The Presidential Daily Brief

Important

  1. Boris Johnson Moved to Intensive Care

    The British prime minister, diagnosed with COVID-19 last month, has become the new face of the global pandemic after he wound up in intensive care last night. For now, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has taken over while Johnson receives "excellent care." Meanwhile, signs of hope are emerging in hard-hit New York, where fatalities and hospitalization rates are stabilizing — but Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning locals not to "get reckless."

    What about Western Europe? The virus is still hitting people across the continent, but at a slower rate of infection.

    Don't miss OZY's continuing coverage of the COVID-19 crisis.

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    Cardinal Cleared of Child Sex Abuse

    Australian George Pell said he has "no ill will" toward the former choirboy who accused the onetime Vatican treasurer of assaulting him in the late 1990s. Australia's High Court dismissed his conviction Tuesday, ruling unanimously there was reasonable doubt in the alleged victim's testimony. Pell, the highest-ranking member of clergy to be convicted of sexually abusing children, said his trial wasn't "a referendum on the Catholic Church." He'd spent more than a year behind bars after two trials.

    What's next? While Pell's been kicked out of the Vatican bureaucracy, observers say public opinion will likely remain deeply divided over his fate.

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    Wisconsin's Democratic Primary Is Still On

    Despite Gov. Tony Evers' executive order to postpone the ballot over coronavirus, voters across the Badger State will head to the polls today in statewide elections that have sparked a fierce partisan tussle. The Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with Republican state legislators, overturning the Democratic governor's bid to push in-person voting to June 9. And thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, voters also won't be able to postmark their absentee ballots any later than today.

    How have local Democrats responded? Claiming the election could "consign an unknown number of Wisconsinites to their deaths," they won't be mobilizing their voters.

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    Global Investors Are Staying Positive

    Yesterday's gains appeared to have some staying power as Asian and European markets continued their rally Tuesday. Analysts credited a "lightened mood" for Japan’s Topix and Nikkei 225, as well as China's Shanghai Composite, closing around 2 percent up. Europe's Stoxx 600 was on course for a similar boost following Monday's 7 percent jump in U.S. markets.

    Are governments helping? While the situation remains unpredictable, the U.S. Federal Reserve's move yesterday to ease lending to small businesses could lighten the burden on America's economy.

    Check out OZY's story about the "Big Short" of the coronavirus crash.

  5. Also Important...

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency through May 6, while the government has approved a $1 trillion stimulus package. Authorities in Maryland say they've recovered the body of ex-Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's daughter, who went missing after a canoe accident last week. And several former FIFA executives allegedly took bribes in exchange for supporting bids by Russia and Qatar to host the World Cup.

    Coronavirus Update: There have now been more than 1,350,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases across 184 countries and regions.

    Tune in! Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, OZY's partner HQ Trivia is back with a live game show where you can win real money. Download the app now to play along.

Intriguing

  1. Why Local Cafes Are COVID-19 Saviors

    Order up! With sales drastically reduced thanks to lockdowns, many American eateries are responding by positioning themselves as makeshift grocery stores in urban areas hit hard by the coronavirus. From California to Texas to New York, they're offering basic goods like eggs, bread, toilet paper and butter, OZY reports — anything that helps keep their businesses running and their communities serviced.

    Could this trend last after the pandemic? While the low profit margins make it too prohibitive in the long-term, it's a great way for local joints to retain their loyal customers.

  2. Boeing to Give Spacecraft Another Shot

    It's one small step without man. Following a failed uncrewed orbital test flight of its Starliner in December, the aerospace giant announced it'll try once more before attempting to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. No date was provided for round two, but Boeing claims it'll come "at no cost to the taxpayer" because the company set aside $410 million for exactly this reason.

    Who's winning this race to space? While Boeing regroups, SpaceX may well beat it to the cosmos with the first manned test flight of its Crew Dragon capsule next month.

    Don't miss OZY's True Story about NASA finding bacteria on lunar gear.

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    Is Beijing Stirring Up the South China Sea?

    The U.S. State Department has accused China of using the coronavirus pandemic as a cover "to assert unlawful maritime claims" in the region. That's after a Chinese coast guard vessel allegedly rammed and sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat last week near the disputed Paracel Islands. Beijing's no stranger to what U.S. officials claim is the "bullying" of its neighbors in the South China Sea — which Vietnam calls the East Sea.

    What else has China been doing? Washington claims Beijing has also boosted its presence on two local military bases.

  4. Harry and Meghan Announce New Nonprofit

    Dubbed Archewell, a nod to their infant son's name, the initiative by the newly U.S.-based Duke and Duchess of Sussex was unveiled earlier than originally planned thanks to coronavirus. While the royal couple kept mum about details, the nonprofit could reportedly include a multimedia education empire and emotional support groups. For now, they told The Telegraph they're simply interested in doing "something that matters."

    Do we really know what they're up to? While U.S. trademark papers filed last month indicate a range of activities, some say that's just a legal formality.

  5. Reports: Baseball Could Be Back by May

    Everyone's safe at home. Major League Baseball might be back in action as early as next month — with all 30 teams playing to empty ballparks in Arizona. At least that's what sources said the league and MLB Players Association discussed in a phone call yesterday. The plan depends on widespread availability of fast COVID-19 tests, but it reportedly has the support of U.S. public health officials.

    Why Arizona? Besides hosting the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field, the Phoenix area is set up for spring training, with 10 pro-quality ballparks within 50 miles of one another.

    Read OZY's feature about how coronavirus could boost fan engagement.