The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Australian PM Turnbull Quits, Challenger To Take Office

    Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison is set to be sworn in as the country’s next prime minister Friday after trumping a leadership challenge. Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had been increasingly under threat this week and narrowly survived a challenge on Tuesday, before announcing Friday morning local time he would abandon his post as leader and in parliament immediately. Morrison, of the moderate faction of the center-right Liberal Party, beat out far-right challenger Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. He will be Australia’s sixth prime minister in eight years.



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    Trump Slams Michael Cohen, Says Hush Money ‘Not a Crime’

    President Donald Trump took to both Twitter and Fox News yesterday to deride his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, whose guilty plea in court this week implicated the president in a federal crime. While calling former campaign chief Paul Manafort, convicted of fraud Tuesday, a “brave man” who refused to “break,” Trump said the hush money “came from me,” rather than illegally from campaign coffers. “The president has done nothing wrong,” maintained the White House, as both parties geared up for the court proceedings’ effect on midterm voters.

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    Hawaii Braces for Hurricane Lane

    Residents of the 50th State are stockpiling food and boarding up windows, anticipating what’s expected to be the worst storm to hit the island chain since 1992’s Hurricane Iniki. Schools are closed for a week and Gov. David Ige urged residents to collect enough food for two weeks as grocery store shelves were cleared. Meanwhile, U.S. Navy vessels left Pearl Harbor to ride out the tempest. The National Weather Service predicted 145-mph winds from the Category 4 storm, expected to churn past the islands Thursday and Friday.

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    DeVos Reportedly Mulling U.S. Guns-for-Teachers Funding

    In a potential reversal of longstanding policy, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reportedly considering a plan to allow states to buy weapons for teachers with federal funds. While recent school safety bills prohibit using the money to buy guns, a loophole in the $1 billion Student Support and Academic Enrichment program — designed to provide educational funding for America’s poorest schools — could allow DeVos to use it to arm educators. The department has in the past said arming teachers should be up to individual states.

  5. Tariffs, Immigration and LSDaddy

    Know This: The White House’s second wave of tariffs on China, which levy taxes of 25 percent on about $16 billion worth of goods, have come into effect. The case of an Iowa college student allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant has reinvigorated the immigration debate on the right. The EU’s data privacy regulations have upended an industry built around profiling internet users — to the benefit of tech giants. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Switzerland: Did you know that LSD was originally synthesized in a Swiss lab by a scientist who became an advocate for psychedelics

    Read This: The American Academy of Pediatrics is now telling doctors to prescribe playtime to children whose schedules are currently focused on more structured learning. 

    We’re hiring: OZY is looking for a talented business writer and reporter to anchor our globally minded finance coverage, based in either Silicon Valley or New York. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


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    A Battle Is Brewing Over Fertility Research

    As anti-abortion forces win ever more political momentum, “personhood bills” specifying that life begins at conception are gaining ground. Eleven state governments considered such legislation last year, and researchers fear that enacting the new definition will directly impact fertility treatment progress by banning laboratory work with embryos that leads to breakthroughs — or at least spooking scientists away from such work. Medical experts and infertility activists, who say now is a crucial time due to the rise of CRISPR gene editing, are pushing to educate legislators about their field. 

  2. Library books

    NY Public Library Adapts Classics for Instagram

    They’re starting a new chapter. Hoping to entice younger readers, the New York Public Library has launched what it calls “Insta Novels”: Using the platform’s Stories feature, the famed institution is releasing full-length, animated digital versions of classic literary works over the next several months. The series, which cost the library under $10,000, kicked off yesterday with the first 80 pages of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and will continue with works by Franz Kafka and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The second installment of Alice’s adventures is expected today.

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    Spanish Police Raid Europe’s Largest Illegal Turtle Farm

    Authorities seized more than 1,100 turtles and tortoises of 62 different species — 14 of which were among the world’s most endangered — from a massive farm on the holiday island of Mallorca. They arrested two German men they suspect of running the operation, as well as the owner of an exotic pet store in Barcelona who police say was likely responsible for selling the animals, prized for their meat, skin and shells. Those arrested face money laundering and endangered species trafficking charges, and police are investigating several additional suspects.

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    ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Film Sequel Already in Works

    Money talks. After the film raked in $35.3 million in its first five days — the best opening weekend for a romantic comedy since 2015 — Warner Bros. is reportedly reassembling the cast of Crazy Rich Asians, along with director John M. Chu, to make the sequel. Penned by author Kevin Kwan, the second book in the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend, follows the same characters through another series of zany adventures with Southeast Asia’s superrich. The studio has not yet greenlighted the film, but says it’s “moving forward with development.”

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    Ohio State Coach Suspended for Start of Season

    “I want to apologize to Buckeye Nation.” So said celebrated football coach Urban Meyer after being suspended for his handling of domestic abuse accusations against former assistant coach Zach Smith. After more than 10 hours of meetings, school officials found Meyer and his athletic director, who was also suspended, to have wrongly let abuse claims against Smith in 2015 go unreported. Meyer, who offered the alleged victim no apology, has been on paid leave since Aug. 1 and will miss the season’s first three games. He’s contracted to coach the Buckeyes until 2022.