The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Beijing's Candidates Trounced in Hong Kong Elections

    After months of protests demanding a voice in their governance, Hong Kong residents turned out in record numbers to deliver an overwhelming victory to pro-democracy candidates in Sunday's district council elections. It was progress, one campaigner said, "towards a situation where we can fight back." Pro-Beijing parties won around 10 percent of 452 contested seats and saw 17 of 18 districts swing to the pro-democracy movement. Streets remained calm during voting, as activists urged.

    What does this mean? It could be bad news for Carrie Lam, the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's embattled chief executive, who said she'd "seriously reflect on the people's opinion."

  2. Navy Chief Out After Defying Trump Over SEAL's Discipline

    Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who publicly expressed misgivings about President Donald Trump's shielding of a Navy SEAL from disciplinary proceedings, was asked to resign Sunday by Defense Secretary Mark Esper. The dispute concerned Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who was acquitted in an ISIS prisoner's death but convicted of posing with the corpse. Trump backed Gallagher when the Navy launched a review that could have stripped his SEAL status.

    What's Esper's explanation? He says he lost confidence in Spencer for offering the White House a deal behind his back to let Gallagher retire as a SEAL after Trump intervened to restore his rank.

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    Michael Bloomberg Announces Presidential Bid

    The 77-year-old former New York City mayor joined the crowded Democratic field Sunday, saying he wants to "defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America." Yet his administration's controversial stop-and-frisk policy — for which he's apologized — and his late entry are seen as major obstacles. Some Democrats are also wary of fielding a septuagenarian New York billionaire who could draw comparisons to Trump.

    Could Bloomberg win the nomination? His estimated $54 billion net worth paired with a vow to tax the wealthy could give him a leg up, plus he outpolls Trump, head to head.

    Don't miss this OZY op-ed on how Bloomberg could win.

  4. Photocopier

    HP Rejects Xerox’s Buyout Demands

    The offer from Xerox “significantly undervalues HP.” So said the company's board in a sternly worded letter rejecting the printer and photocopier maker's $33.5 billion purchase offer. HP Inc., which makes similar products, says its future doesn't depend on the deal, which Xerox has threatened to take directly to shareholders in a hostile takeover bid.

    Why is HP wary? Xerox revenues have declined in recent quarters, plus HP officials say its decision to exit a joint venture with Fujifilm has left a “sizable strategic hole in Xerox's portfolio.”

    Read OZY's look at tech IPO transparency.

  5. Also Important...

    Uber's license to operate in London won't be extended, city authorities have announced. Leaked documents show how Chinese authorities have brainwashed hundreds of thousands of imprisoned Muslim Uighurs. And South Korean authorities are investigating the death of 28-year-old K-pop star Goo Hara.

    #OZYFact: In 2018, Japan's total deaths from overwork fell to 158, the lowest in a decade. Read more on OZY.

    Listen to The Future of X! OZY's newest podcast, in partnership with Smartsheet, fast-forwards 50 years to explore the industries and domains that will shape our world, starting with health care. Check it out here.


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    Egypt Raids 'Last' Independent Media Outlet

    Police stormed the office of Mada Masr, which calls itself Egypt's last independent news organization, on Sunday, detaining staff and demanding they hand over their phones and laptops. Editor-in-Chief Lina Attallah and two others were arrested, while two foreign editors, an American and a Briton, were taken from the building and threatened with deportation. All were later released, along with another editor who'd been arrested Friday night.

    What prompted this? It's not certain, but it comes on the heels of an anonymously sourced Mada Masr article that alleged President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's son was demoted from a senior intelligence position.

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    Measles Death Toll Rises to 25 in Samoa

    The Pacific island nation's outbreak has killed 25 people out of nearly 2,200 suspected cases — 144 of which were reported within 24 hours beginning on Sunday. While 20 children remain in critical condition, 30 others once listed as critical have improved enough to be released. Although the Samoan government mandates measles shots, only 26 percent of the population is fully immunized.

    What's being done to control the disease? A child-focused vaccination campaign is underway, with UNICEF contributing more than 110,000 doses, while dozens of medics from French Polynesia, Australia and New Zealand are helping with immunizations and treatment.

    Read this OZY piece on an anti-vaccination fatwa.

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    Taylor Swift's AMA Haul Breaks Michael Jackson's Record

    The singer-songwriter won five American Music Awards last night, including artist of the year, favorite female artist and favorite pop/rock album. That brings her all-time tally to 28, breezing past the late Michael Jackson's 24. BTS and Khalid each secured three translucent pyramids and Billie Eilish claimed two, while most-nominated artist Post Malone nabbed just one.

    Who made waves? Swift marked her artist of the decade award by performing a career-spanning medley — despite the ongoing controversy over her former label's ownership of her older songs.

    OZY explains why you should stop expecting music from musicians.

  4. The Next Big Social Network Is Your Street

    Social media has been blamed for dividing communities, but can it also do the opposite? A wave of apps like Nextdoor and Google's Neighbourly are helping locals make connections offline. They offer everything from park recommendations to linking parents with nearby grandmas for child care to flagging suspicious activity, OZY finds. And unlike global platforms, many of these local apps verify users and encourage real-world interactions instead of keeping folks glued to their screens.

    Doesn't Craigslist do this? The digital classified king focuses primarily on single-purpose, one-on-one connections, while the new breed of local networks aims for long-term connections on a range of issues.

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    49ers' Crushing Defense Stifles Rodgers, Packers

    It was the game of the week — or it was supposed to be, with one of the NFL's best quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers, and his Green Bay Packers ready to humble the San Francisco 49ers, the NFC's top team. But Rodgers was shut down by four Niners' sacks and yardage-sapping tackles, remaining behind for the entire 37-8 blowout in the City by the Bay.

    What about the AFC? The conference-leading New England Patriots held off the Dallas Cowboys 13-9 in a contest marked by controversial tripping penalties against Dallas.

    Read OZY's profile of the career-defying choice of an NFL draft prospect.