The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Theresa May Becomes New British Prime Minister

    It’s May day! Former U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May, 59, has officially taken up residence at 10 Downing Street as Britain’s second female prime minister. Earlier today, outgoing PM David Cameron bid farewell to Parliament, giving a national address in which he said he believes the U.K. is “much stronger” than when he took office. In her first official statement, the new Conservative PM vowed to govern not just for “the privileged few, but for every one of us”. May is now well into a series of major new government appointments, including new Brexit czar David Davis.

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    China May Establish Air Defense Zone in South China Sea

    This is anything but water under the bridge. After a Hague tribunal ruled that China was impinging on Philippine sovereignty by claiming 90 percent of the South China Sea, Beijing swore to ignore the ruling. They doubled down, declaring they have the right to establish an air defense zone in the territory as well. They took a similar measure in the East China Sea three years ago, inflaming tensions with the U.S. and Japan. But Taiwan, in an unusual move, is taking China’s side, decrying the ruling.

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    Obama Speaks in Dallas; Police Shooting Plot Discovered

    “I’m here to say we must reject such despair,” President Obama told the 2,000 assembled at a memorial for five murdered police officers. Weary of bloodshed, but with an undercurrent of hope, Obama praised the Dallas officers for their conduct in the face of “demented violence.” Meanwhile, racial tensions continued to roil as three Black men were arrested in Baton Rouge on allegations of a plot to target police, and scores protested in Los Angeles after a review determined that a 2015 police shooting of a Black woman was justified.

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    California High-Speed Train Project Slapped With Lawsuit

    Not so fast. Four former employees of Hyperloop One, which is trying to build a speed-of-sound train network, allege that the company is being mismanaged and is rife with nepotism. One of its founders is among those bringing the lawsuit: Brogan Bam. Brogan says he and three others were forced to leave the company, which has raised more than $100 million, after raising objections. Hyperloop’s lawyers are dismissing the group as remnants of a failed “coup,” but the allegations could chill international investors on the project.

  5. Donald Trump to Announce VP Choice Friday, Japan’s Emperor Wishes to Abdicate

    Trump Will Reveal Pick Friday at 11 a.m. in Manhattan (Politico)

    Japanese emperor, 82, wishes to abdicate in coming years. (BBC)

    Turkish prime minister aims to improve relations with Syria. (BBC)

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg says Donald Trump is inconsistent and “a faker.” (CNN)

    FBI closes D.B. Cooper hijacking case. (Washington Post)

    Yale dishwasher who smashed racist stained glass won’t be charged. (Daily Beast)

    If you can make it to the Big Apple, be sure to get your tickets and join us on July 23 for the debut of OZY Fusion Fest. Want to win complimentary tickets? Email us about your favorite OZY article of the week at for a shot at a pair.


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    Algeria Is in the Grips of Re-Islamization

    Pluralism is so last year. Islamists have accepted the impossibility of establishing a caliphate in Algeria, so they’re focusing now on the country’s moral codes. New mosques are flying up — including one that will boast the world’s tallest minaret — as a younger generation turns to God in the face of poverty and 30 percent unemployment. Many fear women and minorities will have an even tougher fight for equal rights as this country — so recently plagued by an extremism-fueled civil war — again plays with fire.

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    ‘Reclaimers’ Tear Up Roads Towns Can’t Afford to Fix

    To dust you shall return. Transportation agencies in at least 27 states have removed paved roads that are underutilized or that they can’t afford to fix. A common tactic involves grinding damaged asphalt into gravel and spreading it over a “geotextile,” a rugged fabric that helps with erosion and stability. An organic solution can be used to tamp down dust. De-paving has become necessary in an era of tight budgets and soaring materials costs, and though rocky roads can be tough on cars, potholes can be far worse.

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    Red Hair Gene in Non-Gingers Also Raises Cancer Risk

    This’ll make your skin crawl. While we’ve long known redheads are more prone to skin damage, scientists now say anyone with the “red hair gene” is in a similar boat. It takes two copies of the melanin-altering MC1R gene to be ginger, but one copy is enough to increase cancer risk, even in brunettes, and boost sun-related mutations within melanomas by 42 percent — the equivalent of 21 years of sun exposure. Researchers hope their work will help identify those at risk of developing skin cancer.

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    Vincent Van Gogh Actually Severed Entire Ear, Gave It to Maid

    It’s worse than you heard. New research has fleshed out the artist’s famous act, finding that he cut off his entire ear — not just the lobe — and handed it to a brothel maid named Gabrielle, not a prostitute named Rachel as previously thought. The new evidence comes from a sketch by the physician who treated the wound, plus contemporary arrest and health records. The findings will be part of a new exhibit at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum about the painter’s struggle with mental illness.

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    Manny Pacquiao Comes Out of Boxing Retirement

    That didn’t last long. Once the fighter/senator is done hammering out the Philippines’ budget, he plans a bout in Las Vegas in late October or early November, according to his promoter. Boxing’s only eight-division champion said he would hang up his gloves after his April 9 victory against Timothy Bradley Jr., but few expected the hiatus to last, despite his political career. The opponent for 37-year-old Pacquiao has not been set — but it won’t be four-division champion Adrien Broner, whose price was a “crazy number.”