Black Eyed Peas frontman in Sydney's airport Saturday following an onboard altercation with a flight attendant. claimed he was racially "targeted" after the Qantas employee was "overly aggressive" because he had his laptop open when it was supposed to be stowed. The singer tweeted a photo of police and named the woman he claims was rude to him.

    Has the airline responded? Qantas released a statement calling it a "misunderstanding" over's use of noise-cancelling headphones blocking crew instructions, and wished him well on his Australian tour.

  4. Swipe Left for a Career Change

    Work doesn’t look like it did decades ago, so why should finding a job stay the same? A wave of new apps, like Shapr and Blonk, aim to update old standards like LinkedIn, applying Tinder-like matching to the workforce. Crucially, OZY reports, the apps suit a hidden secret of hiring: HR managers decide if they like an applicant within seconds. If it’s like-at-first-sight, matches are introduced in-app before taking the conversation offline.

    Is your next job a swipe away? Established online employment portals are moving quickly to get ahead of the trend, such as's acquisition of the Jobr app.

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    After Workout Tiff, Will NFL Rehire Colin Kaepernick?

    He proved his point. That's what former San Francisco teammate and fellow social justice advocate Eric Reid said of the lightning rod quarterback. Kaepernick, out of work since 2016 over his national anthem protests, held his own workout Saturday to show teams he still has what it takes. But he did so after refusing the NFL's invitation to hold a workout at the Atlanta Falcons training facility due to a lack of media access.

    Will anyone sign him? Some NFL scouts did show up at Kaepernick's rearranged workout, after which he said, "I've been ready for three years."

    Read OZY's Immodest Proposal on Kap's NFL relationship.