The Presidential Daily Brief


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    AT&T Wins Court Approval to Acquire Time Warner

    A federal judge has ruled the multinational telecommunications conglomerate can move forward with its $80 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. The decision, which could open the door for other pay TV companies to buy content producers, effectively rejects the Justice Department’s argument that the merger would provide AT&T unfair leverage over its cable TV competitors. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the government “failed to meet its burden of proof” in the landmark anti-trust case.

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    Trump and Kim Sign Statement on Denuclearization

    It was the handshake felt around the world. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un started their Singapore summit with a friendly greeting before a 40-minute private meeting. The pair signed a joint statement committing to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula — though critics noted that it included no timeline or deadline — and promised swift follow-up negotiations. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he hoped for peace but expected “a long process,” while Trump announced he’d end joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

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    Supreme Court Upholds Ohio’s Voter-Purge Law

    “Use it or lose it.” That’s the controversial state law — which America’s high court supported 5-4 yesterday — allowing Ohio to strike voters from registration rolls if they skip two consecutive elections. The ruling, expected to disproportionately affect young and minority voters, may spur other Republican-controlled states to pass similar laws. Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued another controversial verdict: Victims of domestic or gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum in the U.S. — a decision that’s expected to affect tens of thousands of immigration cases.

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    Pope Accepts Bishops’ Resignations in Chile Abuse Scandal

    All 34 of Chile’s bishops offered to resign last month over a child sex abuse scandal in the church. Yesterday, Pope Francis officially accepted three of those resignations, including that of Juan Barros — a bishop Francis defended earlier this year and who has been accused of covering up sexual abuse. Catholic-majority Chile, where 80 priests have been reported for sex abuse since 2000, has reacted positively to the pope’s action. According to officials, he’s still deciding whether to accept the resignations of the other 31 bishops.

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    UK PM Tries to Head Off Brexit Skeptics in Parliamentary Vote

    While Prime Minister Theresa May insists that she’s offering Parliament a vote on the final Brexit deal — where the choice will be accepting what she’s negotiated or leaving the EU with no agreement — many lawmakers, including within her own party, are demanding “a meaningful vote.” That would mean that if Parliament rejects May’s deal, it would have more power to direct the final terms that Britain would accept from the EU — something Brexit hardliners fear could keep Britain in Europe in all but name.

  6. Sanctuary, Assassination and a Hefty Income

    Know This: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has agreed to accept a rescue ship filled with hundreds of refugees that had been rejected by both Italy and Malta. Top Trump adviser Larry Kudlow is reportedly doing well after suffering a mild heart attack. A Mexican politician has been shot while posing for a photo with a fan, the 112th politician killed in Mexico since September. And today, OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Lesotho and Swaziland: Check out this fashion designer making cutting-edge clothes from traditional blankets.

    Remember This Number: $147 million. That’s how much Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump made from investments last year, leading ethics experts to question whether they’re benefiting financially from their roles in government.

    Test Yourself: Do you have a case of World Cup fever? If you think you know soccer — or just consider yourself a global trivia star — test yourself against OZY’s brutal World Cup Quiz.


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    US Teachers Rebel Against Rewrite of History Course

    This is class warfare. Advanced Placement World History, a widely taught course that lets high school students earn college credits, will now begin with the year 1450. That cuts out the history of African, Middle Eastern, American and Asian cultures before European colonialism — and while those eras will be covered in another course, it won’t count for college credit. The College Board argues the current course is too broad, while teachers say the change promotes Eurocentrism. Thousands of students have signed a petition to stop it being altered.

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    The Business of Wellness Finds a New Demographic

    While boutique fitness studios, yoga classes and organic grocery stores have long overwhelmingly marketed to the white and affluent, the industry is slowly waking up to the needs — and purchasing power — of women of color. Organizations like Black Zen and OMNoire, founded by Black women, are aiming to open up yoga and nutrition even further to communities of color. And it could be a lifesaver: With higher rates of diabetes and obesity than their white counterparts, Black and Hispanic Americans could see inclusive wellness make a real difference.

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    Scientists Perplexed by Deaths of Ancient African Baobab Trees

    Make like a tree and leave. A new study of Africa’s baobab trees found that since 2005, eight of the 13 oldest and five of the six largest have collapsed or died. The distinctive trees, which look like Dr. Seuss illustrations with their thick trunks and sparse branches, can grow to be thousands of years old. Botanists note that other mature baobabs are also dying at an increased rate, and believe it’s “practically impossible” that the deaths are coincidental, theorizing that climate change could be the culprit.

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    Rose McGowan Indicted on Felony Drug Charge

    Virginia police issued an arrest warrant for McGowan — a leading voice in the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct — after they found traces of cocaine on a wallet she lost while flying to Washington, D.C., for the January 2017 Women’s March. In November, she turned herself in, and yesterday she was indicted by a grand jury. No trial date has been set, but a conviction could mean up to ten years in prison. McGowan’s attorney suggested the drugs may have been planted as retaliation for her activism.

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    Dennis Rodman Visits Singapore for Kim-Trump Summit

    “The Worm” has landed. The former NBA star was flown in by cannabis-focused cryptocurrency Potcoin, despite the fact that possession of marijuana can be a capital offense in Singapore. Rodman, sporting a red MAGA hat, gave an emotional interview, discussing death threats he received after his Potcoin-sponsored 2017 visit to North Korea, and describing Kim Jong Un as “a big kid, even though he’s small.” President Trump clarified that Rodman hasn’t been invited to the summit, but praised him as a great rebounder and a “nice guy.”