The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Global Oil Giants Cut Production

    They're going with the flow. Twenty-three countries, including Saudi Arabia, Russia and the U.S., agreed to collectively cut oil production by an unprecedented 9.7 million barrels per day in May and June. The roughly 13 percent reduction in global supply is aimed at addressing the glut that's resulted from a collapse in demand — though some analysts worry it won't be enough to sustain prices.

    Why else does it matter? Sunday's deal was a diplomatic win for President Donald Trump, who's credited with corralling Moscow and Riyadh after a weekslong price war.

  2. China's Infections Are Up Again

    Days after reopening former COVID-19 epicenter Wuhan, China is experiencing its largest jump in new cases in weeks as its citizens flock home from Russia. One April 10 flight from Moscow to Shanghai reportedly brought in 60 infected people, part of the roughly 250 new cases clocked since Friday. Of the 10 new local infections, seven were in a province bordering Russia, which is still in the midst of its outbreak.

    What's China doing about it? Heilongjiang province has implemented tight new restrictions, including a 28-day quarantine for all new arrivals to its capital, Harbin.

    Follow OZY's continuing coverage of the coronavirus crisis.

  3. Is Israel Facing Yet Another Election?

    Israelis could find themselves at the polls once more after President Reuven Rivlin yesterday denied a request by Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz for more time to form a ruling coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Failure to reach a deal before midnight could plunge the country into an unprecedented fourth election within a year. Gantz's party has fragmented since he agreed to negotiate with Netanyahu.

    And how's Bibi doing? He needs two more votes to take control of parliament's legislative agenda — including a bill that would block indicted lawmakers, like Netanyahu, from being prime minister.

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    Easter Storms Ravage American South

    "This is not how anyone wants to celebrate Easter." So said Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves after at least six people in his state, including a sheriff's deputy, were killed when extreme weather struck across the South. Reeves, along with the governors of Alabama and Louisiana, declared states of emergency to deal with the damages from fierce winds and tornadoes.

    What's next? Meteorologists say the dangerous weather could last though Monday as tornadoes, hail, torrential rains and flooding move eastward.

    Don't miss OZY's series on how global warming is changing our diets.

  5. Also Important...

    Experts are split over whether reopening the U.S. economy by May 1 is a realistic possibility. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson credited medics with saving him from coronavirus after leaving the hospital yesterday. And NASCAR racer Kyle Larson, who is half Japanese and launched his career through the organization's "Drive Through Diversity" program, is under fire for using a racial slur during an iRacing event last night.

    OZYfact: Freelancers are 86 percent more likely than office workers to self-report depression. Read more on OZY.

    Coronavirus Update: Global infections have now surpassed 1.85 million, leaving more than 114,200 dead.


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    Assange Lawyer Reveals Secret Family

    Arguing for his release from prison, a lawyer for Julian Assange claimed the WikiLeaks founder had fathered two children with her while holed up in London's Ecuadorian Embassy. Stella Morris told The Mail on Sunday that she's finally speaking out about their two sons, aged 1 and 2, because she fears Assange's "life is on the brink." He's been jailed since last year while fighting extradition to the U.S. over alleged espionage.

    Why now? Morris is frightened about COVID-19 claiming her partner, who she says is in poor health and is being kept in a prison where one inmate has already died of the virus.

  2. Will the US Postal Service Survive COVID-19?

    You might not have mail. Following reports that the White House blocked a federal bailout of the struggling mail carrier, a social media campaign sprang to life urging Americans to buy stamps and #SaveTheUSPS. But it's unclear whether it'll help: Postmaster General Megan Brennan said the pandemic could cost her agency $22 billion over the next 18 months, and that it'll run out of cash without federal help.

    Why the beef with USPS? In addition to President Trump's personal aversion to its relationship with Amazon, conservatives have long advocated for a privatized mail system.

  3. Now's Your Chance to Get Into College

    After the mass exodus of more than 1 million international students from America's higher education system, experts are predicting many won't return. That’ll mean more slots at top universities for U.S. students — but at a higher price, OZY reports. Without the estimated $45 billion foreigners bring in each year, schools will probably be forced to cut back scholarships. While it'll hit second- and third-tier institutions particularly hard, even top colleges like Harvard could suffer.

    What's next? Experts say enrollment goes up during economic downturns, though with many students staying closer to home, that could hurt universities that rely on higher out-of-state fees.

  4. Rejoice, Beatniks: City Lights Will Stay Open

    They're keeping the lights on. The San Francisco landmark that helped launch the careers of literary legends like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg blew past its $300,000 GoFundMe goal this weekend. Raising more than $400,000 from nearly 9,000 people, City Lights — which published Ginsberg's "Howl" in 1956 and has remained a holy site for progressive thinkers — will power through the next couple months while planning its future, its CEO said.

    Are others facing the same fate? Independent bookstores in Atlanta, Colorado and New York have similarly turned to crowdfunding to stay open.

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    F1 Icon Stirling Moss Dies at 90

    Considered one of the greatest race car drivers ever, the Englishman died yesterday at home. During his 10-year career, he won 212 races before injuries sustained in a 1962 crash forced him to retire — without ever having won a Formula One world title. Still, the British Racing Drivers' Club said Moss "set the standards by which all other drivers were judged." He was knighted in 2000.

    How else will Moss be remembered? His devotion to racing only British cars made him a national institution, though some say it's also what held him back.

    Read OZY's take on NASCAR wooing millennials through fantasy sports.