The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. climate cold glacier iceberg

    America Stands Alone on Climate

    He’ll take the heat. President Donald Trump had promised to dump the Paris climate accord signed by 195 world leaders — including his predecessor — who’ve pledged emissions curbs, and on Thursday he made it official. Now the world’s asking if he still believes global warming to be a “hoax,” but his surrogates say they don’t know. Trump says he prefers “a deal that’s fair,” but the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy quickly said the accord was “irreversible” and their nations would honor it even if the world’s second-largest polluter ignored it.

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    Police Identify London Bridge Attackers

    Now we know their names. Police identified two of the three attackers involved in the ISIS-claimed assault that killed seven people and wounded 48 in central London Saturday night. Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and another man were shot dead by police minutes after ramming a van into pedestrians. Yesterday, police arrested 12 people in connection with the attack. As campaigning for this week’s general election resumes today, Prime Minister Theresa May says she’ll crack down on tech companies to share user information with the government in an effort to combat terror.



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    UK Conservatives on Slide Path to Election

    They say less is more. British Prime Minister Theresa May hoped to increase her support by calling snap elections as Brexit negotiations loomed, but in the past two weeks, her party’s backing has slid 10-plus points against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party — which some polls put just three points behind May’s Conservatives. Some say it’s a referendum on Brexit and its accompanying economic turmoil. Others blame May’s missteps — like skipping televised debates and her reversal on controlling long-term medical care costs — for contributing to the uncertainty before Thursday’s vote.

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    Afghans Face New Carnage

    They want blood. The massive bombing in the Afghan capital Wednesday did much more than kill 90 and injure 460. It angered Afghans enough to stage an anti-government protest in which several people died, and a funeral was hit Saturday by another bombing that killed six. The carnage has hobbled a Kabul peace conference set for Tuesday, with some participants citing poor security while others have already been evacuated. And President Ashraf Ghani’s move to sign death warrants for 11 Taliban prisoners — and potential bargaining chips — is sure to spark further violence.

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    The ‘Car Wash’ That’s Scouring Brazilian Corruption

    Does it go all the way to the top? Initially focused on low-tech money laundering, Brazil’s 3-year-old Operation Car Wash soon uncovered connections to state oil company Petrobras. New corruption legislation allowing plea bargaining saw wealthy suspects, who’d normally be bailed out instantly, stay in jail until they talked, and their information has revealed a $5 billion graft operation. Now President Michel Temer, who denies accusations of obstruction prompted by his recorded voice, could see his presidency fall — along with Brazil’s economy, which is still struggling to escape recession.

  6. ‘Angry’ Comey to Testify, Cosby Goes on Trial and Manila Casino Killer Had Gambling Debts

    The Week Ahead: A reportedly “angry” fired FBI director James Comey is to testify Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Bill Cosby goes on trial in Pennsylvania tomorrow in an alleged 2004 sexual assault. And the Nashville Predators, fired up by last night’s 5-1 home win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, will try to bring the Stanley Cup to an even 2-2 tomorrow.

    Know This: Police say the man who killed dozens in a fiery Manila casino rampage early Friday was an indebted gambling addict, casting doubt on ISIS claims of responsibility. Comedian Bill Maher has apologized for using a racial slur on his HBO talk show. And Japan is holding evacuation drills as North Korea continues its nuclear missile development.  

    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 with your thoughts or a personal story, and we might feature your answer next week.


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    Why It’s Good That AI Is Crushing Humanity

    That smarts. When a Google-owned development company successfully humbled the greatest Go players in the world using its AlphaGo program, it was a triumph of AI. Google’s DeepMind perfected the program so the digital student becomes the master, capable of teaching itself. The news was greeted by many as heralding the end times for humankind, but proponents say the technology can provide huge benefits. From improving the accuracy and efficiency of everything from protein-folding and radiography to workflows, our robot-dominated future’s so bright we’ll have to wear Google Glass.

  2. Seedlip ben square

    Distilled Spirits That Won’t Get You Drunk

    It’s an intoxicating idea. U.K. native Ben Branson can’t make Seedlip, distilled herbal concoctions that mimic the flavor of hard liquor without alcohol, fast enough. The notion of a botanical base for booze-free drinks that are complex and nuanced — and not pumped full of caffeine or sugar — is befuddling to many. But to non-drinkers or designated drivers seeking a new level of sophistication when they belly up to the bar, Branson’s clear spirits with notes of cardamom and rosemary are already fermenting considerable buzz.

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    Racing to Imagine the Worst

    Hope has hit a wall. After technological and political inclusiveness begat creative optimism, utopian dreams have gone dark. An inevitable dystopian fiction cycle is upon us — perfectly synced with tectonic real-world shifts. Such novels offer visions of the planned apocalypse, from Michael Tolkin’s plague of idiots in NK3 to Omar El Akkad’s climate-change-inspired Southern secession in American War. If you can see a twisted future coming, it’s likely there’s a novel to match, as forward-looking writers imagine brutal societies where belief in reason, sustainability and equality can’t possibly survive.

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    Drug Cartels and Disease vs. Coffee in Peru

    When it got low, they got high. In the southern Peruvian Amazon, a cooperative of coffee farmers is seeking help as its coffee crop — considered among the world’s best — struggles against a spate of “yellow rust” fungus. Before 2011, coffee production never dropped below 11,000 tons; in 2014, it fell to 628 and hasn’t recovered much. And with coffee farming growing risky, more in Peru’s Sandia Valley have turned to coca. Now, organizations are scrambling to mount a counteroffensive, hoping alternate crops and reforestation can hold the line against cocaine traffickers.

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    Where Isolated Incidents Are a Trend

    It could end as one-on-one. NBA strategy increasingly favors ball movement and teamwork, but when ironclad defenses close in, it still comes down to the big names making plays — all by themselves. No matter the year, almost every star player’s statistics show a spike in fourth-quarter and overtime isolation plays, when the game is essentially stripped down to one star and one defender. Trailing a game in the finals, this is how Cleveland might beat Golden State tonight, with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving having mastered the isolation chamber.