The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Sen. Bernie Sanders Introduces Universal Health Care Plan

    “The opposition to this will be extraordinary.” So said the 2016 presidential contender from Vermont Wednesday as he prepared to unveil his plan to bring health care to all Americans by extending current Medicare programs. While the plan’s not expected to have any chance in the current GOP-controlled Congress, Sanders’ bill — which would reform the American health care system to resemble Australia’s, with private insurance necessary for certain elective procedures — is expected to change the conversation on health care leading up to the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential race.

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    Eight More Dead in Irma’s Aftermath

    The tragedy is still unfolding. Eight patients died after a power outage caused by Hurricane Irma cut a southern Florida nursing home’s air conditioning. Police say the victims — part of the roughly two-dozen U.S. deaths blamed on the storm, which ravaged the region earlier this week — are believed to have died of heat-related causes. Meanwhile, millions of Florida residents remain without power, with utility companies warning it could take weeks before it’s all back. President Donald Trump is slated to visit the Sunshine State tomorrow to survey the damage.

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    Congressional Democrats Make Deal With Trump on Migrants, Border

    Have they mastered the art of the deal? Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi have announced following a dinner at the White House that they have reached an agreement with President Trump to “enshrine the protections of DACA into law” for the young migrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, a week after Trump axed the program. The deal also includes investment in border security, but excluding the border wall that had been a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign. Congressional Republicans were not present at the dinner.

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    Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to Skip UN General Assembly

    She’s got some explaining to do. As the crisis in Myanmar over reported systemic killings and expulsions of Rohingya Muslims has mounted, so has criticism of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi. Myanmar’s leader has refused to condemn military crackdowns on the Rohingya after a small band of Muslim rebels attacked police, and now says she’ll skip next week’s U.N. gathering to focus on the “terrorist attacks.” Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council is meeting about the crisis today, but with Russia and China backing Myanmar, no action is expected.

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    Congress Unanimously Urges Trump to Denounce Hate Groups

    His move. The House and Senate have passed a bipartisan resolution urging President Donald Trump to denounce white nationalist, white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, asking him to use “all available resources” to investigate the actions of such cells. It describes the killing of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer by a white nationalist last month as a “domestic terrorist attack,” a stark departure from Trump’s equivocation over who was to blame for the incident. The resolution’s expected to be sent to the White House for a signature today.

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    US Bargains With China Over Banks, North Korea

    It’s a trade off. In an attempt to get Beijing to curb North Korea’s access to trade, President Trump’s administration has threatened to target Chinese banks if they do any business with the Hermit Kingdom. China’s central bank had already directed commercial and state-owned financial enterprises to comply with new U.N. sanctions, with North Koreans blocked from opening accounts or withdrawing money. But analysts say Beijing likely hopes to keep some measures in reserve to allow leverage on Pyongyang should its nuclear tests, and international tensions, escalate again.

  7. Closed Doors, a Landmark Life and a Special Briefing

    Know This: Hurricane evacuees without U.S. passports are reportedly being refused entry to the U.S. Virgin Islands, despite the devastation of several neighboring islands. Edith Windsor, whose battle for same-sex marriage led her all the way to the Supreme Court and a landmark ruling in 2013, has died at the age of 88. And Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has resigned after months of allegations that he sexually abused children decades ago.

    Stay Tuned: Later today, OZY will publish a Special Briefing to catch you up on Myanmar’s ongoing crisis over the displacement and possible ethnic cleansing of its Rohingya Muslim minority. Check this page for more, and to catch up on our past Special Briefings.

    Come See Us: OZY and WGBH have teamed up to create a provocative new show for PBS, Third Rail With OZY. The show tapes every Friday in NYC in front of a live studio audience. Want to get in on the action? Sign up here. We’re also hosting a watch party this Friday, Sept. 15 at The Well in Brooklyn. RSVP here to attend!


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    Refugee Influx Could Resuscitate Ireland’s Ghost Towns

    With a little luck, this could work. Many small Irish towns emptied of young people after the 2008 financial crash hit the country hard and jobs were scarce. But hamlets like Ballaghaderreen have seen hundreds of refugees arrive and restart the local economy, moving into houses that had been left empty. Of course, some of those homes may be derelict, dangerous or impractical for refugees with families who need to find long-term housing solutions — and who may decide to leave for cities with more abundant job opportunities.

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    NASA’s Cassini Probe Prepares to Crash Into Saturn

    That’s a wrap. Completing a 13-year mission to Saturn and its moons, Cassini will plunge into the massive planet Friday morning in a spectacle that may be visible through telescopes on Earth, 930 million miles away. The nuclear-powered spacecraft, launched in 1997, was a joint project by NASA and the European and Italian space agencies. Extending the $3.26 billion mission until Cassini lost power wasn’t an option: That would’ve risked crashing the probe and its earthly bacteria into two moons that could potentially harbor extraterrestrial life.

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    Baltics Unmoved by Russia’s War Games Next Door

    They’re playing it cool. Much of the world might be wary of the Kremlin’s upcoming war games in Belarus and western Russia, but ordinary citizens in the Baltic region seem blissfully unconcerned. Critics have long warned that Moscow could use the massive exercise — which begins Thursday — to grab more land, as it did in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. But locals say Brussels and Washington are more worried than anyone on the ground in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania. Tensions may be high, but few see war on the horizon.

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    Was Steve Smith’s Hall of Fame Nomination a Mix-up?

    Who’ll call foul? Many football fans have noted that one of the 108 new nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former Giants receiver Steve Smith, is unusually underqualified, with 2,641 career receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Anyone can nominate players, but the Hall’s “fan vote” website has a photo of the other Steve Smith, who racked up nearly 15,000 receiving yards and 81 touchdowns with the Panthers and Ravens, but won’t be eligible until 2021. Nobody’s saying — yet — whether this was an administrative fumble.