The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Hurricane Florence Approaches, Builds Toward Category 5

    Millions of Americans along the mid-Atlantic coast are bracing for what forecasters are calling “an extremely dangerous major hurricane.” By Monday evening, the Category 4 storm had winds up to 140 miles per hour as it barreled toward the Carolinas, where it’s expected to make landfall Thursday. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for some coastal areas of North and South Carolina and Virginia, while airlines have allowed passengers bound for the region to change their travel plans. “Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!” President Donald Trump tweeted.

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    John Bolton Threatens Sanctions on International Criminal Court

    “The ICC is already dead to us.” That’s how the U.S. national security adviser responded to the court’s call for an investigation into possible war crimes by American troops in Afghanistan. Describing it as an “illegitimate court,” Bolton said targeting Americans would compel the U.S. to sanction ICC officials and to ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the country. Bolton said the Trump administration, which views the ICC as a threat to American sovereignty, would also take action against any companies or countries that cooperate with the court’s investigation.

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    Commemorations Mark 9/11 Anniversary

    “I’ll never forget you.” Tributes like this were heard around the U.S. today, including at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. President Trump and the first lady joined those in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, remembering the Flight 93 victims who thwarted their hijackers’ plans, sending the plane into a field. Trump called it “the moment America fought back.” Those victims make up 40 of the 2,983 people killed that day, while thousands of others have been affected by toxin exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder. The event still shapes American politics and public life.

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    US, North Korea Seek Second Summit

    Yesterday White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters President Trump is considering meeting his North Korean counterpart again after receiving a “very warm, very positive” letter from Kim Jong Un. Still, she added, the U.S. wants to see Pyongyang take meaningful steps to dismantle its nuclear weapons program — after efforts to do so stalled following the previous summit in June. It’s unclear when another Trump-Kim meeting would take place, but the leaders of North and South Korea are set for a summit of their own next week.

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    White House to Roll Back Methane Regulations

    Part of the Trump administration’s softening of policies curbing climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency will reportedly relax Obama-era rules regulating how companies handle methane leaks. Energy companies will soon have twice as much time to monitor and fix leakages of the harmful greenhouse gas from oil and gas wells, a move the EPA says would make it easier for companies to comply with regulations. The Interior Department is also expected to release a rule effectively ending restrictions on intentionally burning methane at drilling sites.

  6. Palestine, Illegal Breakfasts and 17 Years at War

    Know This: The U.S. State Department has announced it’s shuttering the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Washington, D.C., office. Russia is launching its largest war games since the Cold War. Saudi Arabia has arrested an Egyptian man depicted in a recent viral video eating breakfast with a veiled woman. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign returns to Ukraine — a leading global exporter of custom IT services.

    Read This: Nearly 17 years after its invasion of Afghanistan, launched in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. seems as ready as ever to stick around — but few can tell for how long.

    We’re hiring: OZY is looking for a talented Social Media Manager to oversee our social strategy on all platforms. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


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    Nike Sales Soar After Colin Kaepernick Ad

    The brand clocked a 31 percent boost in online sales over Labor Day weekend — just as it released its controversial “Just Do It” campaign featuring the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. The decision sparked a backlash and prompted a boycott from critics of Kaepnernick’s national anthem protests, causing Nike shares to dip briefly before rallying 2.2 percent Monday. Despite the good news for Nike, a recent research note from Goldman Sachs showed the company’s been overtaken by Amazon as the shoe retailer of choice for millennial men.

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    Meteorologists Predict El Nino Event This Year

    A storm’s a-brewin. According to the World Meteorological Organization, there’s a 70 percent chance of the potentially destructive weather event forming by year’s end. An El Niño system is created by increased warming in the eastern Pacific Ocean, which can lead to drought in some regions but heavy rain in others. This year is likely to be one of the warmest on record, the organization noted, although it predicts a 2018 El Niño — while having “considerable impacts” — won’t be as powerful as those observed in 2015 and 2016.

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    This Outsider Wants to Make Ukraine Healthy

    Plagued by corruption and bureaucracy, Ukraine’s health care system is failing both patients and the underpaid doctors who rely on bribes to treat them. But the country’s American-born health minister, Ulana Suprun, has a cure: After arriving in her ancestral homeland, she’s launched a series of reforms aimed at cutting out shady medical procurement and providing Ukrainians fairer and more equal access to treatment. Not everyone’s happy with the changes — especially those entrenched in the old system — but Suprun’s letting her treatment run its course.

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    Alleged Spy Pursued TV Show Featuring Putin

    Stay tuned. An ABC News investigation revealed the Outdoor Channel paid Maria Butina — the 29-year-old gun rights activist and alleged Russian agent — $20,000 to develop a program about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s outdoorsmanship and conservation efforts. The network’s CEO met with Butina on a 2015 Moscow trip aimed at introducing National Rifle Association officials to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Butina was hired as a consultant after the trip, but the show never materialized. She remains in jail on charges of conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent.

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    Fake Fan Letters Lobbied to Keep NFL Blackout Rule

    Around 21,000 identical letters supporting the rule, which blocks TV broadcasts of non-sellout games, were forwarded from the NFL to the Federal Communications Commission in 2014. According to the Wall Street Journal, which surveyed 13,000 signatories, some denied their involvement — while other letters were signed with names like Bilbo Baggins and Luke Skawalker. The FCC repealed the “unnecessary and outdated” rule in 2014. The agency’s former chairman, who says he wasn’t aware of the letters at the time, attributed them to “astroturfing” — a fake grassroots campaign.