The Presidential Daily Brief

Important

  1. As Floyd's Body Heads Home, Protests Continue

    Rage has yielded to a sense of purpose. As George Floyd's casket was viewed near his North Carolina birthplace, demonstrators massed across the U.S. and the world Saturday against the kind of police brutality that ended his life May 25. Tens of thousands marched near an increasingly fortified White House, where President Donald Trump tweeted about a "Much smaller crowd" than expected. Even the small Texas town of Vidor, Texas, with a history of white supremacist activity, saw a #BlackLivesMatter protest. Memorials will continue in Houston, where Floyd grew up, before his burial on Tuesday.

    OZY asks: Will this change policing?

  2. The Pandemic Has Now Killed 400,000

    Today COVID-19's official worldwide death toll exceeded 400,000, out of more than 6.9 million reported cases. More than a quarter of those are from the U.S., whose 109,800 deaths are followed by Britain's more than 40,500 fatalities and Brazil's nearly 36,000. Following in America's footsteps, Brazil's president, long dismissive of the pandemic's severity, is reportedly considering quitting the World Health Organization, while his government has stopped providing infection totals, now nearly 673,000. One major concern is that two weeks of anti-racism protests could boost infections. Meanwhile, a key British laboratory for developing a vaccine is forming a partnership to distribute any potential inoculation without profits or licensing fees.

  3. The President Gets His War

    The White House compared him to Winston Churchill. But as new examples of brutal police excesses were documented last week — including a White House protest clearing ordered by President Donald Trump — he's been likened to an autocrat. Those making such charges have included top generals he's appointed, backed up by a key Republican senator whom Trump has vowed to campaign against. Meanwhile, police actions were increasingly scrutinized, including those of two Buffalo officers suspended for shoving a 75-year-old man, who fell, seriously injured. Protesting the suspensions, 57 other riot-control team members quit.

  4. Bracing for the Downturn of the Century

    If you want to bring on depression, spend some time listening to economists these days. For extra gloom, the Financial Times asked six financial experts, “Are we heading into another depression?” The answers vary from Western “episodic setbacks and costly adjustments” — linked to coronavirus vaccines and treatments — to “the biggest peacetime recession in almost 100 years.” Elsewhere, another economic guru sees Asia bouncing back quickly, while a colleague warns that Latin American will experience “the 1930s all over again.”

    OZY explores infrastructure spending as a lockdown-era stimulus.

  5. Leaning tower of Pisa, Italy shutterstock 415642432

    Of Course You Want to Vacation in Italy

    Who doesn’t want to be greeted with a hearty “benvenuto”? And maybe one of those no-touch forehead thermometers. Italy is coming out of lockdown and its ICUs are no longer crammed with dying COVID-19 patients. While that’s weak travel brochure material, la Repubblica would nonetheless like to see tourists return and help get the country’s economy humming again. So would other European countries — Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland are planning to open their borders June 15, but to each other, not to Italy. Crying foul, Italian officials say the European Union needs to fix this, or “something in Europe does not work.”

  6. Also Important...

    President Trump is being excoriated for saying, after announcing improved unemployment figures, that it was a "great day" for George Floyd. The World Health Organization now recommends wearing masks in public. And the National Football League says it will support players' civil rights protests.

    In the week ahead: New York City plans to allow many businesses to reopen Monday. The U.S. Federal Reserve isn't expected to change near-zero interest rates on Wednesday. And Major League Baseball plans its annual draft Wednesday and Thursday.

    Join the conversation: We've been blown away by the power of the response we've seen from OZY subscribers who wrote in with their feelings, thoughts, ideas and critiques surrounding George Floyd's murder, the subsequent protests and discussions, and the letter from OZY co-founder and editor-in-chief Carlos Watson about our next steps. To amplify your voices and continue the conversation, we have joined with our friends at the History Channel to create a special prime-time town-hall gathering featuring thought leaders from the NAACP, popular culture and beyond — as well as several of you, OZY subscribers. The discussion will air at 8 p.m. ET Monday on HISTORY. Tune in to We Need to Talk: Race in America on Monday — and get involved by emailing us or weighing in on social media.

Intriguing

  1. When Beach Garb Is a Precursor to Terrorism

    Sometimes clad in Hawaiian shirts and armed with assault-style weapons, the far-right extremist “Boogaloo Bois” are moving from organizing online to haunting protests over the death of George Floyd. With their goofy names and garb, their presence is curious, but their aims are worrisome: Digital declarations speak of accelerating police-protester clashes in hopes of sparking a race war and the breakdown of governance. Another strange twist is that they and similar movements share animosity toward law enforcement with Black Lives Matter protesters, vowing retribution for the police killing of a young Maryland man, Duncan Lemp, in a mysterious no-knock raid.

  2. #RussianLivesMatter Gains Traction in Moscow

    The George Floyd effect transcends borders. The movement sparked by the 46-year-old Black man’s death at the hands of police has even reached Russia, a place long known for official brutality, from Soviet times to President Vladimir Putin’s increasingly autocratic regime. Now more Russians are calling out brutality on social media, particularly the killing of an alleged wallpaper thief in Yekaterinburg, who was either armed to the teeth or, as his father claims, wielding only pepper spray. Last week, #RussianLivesMatter was topping Russian Twitter, and protesters carrying placards reading “My police are killing me” swarmed Moscow’s city police department before some two dozen were arrested.

    OZY examines Russian police impunity.

  3. How to Keep Your Head in a Crisis

    The pandemic. The economic collapse. George Floyd. It’s a wonder that anyone can cope, especially as an American of color. Many can’t even think about paying for luxuries such as therapy, so therapists and healing practitioners are stepping up, OZY reports. Writer Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, for example, has raised some $35,000 to help provide young Black women with high-quality counseling sessions. And the Minka Brooklyn collective is offering online healing sessions that go beyond coping by helping women tap into their “internal power” and foment change on the streets.

  4. Cop Shows Shape Attitudes Toward Brutality

    Even the bad cops are relatable. America’s love of police-themed TV series goes way back, with shows like Law & Order: SVU — television’s longest-running program — and NCIS among a fat genre with an eager audience. That’s unfortunate, writes entertainment journalist Kathryn VanArendonk, arguing that such shows elicit sympathy for those who enforce the law but not for the targets of their enforcement. That also goes for shows like The Shield, where the main cop characters regularly violate civil rights. The worst offenders? Ever-popular procedurals, in which we get to know the detectives but never the alleged perps.

  5. In a Pandemic, You Can Hear the Coach Scream

    With 4 million viewers its first week back, Germany’s Bundesliga had three times its usual audience. But how can you have soccer without fans, without hooligans even? A lot of the magic is missing without people in the seats, roaring their approval or disdain. There’s new magic, though: Journalists with coveted permission to attend can hear birds chirping, coaches yelling at each other across the pitch and players calling to one another. Less magical? The twice-weekly COVID-19 testing and the isolation that participants are subjected to when they’re outside the stadium. 

    OZY takes a look at sports after the pandemic.