“This is not a coup.” So said a Venezuelan rebel leader calling himself Capt. Juan Caguaripano in a Sunday video showing men in uniform calling for an uprising against President Nicolas Maduro’s “murderous tyranny.” Later, in what Maduro labeled a terrorist attack, 20 armed men were beaten back by Venezuelan troops after attempting a pre-dawn assault on a military base in the northwestern city of Valencia. The battle lasted three hours and left two dead, one injured, seven arrested and another 10 on the run — some with weapons captured from the base.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Time’s running out. The U.N. put even harsher sanctions on North Korea over the weekend, attempting to close loopholes that allow Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program to continue. Without effective intervention, the Hermit Kingdom appears on track to perfect an ICBM that can carry a nuclear payload to a major U.S. target within a few years. North Korea dismissed the sanctions, which were approved by its biggest economic ally, China, as a “violent violation of sovereignty,” and also rejected South Korea’s offer of talks made during a regional forum in Manila on Sunday.
He swears he’s not waiting in the wings. Contrary to reports that Vice President Mike Pence is running his own 2020 “shadow” GOP bid for the White House, President Donald Trump’s No. 2 says such rumors are “offensive” and “fake news.” Pressure is growing, however, on an administration facing multiple investigations while suffering high-profile legislative failures. Pence last week did distance himself from the president’s entanglement with Russia, telling leaders during a trip to Eastern Europe that Moscow must change its stance on Ukraine, Syria and Iran to help resolve ongoing conflicts.
The more things don’t change, the more they stay the same. An employee-penned memo decrying diversity initiatives — and blaming things like the gender pay gap on “biological” differences between the sexes — went viral at Google last Friday, spurring company diversity chief Danielle Brown to write a strongly worded email denouncing such attitudes. She added that “Changing a culture is hard, and it’s often uncomfortable.” With the Department of Labor investigating Google for paying women less than men, this could reignite long-simmering arguments about tech’s deeply entrenched “bro” culture.
Know This: Saying it’s “the least we can do,” Tunisian fisherman have shut the port of Zarzis from a ship of far-right activists trying to stop migrant boats from sailing across the Mediterranean. Players being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame this weekend used their speeches to address racial inequality in America. And Mauritania’s voted to abolish its senate in a widely protested referendum.
Remember This Number: 113 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s how hot Córdoba, Spain, got in recent days during a heat wave that’s gripped much of Europe, killing two people and earning the nickname “Lucifer.”
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, focusing on topics that might make it onto the show. This week: Should all Americans be entitled to health care? Go deep. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts or a personal story, and we might feature your answer next week.
Can he make America “liked” again? Since he embarked on a whistle-stop tour of every state in the nation, many have speculated that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is preparing a 2020 White House run. The whiz kid has repeatedly denied that’s his plan, but his recent moves — from carefully framed Civil War battlefield photos to meetings with truckers and oil workers — suggest otherwise. Still, his online posts about these experiences are mostly innocuous and non-partisan, sparking an alternate theory: Maybe he’s just polishing his image.
Angst is keeping it real. According to a recent Pew Research survey, just 37 percent of Germans say they use social media sites — about half the adoption rates of Sweden or the United States. While the higher median age of Germans – 47, compared to 38 for Americans — may be a factor, communications experts say it’s more likely that privacy concerns are the barrier. With memories of East German secret police surveillance and culturally reserved attitudes about “narcissistic” fixations on personal details, most Germans aren’t quite ready to share.
There’s something in the water. Experts are struggling to explain the tiny bites that left 16-year-old Sam Kanizay with legs covered in blood after 30 minutes soaking his feet in waters off Melbourne, Australia. Possible culprits include jellyfish larvae, but much of the speculation involves sea lice, though the tiny crustacean isn’t known for inflicting such injuries. Kanizay’s father took a net filled with meat into the water and videotaped what appeared to be sea lice feeding on it, as doctors puzzled Sunday over his teenage son’s profuse bleeding.
Add another to the list. Eric Bolling, the host of Fox News shows The Specialists and Cashin’ In, has been suspended by the network pending an investigation into sexual harassment allegations. Bolling, who has worked at Fox News since 2008, faces accusations of sending unsolicited photos of male genitalia to two female colleagues at Fox Business and one at Fox News on separate occasions several years ago. In a statement, Bolling’s lawyer says the host “recalls no such inappropriate communications,” while the network says “all claims will be taken into account.”
You can’t lose if you don’t try. UFC champ Conor McGregor isn’t expecting to dazzle anyone in his Aug. 26 bout with boxing great Floyd Mayweather, 40. But that might not matter: The odds are stacked so high against him — 5 to 1 at the moment — that just landing a few solid punches on the veteran boxer will leave people talking more about the 29-year-old Irishman, even if he loses. Still, McGregor is taking his training seriously — even using an underwater treadmill to build endurance.