The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Revokes Ex-CIA Director’s Security Clearance

    In a briefing today, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced President Donald Trump has stripped John Brennan of his security clearance. Brennan — who led the agency under President Barack Obama and has become a fierce critic of Trump — was accused of using his privilege to “sow division and chaos.” Sanders cited Brennan’s “erratic conduct and behavior,” and added Trump was also reviewing the security clearance of ex-FBI Director James Comey, among other officials. Critics believe the move is politically motivated and could set a potentially dangerous precedent.

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    Tesla Subpoenaed by SEC Over Musk Tweets

    Federal regulators from the Securities and Exchange Commission have served the electric-car company after a tweet last week by chief executive Elon Musk said he had “secured” funding to take Tesla private. In that tweet Musk said he was considering the buyout at $420 a share, or around $72 billion, and later claimed to be in talks with those managing Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund. It’s against U.S. law to give shareholders misleading information about big developments in a company. Meanwhile, shares of Tesla were down more than 3 percent after news of the subpoena.

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    Report Finds Rampant Church Child Abuse in Pennsylvania

    More than 300 Catholic priests serving in the Keystone State over the last seven decades have been implicated in the abuse of more than 1,000 identified underage victims. The grand jury report found bishops and other leaders in six of the state’s eight dioceses had orchestrated a massive cover-up to avoid law enforcement involvement. While charges have been filed against two priests, the report stated that the statute of limitations has expired on almost all of the offenses. Some survivors hope the revelations will spur a long-sought nationwide inquiry.

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    Death Toll in Italian Bridge Collapse Rises to 39

    Rescuers say they’ve pulled a dozen people alive from the rubble of Genoa’s Morandi Bridge, which collapsed yesterday during a sudden storm, bringing some 30 cars and trucks with it on the 148-foot plunge. At least 39 people are confirmed dead, and more are missing. Officials are already probing the rubble to determine how it happened, though Italy’s transport minister has blamed poor infrastructure. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte cautioned that it’s too early to speculate, while Interior Minister Matteo Salvini promised to punish those found responsible.

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    Transgender Woman Wins Gubernatorial Primary

    Christine Hallquist became the first transgender woman to be nominated for governor by a major party after winning her primary in Vermont yesterday. Hallquist, who transitioned while CEO of the member-owned Vermont Electric Cooperative in 2015, is one of more than 400 LGBTQ candidates running in the midterms. Hallquist will face Republican incumbent Phil Scott in November, although a poll last month found that 55 percent of Vermonters didn’t know who she was. Meanwhile, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, with a razor-thin margin, has won his GOP primary, unseating Gov. Jeff Colyer.

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    Russia Pivot Feared as Turkey-U.S. Row Escalates

    They’re not just blowing smoke. In an escalation of its current standoff with the U.S., Turkey has retaliated with new tariffs on American imports: 60 percent on tobacco, 140 percent on alcohol and 120 percent on cars. The lira is slowly recovering from Friday’s free fall, thanks to Ankara’s new economic plan to shore up the financial system. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed the crisis on sanctions over the detention of an American pastor, and experts warn this key NATO member might ally with Russia, which is also suffering under U.S. sanctions.

  7. A Monk’s Downfall, a Senator’s Phrasing and New Zealand Real Estate

    Know This: A high-level Buddhist monk in China has resigned over allegations that he demanded sexual favors from nuns. An Australian senator has sparked outrage by suggesting a plebiscite as a “final solution to the immigration problem,” saying later he didn’t mean to use the Nazi label for the Holocaust and won’t apologize. New Zealand has banned sales of homes to foreign buyers, except those from Singapore and Australia. And today, OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to the Netherlands: Read about the country’s tradition of home birth and why it’s becoming rarer.  

    Read This: The Miss America pageant is being forced to evolve in a post-#MeToo world — but is there still a place for the country’s most iconic beauty contest? 

    We’re hiring: OZY is looking for a talented business writer-reporter to cover finance from either our Silicon Valley headquarters or our New York office. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details.


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    Twitter Suspends Alex Jones

    The controversial conspiracy theorist has been suspended from the microblogging platform for a video post where he violated Twitter’s community standards by telling users “now is the time to act on the enemy.” The suspension of up to seven days, which follows Jones’ permanent removal from other major social media platforms for hate speech rule violations, puts the InfoWars host’s account in read-only mode. Earlier, Twitter resisted calls to ban Jones over his inflammatory remarks, which include repeated claims that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was fake. Jones has not yet commented on his suspension.

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    Parents’ Threats Close Transgender Student’s School

    After a 12-year-old transgender girl used the girls bathroom at her middle school, parents in Achille, Oklahoma, took to a private Facebook group to violently threaten and deride the child. Calling her “it” and “thing,” one adult declared “open hunting seasons on them kind” while another said a “good, sharp knife” would “make him a female.” The threats prompted a two-day school closure, though parents supporting the student staged a silent demonstration on school grounds yesterday. Police are investigating, and the child’s family has reportedly obtained a protective order against the “knife” poster.

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    Michigan’s Environmental Issues Could Swing Governor’s Race

    Flint’s just the beginning. Democrats in the Great Lake State have seized on environmental talking points to help vault them into the governor’s mansion in November, citing slow Republican-led responses to ecological problems. There’s the visibly corroded tubes of Enbridge Line 5 pumping Canadian oil to the region’s refineries, aging urban lead and copper water mains and algae blooms in Lake Erie. As Republican Bill Schuette and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer face off, Whitmer — who’s also promised to join a multistate climate alliance — is hoping green will be the new red.

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    Penn Jillette: ‘Racially Insensitive’ Trump Tapes Exist

    The magician and former Celebrity Apprentice contestant recalled in an interview that President Trump said “racially insensitive things” on the show. “If Donald Trump had not become president, I would tell you all the stories. But the stakes are now high and I am an unreliable narrator,” said Jillette, who said damaging recordings of the president do exist — seeming to back up former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman’s recent claims. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan lawyer Charles Harder is representing the Trump campaign, going after Manigault Newman for allegedly violating a non-disclosure agreement.

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    Marlins Players Required to Take Spanish

    Marlins part-owner and general manager Derek Jeter wants his baseball players to understand each other. The Miami MLB team already mandates English lessons for Spanish-speaking players. Now it’s going to require its native English-speaking players to learn Spanish. That applies to team executives and coaches too, including Jeter himself. “Here in Miami, if you don’t speak Spanish, you don’t fit in,” said the Yankees’ 14-time All-Star. Lesson 1: “Buena suerte.” That’s “good luck,” for rebuilding the club from its doormat status in the National League East division.