The Presidential Daily Brief


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    UK Tories Predicted to Win Historic Victory

    Exit polls show that U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party is poised to score the largest Tory victory since the era of Margaret Thatcher. Data compiled by Ipsos Mori for the BBC, Sky News and ITV have the Conservatives scoring 368 seats in the 650-member House of Commons. The Labour Party, the main opposition, is likely to secure merely 191 seats.

    Why does it matter? If Johnson wins, he'll have the necessary majority to initiate a quick Brexit by next month.

    Don't miss OZY's piece exploring if Johnson can save the Brexit he created.

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    Inspector General Blasts FBI Errors, GOP Seeks Trump Acquittal

    Describing the FBI's actions as "gross incompetence and negligence," the Justice Department's inspector general laid out his findings on the bureau's probe into Trump campaign links to Russian election meddling. Testifying on Capitol Hill yesterday, Michael Horowitz said the investigation wasn't tainted by political bias, as President Donald Trump and his supporters maintain. But Horowitz insisted that his report didn't exonerate the FBI's work, which included faulty applications for wiretaps.

    What's developing on impeachment? Republican senators say Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes to not only find Trump not guilty, but clear him with a vote of acquittal in the Senate's impeachment trial.

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    India's Parliament Approves Controversial Citizenship Law

    Making sweeping changes to Indian law, Parliament passed the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill by a 125-105 vote Wednesday. Once it's signed into law by the president, it will grant Indian citizenship to migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who face religious persecution. It applies to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — but it notably excludes Muslims.

    What's the reaction? The Indian Union Muslim League has petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the bill, arguing that it's unconstitutional and would further marginalize the country's 200 million Muslims.

    Don't miss this OZY piece on Vanuatu's citizenship trade.

  4. Israel Forced Into Third Election in 12 Months

    With lawmakers unable to form a governing coalition by a midnight deadline, the country must hold its third election in a year, scheduled for March 2. Embattled conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s future is uncertain after he and his centrist rival, Benny Gantz, traded barbs about the failed negotiations for their evenly matched parties to join forces.

    Is it over for the prime minister? Maybe. Dogged by bribery and fraud indictments, Netanyahu must fight to remain leader of the Likud party — and convince legislators to grant him immunity, which Gantz has refused to do.

  5. Also Important...

    Authorities said yesterday that one of the assailants involved in Tuesday's deadly shooting rampage at a New Jersey Jewish market wrote anti-Semitic screeds and had targeted the establishment. It's unclear who attacked a military camp in Niger last night, killing at least 70 government troops. And a U.S. Senate committee has passed a bipartisan measure to stop President Trump from leaving NATO amid doubts over his commitment to the alliance.

    #OZYFact: The world's fifth most polluted city is the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. Read more on OZY.

    The PDB is changing! In a few days, you will see some improvements rolling out for your daily news briefing from OZY. The same great summary of Important and Intriguing headlines from around the globe, but packaged in a sleeker design. Let us know what you think at any time by replying to your email.


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    FAA Noted Fatal 737 Max Flaws Before Second Crash

    U.S. aviation regulators predicted that Boeing's troubled plane would crash 15 times during the entire fleet's 45-year service lifetime, according to a report from the House committee looking into the 737 Max. The Federal Aviation Administration review followed the aircraft's first crash in Indonesia, which killed 189 people in October 2018. But the agency didn't ground the plane after last December's critical report: It waited until March, after another Max crashed in Ethiopia, killing 157 people.

    Will the model return to the skies? Boeing hopes so, yet regulators have no timetable.

    This OZY Special Briefing considers whether Boeing will ever soar again.

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    Harvey Weinstein Reaches $25M #MeToo Settlement

    The disgraced producer has tentatively agreed to resolve a class-action lawsuit with dozens of his accusers. Part of a $47 million deal to end all claims against the Weinstein Company, the $25 million payout to accusers is not an admission of wrongdoing. It would be paid by insurance, rather than Weinstein himself, and more than $12 million would cover the company's legal costs. Time's Up executive Rebecca Goldman called the settlement "flawed," but hoped it would offer "some small measure of justice."

    Are there more cases? Weinstein's due in court Jan. 6 on five rape and sexual assault charges involving two women in 2006 and 2013.

  3. White Island May Blow Again, Threatening Recovery Operation

    New Zealand authorities plan to visit Whakaari/White Island tomorrow, despite scientists' warnings of a likely repeat of the deadly eruption that's now blamed for eight confirmed deaths. "Returning the bodies on the island to their loved ones remains our focus," said a police official. Meanwhile, 29 people are hospitalized in burn and intensive care units — so many that donated skin is being imported to aid in burn treatment.

    Why the rush to recover bodies? The families of eight missing victims, who are presumed dead on the island, have complained the recovery has been too slow.

    OZY looks back at Portugal’s volcanic disaster.

  4. Finding Love in the Pharmacy

    Ethicist Brian Earp thinks we’ll one day live in a world where formerly illegal drugs — think ecstasy or magic mushrooms — will become easily available “helpful complements” for personal relationships, OZY reports. A love potion picked up from the supermarket is no substitute for couples therapy, but Earp says the benefits are yet to be explored. With ongoing research in treating PTSD and other mental health concerns with such drugs, their potential benefit to relationships could be next.

    Will Earp spark change? His new book calls for policymakers to rethink their approach to drug legislation, allowing "enhancement" applications in addition to medicinal and recreational use.

  5. Yanks Win Pitcher Gerrit Cole With a Record $324 Million

    The free-agent ace became history's highest-paid pitcher, agreeing to sign with the New York Yankees in a nine-year, $324 million deal. That breaks the record set just a day earlier by the Washington Nationals, who gave World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg a $35 million-per-year contract: Cole's works out to $36 million.

    Is he worth it? Last season with the Houston Astros Cole threw 326 strikeouts to lead the American League, compiling a stellar 20-5 record with a 2.50 ERA.

    OZY examines the slump in fastball pitches.