The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Beijing Blocks Hong Kong Lawmakers From Taking Office

    Not so fast. Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching, who both support Hong Kong’s independence, were elected in September — but changed the wording of the oaths when they were sworn in to avoid pledging allegiance to Beijing. Now for the first time, China’s parliament has interpreted the territory’s charter to allow it to block the two young politicians from taking office. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets as Chinese officials made clear that they won’t back down, in a fight that could trigger a constitutional crisis.

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    On the Trail: Allies Boost Clinton, Trump Wields Dark Rhetoric

    Time’s running short. The apocalyptic talk from both parties escalated yesterday, while Hillary Clinton boasted more star power in her corner. Stevie Wonder played “Superstition” to welcome a fired-up President Obama in Florida, reports OZY’s Nick Fouriezos, and actress America Ferrera joined Bernie Sanders, Taylor Mayol reports from Las Vegas. Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence told backers this was their last chance to stand up for nationalism. But undecided North Carolinian Larry Wolfe told OZY’s Leslie Nguyen-Okwu that the choice is “a stinky one.”

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    UK PM Makes Overtures to India on Free Trade

    Is the sun setting on the British Empire? Prime Minister Theresa May, anticipating a post-Brexit U.K. that could find itself cut off from doing business with the EU, has traveled to Delhi to make inroads with India instead. May mostly rebuffed calls to give Indians better access to U.K. student and work visas — but did promise to make some visas available to wealthy Indians. While the countries can’t make a deal until Brexit’s finalized, Britain’s unlikely to get special access to Indian trade without offering more incentives.

  4. Battle for Mosul Continues, the Diamond Industry in Crisis and OZY Wants Your Opinions

    Know This: Kurdish forces are seeing heavy gunfire as they continue the battle for Mosul. Gustave Flaubert’s 1848 travel diary will be put up for auction tomorrow. And De Beers is scrambling to fend off a future of synthetic diamonds.

    Check This Out: It’s your last chance to sound off before casting your ballot. OZY wants your opinion on your favorite Trumpisms and least favorite moments of the 2016 presidential race.

    Election Reaction: We want to hear from OZY’s readers abroad about the U.S. presidential election. Write to us at, telling us your name, city, age and thoughts about who you think will win and why.


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    Janet Reno, First Female US Attorney General, Dies at 78

    “I hope I do the women of America proud.” Those were Reno’s words in 1993 when she became the first woman to serve as attorney general. Reno supervised some highly controversial cases while serving President Bill Clinton, including the deadly standoff between FBI agents and Branch Davidian cult members in Waco, Texas, and the Miami seizure of young Elian Gonzales, who was returned to his father in Cuba. She developed Parkinson’s, which eventually killed her, in 1995 — but continued as attorney general for another six years.

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    Election Hacks Have Washington Rethinking Email

    Sick of hearing about the damn emails? With the world getting a peek at the supposedly private musings of John Podesta and Colin Powell this election season — not to mention the Hillary Clinton saga — many in Washington and elsewhere are taking a harder look at cybersecurity. The State Department and NASA already use encrypted Slack for internal communication, and experts say an internal social media system could be one solution. But few expect change-resistant politicians and bureaucrats to follow through on cyber hygiene, and email likely will live on.

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    Australia’s Record-High Temperatures to Become New Normal

    Welcome to the future. Last year was the hottest on record, but Australian scientists now say that by 2030, temperatures like 2015’s could be considered average. Researchers warned that bushfires and heat waves will likely be much more common under such conditions — and that Australia will see massive shifts before other continents. Meanwhile, environmental leaders around the world are gathering in Marrakech today for climate conference COP22, where they’ll discuss how to implement the newly in-force Paris climate agreement — which Australia hasn’t yet ratified.

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    Mel Gibson’s Tricky Comeback Bid Has Solid Opening

    He may never shake the stigma. The tarnished superstar’s Hacksaw Ridge is a traditional war film with Oscar buzz and a strong first weekend at the box office. But Gibson’s history of anti-Semitic tirades hasn’t been forgotten, and many in Hollywood refuse to work with him. The Braveheart star, 60, saw himself made a Hollywood outsider over 2004’s Passion of the Christ but retained a Trumpian following that stuck with him through the depths of scandal — meaning his star may rise again, if the alt-right does.

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    Lions Pull Off Another Comeback, Leaving Division Jumbled

    MVP Matt? Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s end-game heroics are making a case, and he delivered again yesterday: Stafford led a game-tying drive in the final 23 seconds and delivered in overtime for a 22-16 win against Minnesota. Detroit’s dangerous living — all five wins came via fourth-quarter comebacks — leaves the NFC North in a muddle. The Vikings (5-3) have crashed after a hot start and the Packers (4-4) lost again yesterday, while the Lions sit at 5-4 entering their bye week.