The Presidential Daily Brief

Important

  1. Carrie lam hong kong shutterstock 1424766968

    China Furious as Trump Signs Hong Kong Bills

    President Donald Trump should expect "firm countermeasures," Beijing warned Thursday, after he approved legislation supporting pro-democracy protesters in China's crisis-stricken semi-autonomous territory. Among other measures, the new laws threaten sanctions for human rights violations. Trump, who acknowledged the move might rattle China, said he hoped all involved in the monthslong unrest could "amicably settle their differences."

    Why does it matter? It could seriously derail trade talks between Beijing and Washington — shortly after both sides hailed signs of progress.

  2. iraq shutterstock 420111937

    Iraqi Protests Marred by More Deadly Violence

    At least 13 people were killed early today as security forces cracked down on anti-government protests in the southern city of Nasiriya. That came shortly after demonstrators set fire to the Iranian Consulate in Najaf Wednesday. In response to the fresh escalation of the unrest that's left hundreds dead in recent weeks, the Iraqi government says it's setting up military "crisis cells" to address the violence.

    What's driving the turmoil? Protesters in Baghdad and predominantly Shiite southern Iraq are raging against unemployment and a corruption-riddled government they believe is supported by Iran.

  3. north korea missile on flag shutterstock 687626749

    North Korea Fires Two Projectiles — And a Message

    South Korea's military says the Hermit Kingdom launched another two unidentified projectiles today. If confirmed to be a missile test, it would be Pyongyang's 13th since May — and a stark reminder that it's serious about getting Washington to ease pressure off the regime amid denuclearization talks.

    What's next? The two sides are down to the wire as their year-end deadline for a resolution approaches, with some reports suggesting Seoul is considering "contingency plans" with the U.S. if talks fall through.

    Check out OZY's Special Briefing on North Korea's economy.

  4. rudy giuliani shutterstock 708832021

    Rudy Giuliani's Ukraine Business Dealings Under Spotlight

    Responding to reports that he pursued private business deals with Ukrainian officials, President Trump's personal lawyer said he never followed through because of conflicting interests. "I never received a penny," said Giuliani, who considered representing the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice as well as the prosecutor general personally. Critics say that was during the same period that he was guiding White House efforts to pressure Ukraine into probing Trump's opponents.

    Is Giuliani in legal trouble? He hasn't been formally accused of any wrongdoing, but his ties to two Ukraine-linked associates — who've been charged with campaign finance violations — are coming under increasing scrutiny.

  5. Also Important...

    Three women have accused U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland of sexual misconduct before he entered public life, though he denies the allegations. The death toll from the earthquake that struck Albania this week has risen to 40. And winter storms in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest have jammed up Thanksgiving travel plans for many Americans.

    #OZYfact: The NFL's first-ever two-point conversion was scored in 1994. Read more on OZY.

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Intriguing

  1. Climate change protest shutterstock 1406456162

    Experts: Climate 'Tipping Points' Are Coming

    Warning that we're in "a state of planetary emergency," climate researchers writing in the journal Nature say the world is approaching catastrophe faster than expected. They believe the unchecked release of greenhouse gases alone could result in a "global cascade of tipping points" as the collapse of interconnected ecosystems triggers further damage. Preventing this chain reaction, scientists say, requires a worldwide emergency response to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

    Have we already reached a tipping point? Even if warming is kept to 1.5 degrees C, the Greenland ice sheet could pass the point of no return by 2030.

  2. tiktok shutterstock 1388508074

    TikTok Sorry for Blocking Video About Uighurs

    The Chinese-owned social media platform has apologized for suspending a teenager's account after she posted a video asking viewers to learn more about the persecution of Muslim Uighurs in China's Xinjiang province. Her account was reinstated and TikTok blamed the brief suspension on a "human moderation error," noting the video didn't violate its terms. But user Feroza Aziz claims it wasn't the first time the platform has suppressed her commentary on the issue.

    What's the bigger picture? TikTok is already under scrutiny by a Beijing-wary U.S. government over how it handles user data.

    Read OZY's story about how Telegram conquered Uzbekistan.

  3. Can This City-Boosting Program Survive Partisan Politics?

    John Legend and President Trump aren’t natural bedfellows — but on the federal Opportunity Zone program, they've found common ground. The initiative is coaxing investment to nearly 9,000 cash-strapped towns and cities across all 50 states, OZY reports. But cracks are starting to appear: Democrats have raised questions about the involvement of politically connected companies, while some critics worry the tax benefits could hasten gentrification.

    Is it worth the political drama? Local leaders say any partisan headaches are outweighed by the cash that's helping lift their communities out of poverty.

  4. Author, Broadcaster Clive James Dies at 80

    The funeral of the Australian expat who forged a career in Britain as a poet, critic and TV personality was held yesterday at his adopted home in Cambridge. James, who died Sunday, rose to fame as a literary critic and will be remembered for his dry wit. For nearly a decade, he battled leukemia, kidney failure and lung disease, but he coped by writing about his illness.

    What's his legacy? James helped change the perception of television, which high-brow editors previously believed appealed only to the working class.

  5. Statue of Zlatan Ibrahimovic Set Ablaze

    A bronze statue of the Swedish soccer star in his native Malmo was set on fire — apparently as a reaction to his purchase of a stake in rival team Hammarby. The striker, who holds Sweden's record for most international goals, started his career in Malmo and was honored with the statue in October. "So he basically stuck a knife in our backs," said a member of the team's official fan club.

    What's on Ibrahimovic's resume? The 38-year-old has played for major clubs including Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, L.A. Galaxy and Manchester United.

    Read OZY's story about when an East German soccer star ditched the GDR.