The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Barcelona Van Attack Leaves 13 Dead and Dozens Injured

    It’s happened again. Spanish officials have confirmed that 13 people were killed and 100 injured on Thursday after a van careened down a popular pedestrian boulevard in central Barcelona in an attack claimed by the Islamic State. Eyewitnesses said the van was purposely targeting people at high speed, forcing bystanders to flee into nearby establishments amid screaming and chaos. Hours later, Spanish police killed four suspects and injured another in an operation to stop what they say was a second attempted attack in the resort town of Cambrils, just south of Barcelona.



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    Trump Condemns Removal of Confederate Statues 

    “Foolish.” That’s how President Donald Trump on Thursday described efforts to remove monuments to Confederate leaders, just days after deadly violence broke out in Virginia over plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Trump’s latest Twitter tirade came shortly after Baltimore removed four Confederate monuments under cover of darkness and without fanfare, on the orders of Mayor Catherine Pugh. While other city leaders — and even some governors, such as Virginia’s Terry McAuliffe — support similar measures, Trump claimed the country’s history was being “torn apart.” 

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    White House Business Councils Disband as CEOs Walk

    He’s got big problems with big business. Just a day after Trump tweeted that he’d easily replace any CEO “grandstanders” quitting his advisory councils, he dissolved two after at least eight corporate titans quit. The departing members, representing a cross section of companies from Merck to Intel to Campbell Soup, were protesting the president’s equivocal remarks in the face of deadly white nationalist violence in Charlottesville last weekend. Threats of consumer boycotts were seen as a motivating factor — amid signs that corporate America’s presidential honeymoon is ending.

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    Moon: Trump Granted South Veto Over North Korea Action

    They need a second opinion. In a news conference marking 100 days in office, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his U.S. counterpart had promised to seek negotiations and approval from Seoul before any military action on North Korea. President Trump last week threatened to visit “fire and fury” upon the North if it continued threatening America. Stressing the need to find a peaceful solution, President Moon nonetheless made it clear that if Pyongyang puts a nuclear warhead on an ICBM, it’ll be crossing a “red line.”

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    Dozens Dead as Filipino Drug War Intensifies

    The rampage continues. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has lauded his police force after authorities reported the deaths of at least 58 people in the latest three days of his bloody war on drugs and crime. Among those killed, 32 were believed to have been executed in one 24-hour period. Praising the operation, Duterte egged on anti-crime volunteers with, “Let’s kill another 32 every day.” Human rights defenders denounced the president’s remarks — which included urging his crusaders to shoot such advocates “if they are obstructing justice.”

  6. Steve Bannon’s Mind, Islamophobic Senators and Activist Convictions

    Know This: Steve Bannon gave a surprise interview in which he called white nationalists “losers” and contradicted President Trump over North Korea. A far-right, anti-Muslim Australian legislator has provoked an angry backlash after arriving in the Senate chamber in a full burqa. And three Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, including key movement leader Joshua Wong, have been jailed for their roles in the 2014 “Umbrella” protests.

    Know This Number: 9,000. That’s how many migrants the U.N. estimates have arrived in Spain so far this year. That’s more than three times those who made the crossing last year.

    Wanted: OZY is growing! We’re looking to hire a number of additional reporters, videographers, podcasters and editors including a top-tier managing editor. Read more on our jobs page. And please forward to an outstanding friend who you think may be a great fit.


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    Cults See Unexpected Resurgence in France

    The end isn’t nigh. Cults and fringe religious groups are enjoying a renaissance in France as their monitoring body has become hamstrung with controversy. A recent survey found that more than 600 groups are active today compared with just 200 in the mid-1990s, often under the guise of “self-help” or “holistic healing.” But the law empowering government watchdog Miviludes, which once successfully challenged Scientology, is in jeopardy. It’s faced international criticism over its ambiguous mission, which once put protest group Femen in its crosshairs, possibly meaning cult activity will remain the price of liberté.

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    Facebook Vows to Remove Hate Speech

    ”There is no place for hate in our community.” So wrote CEO Mark Zuckerberg, adding his $500 billion social network to a string of tech companies pushing back against racist groups. Facebook says it’ll actively combat hate speech following last weekend’s violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, enforcing and strengthening its existing policies. But sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube may have trouble scrubbing white supremacy from peoples’ feeds, as hate groups use tricks — like switching common racial slurs for similar words — that’ll help them avoid bulk searches.

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    New Nokia Flagship Phone Seeks to Popularize the ‘Bothie’

    Forget selfies, brace yourself for double vision. The first flagship cellphone by Finnish firm HMD Global, which pulled the flagging Nokia brand out of Microsoft, is aiming to reinvent smartphone photography. The new Nokia 8 offers three cameras — two rear-facing, one front-facing — that can shoot dual-view photos or videos. The technology isn’t exactly ground-breaking, but HMD is betting big that Millennial camera nuts will put the handheld wireless pioneer back in the picture, even if the phones lack their signature Snake game.

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    HBO Woes Continue With Twitter Hacks

    The night is dark and full of errors. A group of hackers took control of HBO’s main twitter feed and several show accounts Wednesday night in the latest breach of the network’s security. The FBI is already investigating a separate July breach that allegedly netted hackers some 1.5 terabytes of data, including unaired episodes of hit HBO shows Game of Thrones and Curb Your Enthusiasm. The latest hack comes as HBO Nordic and HBO España accidentally uploaded a GoT episode four days early, promising that some offscreen heads may also end up rolling.

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    Nevada Eases Safety for McGregor-Mayweather Fight

    Who has the upper hand now? The Nevada State Athletic Commission has issued a waiver allowing Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to box wearing lighter 8-ounce gloves, rather than the 10-ouncers mandated for their weight class. The permission comes despite the safety concerns of the Association of Ringside Physicians, and favors the more powerful McGregor, who’s made his name swinging the UFC’s 4-ounce gloves. The unusual concession may be a bid to reignite flagging pay-per-view sales as most experts predict Mayweather will win handily.