The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump’s Military Parade Postponed Amid Rising Costs

    Consider it rained on. The military parade requested by President Trump to honor veterans and commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI’s end is being postponed at least until 2019, according to the Defense Department. The decision followed new cost estimates three times higher than those stated earlier by the White House. Planned for November, the parade’s now expected to cost $92 million — up from earlier figures echoing the cost of 1991’s Persian Gulf War victory parade. Trump was reportedly inspired by Bastille Day celebrations he attended in Paris last year.

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    Pentagon Claims China Training For U.S. Strikes

    Even as Chinese and American negotiators prepare for trade talks meant to calm escalating tariff battles, a new Pentagon report claims that China’s recent military expansion includes “likely training for strikes” against the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping is anxious to modernize the People’s Liberation Army, and recent disputes, particularly in the South and East China Seas, have heightened fears of conflict in the region. The country’s air force has also reportedly “been re-assigned a nuclear mission,” suggesting the development of nuclear capabilities for long-range bombers.


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    Indonesian Police Shoot Dozens in Pre-Games Crackdown

    As Jakarta prepares to open the 18th Asian Games Saturday, Amnesty International has linked the event to an upswing in police killings of petty criminals. The “public safety” operation aims to clean up the city ahead of the world’s second-largest multi-sports competition, and the rights group blames the effort for 31 fatal shootings by police since January. They followed a directive to “shoot on sight” anyone resisting arrest. Indonesian police have recently become increasingly aggressive toward drug dealers, with officials praising Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly drug war.

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    Tesla’s Problems Go Beyond Musk’s Buyout Tweet 

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is not just looking into whether the Tesla CEO misled investors by announcing Aug. 7 that he’d “secured” funding to take his company private. Regulators were reportedly already on Tesla’s trail before the troubling tweet, having subpoenaed a parts supplier to determine whether the electric carmaker obfuscated its production problems. Meanwhile, Musk told the New York Times that the $420 per share buyout he cited was roughly a 20-percent premium on Tesla’s current price. And while the figure’s associated with marijuana, he said, “I was not on weed.”

  5. Security Clearances, Carbohydrates and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: President Trump reportedly says he’s eager to strip security clearances from more officials who’ve either criticized him or played a role in the investigation of alleged collusion between his campaign and Russia. A study of 15,400 people published in The Lancet found that low-carb diets could shorten life compared to those emphasizing moderation. China has called for public help in naming the rover it hopes to land on the far side of the moon by the end of this year. And today, OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Austria, where the army had to step in to save the 1964 Olympics

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.

    We’re hiring: OZY is looking for a talented Events Lead to drive OZY Fest and other live experiences. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details.


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    Aretha Franklin, Legendary Soul Singer, Dies at 76

    The Queen of Soul passed away yesterday of pancreatic cancer, her family confirmed. The first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had been in poor health since 2010 and gave her final performance last year. During her career, she won 18 Grammys, sold more than 75 million records, and became one of the voices of the civil rights movement with “Respect.” Jennifer Hudson — Franklin’s first choice to bring her life story to the screen — is expected to star in next year’s biopic of the singer.

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    Google Employees Protest Planned China Search Engine

    This won’t fly. Staff inside the tech giant have circulated a letter about Project Dragonfly, the code name for Google’s developing censored Chinese search engine, saying it raises “urgent moral and ethical issues.” Google pulled out of China in 2010, but CEO Sundar Pichai said yesterday that the company’s interested in reconnecting with its 772 million internet users. Signed by 1,400 employees, the letter called for an ethics review and more company transparency. Pichai told staff that it’s uncertain whether a Chinese product would ever launch.

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    NYU Makes Medical School Tuition Free, Effective Immediately

    Take $55,018 and call them in the morning. In a bid to address physician shortages and boost diversity, New York University announced yesterday that every medical student, regardless of financial situation, will get a full ride. About 41 percent of U.S. medical students incur more than $150,000 in debt, a burden that may discourage graduates from entering crucial but less lucrative specialties like pediatrics. The school will also refund tuition payments already made this year, but students must still cover room and board and fees of up to $31,000 annually.

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    Milky Way Neighbors Are Among Oldest Galaxies

    A “serendipitous discovery” by an international team of scientists has revealed that dwarf galaxies orbiting our own could be, at more than 13 billion years old, some of the oldest in the universe. The researchers were counting small galaxies when they found that light from the star clusters could be reliably used to judge their age. They’ll now turn to studying these dwarf galaxies — formed at the end of what astrophysicists call the Dark Ages, just 380,000 years after the Big Bang — to learn more about early galaxy formation.

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    Elway Says Kaepernick Missed Chance With Broncos

    “We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it.” So said Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway — who’s been deposed in activist quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s legal case against the NFL, which alleges that teams are colluding to keep him out of the league. Though Elway’s looking for a backup QB, he says Kaepernick’s rejection of a 2016 offer (at a 42 percent salary cut) disqualifies him. But since that offer was made before Kaepernick’s high-profile protests, Elway’s comments could help the plaintiff, not to mention violate the case’s NFL-sought gag order.