The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. bernie sanders square no background shutterstock 399808348

    Bernie Sanders Feels the Heat

    The Vermont senator now knows what it's like to be a front-runner: It hurts, apparently. His six remaining rivals for the Democratic nomination piled on during a South Carolina debate last night, which featured some of the most stinging attacks yet against the liberal firebrand. Meanwhile, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ex-Vice President Joe Biden both sought to reverse their recent misfortunes.

    Can Bernie's rivals stop the Sanders train? That'll be increasingly difficult, OZY reports, if they're unable to shape a compelling alternative.

  2. US: Get Ready, Coronavirus Is Coming

    A top health official warned yesterday that the U.S. is far from immune to the outbreak, urging communities across the country to prepare "social distancing measures." Meanwhile, stocks plunged for the second day in a row as dozens of countries scrambled to stop the new virus from taking root at home. "Time is everything in this disease," said a World Health Organization expert.

    What are the latest stats? Coronavirus has infected more than 80,000 people across 37 countries — claiming more than 2,600 lives along the way — and raised concerns about the lack of a coordinated global strategy.

  3. India Rocked by Days of Deadly Violence

    At least 23 people have been killed in the most vicious violence to hit New Delhi in decades. Rooted in a controversial citizenship law critics say discriminates against Muslims, the protests have reportedly morphed into clashes pitting Hindus and Muslims against one another. Prime Minister Narendra Modi — accused of building a Hindu nationalist state — has appealed for peace, while Delhi's top official even called for the army to intervene.

    What's it like on the ground? Reports from the scene detail police firing tear gas while stone-throwing mobs ransack properties, businesses and cars.

  4. Disney Chief Bob Iger Steps Down

    Is it a storybook ending? Capping a 14-year-tenure as CEO — during which he turned Disney into Hollywood's most formidable force — the 69-year-old unexpectedly called it quits Tuesday. "No one knew this was coming," said one executive. Parks and resorts chief Bob Chapek has taken his place as the company's seventh CEO, though Iger will remain executive chairman through 2021.

    Did Chapek face any competition? Some were surprised that he won the spot over top streaming executive Kevin Mayer, especially since Disney+ is a major pillar of the company's future strategy.

  5. Also Important...

    American mass murderer Dylann Roof reportedly went on a hunger strike in prison this month to protest alleged mistreatment. Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janavs was handed a five-month prison sentence yesterday for her role in the U.S. college admissions scheme. And Air New Zealand announced that it'll introduce pod beds in economy class for some long-distance flights.

    #OZYfact: When NASA launched two Voyager probes in 1977 carrying records of audio and visual data about humanity, it censored a picture of a naked couple holding hands. Read more on OZY.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for an ambitious journalist to cover business and finance through unique, analytical and globally minded write-ups. Check out our jobs page and read the description here.


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    Did Assange Try to Warn the White House?

    Accused of putting hundreds of lives at risk by spilling classified information, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now claims he tried to warn then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton back in 2011 about the risk his work posed. His British lawyer described his efforts yesterday, saying during a London extradition hearing that State Department officials told him to "call back in a couple hours."

    So is Assange the good guy? It's not that simple: His defense says a book published by The Guardian contained a 58-key password for the unredacted files — but the newspaper claims Assange told them the password would expire within hours.

  2. Library books

    The Rise of India's Protest Libraries

    Read all about it! Makeshift public libraries are sprouting up at protest sites across India, promising to reshape the language of agitation in the world’s largest democracy. Doubling as classrooms for lectures on the Indian Constitution — which critics of Prime Minister Modi claim is being violated — these pop-up institutions are helping educate first-time protesters, OZY reports, from high school students to homemakers.

    What's the symbolism behind them? The libraries are emerging at time when students have come under attack and the government is allegedly defunding public education.

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    Scotland Could Make Period Products Free

    Scotland is expected to become the first country to make women's sanitary products free after lawmakers voted Tuesday to approve a measure estimated to cost $31.2 million per year. "These are not luxury items," said Monica Lennon, author of the 2017 bill, noting that her country's setting an important cultural precedent for the rest of the world. Scotland already provides free menstrual products in schools, colleges, libraries and community centers.

    What prompted the move? A 2017 study found that 15 percent of women aged 14-21 can't afford sanitary products.

    Don't miss OZY's original series, Health Disrupted.

  4. Duffy: I Was 'Raped, Drugged and Held Captive'

    "Many of you wonder what happened to me," the British singer — whose debut album Rockferry sold 9 million copies and snagged a 2009 Grammy for best pop vocal album — wrote on Instagram Tuesday. In the post, she revealed that the harrowing experience, which occurred sometime after 2011, had kept her away from music for nearly a decade. Duffy wrote, "How can I sing from the heart if it is broken?"

    Why go public now? The singer said she was contacted last year by a "kind" journalist who helped her open up about the experience, and she's promised to talk specifics in an upcoming interview.

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    Kelly Slater Plans Massive Man-Made Wave

    It's not just a pipe dream. The 11-time world champion is laying plans for the world's largest rideable man-made wave — in Southern California's arid Coachella Valley. The 18 million-gallon basin featuring technology from the Kelly Slater Wave Company will let up to 25 surfers hang ten at once. It'll anchor a $200 million luxury resort over 400 acres that were once slated to become a golf course.

    What's the bigger picture? Some observers say that developers opting for a more active sport reflects golf's wider reversal of fortunes.

    Check out this OZY story about river surfing in the Midwest.