The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Biden Eulogizes McCain at Phoenix Service

    “He lived by a different code,” said the late Sen. John McCain’s friend, Sen. Joe Biden. It was an “antiquated code where honor, courage, character, integrity, duty mattered,” the Democrat said at Phoenix funeral of the Republican who’d served three decades in the Senate. Family members and other politicians also spoke at the North Phoenix Baptist Church service before the two-time presidential candidate’s casket was sent to Washington, D.C. On Friday morning, McCain will become the 32nd American to lie in state in the Capital Rotunda before a Saturday memorial at the National Cathedral.

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    White House Counsel McGahn to Leave Administration

    In an abrupt announcement, President Donald Trump said Don McGahn — a key legal aide amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe — would leave his post this fall. “I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!” Trump tweeted. He dismissed speculation that McGahn’s departure was a result of his cooperation with Mueller’s investigators, with whom McGahn clocked 30 hours of voluntary interviews. But some insiders cited growing mutual resentment between Trump and McGahn. “They just kind of avoided each other,” said a former administration official.

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    Ex-Cop Gets 15 Years for Fatally Shooting Black Teen

    Roy Oliver, a White former Dallas-area police officer, was found guilty of murdering 15-year-old Jordan Edwards in a car outside a house party last year. The Texas jury also hit the 38-year-old — who claimed the car appeared to be headed for his partner — with a $10,000 fine. Oliver was fired days after the incident and is one of few officers convicted for an on-duty shooting. “This is a start for us,” said Edwards’ stepmother, adding that the family had hoped for a tougher sentence.

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    Trump Blames China for North Korea Problems

    Days after canceling U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Pyongyang, President Trump doubled down on his criticism of Beijing for failing to assist in North Korea’s denuclearization. “This is not helpful!” he tweeted yesterday, citing China’s “considerable aid” to the regime. Claiming his relationship with Kim Jong Un is “a very good and warm one,” Trump said war games with South Korea would remain on hold. However, he reserved the right to restart them, noting that if he did they would be “far bigger than ever before.”

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    Argentina Seeks IMF Aid in Financial Crisis

    President Mauricio Macri has requested the early release of a $50 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund amid fears the South American country is spiraling toward default. The terms of the loan were negotiated in May, but officials haven’t been able to stem Argentina’s 30 percent inflation rate — the highest among G-20 countries — or stop the peso, which has lost more than 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year, from sliding further. The IMF has agreed to revise the terms of its bailout.

  6. John McCain, Nobel Prizes and Logging

    Know This: Services honoring Sen. John McCain enter their second day, after which his remains will be flown to Washington for a viewing at the U.S. Capitol. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has said Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not be stripped of her Nobel Prize over U.N. allegations of her country’s genocide of Rohingya Muslims. President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both expressed optimism over resolving trade issues. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to the Dominican Republic, where one young director is bringing his country to your nearest box office.

    Listen to This: The Trump administration has called for more active logging in response to California’s recent wildfires, but experts warn the process of clearing dangerously overgrown forests is more costly and involved than many might expect.

    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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    Texas GOP Stumbles With Youthful Pics of Democrat Challenger

    It’s time for Plan B. Attempting to undermine Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who’s challenging Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican Party tweeted an image of O’Rourke in his days as a bassist for a punk band with the text: “Sorry, can’t debate. We have a gig.” O’Rourke had declined to attend a debate that Cruz’s campaign set for this week. The GOP also released a mug shot of O’Rourke in his 20s. Neither worked: Instead, Twitter erupted over how the pictures made O’Rourke look more appealing. Meanwhile, polls place the two in a dead heat.

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    Dominican Republic Considers Shift on Abortion

    One of only 26 countries that fully ban the practice, the Caribbean nation could soon see considerable change. The popular Tres Causales movement, which sprouted after the 2012 death of a teen with cancer who was denied chemotherapy because she was pregnant, has pushed Dominican lawmakers to act. Next year they’ll vote on a bill decriminalizing abortion in certain cases. A majority of citizens now support the change, which would place the country among Chile, Colombia and Uruguay — all of which have reversed their total bans.

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    Researchers Discover Non-Addictive Opioid

    It’s an easy pill to swallow. Wake Forest University scientists have identified a chemical compound that could be a non-addictive alternative to drugs like morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl. The drug, AT-121, simultaneously targets two types of opioid receptors in the brain — one of which blocks its addiction-forming response — and has proven 100 times more effective than morphine at reducing pain in primates. Researchers hope to launch clinical trials for AT-121 in the next 18 months, after which the drug could hit the market within six years.

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    Riot Games Vows to End Sexism, Misogyny

    Three weeks after an investigative article laid bare a so-called “bro culture” that marginalized women and tolerated harassment, the prominent video game developer has pledged to “leave no room for sexism or misogyny.” The exposé, published in Kotaku, described how the firm’s policy of hiring and promoting “core gamers” came to mean excluding women, who make up just one-fifth of its 2,500 employees. The League of Legends developer promised to step up diversity efforts and harassment training, as well as dismiss offending employees.

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    QB Aaron Rodgers Inks Record $134 Million Extension

    That’s a lot of cheddar. After languishing below the NFL’s top-paid players, the 34-year-old Green Bay Packers star will now reportedly average $33.5 million per year through the 2023 season, becoming the highest-paid quarterback in history. The extension, which includes a record $103 million in guarantees, had been in the works since March. It could be worth up to $180 million including incentives. Thanking fans on Instagram, Rodgers wrote, “I’ve grown up in this place, and grown older and a little wiser along the way.”