The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Gunman Kills Five in Orlando Shooting

    Same city, different nightmare. Police in Florida say a former employee shot dead five people at an Orlando business before turning the gun on himself. The attack doesn’t immediately appear connected to terrorism, but it comes just a week before the one-year anniversary of the city’s Pulse nightclub shooting, which left 50 dead, including the attacker. Monday’s suspected shooter, who was described as “disgruntled” but not identified, was alleged to have beaten a co-worker in 2014 but was not charged.


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    Trump Won’t Block Comey Testimony

    It’s still on. The White House says President Donald Trump will not block former FBI Director James Comey from testifying on Capitol Hill on Thursday. That ends speculation over whether Trump would claim executive privilege to prevent Comey, who Trump fired last month amid an official investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, from divulging the details of their apparently scandalous conversations. It’ll be a big moment in Washington: Comey’s testimony will represent a rare, firsthand glimpse into what’s been widely described as a chaotic administration.


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    Six Arab States Sever Diplomatic Ties With Qatar

    Start the clock. Qatari nationals have two weeks to leave Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE after the three countries abruptly cut off air and sea traffic and announced diplomatic emissaries would be withdrawn within 48 hours. Egypt, Libya and Yemen took similar measures. Qatar is accused of supporting terrorism after tensions escalated last week when its state news agency posted quotes from the nation’s emir criticizing fellow Gulf leaders. Qatar swears that hackers were behind it, but the controversy has exposed regional stress over Qatar’s ongoing support for Iran.

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    Far-Right Activists Meet Resistance in Oregon

    They were outnumbered. After a man shouting racial slurs at teenage girls on a train reportedly stabbed and killed the men who intervened, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler sought to cancel a planned pro-Trump “free speech rally,” fearing it would further inflame tensions. While the rally of a few hundred people went on, flanked by members of citizen militias, it was largely drowned out by 3,000 counter-protesters, some masked, shouting “Nazis, go home!” Riot police deployed tear gas and arrested 14, confiscating several makeshift weapons before the protests wound down.

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    Putin Denies Any Relationship With Trump

    “You created a sensation out of nothing.” That’s what Russian President Vladimir Putin told Megyn Kelly in an interview broadcast last night, during which he denied ever having met President Donald Trump or having any compromising information on him. Meanwhile, FBI and congressional investigations into Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. election have zeroed in on a meeting between Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and the leader of sanctioned Russian state bank VEB — even as the purpose and content of that meeting remain unclear.

  6. Bill Cosby’s Trial, Ariana Grande’s Concert and ‘Wonder Woman’

    Know This: A 25-year-old intelligence contractor was charged in the first leak case under President Trump. Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial opens today in Pennsylvania. Fifty thousand fans crowded a Manchester cricket ground last night for a benefit concert in honor of those who died in a terrorist attack following Ariana Grande’s May 22 show. And a young man has died after being set on fire during an anti-government protest in Venezuela, the 65th casualty of demonstrations that have rocked the nation.

    Remember This Number: $100.5 million. That’s how much Wonder Woman made at the box office during its first U.S. weekend, making it the most successful debut weekend for any film directed by a woman.

    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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    Will Intellectuals Lead the Progressive Revolution?

    Somebody’s got to defend science. Between 1774 and 2014, 300 college professors served in Congress, but almost a third of those were law instructors, with a meager 15 emerging from mathematical fields. Now some 5,000 STEM academics have thrown their hats in the ring to run for office — perhaps deducing that with facts under attack, joining the fray is knowledge’s first and best line of defense. Though such campaigns are impractical for many academics, who lack deep-pocketed donors and name recognition, they could serve as a fascinating political experiment.

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    Toyota Ditches Tesla Stock, Invests in Flying Cars

    Where they’re going, they don’t need roads. The Japanese automaker ended its 7-year relationship with Elon Musk’s company by selling off the last of its Tesla stock. Instead, Toyota’s moving on up to something smaller and stranger, investing more than $386,000 in Cartivator, a startup aiming to develop a flying car that can reach speeds of 60 mph while hovering 33 feet above the ground. A recent SkyDrive prototype test was clunky and unimpressive, but Toyota hopes a flying car might light the torch at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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    Russia’s World Cup Weapon: North Korean Labor

    It’s not all fun and games. As Russia prepares to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it’s alleged to have exploited hundreds of North Korean migrant workers to build St. Petersburg’s new Zenit Arena. The laborers reportedly toiled long hours with no days off in “slave-like conditions,” resulting in at least one fatality. Russian laws permit World Cup contractors to skirt some labor regulations, but these allegations have prompted FIFA’s president to condemn the “often appalling labor conditions” and demand that FIFA contractors stop using North Korean workers.

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    Ballet Dancer Rescues Man From NYC Subway Tracks

    Talk about an échappé. Gray Davis, a dancer with American Ballet Theatre, wasn’t performing Saturday night due to a herniated disk. Instead he played a heroic role when a man was apparently pushed onto the tracks of Manhattan’s 72nd Street station. Davis leaped off the platform to rescue the man, who’d been knocked unconscious in the fall. “I never realized how high it was,” Davis said. “Luckily, I’m a ballet dancer, so I swung my leg up.” Police arrested a woman suspected of pushing the victim into harm’s way.

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    Climber Scales El Capitan Without Any Safety Gear

    Look ma, just hands! Alex Honnold, 31, stuck what other elite climbers called the “moon landing of free-soloing” this weekend when he climbed the famed 3,000-foot rock face in California’s Yosemite National Park without any ropes or safety equipment. Honnold, who studied the route for two years and trained by hanging from his fingertips, used the Freerider route up El Capitan, which normally takes climbers four days. He finished in under four hours Saturday morning, and his ascent will be featured in an upcoming National Geographic documentary.