The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Excoriates Media, McCain at Phoenix Rally

    “They are trying to take away our history and our heritage.” So said President Donald Trump at a raucous rally in Arizona, lambasting journalists for unfavorable coverage of his response to recent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville while his supporters booed and screamed at reporters covering the event. Meanwhile, police lobbed tear gas as thousands of protesters gathered outside after some reportedly tossed plastic bottles. Hours after the president also trashed Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake for disloyalty, he struck a softer tone in another speech, calling for the country to “seek a new unity.” 

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    Terror Cell Reportedly Targeted Sagrada Família

    They were hoping for carnage. Barcelona attack suspect Mohamed Houli Chemlal, 21, said in court yesterday that his terrorist cell had planned further attacks, including a bombing of the city’s landmark Sagrada Familia cathedral. Six members of the cell were shot by police in the hours and days following the attack. Chemlal and another suspect have been charged with terrorism-related offenses over last week’s van rampage, which killed 15 people and injured more than 130. Madrid’s High Court chose to keep another suspect for questioning, and released a fourth.

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    Brexit Red Lines Becoming More Blurry

    Time’s running short. Prime Minister Theresa May declared in January that EU courts wouldn’t have any post-Brexit jurisdiction over the U.K. But with the clock ticking on stymied negotiations involving trade, immigration, and a potential bill for divorcing the bloc, Whitehall seems to be softening that stance. A paper published today said Britain won’t accept “direct jurisdiction” of the European Court of Justice, which allows for some wiggle room as Brussels insists Britain-based European citizens remain under the court’s purview — though ministers have been unclear on how exactly that might play out.

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    Investors Slash Uber Share Price Estimates

    They’re driving down expectations. Four mutual funds have marked down their share valuations in the ride-hailing company by as much as 15 percent, a sign that Uber’s astonishing fall from grace — including accusations of workplace sexism, waves of firings, an intellectual property lawsuit and leadership turmoil — is costing the company. Uber reports first-quarter profit was up 18 percent, with more than $3 billion in revenue. But an ongoing search for a CEO has spiraled into a legal feud that could further degrade Uber’s reputation.

  5. A Stay of Execution, Monetary Demands and the Voice Silenced

    Know This: Missouri halted a man’s execution just hours before he was scheduled to die after new DNA evidence surfaced. Polish leaders have renewed calls for financial reparations from Germany over Nazi destruction. And the Village Voice has announced it’ll cease publishing a print edition, after 62 years on newsstands. 

    Remember This Number: 48 percent. That’s the proportion of the world’s books published by either the U.S. or China, which are also the world’s two biggest economies.

    Join us LIVE: OZY and WGBH are bringing you a terrific new TV show, Third Rail With OZY — premiering Friday, Sept. 8 at 8:30 p.m. on PBS — and we want YOU to be part of our live studio audience! Sign up here to attend a taping of this hot new primetime show. You won’t want to miss it.


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    German Police Seize Trump-Inspired Ecstasy Tablets 

    He’s hit a new high. Police in northwestern Germany say they’ve seized more than $46,000 worth of orange ecstasy tablets bearing a strong resemblance to the American president’s distinctively coiffed head. A routine traffic stop allegedly netted an Austrian father and son transporting some 5,000 pills from the Netherlands. It’s not the first time they’ve made news, though. In July, British reports described dark-web dealers advertising that a $10 orange tablet “makes partying great again,” suggesting that at least in one industry, the Trump brand is gaining purchase.

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    How Virtual Reality Could Shake Up the Travel Industry

    They wish you were here. A growing number of travel agencies, hotels and other vendors are hoping that VR can help their industry move past clunky booking sites and cliché photography, allowing those with the right hardware at home to be swept away by the prospect of adventure. The race is on as tech entrepreneurs look to build proof-of-concept software and hardware that would take the interface beyond the gimmicks and onto a genuine sector-disrupting path. The danger? That virtual voyages may supplant IRL trips.

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    Even Prisoners Voted in Kenya’s Presidential Election

    Every vote counts. Prisoners in Kenya were allowed to exercise their civic duty earlier this month by voting in the country’s presidential election. The legal milestone is rooted in a years-long push to secure voting rights for Kenyan inmates — something their counterparts in most U.S. states still lack. So far, their newfound right only extends to presidential elections, and often prisoners struggle to produce the necessary identification. Nevertheless, observers believe it helps inmates feel like they’re still part of society, and some hope their participation will spur politicians to reform sentencing.

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    Hollywood Still Values Women Less Than Men

    If only they’d do stupider movies. A new list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors has inadvertently reignited a discussion over the gender pay disparity. Mark Wahlberg topped the list with an estimated $68 million haul last year, more than double highest-paid actress Emma Stone’s $26 million, though she won an Oscar and he starred in Transformers: The Last Knight. In fact, 14 men on the list out-earned the La La Land laureate, something experts attribute to a tidal wave of testosterone-fueled action flicks and their lucrative, though artistically challenged sequels.

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    Twelve Cleveland Browns Players Kneel During Anthem

    They won’t stand for it. In the largest such on-field demonstration yet, 12 Browns knelt in prayer during the national anthem before Monday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants. Spurred by recent events in Charlottesville, team members — including several who stood, but placed a hand on a kneeling teammate in support — explained in interviews that they didn’t intend any disrespect toward the flag, but wanted to highlight ongoing social and racial injustices. An Ohio judge joined a growing chorus of critics, calling the “millionaire athletes” disrespectful of veterans.