The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump’s Weak Neo-Nazi Condemnation Prompts Questions and Walkouts

    Does he mean it? After a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one dead and 19 injured on Saturday, President Donald Trump finally condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis by name, calling racism “evil” while promising justice for those affected by the tragedy. But it came two entire days after he criticized the violence on “many sides,” a statement of equivalency that drew scorn from the public. In response, three high profile businessmen have walked out of Trump’s manufacturing advisory council, inlcuding the CEOs of Under Armour, Intel and pharmaceutical giant Merck.

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    Burkina Faso Restaurant Attack Leaves 20 Dead

    Motorcycle-riding gunmen have killed at least 20 people and wounded several more after opening fire on a Turkish restaurant in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, where 30 died after 170 were taken hostage at a nearby café in January 2016. The government’s treating the assault as a terrorist attack, and there are fears that al-Qaida affiliates may be involved. While several African nations have collaborated on a multinational force to battle terrorism in the region, it’s not expected to be operational until later this year.

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    Colombian President Presses US VP on Venezuela 

    Stay out of it. That was the message from Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, a Nobel Peace Prize-winner, to visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after President Trump said he wouldn’t rule out military intervention in Venezuela’s violent political crisis. Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru also criticized the idea of U.S. military intervention, and while Pence said he believes in a diplomatic solution, he maintained that “the United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles.” Santos, meanwhile, says any solutions must be peaceful — and must happen quickly.

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    As Tensions Ease With North Korea, Markets Bounce Back

    The Pentagon’s still preparing for war. But now U.S. officials are saying they’re looking for a diplomatic solution to last week’s world-riveting intercontinental ballistic missile-armed tension between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Asian and European stock markets have risen accordingly after days of jittery selling. Japan saw its sixth consecutive quarter of growth, a 4 percent GDP jump unmatched in 10 years, and South Korea and Taiwan both saw modest gains as traders seemed to be betting on business as usual.

  5. Netflix’s Coup, a Nazi Salute and Olympic Disappointment

    Know This: Netflix has wooed TV phenom Shonda Rhimes away from ABC with a multi-year deal in what’s seen as a crushing blow to old media. A drunken American tourist in Germany was beaten up and “slightly injured” for giving a Nazi salute. And Australia’s deputy prime minister turns out to have dual citizenship with New Zealand — meaning he’s barred from holding public office under Australian law.

    Read This: A year after Rio’s Olympics, the city — which hoped the games would lead to modernization and increased international recognition — is left with $40 million in debt and crumbling athletic facilities.  

    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 publishing fake news be a crime? Go deep. Email with your thoughts or a personal story, and we might feature your answer next week.


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    Amazon Warns of Possible Harm From Eclipse Glasses

    Don’t be blinded by a bargain. The U.S. will witness its first total solar eclipse since 1918 next week — but it might be the last thing some Amazon customers see. The online retailer has warned those who purchased certain eclipse-watching glasses that using them might cause “permanent blindness.” The site was recently hit with a deluge of dubious eclipse-watching glasses, prompting its demand that sellers prove sourcing from “recommended” manufacturers. Those warned had apparently purchased glasses from companies that have yet to provide such verification, and Amazon’s promised refunds.

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    Google Patents Softer Car for Pedestrian Safety

    This should be a hit. Google’s autonomous automaking spinoff Waymo has patented rigid vehicle body panels that loosen in the event of a pedestrian crash, mitigating the impact and theoretically reducing injuries. The technology incorporates sensors to alter the car’s “external rigidity” as needed: softening for a human, but stiffening for impact with another rigid object, like a truck. It’s not the firm’s first unconventional experiment in pedestrian safety — another Waymo patent considers covering its vehicles with glue so that when they hit you, you don’t fly off and hit something else.

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    Nepal Mobilizes to Save Threatened Vultures

    Keep calm and carrion. In Nepal, vultures have long been reviled as ugly, unlucky creatures. But four of nine local species are critically endangered after now-banned bovine medication poisoned cow carcasses. Locals stepped in to save them, caring for chicks and opening vulture “restaurants,” where visitors pay to see them fed. That’s boosted tourism and revived the population to 111 sightings this year from 76 last year. But authorities say the hard work must continue to give the birds — whose scavenging is necessary for sanitation — a fighting chance of survival.

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    Mexico’s Ancient Languages Re-emerge in Literature

    It’s a linguistic reconquista. Artists, poets and writers are finding new voices in pre-Columbian Mexico, whose denizens spoke an estimated 130 languages. From Mazatec, still spoken by 220,000 in northern Oaxaca, to Tarascan, spoken in the highlands of the Michoacán, a new market is growing for books in translation. Today, 1 in 5 Mexicans identify as indigenous — some 25.5 million — and more than half of those consider an indigenous language their native tongue, establishing a market that’s not just lucrative, but something that’s driving debates about readers’ identity.

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    Justin Thomas Breaks From Pack, Wins PGA Championship

    He was born for this. Sunday’s final round of the 99th PGA Championship saw Justin Thomas keep his nerve in the last hour — fortified by an apparent failed 8-foot, 10th hole putt that dropped after 12 seconds. The son and grandson of pros, he wrested his first major victory at North Carolina’s Quail Hollow Club from a crowd: Five players shared the lead at one point yesterday. But he finished two shots ahead of a three-way tie for second, and at 24, joins a growing field of golf’s young stars.