It’s getting worse. The controversy over last weekend’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, intensified on Wednesday after President Donald Trump disbanded two advisory councils from which several CEOs resigned over his response to the violence. It came a day after Trump defended his initial remarks blaming “many sides” of the conflict, part of a combative press conference in which he claimed the “alt-left” played an equal role in provoking clashes, as well as criticized the removal of Confederate statues. Meanwhile, cities and states are accelerating efforts to remove such monuments.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They’ve struck again. At least 27 people are dead and dozens more injured after two separate attacks on Tuesday by three female suicide bombers in northeastern Nigeria. Officials suspect it was the work of radical Islamist Boko Haram militants, who have battled government forces in the region since 2009. It was also the latest in a recent increase in attacks around the city of Maiduguri, the group’s traditional area of influence. While the Nigerian military has taken back significant territory, Boko Haram has intensified its attacks, killing 170 people since June.
They’ve got a warrant — but is it warranted? The Justice Department has ordered Los Angeles company DreamHost to turn over data on all visitors to a site it hosts, Disruptj20.org, which organized protests on President Trump’s inauguration day. Officials say they’re pursuing information on more than 200 people indicted on vandalism charges at the protests, but the warrant could require information on up to 1.3 million users. DreamHost’s attorneys are resisting, saying the request may violate constitutional protections of free expression and prohibitions against unreasonable searches. A D.C. court hearing is expected soon.
“We need urgent support now.” So said Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, pleading with the international community after seeing that “entire communities have been wiped out” in the country’s capital, Freetown. Early Monday, days of torrential rains caused the collapse of a heavily populated hillside, but the scale of the devastation is only lately becoming clear, with nearly 400 confirmed dead and more than 600 still missing. Now the nation’s scrambling to avoid a cholera outbreak from contaminated water as mourners prepare for a mass burial planned for today.
Know This: Zimbabwe’s first lady has been accused of beating a South African model with an extension cord in a Johannesburg hotel. A Swiss hotel faces allegations of antisemitism for asking its Jewish guests to shower before swimming in the pool, prompting anger from Israel. And newly designed space suits for Mars will be even lighter than those used on the Moon.
Read This: Uzbekistan’s remote sand castles are a centuries-old UNESCO gem dating back to the long-disappeared Mongol empire — and they may become a tourist destination as the country opens further to outsiders.
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 government leaks always be illegal? Go deep. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts or a personal story, and we might feature your answer next week.
Drink up, but stay grounded. Thanks to a spike in drunken, unruly passengers, low-cost carrier Ryanair has asked British airports to ban early-morning sales of alcohol and limit the number of drinks served per boarding pass. The Dublin-based airline already prohibits the consumption of duty-free drinks onboard, and even bans duty-free bottles in the cabin on the way to some popular vacation spots. But with airborne drinking-related arrests up 52 percent between February 2016 and February 2017, it seems one can’t keep a bad drunk down.
They’re doing well by doing good. According to some estimates, the global sustainability market is projected to grow to more than $1.5 billion by 2020 — and companies in Alaska are taking note. While the state is challenging residents to spend at least $5 per week on local wares, entrepreneurs see the state as a new frontier of ethical consumerism, despite its reputation for unsustainable exploitation. With Alaska’s abundant untouched wilderness, these pioneers are seizing upon a multitude of opportunities, like line-caught wild salmon or even clothing accessories made from discarded crab shells.
They’re digging for answers. A new study by researchers from Cambridge University suggests an enigmatic, 150-million-year-old dinosaur may actually be a new, transitional species that bridges a gap between herbivores and theropods, hypercarnivores that include Tyrannosaurus rex. Originally classified as a vegetarian theropod, the parrot-beaked, raptor-like Chilesaurus is now believed to be an early member of a “bird-hipped” dinosaur group. Some paleontologists, though, argue that an incomplete data set makes the new conclusion suspect, even while it enriches a much-needed discussion of how these beasts evolved.
They’re piling up. Filmmaker Roman Polanski faces allegations from a third woman that he sexually abused her when she was underage. Identified as Robin M., the woman claims the Polish filmmaker, now 83, “sexually victimized” her in 1973 when she was 16. The accusation comes 38 years after the Chinatown director pleaded guilty to raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer, then fled the U.S. before sentencing. Robin M. said she decided to come forward after being “infuriated” by Geimer’s public urging to close that case, though she’s not planning a civil lawsuit.
They’re not buying. A player auction segment of ESPN2’s Fantasy Sports Marathon has drawn criticism after viewers noted its alarming resemblance to a slave auction. While some white players, such as Tom Brady, were up for bidding, the auctioning of mostly black players to a largely white crowd sparked outrage on social media. Even NFL superstar Odell Beckham Jr. — himself “sold” for $34 — joined the protest, tweeting that he was “speechless.” Taken aback, ESPN responded, “We understand how the optics could be portrayed as offensive, and we apologize.”