The Presidential Daily Brief


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    House Report Accuses Trump of Abusing Office

    In a 300-page report released yesterday, the Democrat-led House Intelligence Committee accused President Donald Trump of abusing his office to "solicit foreign interference" in the 2020 election by pressuring Ukraine for political favors. The report, which effectively sums up two months of witness testimony, also claims Trump obstructed Congress by ordering administration employees not to cooperate. The White House called it the culmination of a "one-sided sham process."

    What's next? It's up to the House Judiciary Committee, which begins its own hearings today with testimony from legal scholars, to decide whether to charge Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors.

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    US-China Spat Escalates After Uighur Bill

    Ties between Beijing and Washington have deteriorated even further after U.S. lawmakers passed legislation yesterday demanding sanctions on China over its mass detention of the minority Muslim group. Combined with President Trump's recent approval of a bill backing Hong Kong protesters — and his suggestion that a trade deal with China might have to wait until next year — the prospect of a resolution to the two countries' economic spat appears dimmer than ever.

    How has China responded? A Foreign Ministry spokesperson threatened “decisive” countermeasures, saying, "Do you think if America takes actions to hurt China’s interests we won’t take any action?"

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    At Summit, NATO Struggles to Hold It Together

    The leaders of NATO member states are meeting outside London for the second day of a testy summit that's laid bare the many pitfalls facing the military alliance. Yesterday President Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, shared a particularly tense exchange as Trump slammed Macron's suggestion that America's cooperation with NATO is fading.

    What's the next meeting to watch? Trump's sit-down with German Chancellor Angela Merkel will likely focus on Berlin's contribution to the defense budget — another controversial issue.

    Don't miss this OZY story about the U.S. military's space spending.

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    Google Enters New Era as Co-Founders Quit

    Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced yesterday that they're stepping down from managing parent company Alphabet, paving the way for Google CEO Sundar Pichai to take the top spot. While they'll retain their seats on the company's board — as well as a combined 51 percent voting majority — the move makes Indian-born Pichai one of Silicon Valley's most powerful individuals.

    What's on his agenda now? Besides overseeing a broader portfolio, such as self-driving cars and health care innovations, the 47-year-old must also deal with Alphabet's increasing political and regulatory challenges.

  5. Also Important...

    Sen. Kamala Harris' withdrawal from the race for the Democratic nomination raises the prospect that December's debate stage will feature only White candidates. North Korea has released more images of leader Kim Jong Un on horseback in what analysts say is meant to signal an increasingly confrontational stance. And in a national record for India, experts said a tiger embarked on a five-month, 800-mile search for a mate.

    #OZYFact: Britain has dropped from the most LGBTQ-friendly country in Europe in 2014 to seventh this year. 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.


  1. The Latest Angry Workers: Harvard Grad Students

    Student workers began striking Tuesday when administrators failed to meet demands for higher pay and health insurance after more than a year of negotiations. Harvard's last proposal would have increased grad students' minimum pay to $15 an hour, with a promise to raise salaries by 8 percent over three years. But the Graduate Student Union refused the terms, arguing that the wealthy Ivy League school could pay a fairer wage.

    Could classes be disrupted? The action impacts thousands of undergrads preparing for semester-end exams, though many support the strike.

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    US Shoppers Set Holiday Record — With Their Phones

    From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, American shoppers spent $10.8 billion using their smartphones — an increase of more than 45 percent from the same period last year. Of the $9.2 billion spent on Monday alone, around one-third came from mobile devices. This year, smartphone shopping accounted for around 36 percent of all online purchases.

    Is the U.S. a global leader in this trend? Not even close: More than three-quarters of China's $1.2 trillion e-commerce market comes from mobile purchases.

    Read OZY's story about kids rebuking their smartphone-using parents.

  3. Study: Artificial Neurons Could Fight Chronic Diseases

    Researchers from the U.K.'s University of Bath have created artificial nerve cells that function exactly like biological neurons, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Charged by one billionth the power of a microprocessor, these new "brain chips" could be implanted in patients to help fight neuronal-degenerating illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease and heart failure.

    Is this a big deal? Given their therapeutic potential, scientists have tried to replicate nerve cells for decades — which is partly why the Bath researchers described their work as "paradigm-changing."

  4. Hollywood Is Turning Its Scandals Into Profit

    Faced with myriad sexual misconduct scandals, the entertainment industry is now turning its shame into profit, OZY reports. The Morning Show, Apple TV+’s first big production, takes a fictionalized look at the Matt Lauer scandal, while Charlize Theron has backed a searing take on Roger Ailes and Fox News in Bombshell. Determined to keep the #MeToo momentum going, women in the industry have been integral in getting these projects off the ground.

    Is this just a trend? Since the events they depict are still playing out in ongoing investigations and legal cases, public interest seems unlikely to fade.

  5. Carolina Panthers Fire Head Coach Ron Rivera

    After nine seasons, the Panthers announced that they're parting ways with 57-year-old Rivera after a four-game skid and a 29-21 loss to struggling Washington. The former Chicago Bears linebacker ended his Carolina tenure with a 76-63-1 record, making him the most successful coach in franchise history.

    What's next? Rivera, one of the NFL's four minority coaches, enters the job market having led the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2016 — while secondary coach Perry Fewell will sub as head coach.

    Check out this OZY story about the origins of modern college football.