The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Reports: Dozens Dead in Soleimani Funeral Stampede

    According to Iranian state media, at least 32 mourners were killed in a stampede today during a funeral procession for Gen. Qassem Soleimani in his hometown of Kerman. Amid a growing public chorus for revenge following his death in a U.S. airstrike, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is said to have urged a proportional attack. American officials, meanwhile, were preparing for a sharp response from Tehran and denied that a troop pull-out from Iraq was imminent.

    Where could Iran strike? Analysts say Tehran could resort to anything from attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria to dispatching proxies to carry out terrorist attacks.

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    Bolton: I'll Testify in Impeachment Trial

    Former national security adviser John Bolton says he's willing to appear before the Senate if subpoenaed. During the House probe, the hawkish counselor insisted he'd only testify if ordered by a judge, leading investigators to back off. As a former high-level insider, Bolton likely has firsthand knowledge of White House deliberations over the suspension of U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for political help from Kyiv.

    Will he actually testify? It's unclear whether Republicans will summon Bolton or any other witnesses — but his willingness heaps pressure on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow testimony.

  3. Australia Races to Contain Fires as Damages Mount

    Firefighters are hoping to capitalize on a brief window of cooler temperatures to boost the country's defenses against raging blazes. The monthslong crisis has claimed more than 2,000 homes, 25 lives and millions of animals — while insurance claims have reached an estimated $485 million. As of Tuesday, around 50 of the 130 fires in New South Wales were still burning uncontrolled.

    Have lower temperatures helped? They've given firefighters a “psychological and emotional” break, officials said, as well as a chance to bolster containment lines to limit future damage.

    Don't miss OZY's Newsmaker profile on Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

  4. Boeing Faces Rising Costs From 737 Crisis

    With plans to halt production of the grounded 737 Max this month, the embattled planemaker could reportedly raise its debt to help shoulder the financial hit it's taken following two deadly crashes. Meanwhile, Boeing has reached compensation deals with American Airlines and several other carriers over damages incurred from the grounding of their fleets. That's in addition to the compensation it's paying to victims' families.

    How costly is this crisis? The company had $20 billion available in September, but with expenses that could top $15 billion in the first half of this year alone, analysts expect Boeing to borrow up to $5 billion.

  5. Also Important...

    President Donald Trump is coming under increasing criticism for his threat to target Iranian cultural sites if the conflict between Washington and Tehran escalates. Japanese authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the wife of ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn on suspicion of perjury. And NASA's Tess mission has detected a potentially habitable exoplanet around 100 light-years away from Earth.

    #OZYFact: From 2016 to 2018, LSU's football team ranked 101st, 84th and 66th, respectively, in Division I passing offense — but this year it ranked second. Read more on OZY.

    How do we look? Your news briefing from OZY has the same great summary of headlines from around the globe, with a new, sleeker design. Let us know what you think by replying to this email.


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    Harvey Weinstein Faces More Assault Charges

    On the day the disgraced Hollywood producer's sexual assault trial began in New York, prosecutors in Los Angeles charged him with four more sex crimes. In the latest case, two unnamed women accused him of rape and sexual assault over a two-day span in February 2013. A Hollywood sex crimes task force says it has been reviewing eight cases against Weinstein and has urged all accusers to come forward.

    When will the L.A. trial begin? No date has been set, but prosecutors are seeking a $5 million bail.

    Read this OZY feature about how Hollywood's cashing in on its scandals.

  2. Worried About Your Data? Head to Ireland

    If you’re concerned about your personal information and privacy, it might seem like there's nowhere to hide these days. Try Ireland: A recent survey of 47 countries found it's best at protecting your data, OZY reports. A major hub for top tech firms, Ireland has pushed for a variety of measures to guard user data — from probing 18 Silicon Valley companies over privacy violations to resisting an EU directive requiring biometric ID cards.

    Is Ireland an example for others? Some experts say subsidized CCTV and medical data breaches show it still has room for improvement, while small businesses can suffer under hefty penalties there.

  3. Ikea Settles $46M Suit Over Toddler's Death

    A California family filed the wrongful death lawsuit after a dresser tipped over and crushed 2-year-old Jozef Dudek in 2017. He is among nine children killed by unsteady Ikea furniture and the first child death after the company recalled 17.3 million dressers in 2016. The settlement is believed to be the largest in U.S. history involving the accidental death of a child.

    How common are such accidents? A Consumer Product Safety Commission report found 28,000 people — half of them children — are injured in furniture tip-overs each year.

    Don't miss this OZY story about high-end furniture made from river garbage.

  4. love and music

    Study: Music Evokes 13 Universal Emotions

    According to a UC Berkeley survey of more than 2,500 participants in the U.S. and China, music elicits a baker's dozen of universal emotions. Samples of instrumental music from both Western and Chinese culture were mapped to feelings of amusement, joy, eroticism, beauty, relaxation, sadness, dreaminess, triumph, anxiety, scariness, annoyance, defiance and feeling pumped up. The results, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, are also available in an interactive audio map.

    How accurate is the study? Outside experts suggest the global dominance of Western culture might have skewed the results, given the wide exposure to its "emotional vocabulary."

  5. Cowboys Bank on New Coach Mike McCarthy

    Hired the day after Jason Garrett's release at the end of a disappointing 8-8 season, McCarthy becomes the ninth head coach in the history of the Dallas franchise. The 56-year-old, who led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory in 2011, has signed a five-year contract with the Cowboys. They'll be looking to him to help return the franchise to its former glory and elevate the play of quarterback Dak Prescott.

    Is McCarthy getting help? Mike Nolan is leaving the New Orleans Saints to become his defensive coordinator.

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