The Presidential Daily Brief


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    United States Leaving UN Human Rights Council

    “A cesspool of political bias.” That’s how U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley described the organization as she announced a U.S. exit. The move comes a day after the Geneva-based group, which the U.S. joined in 2009, called the policy of family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border “unconscionable.” Haley also said the “hypocritical and self-serving” organization, that includes Saudi Arabia, China and Venezuela as member states, had an unfair focus on Israel. She said the U.S. would consider rejoining if reforms are made.

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    White House Defiant Amid Crisis Over Separating Migrant Families

    “They could be murderers and thieves and so much else.” So said President Donald Trump of undocumented immigrants, as he — along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — defended his new policy of separating families at the border. More than 2,300 children have been detained in just six weeks. Nielsen claimed to be unaware of photos of caged children and newly released audio of border guards mocking kids crying for their parents. Trump’s expected to address House Republicans today ahead of votes on two immigration bills.

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    Kim Jong Un Pays Third Visit to Beijing

    After staying within North Korea’s borders for the first six years of his rule, Kim is visiting China for the third time in as many months, just a week after his landmark summit with President Trump. China, which is one of Pyongyang’s few allies, wasn’t at that negotiating table — but, as OZY reported last week, it could be a major beneficiary of what many saw as U.S. missteps. Kim, who’s thought to be debriefing Chinese President Xi Jinping on the Trump meeting, is expected to be in China for two days.

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    Supreme Court Punts on Partisan Gerrymandering

    Back to the drawing board. America’s top court declined yesterday to make a broad ruling on the politically charged issue of partisan gerrymandering, despite the chance to address it in two cases from Wisconsin and Maryland. Instead, both cases were sent back to lower courts on technical grounds. That leaves the current status quo intact — and could make it even more difficult for future challengers to effect change. Still, Justice Elena Kagan said in her opinion that redrawing districts to favor particular parties or candidates is “incompatible with democratic principles.”

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    China’s Tariff Retaliation Prompts New US Threats

    In a throwdown contest that’s unnerving global investors and financial leaders, President Trump vowed Monday to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. This latest escalation in a burgeoning trade war started Friday, when the Trump administration announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese wares — and Beijing fired back, vowing to retaliate against U.S. “blackmail” by charging the same rate against $34 billion in American merchandise. The conflict sent the Shanghai Composite index into a tailspin, dropping 3 percent to a two-year low today.

  6. Naturalization, an Orangutan and Proper Etiquette

    Know This: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has convened a task force to investigate any suspected fraud in the naturalization process — and potentially strip naturalized Americans of their citizenship. The world’s oldest Sumatran orangutan has died in Australia at the age of 62. And today, OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Tunisia, where a data engineer is working to save the country’s bee populations.

    Watch This: French President Emmanuel Macron took a moment while shaking hands in a crowd to lecture a teen who addressed him by the nickname “Manu,” saying, “You call me ‘Mister President’ or ‘sir.’ OK?” 

    Follow Us: Do you love OZY’s global coverage? Make it Facebook official by liking our new page, OZY World, to stay up-to-date on all the latest global trends.


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    Trump Directs Pentagon to Create ‘Space Force’

    “We must have American dominance in space.” So said President Trump yesterday as he tasked the Defense Department with establishing a sixth, space-focused branch of the military. He also signed Space Policy Directive 3 to regulate space debris and improve extraterrestrial traffic control. Recent House legislation proposed a Space Corps within the Air Force, though it was scrapped from the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, and the U.S. already has an Air Force Space Command. Creating and funding a new military branch will require an act of Congress.

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    Elon Musk Emails Tesla Staff About Fires, ‘Saboteur’

    The electric carmaker’s CEO reportedly emailed his workforce Sunday to say that a disgruntled employee had admitted to committing “extensive and damaging sabotage” by changing code within the company’s manufacturing operating system and sending “large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.” In another leaked email on Monday, Musk reported a fire at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory. It’s the latest in a spate of mysterious production-line fires and yet another blow to the innovative company, which recently announced plans to cut 9 percent of staff.

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    Optogenetics Is Shining Light on Neuroscience Mysteries

    Behold the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. The growing field of optogenetics — which involves controlling neural activity with light — has recently shown promising results, giving hope to scientists searching for treatments for degenerative brain diseases and injuries. Optogenetics can target and control neurons with extreme precision and, unlike pharmaceutical treatments, it can do so in real time. So far there have been positive results in treating Alzheimer’s and epilepsy, and with less invasive optogenetics tech on the horizon, researchers hope the future will be even brighter.

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    Rapper XXXTentacion Shot Dead in Florida

    Jahseh Onfroy, the 20-year-old rising star who performed as XXXTentacion, was killed leaving a Broward County motorcycle dealership when at least one gunman opened fire. Onfroy gained popularity at 17 with his track “Look At Me!” and quickly became the face of the loose genre known as SoundCloud Rap. In March, his album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. He was also infamous for his violent rap sheet, which caused Spotify to briefly delete him from its playlists. Police are investigating the shooting as a possible robbery.

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    Washington Capitals Coach Resigns After Stanley Cup Win

    Is he quitting while he’s ahead? Less than two weeks after his team won the coveted hockey prize, Barry Trotz has resigned to become a free agent. The 55-year-old led the Capitals to the NHL’s best record during his four-year tenure, and although he pledged during the team’s victory parade to “do it again” next year, Trotz and management couldn’t negotiate a way forward. He’s the first U.S. professional hockey coach in 24 years to leave his team for another post after winning the Stanley Cup.