The Presidential Daily Brief

Important

  1. Experts: Coronavirus Will Be Global Pandemic

    Having infected 17,000 people in some 25 nations, China's ongoing coronavirus outbreak is "almost certainly" becoming a global pandemic, top infectious disease experts believe. More than 360 people have died, including one outside of China, in the Philippines. In Thailand, health authorities are optimistic about an antiviral cocktail including two HIV drugs and Tamiflu, which they say has successfully knocked out the contagion in one seriously ill patient.

    What are the economic impacts? Chinese markets saw their worst drop since 2015, with the Shenzhen stock index falling 8.4 percent after nervous investors returned from a Chinese New Year break.

  2. Iowans Launch 2020 Presidential Race

    And so it begins. Across the largely rural Midwestern state, groups of Democrats will meet in public halls to choose which candidate they want to face President Donald Trump in November. OZY's new feature The Forecast, which will be updated throughout the campaign, shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading a virtual three-way tie with ex-Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

    Will this narrow the race? Perhaps, but this year's new protocol — to release numbers for the first ballot, a realignment ballot and a delegate estimate — means more than one candidate might declare victory.

  3. Chiefs Beat 49ers to Win Super Bowl

    He “never lost faith." Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his Chiefs were trailing the San Francisco 49ers by double digits last night in Super Bowl LIV. But in the game's final six minutes, the 24-year-old led his team with 21 unanswered points to win 31-20. It was K.C.'s first NFL title in a half-century, and Mahomes, who passed for 286 yards, was named MVP. Running back Damien Williams, with 133 yards and two touchdowns, provided a big assist.

    How are people reacting? Praise was also lavished on coach Andy Reid, while President Trump tweeted that the Missouri-based team made the "Great State of Kansas" proud.

  4. Trump Blasts Sanders as Acquittal Nears

    He's on a roll. President Trump, in a Fox News pre-Super Bowl interview, called Sen. Sanders a "communist," mocked former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's height and said impeachment has been House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "worst nightmare." Meanwhile, OZY's Donald Dossier notes that the Senate's Friday vote against hearing impeachment witnesses means former national security adviser John Bolton will be able choose his moment to describe Trump's impeachment-inspiring dealings with Ukraine.

    What's next? Tomorrow, while still on trial, Trump will deliver the State of the Union address, before Senate Republicans almost certainly acquit him Wednesday.

  5. Also Important...

    The man police shot dead after he attacked people with a knife Sunday in South London had recently been released after a terror-related jail term. Al-Qaida's Yemen branch is claiming responsibility for a Saudi trainee's deadly Dec. 6 shooting at a U.S. naval base in Florida. And after Britain left the European Union Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there's "no need" to follow EU rules to secure a trade arrangement with it.

    #OZYFact: Of some 300 local languages once spoken in Australia, only 40 to 60 have survived. Read more on OZY.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for an ambitious, Washington-based political reporter to cover the 2020 presidential election — and beyond. Check out our jobs page and read the description here.

Intriguing

  1. Victoria's Secret 'Culture of Misogyny' Exposed

    On the eve of New York's Fashion Week, a New York Times exposé has laid bare a corporate environment that treated models as personal playthings of a top executive. Supermodel Bella Hadid, it reports, endured former Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek saying "forget the panties" as he ogled her and praised her breasts during a fitting for an annual Victoria's Secret fashion show. Women who rebuffed his advances say they lost prime modeling gigs.

    Will there be consequences? Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder of parent L Brands, is reportedly considering resigning for ignoring complaints against Razek — who has denied any wrongdoing.

  2. Now Israel and Palestine Battle Over Produce

    Talk about forbidden fruit. As of Sunday, Israel is prohibiting Palestinian-grown fruits and vegetables in a small-scale trade battle with big implications. For months, the Palestinian Authority has banned calves from Israel in an effort to become economically independent. But some Israeli security officials worry that halting Palestinian produce will just increase tensions and could lead to violence.

    How's the U.S. peace plan faring? It's been rejected by Palestinians, and now American officials have reportedly asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to delay annexing West Bank Jewish settlements.

    OZY reports on Palestinian role-playing.

  3. shutterstock 421992919

    Why China Is the Future of Nanoscience

    Is that a chip on their shoulder? A key part of China's giant global ambitions is curiously small, OZY reports: From cloning to cancer research, it's using nanoscience and nanotechnology innovation to drive some of the world’s biggest breakthroughs. Whether it's tweaking the human body or pioneering new batteries, the Middle Kingdom has an edge that other countries may struggle to overcome.

    What's next? China has relied on the return of foreign-trained researchers, so becoming self-sufficient at developing talent is its next goal.

  4. Crime Novelist Mary Higgins Clark Dies at 92

    Her success was no mystery. The beloved "Queen of Suspense" passed away Friday from natural causes in Naples, Florida. Higgins Clark began writing mysteries as a single mother of five in her 40s, bursting onto the scene with her first best-seller, Where Are the Children, in 1975. The New York City native went on to publish more than 50 books, most featuring strong female protagonists overcoming danger, and many were adapted as TV movies. She ultimately sold more than 100 million copies.

    How will she be remembered? For never cheating her readers: Each chapter ended with a cliffhanger, leaving them hungry for more.

  5. Joaquin Phoenic

    BAFTAs Spark Racial Equality Debate

    "I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem." So said Joaquin Phoenix, winning best actor at Sunday's 73rd British Academy Film Awards. The Joker star said he felt "conflicted" because the awards — which nominated only White actors and only male directors — "send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here.” The London ceremony's biggest victor was 1917, with seven golden masks, including for best film and director, while Renée Zellweger took best actress for Judy.

    What was the reaction? Academy President Prince William said the imbalance "cannot be right" and pledged a review to "ensure the opportunities are available to everyone."

    OZY foresees Asia's Oscar breakthrough.