The Presidential Daily Brief

Important

  1. Senate Lets Trump Off the Hook

    "We all knew how this was going." That's what one senior House Democrat reportedly said about the Senate's acquittal of President Donald Trump yesterday on two articles of impeachment. The widely expected vote along party lines — broken only by GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, who voted to convict Trump on the charge of abuse of power — capped five months of investigations, public hearings and explosive media reports about the president's attempts to pressure Ukraine for political help.

    Now what? All eyes are on November's presidential election, which members of both parties say is the only event that'll provide true closure on the deeply partisan matter.

  2. Coronavirus Confounds Health Experts

    As the outbreak continues, China logged 73 new fatalities Thursday to reach a death toll of 563. As of last night, officials have recorded more than 28,000 confirmed cases — in addition to nearly 25,000 suspected ones — with the youngest being a 30-hour-old newborn. Global health experts will meet in Geneva next week to discuss possible treatments and vaccines. Currently, said a World Health Organization spokesman, "there are no known effective therapeutics."

    Are there any hidden risks? Some experts are urging the world against displays of prejudice and xenophobia as global concern grows, saying "transparency and education" are the best bets to fight panic.

  3. Bernie, Buttigieg Neck-and-Neck in Iowa

    With nearly all of the Hawkeye State's precincts reporting — and after days of confusion in the bungled caucuses — Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders are virtually deadlocked in first place. Decades apart in age, and not much closer in ideology, the two men are now heading to New Hampshire with a fresh burst of momentum. Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden are grinding on after what Biden described as a "gut punch" in Iowa.

    What have we learned this week? As OZY reports, new focus will fall on the Democratic Party’s technological prowess and management, raising questions about how the country will handle a close vote.

  4. China Slashes Tariffs on Some US Goods

    It's a tit-for-tax. Matching Washington's pledge to cut new tariffs on some Chinese goods amid the Phase 1 trade deal, Beijing announced yesterday that it'll lower levies by 50 percent on $75 billion in U.S. imports. It's an encouraging development for trade ties and financial markets as the coronavirus outbreak continues rattling business confidence in China.

    Can Beijing keep its end of the bargain? Analysts are increasingly questioning its promise to buy $200 billion in U.S. goods and services within two years, especially given the adverse economic effects of the outbreak.

    Check out OZY's feature about how China manipulates foreign firms.

  5. Also Important...

    Two people were killed and dozens injured Thursday when an Italian train veered off the rails in the country's Lodi province. Chinese telecom giant Huawei has sued Verizon for allegedly using a dozen of its patents without prior approval. And Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has stepped down amid revelations that he'd been messaging a 16-year-old boy on social media.

    #OZYfact: Roughly 1 in 4 Gen Zers and millennials reported that they view the emergency room as their primary care doctor. Read more on OZY.

    Spill it! For months, OZY's been telling unconventional love stories with our Love Curiously series. Now we want to hear yours: Email lovecuriously@ozy.com to tell us about the most memorable date you ever went on — romantic, dramatic or just plain bizarre — and you could win a free pair of tickets to OZY Fest!

Intriguing

  1. Hollywood Icon Kirk Douglas Dies at 103

    "I am so proud to be your son." With those words of tribute, actor Michael Douglas announced the death of his father yesterday. One of the last surviving members of Hollywood's Golden Age, the Spartacus star was thrice-nominated for best actor at the Academy Awards — for Champion, The Bad and the Beautiful and Lust for Life. Douglas was honored with a plethora of industry awards as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and he appeared in more than 80 movies before finally retiring in 2004.

    How else did Douglas change Hollywood? The outspoken humanitarian and philanthropist was instrumental in ending the infamous McCarthy-era blacklist by publicly backing disgraced writer Dalton Trumbo.

  2. Nigeria Is Losing Its Influence on the US

    Traditionally a major U.S. trading partner and a key ally in the fight against terrorism, these days the "giant of Africa" can't seem to get its diplomatic act together, OZY reports. Nigeria's oft-shifting foreign policy — long susceptible to the quirks of its political leaders — has left many world powers more interested in partnering with other African states such as Kenya or Uganda. "Nigeria is too big for its humiliating status," one analyst said.

    How can it reverse course? A revamped Foreign Ministry, stocked with well-trained bureaucrats empowered to set a nonpartisan agenda for diplomacy, could help put Nigeria back on the map.

    Sub-Saharan Scramble

    Intriguing
    Sources:
    OZY
  3. Finland Levels the Field for New Parents

    They're taking a pop at something new. The female-led Finnish government announced a plan to grant both expectant parents nearly seven months of paid time off. Besides boosting equality by eliminating gender-specific rules for family leave, the move is also aimed at reversing the country’s declining birth rate. Officials are still hashing out the details, and the policy is expected to kick in next year at the earliest.

    Will it work? A look at fellow Nordic nations Sweden and Iceland might answer that: Both have seen an uptick in births since enacting similar reforms.

    Read OZY's feature about the U.S. firms letting parents bring babies to work.

  4. Is America Sending Salvadorans to Die?

    In a report released yesterday, Human Rights Watch said that since 2013 at least 138 people have been killed after the U.S. deported them back to El Salvador. Despite the country having one of the highest murder rates in the world, the U.S welcomed a mere 18 percent of asylum-seeking Salvadorans from 2014 to 2018 — compared to a 75 percent approval rate for migrants from other Central American nations.

    How many Salvadorans are at risk? Up to three-quarters of the 1.2 million currently living in the U.S. are either undocumented or have only temporary authorization.

  5. baseball shutterstock 667102534

    Reports: Boston Balks at Big League Trade

    Are all Betts off? The massive three-team deal that's rallied the baseball world might be on hold after the Red Sox determined that Twins pitcher Brusdar Graterol — one of the players Boston would get in exchange for superstar outfielder Mookie Betts — is a reliever rather than a starter, based on his medical records. As a result, the Sox could ask for cash, an additional player or both to balance out the trade.

    What's next? That's unclear, since none of the 10 players named in the mega-deal have been officially notified, while the Dodgers reportedly have another deal riding on the results of this one.