The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Apple Unveils iPhone X

    The future is now. Apple has presented its most significantly overhauled iPhone yet: the $999 iPhone X. It’s basically a giant, high-resolution screen that features a brand new processor, durable construction and facial recognition technology. Those unwilling to drop that much cash might be drawn instead to the $699 iPhone 8, which resembles the current iPhone 7 but with an all-glass design and wireless charging, among other new features. A product launch wasn’t the only thing on Apple’s agenda today, though: The company also unveiled its new campus, the Apple Park.

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    UN Votes to Increase Sanctions on North Korea

    Everybody has to compromise. The U.S. had proposed a total ban on oil sales to North Korea to pressure Pyongyang to stop its nuclear tests — but in order to gain support from Security Council members Russia and China, the sanctions were softened to setting strict caps on petroleum products. The ninth U.N. resolution on North Korean sanctions since 2006 also bans textile exports from the Hermit Kingdom. Ambassador Nikki Haley reassured the council that the U.S. is not seeking war, noting Pyongyang “has not yet passed the point of no return.”

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    After Irma, Two-Thirds of Florida Is Without Electricity

    It’s no longer a hurricane. But as Irma peters out, its effects linger: An estimated 12 million Floridians are still without power, and with roads nearly impassable for repair trucks the situation could continue for weeks. Florida saw four confirmed deaths from Irma, which also claimed dozens in the Caribbean. It’s still unsafe for many Floridians to return home, with large areas of Miami underwater and historic flooding in Jacksonville. President Donald Trump, who called the hurricane a “big monster,” has released federal emergency funds to the state.

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    Supreme Court Grants Trump Travel Ban Request

    The ban is back. After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that 24,000 refugees whose resettlement claims had been sponsored by charities should be allowed to enter the United States, yesterday the Supreme Court granted a request from the Trump administration to continue to bar them from the country. Legal ping-pong has ensued as courts have battled over the extent of the ban’s enforcement, but the most recent ruling maintains the status quo until the country’s highest court can debate its legality next month.

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    Australia Kicks Off Same-Sex Marriage Vote

    It’s being put to the people. The same day Australia begins its postal vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage, a new poll reveals that 70 percent of the electorate supports the right of gay couples to legally wed. The country’s left-wing Labor party objected to the referendum, saying Parliament should legalize marriage without spending $98 million on the postal survey. During the vote, which continues through October, new laws could levy $10,000 fines on anyone “vilifying” someone based on their sexuality or religion, to protect campaigners on both sides.

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    Social Finance CEO to Resign Over Sexual Harassment Suit

    There goes another one. Mike Cagney, co-founder of fintech startup Social Finance, or SoFi, is stepping down after he was sued by several former employees who claim he had inappropriate workplace relationships and sent unwanted explicit text messages. SoFi isn’t the only startup to grapple with workplace culture issues: Uber saw many high-level departures after allegations of sexual harassment, and scrutiny has increased on sexist behavior from venture capitalists. SoFi, valued at over $4 billion, says another board member will step into Cagney’s role immediately.

  7. Amazonian Murders, Catalonian Pride and a Monkey’s Selfie

    Know This: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has resigned following allegations (that he denies) of sexual abuse of five teenage boys dating back to the 1970s. Authorities are investigating a suspected massacre of an uncontacted Amazonian tribe after gold miners at a bar in Brazil bragged about killing as many as 10 forest-dwellers. Hundreds of thousands of Catalonians marched through Barcelona yesterday, the region’s national day, in a show of pride before next month’s independence referendum, which has been declared illegal by Spain’s government. And parties in a lawsuit over whether a monkey can own the copyright on a selfie it took have reached a settlement.

    Read This: This piece, published months after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, tells the story of one of the tragedy’s heroes — and the family and friends he left behind.

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


  1. St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow

    Anti-Putin Factions Make Gains in Moscow

    There’s no place like the capital. Local council elections in Russia handed upset victories in more than a dozen Moscow districts to the country’s liberal opposition, which has struggled to push back against President Vladimir Putin and his ruling United Russia party. The massively popular leader and his colleagues are still calling the shots, and there’s little sign the Kremlin’s in trouble. But the results of Sunday’s elections do signal that not everyone’s happy with the status quo — and that the opposition’s momentum could potentially keep building.

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    Apple’s New IOS Will Be Closer to Cop-Proof

    No password, no dice. Industry experts say Apple’s new operating system, which launches today, will be even tougher for thieves — and cops — to crack. New passcode requirements mean there are new barriers to police and customs officials trying to extract data from the phones of suspected criminals (or everyday law-abiding citizens). It’s not the first time Apple has angered authorities with its security measures, but privacy advocates say protecting people’s data is for the greater good, even if it means slowing down some forensic investigations.

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    Partner Swapping Sees a Global Revival

    This ain’t your mama’s bowl full of keys. Swingers are no longer fumbling in the dark: A recent survey shows a fifth of American adults have been in a non-monogamous relationship, and swingers are coming out of the shadows to embrace consensual partner-swapping at campgrounds and music festivals around the globe. Once the domain of midlife-crisis sufferers, swinging is now drawing younger crowds — as well as gawkers — with event organizers even turning some away and wondering aloud whether it’s good to be doing such a roaring trade.

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    ‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins Signs Up for Sequel

    She lassoed a better deal. Wonder Woman grossed $409 million domestically and $813 million internationally, but director Jenkins walked away with a paltry $1 million paycheck. For the next flick, set to hit cinemas in December 2019, she’s used her negotiation superpowers to net far more, reportedly inking a deal for between $7 and $9 million. Gal Gadot’s star vehicle proved that the world is more than ready for a female superhero — while Jenkins proved that she’s prepared to be the world’s highest-paid female filmmaker ever.

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    J.J. Abrams Signs on to Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

    The force is strong with him. Lucasfilm reports that Abrams will return to co-write and helm the saga’s ninth installment, following last week’s departure of original director Colin Trevorrow. After rebooting the franchise with the massively successful The Force Awakens, Abrams could deliver cachet to a project so far marred by creative differences between Trevorrow and Lucasfilm. Slated for release May 24, 2019, IX faces tremendous pressure to successfully close out the trilogy, first launched in 2015, which is expected to see more spin-offs in coming years.

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    FIFA Beefs Up Cybersecurity Ahead of Russia World Cup

    The best defense is … not using Russian hotel Wi-Fi. As players around the globe prepare for the 2018 tournament, Britain’s Football Association has expressed concerns to FIFA about last month’s cyberattack from Russian-linked hacking group the Fancy Bears, which exposed anti-doping documents from 2010’s World Cup. England’s personnel have been instructed to avoid using Russian Wi-Fi if they qualify for the World Cup, and their rooms will be regularly checked for bugs. FIFA has reportedly upgraded its cybersecurity as it continues to investigate the Fancy Bears hack.