The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. big ben

    Theresa May’s Power-Saving Deal Now Uncertain

    Like Alice, she’s gotten nowhere running. Thursday’s British snap elections lost Prime Minister Theresa May her Conservative Party’s majority and she’s since shed key advisers and claimed a controversial alliance with Northern Ireland’s unionists to patch her lost support. But the deal’s in doubt, and some of her own party members are questioning her leadership. Without the unequivocal mandate she’d expected the election would bring, she’s facing difficult negotiations over Britain’s exit from the E.U., as German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Brussels is ready to start Brexit talks — even if May isn’t.

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    Will Puerto Rico Become the 51st State?

    Signs point to no. But the Caribbean island’s 3.4 million inhabitants will have a new moment to be heard today, when voters can choose between independence, the current commonwealth arrangement, or U.S. statehood, which is polling at 60 percent. Facing default on $123 billion in bond and pension obligations and resulting curbs on self-governance, Puerto Ricans may want change even more. But a Republican-led Congress might be even less open to statehood that could boost Democrats’ representation in Washington, even if President Trump has seemed accepting of the idea.

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    The Man Who Silenced Trump

    The name’s Comey. James Comey. During Thursday’s Senate Intelligence Committee sworn testimony, the ex-FBI director riveted the nation, while Donald Trump didn’t once respond during testimony that he’d lied about Comey’s firing and asked him to stop investigating ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn’s Kremlin ties. Afterward, Trump’s attorney accused Comey of leaking “privileged information” and noted he’d confirmed saying he wasn’t investigating the president. On Friday, Trump responded in the Rose Garden, deriding the lawman’s “lies,” saying there was “no collusion, no obstruction,” and vowing that he’d refute Comey’s claims — under oath.

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    Twitter, Qatar and Hair-Trigger Diplomacy

    Did he find the enemy? Throwing Qatar under the bus via Twitter last week amid its diplomatic crisis with other Arab nations, President Trump has single-handedly threatened a delicate partnership that includes hosting the largest Mideast U.S. military base, argues former U.S. counterterrorism official Joshua Geltzer. Qatar has long been suspected of unsavory ties to Islamist groups — but so has its main antagonist, Saudi Arabia. But they openly help fight ISIS, and many counterterrorism partners have uncomfortable connections that, if they became deal-breakers, would leave America with few friends where it matters most.

  5. Sessions to Testify, Hiking Interest and Afghan Soldier Kills Three U.S. Troops

    The Week Ahead: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed Saturday to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday to address Russiagate issues raised by ex-FBI director James Comey. Federal Reserve members are expected to raise interest rates at their meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. And the Pittsburgh Penguins, with a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup hockey finals, try for the title tonight against the Predators in Nashville.

    Know This: An Afghan soldier fatally shot three U.S. soldiers in eastern Afghanistan Saturday. An anti-Muslim group has carried out demonstrations across America to denounce Sharia law. A car hit and injured eight people outside Amsterdam’s main train station, but police say it wasn’t a terror attack.

    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 identity: Is it more acceptable to be transgender than transracial? Why or why not? Go deep. Email with your thoughts or a personal story, and we might feature your answer next week.


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    Rafael Nadal Wins Unprecedented 10th French Open

    Was it magic? An @rolandgarros tournament tweet wondered as Rafael Nadal hit a blind shot down the line 20 minutes into French Open final, scoring on his way to a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 victory against Swiss Stan Wawrinka today, making the Spaniard the only man to have won any majors venue 10 times in the Open Era. The feeling was “impossible to compare to other places,” said the man with the best record — 79-2 — at Stade Roland-Garros, where the 15-majors titlist has yet to lose a final.

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    Latvian is First Unseeded French Open Champ Since 1933

    Even she was surprised. “I cannot believe I am Roland Garros champion,” said Jelena Ostapenko, who turned 20 Thursday, after beating third-seeded Simona Halep in Saturday’s French Open final. Unseeded Ostapenko fearlessly battled from behind, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, to become Latvia’s first Grand Slam titlist — without winning any previous WTA-level tournaments. She also deprived Halep, who said she was “like a spectator” at times during the match, of a No. 1 ranking, promising that the Latvian’s lightning serve and unshakable verve can further shake up the circuit.

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    TV’s Campy ‘Batman,’ Adam West, Dies at 88 

    He was no dark knight. Adam West, who starred in the 1960s television series Batman, reportedly died Friday in Los Angeles after battling leukemia. Donning tights, his endlessly versatile utility belt and accompanied by an ever-astonished sidekick, Robin, the Caped Crusader delighted millions with deadpan one-liners and comic-book-style fights. West lamented, then embraced his lifelong branding, landing many guest roles and voicing “Mayor Adam West” for the Family Guy animated series. “He was truly the Bright Knight,” said co-star Burt Ward, calling West “the one real Batman.” 

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    The AIDS Epidemic That’s Still Raging

    You thought it was under control? HIV/AIDS is ravaging communities with high concentrations of gay and bisexual African-American men, half of whom will become infected if current conditions persist, federal health authorities predict. In places like Jackson, Mississippi, it’s part of a cycle of despair for these already disadvantaged young men, for whom diagnosis and treatment are often too much to handle. They’re dying at a rate seven times higher than the overall HIV-positive population, and it’s feared proposed slashing of federal prevention and care programs will add to that toll.

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    Did a Trump Golf Club Siphon Off Kids’ Cancer Money?

    Time for an audit. The Eric Trump Foundation, run by the president’s son to benefit a children’s research hospital, raised most of its money through tournaments at the Trump National Golf Club, claiming it used the course for free. But tax filings indicate the charity started out with low overhead, then paid more than $1.2 million to the Trump Organization as unexplained annual operating costs skyrocketed to $322,000. What’s changed? The presidential scion’s friends left the board in 2010, replaced by Donald Trump’s associates, and now Eric says he’s stopped raising funds.

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    Where Marijuana Access Depends on Your Zip Code 

    It’s a blessing and a curse. New York State has expanded access to medical marijuana for chronic pain patients — but they may need to drive hours to get it. That’s because more than a third of the state’s counties have only one, if any, certified practitioner to write prescriptions. Medical marijuana’s a key alternative pain reliever, especially in a state where opioid overdoses jumped 144 percent from 2005 to 2014. Technology, such as video doctor “visits,” is helping, but getting the pot to the people continues to be a pain.

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    ‘Evan Hansen’ Yearns for Tonys’ Appreciation

    It’s a tough sell. But Dear Evan Hansen, about teen isolation and suicide, is the musical to beat at tonight’s Tony Awards. It’s avoided concerns plaguing dramas detailing high school self-harm like the series 13 Reasons Why. The story of Evan, who posthumously “befriends” a classmate who killed himself, was realized by Oscar-winning musical team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, along with playwright Steven Levenson. He says thoughtful partnerships with mental health organizations allowed them to shepherd the difficult story to the stage — and tonight’s anticipated happy ending.

  8. Cleveland's LeBron James vies with Golden State Warriors Shaun Livingston in Game 4.

    Warriors Dream Team Falls in 137-116 Cleveland Nightmare

    They’re not perfect. On a 15-0 playoff streak, Golden State could have made history Friday night. Then the clock started. Host Cleveland was suddenly a team — that arguably includes history’s best player. LeBron James and his teammates smashed one finals record after another: 24 three-pointers, scoring 49 in the first quarter and 86 in that half. “They blitzed us,” lamented Warrior Klay Thompson. It’s said that a 1-3 deficit is insurmountable, but the Cavaliers showed that they’re not going quietly as they head for Monday’s Game 5 in Oakland.