The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Mass Arrests in Russia Amid Anti-Corruption Protests

    The Kremlin has spoken. Police in Russia arrested hundreds of protesters who turned out to anti-corruption rallies on Monday in cities across the country. Observers were watching the protests to see whether Russia’s traditionally scattered opposition could gather momentum ahead of next year’s presidential elections, in which prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny hopes to run despite legal troubles. He’s only popular among a small minority, but the Kremlin is still nervous about Navalny: he was hauled away by cops as he left his Moscow home to attend a demonstration downtown.

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    Sessions To Testify in Public On Tuesday

    It’ll be a tough act to follow. After former FBI Director James Comey’s damning testimony before Congress last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will face the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday in a hearing that’ll be open to the public. Sessions, who previously recused himself from any probes into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election campaign, will likely respond, among other things, to Comey’s recent suggestion that the attorney general had good reason to avoid questioning. Comey also reportedly told senators last week that Sessions may have unreported contact with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak — that’s in addition to the two meetings Sessions admitted he’d had.

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    Another Federal Court Rejects Trump Travel Ban

    The hits keep coming. President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries was thrown further into question on Monday after a U.S. appeals court upheld a previous ruling that found the ban to be discriminatory. The San Francisco-based panel — the second federal appeals court to have ruled against the ban — also found Trump exceeded his authority as president in ordering the measure, which the White House has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate. “Immigration, even for the president, is not a one-person show,” the judges wrote in Monday’s ruling.

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    Warriors Win Second NBA Championship in Three Years

    They came at the king and they didn’t miss. The Warriors edged out Cleveland 129-120 tonight, clinching the NBA championship in Game 5 of the series. Kevin Durant scored 39 points in the game and Steph Curry 34 — both less than LeBron’s 41, but enough, along with the rest of their team, to win the game. Fans are breathing a sigh of relief that the Warriors avoided a repeat of last year, when a 3-1 lead against the Cavs wasn’t enough to keep them from ultimately losing the series and the trophy.

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    Maryland and DC to Sue Trump, Alleging Breach of Oath

    He might want to Google “emoluments.” Attorneys general in Maryland and the District of Columbia plan to file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump today, arguing that he’s received millions in payments from foreign governments since taking office. The suit, claiming “unprecedented constitutional violations,” is the first governmental challenge to presidential authority regarding Trump’s decision to remain owner and active participant in his real estate empire. Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee will keep Russiagate on the front burner by grilling Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday.

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    Macron’s Centrists Score Parliamentary Landslide

    The revolution continues. Three days after Britain’s Conservatives lost their majority in a snap election, France embraced its center. In the first round of parliamentary elections, an alliance of President Emmanuel Macron’s year-old La République en Marche and MoDem parties appears to have won 445 of 577 seats, with the traditional Socialist Party losing 200. Turning away from a recent wave of European populism, Macron handily beat nationalist Marine Le Pen on May 7, but traditional parties are urging voters to reject his neophyte partisans, arguing they’ll give him carte blanche power.

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    Kalanick Reportedly Mulls Break From Uber

    Sometimes you just have to pull over. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick may be temporarily stepping aside, according to reports, following a series of scandals including the recent firing of more than 20 employees after an internal sexual harassment investigation. Kalanick’s departure would follow not just public embarrassment — he was caught on video earlier this year berating an Uber driver — but personal tragedy: His mother was killed in a boating accident two weeks ago. In wider management restructuring, chief business officer Emil Michael is also expected to depart today.

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    Puerto Ricans Unmoved by US Statehood Ballot

    The vote is in — sort of. Some 97 percent of voters in yesterday’s referendum on Puerto Rico’s status said they’d like the 100-year-old commonwealth to become America’s 51st state. But turnout on the Caribbean island was a dismal 23 percent, likely stifled by opposition parties’ boycotts over ballot language and a “rigged” process. Potential voters may also have seen the writing on the wall: Congress must approve statehood, and the Republicans in control are unlikely to add a new state, especially one crushed by debt, with voters likely to boost Democrats.

  9. Trump Calls for Apprentices, Asia Bites Apple

    Know This: President Trump is launching an initiative to foster apprenticeships for young people as an alternative to college. And first lady Melania Trump, after controversy over the expense of her separate quarters in New York, is moving into the White House with her son, Barron.

    Remember This Number: 4 percent. That’s how badly Apple’s share price dropped as a tech stock slide that started in New York has infected Asia and Europe.

    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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    Trump Supporters Unsheathe Knives on ‘Julius Caesar’

    Et tu, Shakespeare? Fox News has called out a New York City staging of Julius Caesar as anti-Trump, and two major sponsors, Bank of America and Delta Air Lines, have withdrawn sponsorship. The controversy prompted the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., to muse, “When does art become political speech?” A Fox post describes Shakespeare in the Park’s Caesar, who resembles the president, being “brutally stabbed to death by women and minorities.” The scene has infuriated political partisans, while the director says The Bard’s 1599 play depicts democracy’s fragility.

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    Pennsylvania Could Pack a Punch on Redistricting

    They’re drawing the line. While activists nationwide fight for fairer allotment of legislative districts, the Keystone State actually has a chance of shifting the job of redistricting from politicians to an independent panel — thanks to a partisan impasse. Democrats control Pennsylvania’s supreme court, and thus the advantage in crafting state legislative districts, but a Republican majority in the legislature draws federal congressional districts. Both sides hold powerful cards, setting the stage for a grand bargain to be struck. If it is, Pennsylvania could be the first gerrymandering domino to fall.

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    America’s Spies Need a Makeover

    Were they caught with their pants down? With Russia’s 2016 election interference now widely accepted, some argue that American counterintelligence needs an overhaul. Among the alleged deficiencies is a communications gap: The U.S. government failed to warn the public it was being trolled by Russian disinformation and propaganda. Critics also argue that there’s insufficient vetting of political newcomers with suspected foreign contacts. But before those issues can be addressed, the first step is acknowledging the intelligence failures of the past — which might be easy if not for highly charged partisan resistance.

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    ‘Evan Hansen’ Leads Heavy List of Tony Awards

    Mr. Hamilton must yield. After last year’s coronation of the Founding Father phenom, last night’s Tony Awards was a more democratic — if darker — celebration of stage achievement, with teen suicide-themed Dear Evan Hansen winning best musical and five other awards, including best score and best actor for Ben Platt. Oslo’s tale of Middle East peace negotiations took best play, while Bette Midler won her first Tony for a Hello Dolly revival. Platt summed up the theme, declaring that power comes from “the things that make you strange.”

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    Penguins Win Second Consecutive Stanley Cup

    Pittsburgh’s ice won’t melt. Playoff MVP Sidney Crosby and the Pens defeated the Predators 2-0 in last night’s Game 6, becoming the salary cap era’s first back-to-back champs. Nashville was thwarted early in the second by a controversial whistle just before Colton Sissons found the net. Then, late in the third, Pittsburgh’s winning goal was painfully delivered by ex-Nashville right wing Patric Hornqvist. The Penguins may have a challenge making it three in a row, though: The NHL will reportedly keep the salary cap flat for 2017-18.