It was morning rush hour. What’s believed to have been a massive truck bomb went off in the Afghan capital’s busy diplomatic district, leaving at least 90 people dead and 400 injured. The majority of the casualties are thought to be civilians. It’s not clear what the target was or who’s behind the attack — neither the Taliban nor ISIS, both of which have launched previous attacks, have taken responsibility. Meanwhile, ambulances and relatives rushed to the blast site, and officials warn that the death toll is likely to rise.
The Presidential Daily Brief
“Get on board or get left behind.” U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres implored nations to “stay the course” of the 2015 Paris climate accord, despite U.S. officials reporting to CNN that Trump plans to withdraw from the agreement – a significant departure from the policy of other major nations and a backpedal on Obama-era environmental efforts. Guterres noted that American states and companies can still fight climate change even if President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to withdraw. With heavy hitters like China, India and the EU all reaffirming their commitment, Guterres is planning a 2019 summit to review the deal’s implementation.
Theresa May might not make it through June. When the British prime minister called a snap election for June 8, she was widely expected to increase her majority. But a series of missteps and backtracks have weakened that certainty. A new YouGov poll predicts the Conservatives could lose their majority altogether, sending the pound sliding 0.5 percent against the dollar. Meanwhile, the European Space Agency’s leader advised British companies hoping for space-related contracts that they’ll likely have to set up European subsidiaries after the U.K.’s expected 2019 EU withdrawal.
They were undercover. Two investigators are missing and a third has been arrested, according to China Labor Watch — the group that employed them to examine working conditions at a Huajian Group factory in Jiangxi province that manufactures thousands of Ivanka Trump-branded shoes each year. Hua Haifeng, accused of illegal surveillance after police reportedly ordered him to stop investigating, and his missing colleagues had already documented shoddy labor practices at the company. The Democratic National Committee has called on Trump to stop working with the Huajian Group.
Know This: The Philippine military is battling ISIS-affiliated militants in the country’s south alleged to be using child soldiers. Comedian Kathy Griffin has apologized after causing outrage with a photo shoot featuring a bloody model of President Trump’s severed head. And Kenya’s just opened its first major train line in more than a hundred years, 18 months ahead of schedule.
Look at This: The prime ministers of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden have posed with a soccer ball, reenacting a recent viral photo of Trump, the Saudi king and the Egyptian president touching a glowing orb. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg posted the two pictures on Facebook, asking, “Who rules the world?”
Answer This: Tell us how you really feel. OZY’s next TV show, Third Rail with OZY, is launching on PBS this fall! To kick things off, we’re shelving the PC and launching debates. Each Wednesday, we’ll post a provocative question, with a focus on topics that might make it onto the show. Our Third Rail with OZY question this week delves into politics: Should you be able to withhold taxes for issues you disagree with? Why or why not? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts or a personal story, and we might feature your answer next week.
Make America covfefe again. Shortly after midnight in Washington, D.C., President Trump tweeted, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” Unlike many presidential typos, this one wasn’t deleted for hours. The internet erupted with jokes, inserting “covfefe” into gleeful memes. Even foreign politicians joined in: German MP Stefan Liebich replied “#covfefe for president.” Meanwhile, the AP reported that Trump has been exhorting world leaders to call his personal cell phone, which security experts say raises concerns that hostile countries could listen in — and political dealmaking could be kept secret from the American people.
Everyone’s a critic. Sculptor Kristen Visbal’s “Fearless Girl,” which faces down the iconic Wall Street bull, was briefly joined by a faux-bronze dog peeing on the girl’s leg. “Pissing Pug” is the work of Alex Gardena, who said he felt the girl was “corporate nonsense” — it was erected by investment fund State Street Global Advisors — and an affront to Arturo Di Modica, the charging bull’s sculptor who is suing State Street over what he calls a perversion of his original artistic intent. The pug has since been removed.
Nobody wants to be this kind of trendsetter. At the heart of America’s drug epidemic, the Buckeye state has the nation’s highest numbers of opioid-related overdose deaths. With high unemployment, declining industry and prime placement on the I-75 trafficking route, Dayton, Ohio, is ground zero, recording a horrifying 50 drug-related deaths per 1,000 people in 2014. As Ohio’s users move on to fentanyl, carfentanil and a drug nicknamed “gray death” that can kill with a single dose, state lawmakers are scrambling to minimize the body count.
“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together.” So wrote Ariana Grande on Twitter last week as she vowed to return to Manchester with a benefit concert after her May 22 show was struck by a suicide bombing that left 22 dead. The June 4 One Love Manchester benefit has also tapped acts including Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell, and Coldplay, and will be broadcast live on the BBC. Proceeds from the event will go to the British Red Cross and victims of the attack.
What do they think this is, hockey? Monday’s Giants-Nationals game, which the Nats won 3-0, was interrupted after Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland drilled Nats outfielder Bryce Harper with a fastball. Harper charged him, shoving and punching as players from both benches leaped up and joined the fray. Harper called it retaliation for two homers he hit off Strickland in 2014’s NLDS, though Strickland insisted it wasn’t intentional. Both brawlers were fined and suspended — Harper for four games and Strickland for six — though they’re appealing the punishment.