The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Are Global Markets Really Stabilizing?

    Stocks around the world bounced back Tuesday after U.S. markets suffered their worst single-day drop since 2008 on Monday thanks to the collapse of oil prices and financial panic over coronavirus. Europe's Stoxx 600 stabilized, while S&P 500 futures were up 2.6 percent — along with the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds, which now hovers around .065 percent. Still, few believe the economic turmoil is anywhere near over.

    How long could it last? Analysts fear the dangerous cycle, sparked by disrupted supply chains and plummeting consumer spending, could push the global economy into a recession.

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    Italy Is Locked Down — But China Exhales

    Shortly after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his country would face sweeping restrictions on travel and public gatherings, Chinese President Xi Jinping finally visited coronavirus epicenter Wuhan. The two developments underscored the stark contrast between Asia, where both China and South Korea are clocking slowdowns in coronavirus cases, and the West — which is "only at the beginning," according to one Italian doctor.

    What's the prognosis for those infected? Despite the increasing alarm, experts say most healthy people experience only mild symptoms and recover within two weeks.

    Follow along with OZY's continuing coverage of the global outbreak.

  3. Bernie, Biden Face Off in Fresh Contests

    It's a very delegate situation. Michigan, Washington and Missouri are the top prizes in today's six-state primary lineup as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders continue courting Democrats. Recently pummeled by Biden on Super Tuesday, Sanders is hoping to sway working class white voters in particular to pull off a Michigan victory like the one he clinched in 2016. Including the delegates from Idaho, Mississippi and North Dakota, Tuesday's total haul is 352.

    Who's going to win? According to OZY's exclusive prediction model, Biden seems set to take all but Idaho.

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    US Begins Afghan Troop Pullout

    Following up on the peace deal it signed with the Taliban last month, the U.S. began withdrawing soldiers from the war-torn country Tuesday. Washington has asked the U.N. Security Council to approve the agreement, which paves the way for the infighting-plagued Afghan government to work with the militant group in exchange for the Taliban keeping the country free of terrorist havens.

    What's next? The Taliban are waiting for Afghanistan to hand over hundreds of prisoners as part of a swap ahead of formal talks, though President Ashraf Ghani had previously rejected such a move.

    Read OZY's feature about why the road to peace passes through China.

  5. Also Important...

    Millions of Mexican women went on strike Monday to raise awareness of gender-based violence. Myanmar's army has sued Reuters over a report about two Rohingya women killed by shelling in January. And the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals will reportedly be postponed to October as California copes with the coronavirus outbreak.

    OZYfact: American Indian and Alaska Native teens die by suicide at a rate 60 percent above the national average. Read more on OZY.

    We're hiring! OZY's looking for a curious, out-of-the-box editorial intern to join our growing team for a 10-week paid internship. Visit our jobs page for more opportunities.


  1. Why Won't Prince Andrew Play Ball?

    The U.S. prosecutor leading the probe into deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex trafficking ring says the British royal has "completely shut the door" on authorities. That's despite a public pledge to cooperate from Andrew — who's accused of having sex with an underage girl caught in Epstein's scheme. The prince has also hired a legal team that once helped Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet avoid extradition.

    What's next? The U.S. attorney said he's "considering options" while Andrew continues grappling with the PR fallout from his ties to Epstein.

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    Australia Sues Facebook Over Data Scandal

    Citing "systemic failures" to follow the country's privacy laws, officials Down Under sued the social media giant yesterday over its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. If it's found guilty of wantonly divulging Australians' personal data for political profiling purposes, Facebook could be fined up to $1.1 million for each privacy offense.

    How serious was the breach? Only 53 Australian users downloaded the "This is Your Digital Life" app, but that led to more than 300,000 people's personal information being compromised.

    Check out this OZY op-ed about why India should tax Facebook and Google.

  3. Global Warming Threatens ... Nutella

    The consequences are spreading. As the Black Sea warms, prompting more frequent downpours, flooding threatens an unlikely casualty: hazelnuts. That’s bad news for global confectionery brands that depend on the region's nuts, OZY reports — like Nutella, which gets 80 percent of its hazelnuts from Turkey. The climate crunch is forcing companies to adapt, some by embracing more resilient farming practices and others by finding new sources to lessen their dependence on Turkey.

    Why does it matter? It's the worst possible time for the hazelnut industry, since global demand is expected to grow 10 percent annually.

  4. Led Zeppelin Wins 'Stairway' Copyright Suit

    For the second time in four years, a U.S. court gave the legendary rock group a whole lotta love in a copyright infringement case brought by the band Spirit. Monday's decision is music to Led Zeppelin's ears, since it upholds a 2016 ruling that they didn't copy the opening guitar riff of "Stairway to Heaven" from Spirit's 1968 track "Taurus." The plaintiff's lawyer called the British rockers "the greatest art thieves of all time."

    Why does it matter? It sets a precedent for other copyright cases, since the court ditched a rule that benefited plaintiffs if they could prove defendants had plenty of access — as Led Zeppelin did — to the original work.

  5. Leagues Close Locker Rooms Over Coronavirus

    They're getting kicked out of the club … house. In a joint statement Monday, the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS all said they'd bar nonessential personnel — such as reporters — from locker rooms in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus. The measure goes into effect today, and it's unclear how long it'll last.

    But will it really work? Some commentators suggest it just gives the appearance of tackling the threat without risking profits — though the NBA and NHL are apparently considering canceling events or playing without fans.

    Read OZY's feature on how coronavirus could ruin China's Olympic dreams.