The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Riyadh Distances Prince From Khashoggi Killing

    Yesterday Saudi Arabia issued some of its most direct comments yet on the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul this month, calling the killing a “huge and grave mistake” but insisting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was not involved. Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir described “a rogue operation” — echoing a suggestion made earlier by President Donald Trump — in which the individuals responsible “ended up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had.” Still, the admission has not quieted the international uproar over Khashoggi’s murder.

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    Migrant Caravan Marches North Into Mexico

    A group of some 5,000 migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras is continuing its push through Mexico. “We have to sleep on the sidewalk,” said one caravan member in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula, “and tomorrow wake up and keep walking.” Over the weekend more than 1,000 people requested asylum in Mexico, while Guatemalan officials said another 1,000 crossed into their country from Honduras later on Sunday. In a tweet, President Trump said “full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens” from entering the United States.

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    Australia Apologizes to Victims of Sex Abuse

    “To the children we failed, sorry.” So said Prime Minister Scott Morrison in an address to Parliament today in which he acknowledged the failure of Australian institutions to prevent child sex abuse in churches, schools and other organizations. Survivors and their supporters traveled to Canberra from across Australia to hear the national apology, extended after a five-year inquiry involving tens of thousands of children and focusing primarily on the Catholic Church. One activist called the apology “a wonderful thing” but added “there is so much more work to be done.”

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    Taiwan Train Crash Kills 18

    The island experienced its worst rail accident in decades yesterday when an eight-car express train veered off the tracks in northern Taiwan, killing 18 people and injuring 187. The driver reportedly told local media he felt something on the tracks as the train went around a bend, and survivors said he applied the train’s emergency brakes before it derailed. Video footage showed the vehicle striking a beam and toppling metal structures above the tracks. President Tsai Ing-wen has called for a swift investigation into the cause of the crash.

  5. Federal Protections, Brexit and the Future of Populism

    Know This: The Trump administration is considering rolling back federal protections for transgender citizens, according to The New York Times. British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to tell lawmakers that 95 percent of her Brexit deal with the European Union is settled. And an American general was reportedly wounded in an attack last week in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.

    Read This: The results of Sunday’s mayoral election in Warsaw could help determine the future of Poland’s right-wing ruling party — as well as influence the course of Europe’s populist movements.

    We need your video! OZY is launching a groundbreaking new TV series — and we’d love to include your voice. Record your thoughts on the economy, President Donald Trump, insulting the American flag, policing, modern love or foreign policy in a short vlog, and send it to


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    Ryanair Criticized Over Passenger’s Racist Tirade

    The Irish discount airline is facing accusations of inaction after a video emerged depicting a man berating and threatening a disabled passenger and her daughter on a flight from Barcelona to London. Critics have blamed the flight crew for failing to silence the man, who was shown yelling at the 77-year-old woman of Jamaican origin, calling her an “ugly Black bastard” and adding, “If you don’t go to another seat I’ll push you to another seat.” In a tweet yesterday, Ryanair said it has reported the incident to police.

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    China Moves to Dominate 5G

    With facial recognition-enabled payments for public transportation and trash cans that notify authorities when they need to be emptied, Yinchuan’s long been a smart city in the making. Soon it will be a leader in 5G technology if everything goes to plan, boasting 6,400 5G stations and connecting all residents with fiber optic broadband by 2020. It’s just one pilot city where state-owned China Mobile hopes to embed 5G, laying the groundwork for smart transportation infrastructure that could play a crucial role in making China a global leader in groundbreaking technology.

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    Mercury-Bound Spacecraft Snaps Selfie

    Smile! Launched Saturday, the joint European and Japanese BepiColombo mission sent its first photo as the two-probe spacecraft heads toward the solar system’s innermost planet. The black-and-white image showed an extended solar array and an insulation-wrapped sun sensor against the blackness of space. Powered by four ion thrusters, BepiColombo will make a complicated series of nine planetary flybys — designed to slow its velocity — before reaching Mercury in December 2025, where it will collect data on the planet’s composition, magnetic field, formation and evolution.

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    CBS Chief Richard Parsons Resigns

    Citing “unanticipated complications” related to multiple myeloma, Parsons stepped down as interim chairman yesterday, just one month after the resignation of former chairman and CEO Les Moonves amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Parsons — a lawyer who served as Time Warner CEO from 2002 to 2007 then as chairman of Citigroup during the 2008 financial crisis — will be replaced by Strauss Zelnick, former CEO of BMG Entertainment and onetime chief operating officer for 20th Century Fox. One of Zelnick’s top priorities will be the search for a new CEO.

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    Three NBA Players Suspended After Rockets-Lakers Brawl

    Settle down now. Houston’s Chris Paul will miss two games while Los Angeles teammates Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram will miss three and four, respectively, after all three threw punches late in the fourth quarter during Saturday night’s game at the Staples Center. LeBron James, appearing in his first regular season game with the Lakers, helped break up the brawl, which began after Ingram shoved Rockets guard James Harden and Rondo reportedly spat in Paul’s face. When the dust settled, Houston went on to win 124-115.