The Presidential Daily Brief


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    US and Canada Reach Last-Minute NAFTA Deal

    Shortly before a midnight deadline, Canada joined Mexico and the U.S. in a revised North American Free Trade Agreement Sunday. The deal, renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, gives American farmers greater access to Canada’s dairy market, but retains NAFTA’s independent tariff dispute system, a major concession to Canadian demands. After a year of tense negotiations and threats by President Donald Trump to exclude Canada from his trade deal with Mexico, the new agreement will go to Congress for a 60-day review period before being signed into law.

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    Hundreds Dead After Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami

    Rescuers are still struggling to reach victims of Friday’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on the island of Sulawesi that left at least 844 dead, most in the city of Palu. News from inaccessible coastal areas remains sparse, but nearly 50,000 people have reportedly been displaced. Meanwhile, an air traffic controller is being called a hero after guiding a passenger plane safely off the runway during the quake rather than saving himself when the control tower crumbled. As mass burials begin, authorities warn the death toll could reach into the thousands.

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    Justice Department Sues California Over Net Neutrality Law

    Yesterday Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law net neutrality legislation described as the strictest in the country. The regulations, immediately challenged by the Department of Justice, go even further than Obama-era rules that sought to prevent companies from blocking or restricting access to certain internet content. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it was not within California’s rights to regulate interstate commerce. California is one of several states considering net neutrality protections after national regulations were repealed by the Federal Communications Commission last year.

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    Widespread Demonstrations Erupt Ahead of Brazil Election

    Hundreds of thousands hit the streets across Brazil over the weekend to voice their support or outrage over presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro before the Oct. 7 election. Women’s groups chanted the slogan “Ele Nao” — “Not Him” —  to protest what they see as misogynistic statements by the far-right candidate, including his comment last year that having a daughter is a “weakness.” Meanwhile, Bolsonaro’s supporters and critics of the corruption-plagued Workers’ Party also made a large showing, prompting concerns over Brazil’s deep political polarization.

  5. Limited Investigation, Revenge in Syria and Power Play

    Know This: Democrats in Congress are criticizing the limited scope of FBI investigations into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Today Iran fired missiles at militants in Syria in what it said was retribution for a deadly terrorist attack last month. And Saudi Arabia has put a $200 billion plan to build the world’s biggest solar power project on hold.

    Remember This Number: 35. That’s the percent of voters who cast ballots in Macedonia’s Sunday referendum to change the country’s name in order to help its chances at joining the European Union.

    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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    North Korea Sends Dogs to South as Gifts

    Two white Pungsan hunting dogs were trotted across the DMZ as gifts from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, crossing at the same point where the leaders first met in April. The gift echoes a gesture by Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, who sent two Pungsan dogs — which are designated as a North Korean “natural monument” — to South Korea’s president after a summit in 2000. The pooches will share the presidential residence with Seoul’s “first dog,” a mixed-breed shelter rescue.

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    Zoo Says Fruit Has Become Too Sugary for Animals

    The head vet at the Melbourne Zoo has cut fruit from animals’ diets after finding the formerly healthy snack has been selectively bred to be too sweet. Plums, for example, have almost doubled in soluble sugar in the last 20 years, according to a food scientist. Zookeepers found that animals were picking out the sweetest fruit in their meals and eating less healthy fare, leaving them fatter and rotting their teeth. Now primates are no longer allowed bananas, and all animals are having fruit replaced with leafy green vegetables.

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    Better Lawyers Are Helping Death Row Inmates Live Longer

    America’s justice system is dealing with a rapidly aging death row population — and questions about protecting older inmates from cruel and unusual punishment — as wait times for executions have more than tripled since 1984 to nearly 20 years. The reason, according to experts, is better representation: More retrials, better public defenders and innovations like genetic testing have led to longer trials. Meanwhile, tomorrow the Supreme Court will consider whether Alabama can execute a man with a degenerative medical condition who can’t remember the crime he committed three decades ago.

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    Kanye West Gives Surprise Speech at ‘SNL’

    The outspoken rapper closed Saturday Night Live’s 44th season premiere with a third musical performance followed by an unplanned, untelevised political spiel. “If I was concerned about racism, I would’ve moved out of America a long time ago,” West said, drawing both applause and boos from the audience. Comedian Chris Rock filmed and posted the speech, which began after the show’s broadcast ended. Meanwhile, President Trump described SNL as “just a political ad for the Dems” but tweeted praise for West’s “great” performance and Make America Great Again hat.

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    Europe Dominates in Ryder Cup Finale

    The trophy is moving back across the Atlantic after the Europeans fended off an American comeback in the biennial golf competition yesterday with a final score of 17.5-10.5. Despite the Americans boasting one of the best teams in Ryder Cup history — and wins from Justin Thomas, Tony Finau and Webb Simpson — the Europeans stayed in front from Friday on. They were boosted by Francesco Molinari and Sergio Garcia, now the leading points scorer in Cup history, while Jon Rahm defeated Tiger Woods, who left the tournament without scoring a point.