The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Pompeo Met With North Korea to Arrange Trump Meeting

    CIA Director Mike Pompeo — who’s been tapped as the next secretary of state, pending Senate confirmation — traveled to North Korea secretly over Easter weekend to meet with officials and lay groundwork for an upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. The U.S. has no official diplomatic relations with the rogue nation. Trump, who said a “good relationship” has been formed with Pyongyang, took credit for the fact that South Korea is also in talks with its neighbor. The president’s own meeting with Kim is set for early June.

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    Former First Lady Barbara Bush Dies at 92

    Only the second American in history to be the wife of one president and mother of another, Bush was also an advocate for literacy and an outspoken force in Washington who was admired for her lack of pretension and penchant for fake pearls. She died at home in Houston yesterday, her husband by her side, after a series of health problems. On Monday, in an interview with OZY Editor-in-Chief Carlos Watson, her son George W. Bush said, “She’s had a spectacular life, and she does not fear death.”

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    Passenger Killed After Southwest Airlines Engine Fails

    A woman was killed yesterday on Dallas-bound Flight 1380 after an engine broke apart at 30,000 feet, sending debris crashing through her window and sucking her partway out of the plane. Fellow passengers managed to pull her back inside after several minutes and flight attendants attempted to plug the hole as the jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. A preliminary NTSB investigation of the Boeing 737 found that one of the engine’s 24 fan blades was missing and the area showed signs of metal fatigue.

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    Starbucks Announces ‘Racial Bias’ Training for Employees

    Last Thursday, two Black men were waiting for a friend in a Philadelphia Starbucks when the manager called the police, who arrested the pair for trespassing. Public outrage and calls for a boycott followed. Starbucks has now apologized and says the manager is no longer with the company. It also announced that all 8,000 company-owned U.S. locations will be closed on the afternoon of May 29 to offer “racial bias” training to nearly 175,000 workers — at an estimated cost of $20 million in lost revenue — to prevent future incidents.

  5. Court Decisions, Playing Politics and Shark Attacks

    Know This: Trump-nominated Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has sided with the more liberal wing of the court in ruling that part of an immigration law used to deport people is too vague to be constitutional. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won’t allow a vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired, because he doesn’t believe the president will fire him. And a key surfing tournament in Australia has been called off after multiple shark attacks were reported nearby.

    Read This: As San Francisco’s skyscrapers multiply, building codes to protect residents from earthquakes haven’t changed — and some are worried about the consequences.

    Talk to Us: May 7–11 is Teacher Appreciation Week, and we’re giving you the chance to honor your favorite teacher with the OZY Educator Awards. Tell us what’s special about this excellent teacher in your life, and they could win an OZY Educator Award.


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    Tax-Day Glitch on IRS Website Leads to Extension

    Be a day late, but not a dollar short. The agency’s Direct Pay system, which allows Americans to pay their income taxes online, went down for much of yesterday — the final official day to file returns. In response, the IRS extended the national deadline to midnight on April 18, giving a reprieve to the 5 million people expected to file at the last minute. Direct Pay is now back online, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attributed the problem to a “high volume technical issue.”

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    #MeToo Makes It to South Korea

    Despite Park Geun-hye’s achievement as the country’s first female president, South Korea has never fully embraced feminism, due partly to traditions associated with Korean Confucianism. Now, a new generation of activists — including female gamers — is reinventing what it means to be a woman in the East Asian country. They experience plenty of pushback, including from radical nationalist groups and deep-seated conservative tendencies, but they’re hoping the global cachet of the #MeToo movement will help advance their own cause.

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    The Town That Might Win the War on Drugs

    The small rural community of Greenfield, Massachusetts, was hit hard by the opioid crisis. But the local government has since launched an ambitious response that tries to tackle the root causes of drug abuse. The multipronged approach treats drug-related inmates as patients rather than criminals. And planners have sought to turn the town into a hub for the food industry to replace lost manufacturing jobs — and funnel addicts into gainful employment. While its effectiveness isn’t guaranteed, it could become a blueprint for small towns across the country.

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    Fox News Backs Sean Hannity After Cohen Revelation

    The conservative network admitted it was “surprised” by Monday’s courtroom revelation, when Hannity was named as the previously unknown third client of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen — but it released a statement saying the host had its “full support.” Hannity’s been openly critical on his show of the Cohen investigation without revealing their professional relationship — which he characterized as “brief discussions” about real estate. Cohen is known to have arranged settlements over infidelities for both of his other clients, though Hannity denies using Cohen for any such arrangement.

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    McKayla Maroney Breaks Silence on USA Gymnastics

    “All they cared about is money and medals.” That’s how the gold medalist characterized the U.S. Olympic Committee, Michigan State University and the sport’s national governing body in her first public statements since adding her name to the scores of athletes alleging they were sexually abused by Larry Nassar. The former doctor is serving 175 years and the entire board of USA Gymnastics has been forced out, but Maroney says the organization should “completely rebuild and start over” to ensure gymnasts’ safety. “They don’t build champions,” she said. “They break them.”