The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Ten Dead After Vehicle Strikes Pedestrians in Toronto

    Ten people were killed and 16 injured after a van veered onto a sidewalk in northern Toronto this afternoon. ”The incident definitely looked deliberate,” said Toronto’s police chief. The suspected driver, Alek Minassian, who lived in a Toronto suburb, was arrested at the scene. “Our hearts go out to everyone affected,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters. Canada’s largest city is currently hosting a meeting of G7 foreign ministers, though security around the perimeter of their hotel had reportedly not been tightened after the incident.

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    Nashville Waffle House Gunman Arrested

    Travis Reinking, who allegedly arrived at the restaurant nearly naked Sunday morning and killed four people with an AR-15 before fleeing, had previously had his guns confiscated after he was charged with crossing a security barrier at the White House last summer. A Secret Service representative said Reinking was seeking a meeting with President Trump. Police believe his father, who took responsibility for the confiscated weapons, returned them to Reinking. Meanwhile, Waffle House customer Jamie Shaw Jr., 29, is being hailed as a hero for disarming Reinking during the shooting.

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    As Koreas Prepare for Talks, US Lists Demands

    South Korea has switched off loudspeakers broadcasting propaganda to the North in preparation for landmark talks between the two nations — still technically at war — which will commence at the end of the week. Meanwhile, White House officials said President Donald Trump will ask Pyongyang for swift denuclearization, following Kim Jong Un’s announcement this weekend that he’ll suspend missile tests. But Trump isn’t expected to offer sanctions relief in upcoming talks. China is said to be watching the negotiations with trepidation, as they could reduce its influence in the region.

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    Paris Attacks Suspect Found Guilty of Attempted Murder

    Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving suspect in the 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 130, has been found guilty of a separate crime by a Belgian court: a March 2016 attempted murder during a shootout with Brussels police. Abdeslam and his accomplice, Sofiane Ayari, who was also found guilty, didn’t attend the reading of the verdict as they were each sentenced to the maximum 20 years in prison. It’s unclear when Abdeslam will face a court over his alleged role in the Paris attacks.

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    Nicaragua Cancels Pension Change Amid Deadly Protests

    President Daniel Ortega scrapped plans to increase social security taxes and cut pensions after days of protests — which have left 26 dead, according to human rights groups, including a journalist shot during a live report. Protesters were galvanized after the president claimed they’d been infiltrated by gangs, and the capital of Managua has seen widespread looting. Pope Francis, business leaders and the U.S. government had all urged Ortega to end the violence prior to his Sunday announcement that a new plan would be negotiated to fix Nicaragua’s troubled welfare system.

  6. Another Royal, McCain’s Seat and Bloomberg’s Fortune

    Know This: The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her third child this morning, a son who will be fifth in line to the British throne. The U.S. Supreme Court will host a showdown over President Trump’s travel bans this week. And Republicans are seeking a rule change that would keep the seat of ailing Sen. John McCain out of play in the midterm elections should he vacate the position.

    Remember This Number: $4.5 million. That’s how much money billionaire Michael Bloomberg pledged Sunday to fulfill the U.S. financial commitment to the Paris climate accords, saying, “If the government’s not going to do it, we all have responsibility.”

    Talk to Us: This year, OZY is going Around the World on a year-long tour to visit every single country, and we’d love for you to get involved. Where in the world are you when you read OZY? Send us pictures — they might make it onto — and tell us what rising stars, new trends, music and food we should be writing about. Or even pitch us a story! Get in touch at


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    China Is Investing Heavily in Europe

    You’d think they owned the place. Businesses from the world’s most populous country bought or invested at least $318 billion in Europe over the past decade, according to a new Bloomberg report. Both state-backed and private Chinese enterprises have taken over around 360 companies and now at least partially own a number of airports, seaports, wind farms and professional soccer teams — not to mention prime real estate in London. European governments are so far divided over the Eastern investments, with some seeing danger where others see opportunity.

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    Cell Phone Traffic Predicts Violence in Ivory Coast

    In most countries, mobile phone activity surges in the aftermath of civil unrest or terror attacks. But in Ivory Coast, analysts have found that phone traffic increases by about 10 percent in the four days leading up to outbreaks of small-scale violence. Previous research suggested that widespread connectivity leads to greater unrest, but it seems that in Ivory Coast — with its 92 percent mobile penetration — a flurry of calls among citizens with a keen sense of impending trouble could become a powerful predictive tool for peacekeepers.

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    Diet Soda Linked to Obesity and Diabetes

    There’s no way to sugarcoat this. A new study of rats that were given aspartame and acesulfame potassium suggests that the common artificial sweeteners may cause biochemical changes that are linked to Type 2 diabetes and obesity. The Wisconsin researchers theorize that while normal sugars overwhelm the body until it loses its ability to process glucose, artificial ones may trick it, depriving it of energy and forcing it to adapt. The team hopes to move on to human tests, though in the meantime they advise moderating intake of diet drinks.

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    Police Say No Criminal Suspicion in Avicii’s Death

    Since the Swedish DJ, born Tim Bergling, died Friday at 28, tributes from fans and musicians have poured in, with hundreds gathering in Stockholm for a moment of silence that became a dance party. Police in Oman, where the superstar producer had been vacationing, have ruled out foul play but haven’t announced his cause of death. Avicii quit touring in 2016 for health reasons, but was working on a new album that one label executive called his “best music in years.” It’s unclear when or if it will be released.

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    Colin Kaepernick Wins Amnesty International Award

    The controversial quarterback was named Ambassador of Conscience Saturday for his on-field protests against police brutality. “This is an opportunity to be on the right side of history,” the human rights organization explained. Kaepernick — who attracted jeers for his “take a knee” campaign and has had difficulty re-joining an NFL team — said he shares his award with “countless” others battling police abuse around the world. Previous recipients of the human rights award have included former South African President Nelson Mandela and Pakistani women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai.