The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Stocks Plunge After Arrest of Huawei Executive

    The Dow Industrial Average further tumbled following the arrest of the C.F.O. of the major Chinese tech firm. Falling more than 400 points as the markets opened Thursday, tech-heavy Nasdaq joined the slide down, dropping 1.9 percent within correction area, which begins when there is a 10 percent or more drop from the high. Standard & Poor 500 Index is also 1.7 percent away from broaching correction territory. Brief optimism following the recent G20 summit has turned into uncertainty over future U.S. China trade negotiations impacting markets.

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    Report: Trump to Tap Former Fox Host as UN Ambassador

    President Donald Trump is going to nominate State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert as replacement for Nikki Haley, according to multiple reports. Before Nauert joined the administration last April, she was an anchor at Fox News and co-hosted Trump-favored “Fox and Friends.” Haley announced her resignation in October, saying only that she needed a break. Following Senate confirmation, Nauert’s charge would include maintaining international pressure on North Korea. Meanwhile, it’s unclear if Trump will keep the position cabinet-level or have Nauert report to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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    Huawei CFO’s Arrest Casts Pall Over Tariff Talks

    Canadian authorities said they nabbed top executive Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, in Vancouver Saturday at the request of U.S. law enforcement. Although her charge is not known, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse connected Meng’s arrest with alleged circumvention of economic sanctions against Iran. Shenzhen-based Huawei recently surpassed Apple as the world’s second-biggest  smartphone maker. The arrest is sure to complicate delicate U.S.-Chinese tariff negotiations started at last weekend’s G-20 Summit. China has demanded Meng’s release, saying she had not violated any American or Canadian laws.

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    Nation Bids Farewell to a ’Kinder and Gentler’ Leader

    President George W. Bush choked up as he eulogized his father and 41st U.S. president yesterday at the Washington National Cathedral. He called George H.W. Bush “a gentleman who executed the duties of his office with dignity and honor.” Listening from the same pew were former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, seated with President Donald Trump, a frequent critic of the Bush family. While he failed to win re-election in 1992, Bush Sr. now ranks third, behind Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy, in popularity among the last 10 presidents.

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    Report: North Korea Continues Work at Missile Base

    Upgrades to the Yeongjeo-dong long-range missile base plus a previously unknown site have been spotted in satellite images secured by CNN. Analysis suggests the bases have tunnels for storing missiles. And it seems that work on a large underground facility, started in 2017, continued after the Singapore Summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. National security adviser John Bolton, who said North Korea has not lived up to its commitments, said this week that Trump believes a second summit with Kim is “likely to be productive.”

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    USA Gymnastics Files for Bankruptcy

    The sport’s U.S. governing body filed for Chapter 11 yesterday as it attempts to settle 100 lawsuits by over 350 athletes across the country. Plaintiffs accuse the organization of failing to protect them from former team doctor Larry Nassar, who’s imprisoned for sexually abusing young athletes. “This is not a liquidation,” explained USA Gymnastics’ new board chair, Kathryn Carson, asserting it would not curtail victims’ payouts. But the filing does pause depositions for lawsuits and could disrupt the U.S. Olympic Committee’s bid to end the organization’s official oversight of American gymnasts.

  7. Hello Governor, Yemeni Sit-down and Arabian Nights

    Know This: Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled state senate approved a bill yesterday to reduce the powers of incoming Democratic governor Tony Evers. The two sides in Yemen’s two-year conflict are set to hold direct talks for the first time today in Sweden. And Australian police charged Chris Dawson yesterday with murder after a true crime podcast called “The Teacher’s Pet” revived interest in his wife’s mysterious 1982 disappearance.

    Remember this number: 500. That’s how many nights Saudi-funded lobbyists bought at President Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C. within a three-month period following his 2016 election win, the Washington Post has reported.

    We’re hiring: OZY is looking for an audio fellow to join its editorial team for a 6 month fellowship based in Mountain View, CA. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


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    Elon Musk’s Rocket Lofts Christmas Dinner Into Orbit

    Smoked turkey, cranberry sauce, candied yams and fruitcake were blasted toward the orbiting International Space Station yesterday by way of Musk-founded SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The shipment was delayed one day after mold was found on food meant for 40 mice living on the station. The 5,600 pounds of cargo also include 36,000 worms used for research on aging and muscle studies. Unfortunately, the rocket’s first-stage booster missed its landing for the first time at Cape Canaveral, dropping into the Atlantic Ocean.

  2. Pollution

    Report: Global CO2 Emissions to Jump in 2018

    Emissions of the greenhouse gas are expected to climb between 1.8 and 3.7 percent this year, according to a report by the Global Carbon Project released yesterday. The study blames much of the rise on coal use in China and India. Worldwide carbon generation had remained steady from 2014 to 2016 but increased last year. The news comes as delegates from nearly 200 nations meet in Poland to discuss implementing the Paris Agreement in hopes of cutting CO2 emissions 20 percent by 2030.

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    More Facebook Scrutiny Over Preferential Data Sharing

    The UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee released documents revealing that the platform gave particular businesses — including Airbnb, Lyft and Netflix — special access to user data while denying it to competitors like Vine. While the 250-page records trove didn’t show the social network was selling users’ data, it includes executive emails detailing Facebook’s strategy of “whitelisting” companies in their data access. Still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, a Facebook spokesperson said “the facts are clear: We’ve never sold people’s data.”

  4. Fortnite

    Rapper 2 Milly Sues Fortnite for Cloning His Dance

    Epic Games’ popular Battle Royale shooter game is under fire for ripping the “Milly Rock” dance move from the Brooklyn artist, according to court documents. Although in-game it’s called “Swipe It,” 2 Milly claims it’s identical to his signature move and that Fortnite is exploiting “African-American talent” without pay or credit. Other purchasable moves include Snoop Dogg’s “Drop it Like it’s Hot” and the Carlton dance from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Epic has scored more than $1 billion in revenue since Fortnite’s release last year. 

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    The NFL Is in the Deep Throws of Winter

    It’s a passing phase. From Tampa Bay to Seattle, teams are incorporating a more aggressive downfield attack. To the delight of fans, decades of spread-style offensive dominance are fading, especially with the NFL making pass interference a costly risk for defenses. While 2003 saw NFL teams average 200.4 passing yards per game, so far this season the average is at an all-time high of 245.2. It’s not the end of the spread, but if a coach has a QB with an arm, expect to see more deep flings.