The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Deadly Earthquake Hits Indonesian Vacation Spot

    The 6.4 magnitude temblor struck the island of Lombok, about 25 miles east of Bali, this morning, killing at least 10 people and injuring 40. Sixty aftershocks followed, including one with a magnitude of 5.7, and sent tourists fleeing from their hotels, a foreign ministry official said. Many of the deaths and injuries were from falling debris, and landslides prompted the closure of Mount Rinjani National Park, where a Malaysian hiker was killed. Reports of casualties are still coming in, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster agency, so “we estimate the number will keep rising.”

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    Children, 4 and 5, Perish in California Wildfire With Great-Grandmother

    It was the news they had dreaded. Melody Bledsoe, 70, and great-grandchildren James Roberts, 5, and his sister Emily, 4 had been missing amid a raging wildfire in Northern California. On Saturday authorities said the three died as the trailer they occupied was razed by the flames, bringing the Carr Fire’s death toll to five. The wind-driven, 127-square-mile blaze has destroyed 500 buildings and put 37,000 people under evacuation orders in and near Redding, where 100-degree heat is expected to frustrate firefighting efforts through the weekend.

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    The Trade War Takes a Holiday

    The cards were on the table. After making repeated trade threats and approving a $12 billion plan to protect American farmers, President Donald Trump eased up on the trade war last week. Wednesday’s agreement between the U.S. and the European Union, which lacked substance but eased tensions, reportedly came after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker showed Trump flash cards explaining a trade war’s risks. So far, the tough stance on imports hasn’t hurt the U.S. economy, with second-quarter GDP growth at a four-year high of 4.1 percent, although economists warn that the boom won’t last.

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    Zimbabweans Vote in the Post-Mugabe Era

    Monday’s election will be the first since longtime strongman Robert Mugabe was ousted from office. And the economy is most prominently on the ballot. President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Mugabe’s party — who suffered a grenade attack during campaigning — and opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa have worked to convince citizens they can bring back foreign investment and reverse the effects of land reforms, which saw White farmers’ property seized. Meanwhile, Mugabe and his disgraced wife, Grace, have so far avoided arrest and even have some sway with voters.

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    Cricket Star Promises to Lead Pakistan Into New Era

    He’s a champion. But the apparent election of popular cricketer Imran Khan takes the world’s only nuclear-armed Muslim nation on an uncertain path. First, there are allegations of vote rigging he’ll have to get past, along with accusations that he’s backed by the military — putting a taint on the country’s second democratic transition of power. Casting himself as a conservative, Khan is unlikely to help women’s rights, and his anti-American stance may have repercussions in neighboring Afghanistan, leaving many wondering what sort of rules he’ll play with.

  6. Manafort Trial, Texas Shootings and Cardinal’s Sin

    The Week Ahead: The Tour de France ends today in Paris, with Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas set to win. The financial fraud trial of Trump campaign ex-chairman Paul Manafort is to begin Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, Apple will announce its second quarter earnings on the heels of fellow tech giant Facebook’s disappointing report and historic stock free fall last week.

    Know This: Five people are dead, including a 13-year-old boy, after a series of shootings in a Texas farming town. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a former Washington, D.C., archbishop, has resigned amid allegations he sexually abused a child 47 years ago. And a tour company employee killed a polar bear that attacked a guide leading cruise ship passengers Saturday on the Nordic archipelago of Svalbard.   

    Get up to Speed: Should America put Immigration and Customs Enforcement on ice? The OZY PDB Special Briefing will tell you what you need to know about the movement to abolish the agency that’s separated immigrant parents from their children, many of whom it’s lost track of. With carefully curated facts, opinions, images and videos, this latest Special Briefing will catch you up and vault you ahead.


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    Where Violence is Treated as a Sickness

    “Do something different.” That was the battle cry in Scottish policing after 2005 international reports named Scotland the most violent country in the developed world and Glasgow the “murder capital” of Europe. The Violence Reduction Unit approached crime as a public health issue, and saw murder drop by 60 percent and hospital facial trauma cut in half. And in Chicago, “violence interrupters” are convincing individuals in gang-dominated areas to choose another path. They’re deployed to mediate conflict and keep young people out of the prison system — and getting results.

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    Can Silicon Valley Be Politically Normalized?

    The more the tech industry has grown in recent years, the more it’s tempered its laissez-faire libertarianism. But it’s not that simple: While digital entrepreneurs often prefer progressive values, they remain deeply opposed to government regulation — a middle ground that makes them a tough audience for either mainstream political party. This new politics has turned Silicon Valley’s libertarianism into “liberaltarianism.” And despite its category-defying vagueness, politicians like Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna are nevertheless trying to rope Big Tech into a Democratic Party that embraces unions and vigilance over corporate abuses.

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    Death Begets Business Opportunities In Japan 

    Japan is aging so fast — while births are in decline — that some models predict its population will drop by a third in 50 years. A headache for policymakers, the trend is an opportunity for entrepreneurs specializing in clearing heirless homes of the deceased, then commoditizing what they collect. They even have a trade group: The Association of Cleanout Professionals, and it expects its 8,000-strong membership to double within the next decade, pumping more life into a sector that’s already taking in $4.5 billion per year.

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    Socialist Nostalgia is Boosting Serbia’s Tourism Industry

    From guided trips in rickety, socialist-era cars to stay-over museums full of Yugoslav memorabilia, Serbia is leveraging its history to attract droves of tourists. Now that some years have passed since the violence that followed Yugoslavia’s collapse, Serbia’s settling into its new postcommunist identity — even though many people remain fond of life under leader Josip Broz Tito, whose birthday is celebrated at a “mini-Yugoslavia” theme park. While Yugo-nostalgia was once exclusive to older Balkan denizens, savvy young Serbians are finding ways to attract curious foreigners.

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    Dribbling on the Nation’s Highest Court

    As they sit solemnly in judgment over the nation’s most pressing issues, it may be difficult to imagine what goes on just above Supreme Court justices’ august chamber. Lined with parquet, the “Highest Court in the Land,” allows clerks and justices to unwind with friendly hoops sessions, transcending the court’s stark ideological divide. It’s where Clarence Thomas tore a tendon and Byron White proved that he was the jurist Michael Jordan. Is it just a game, or a vision of how Americans might set aside partisanship long enough to play on the same team?