The Presidential Daily Brief

Important

  1. Unrest Spreads Despite Curfews, Crackdowns

    In the week since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, protests have erupted across the U.S. and around the world. Many cities have imposed curfews, but demonstrators' demands for an end to police violence have only been exacerbated by law enforcement responses to the unrest: Officers have been filmed beating protesters and shooting them with rubber bullets. In Minneapolis, where a tanker truck drove into a crowd yesterday, people are still calling for three officers who participated in Floyd's killing to be charged alongside Derek Chauvin, who's accused of third-degree murder.

  2. Trump Blames Left, Media for Protests

    More than 1,000 people gathered outside the White House for the third day Sunday, remaining peaceful until nightfall, when buildings were set ablaze and businesses damaged. President Donald Trump reportedly hid in a bunker Friday night, but by Sunday he was tweeting again, blaming the radical left and "lamestream media." Police and protesters have targeted journalists in recent days, shooting and attacking them as they cover the chaos. Meanwhile, Trump promised to designate antifa, short for "anti-fascist," groups as terrorist organizations — though experts say he doesn't have the authority to do so.

    Read OZY's dossier on the George Floyd protests.

  3. Experts: Protests Risk Spreading COVID-19

    "There's still a pandemic in America that's killing Black and brown people at higher numbers." So said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, advising those protesting police brutality in the streets across the U.S. to get tested for COVID-19. Though many protesters are wearing masks and staying outdoors, public health experts warn they should maintain social distancing to avoid a second wave of the disease, which has killed more than 100,000 Americans — and disproportionately struck minority communities. Police are also using tear gas and pepper spray, which may encourage people to tear off their masks, heightening risks.

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    US-China Tensions Mount Over Hong Kong

    American businesses may become victims of a spat between the U.S. and China over Hong Kong's autonomy. Already battered by COVID-19 and now massive protests, businesses with a presence in Hong Kong are worried that the U.S. decision to roll back the city's special status of being separate from China could jeopardize their futures there. As China proceeds with new national security laws to strip Hong Kong of its previous autonomy, it's also lashing out at the U.S. for interfering, implying that President Trump's threatened sanctions are a way to distract voters from domestic crises as the 2020 election looms.

  5. Also Important...

    India has expelled two Pakistan Embassy officials for "espionage." Hundreds attended the funeral of an unarmed Palestinian man killed by Jerusalem police. And the discovery of a new breeding pair of Hainan gibbons offers hope for the world's rarest primate.

    Coronavirus update: The U.S. Supreme court has rejected a church's attempt to overturn California's lockdown restrictions.

    Listen up! OZY's latest podcast, Flashback, is a journey through the hidden connections and ripple effects of history. Subscribe and listen right here to see what all the fuss is about.

Intriguing

  1. Trump Sends Brazil Unproven COVID-19 Drug

    Despite a lack of scientific evidence that it's of any use, President Trump and a few other world leaders have continued to tout malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. Now the White House has sent 2 million doses of the drug to Brazil, as the country's coronavirus cases have surged to nearly half a million. A White House statement said it was intended as a prophylactic treatment — which is how President Trump himself says he used it — though studies have found it to have potentially fatal side effects.

    Read OZY's analysis of Brazil's other health crisis: pesticides.

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    Is Singapore Russia's Entry to Southeast Asia?

    They're at a crossroads. After signing a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Area (led by Russia, naturally), Singapore could find itself the doorway that allows Russia access to multiple huge Southeast Asian markets, OZY reports. It's part of a yearslong pivot toward Asia on the part of Russian President Vladimir Putin — one he's been forced to make by Western sanctions. But Singapore, a longtime ally of the U.S., could find playing both sides is tricky, even as the island nation invests billions in Russian industries.

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    SpaceX Shuttle Delivers Crew to Space Station

    Next stop: Mars. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were safely transported to the International Space Station yesterday aboard the Crew Dragon shuttle, making SpaceX the first private company to send humans into orbit. That could challenge Russia's current monopoly on such travel — though a spokesman for the Russian space agency said "we don't really understand the hysteria" about the launch. President Trump gave a celebratory speech, promising, "We’ll soon be landing on Mars and we’ll soon have the greatest weapons ever imagined in history."

    Read OZY on the DIY approach to space.

  4. Experimental Artist Christo Dies at 84

    Environmental artist Christo Javacheff, famous for swathing structures like Berlin's Reichstag, Paris' Pont Neuf and Miami's Biscayne Bay islands in huge lengths of fabric, died of natural causes yesterday. The Bulgarian sculptor worked with his wife Jeanne-Claude until her death in 2009, but continued their installations without her: When he died, he was planning to wrap the Arc de Triomphe in 269,097 square feet of fabric. That project was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the artist's office says it will go ahead in September 2021 despite Christo's death.

  5. Serial Killer's Face Mars Fan Fun Down Under

    This is why we can't have nice things. Australia's National Rugby League is playing games in empty stadiums, but its Fan in the Stand scheme lets supporters have photos of themselves placed on cardboard cutouts in the stands for about $14. Over the weekend, though, viewers noticed the face of notorious British serial killer Howard Shipman in the cardboard crowd, prompting the NRL to apologize and promise to review its screening process. A sports show covering the issue also aired a sketch featuring a cutout of Adolf Hitler in the stands, spurring widespread condemnation of its "bad taste."