The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Kamala Harris Joins Presidential Race

    The Democratic first-term California senator officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign on Monday, putting herself forward as a fighter of justice, decency and equality. The former state attorney general’s announcement throws her into an already crowded race featuring San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, Reps. John Delaney of Maryland and Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Harris faces an uphill battle — a recent poll indicated that 54 percent of Americans had never heard of her — with more competitors likely to declare their intentions to run in the coming weeks.

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    Israel Admits Hitting Iranian Forces in Syria

    In a rare public statement, the Israeli military said it struck Iranian targets in a cross-border raid early Monday, responding to an attempted rocket attack on the Golan Heights. Syrian state media reported government forces shot down most of the Israeli missiles, and also repelled an earlier airstrike Sunday near the Damascus International Airport. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently claimed Israel has carried out “hundreds” of attacks on Iranian and Hezbollah-linked targets in Syria, saying that striking “Iranian entrenchment” there is his country’s “defined policy.”

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    China Posts Slowest Growth in Decades

    Although it clocked a 6.6 percent economic bump in 2018, it was China’s slowest annual pace since 1990, according to data released Monday. Fourth-quarter growth, meanwhile, dropped to 6.4 percent — on par with the first quarter of 2009, during the peak of the global financial crisis. Most analysts blame the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington, which has forced exporters to reduce production and cut staff. Containing the country’s economic downturn is a priority for China’s leaders, who will reportedly set this year’s growth target to between 6 and 6.5 percent.

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    Theresa May Seeks to Break Brexit Deadlock

    Following the resounding defeat of her European Union divorce deal last week, the British prime minister today will offer Parliament alternative steps toward Brexit. While seeking concessions from Brussels, she’s reportedly giving up on convincing the opposition Labour Party, focusing instead on shoring up support within her own Conservatives and allies in the Democratic Unionist Party. “It is difficult to know — as ever — what she will do,” one Cabinet source said. After May’s address, lawmakers will be allowed to propose amendments before voting on a new plan next week.

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    Shutdown Continues After Pelosi Rejects Trump’s Offer

    Branding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “radical” yesterday after she spurned his offer to grant some immigrants temporary protections in exchange for funding his $5.7 billion border wall, President Donald Trump suggested few other compromises are on the way. And although both parties are planning to propose legislation this week aimed at ending the 32-day partial government shutdown, bipartisan support for either appears unlikely. Meanwhile, the National Governors Association warned lawmakers yesterday that some states are running out of cash to assist their lowest-income citizens.

  6. Conflicting Claims, Gas Explosions and Money Problems

    Know This: The Kentucky teenager criticized for allegedly taunting a Native American tribal leader at a Washington, D.C., rally this weekend has claimed that he was trying to defuse the situation. At least 85 people were killed in a gasoline explosion in central Mexico yesterday. And a new Oxfam report has found that the world’s 26 richest individuals own as much as the poorest half of the population.

    #OZYfact: Forty percent of the U.K.’s working-age population has less than 100 pounds in savings. Read more on OZY.

    We’re hiring: OZY is looking for a dynamic and organized Media Strategist to join our growing team! Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


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    Sky Gazers Marvel at ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’

    It happens once in a red moon. Last night’s total lunar eclipse, notable for its name, was the last such event visible in the Americas until 2021. The year’s first full moon, dubbed the “wolf moon” in some Native American traditions, was also “super” because it was at its orbit’s closest point to Earth — scientifically known as a “perigee-syzygy moon.” And being completely covered by Earth’s shadow caused its blood red appearance. But some critics take issue with the descriptive name, arguing it’s just a media ploy to generate more clicks.

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    Facebook Launches New Petition Feature

    The latest addition to the social network’s News Feed will allow users to rally support for causes on a variety of predominantly local issues. But the Community Actions feature is not without a major downside: Some fear it could provide a digital soapbox for fringe groups to pressure public servants. Facebook will reportedly monitor Community Actions with a combination of algorithms and human moderators, though questions remain over just how well the embattled tech giant will balance complaints about censorship with calls for free expression.

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    American Cities Are Embracing the UN’s Social Goals

    As President Trump distances the U.S. from global pacts, American municipalities aren’t waiting for federal help to solve local problems. Instead, they’re using United Nations frameworks to implement sustainable development goals and monitor their progress. Baltimore, for instance, has embraced U.N. indicators to track efforts to fix a biased justice system, while Los Angeles is measuring its progress in improving economic security and disaster preparedness. And Orlando wants to become the world’s first city to meet all 100 U.N.-identified indicators of a city’s most pressing priorities.

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    Britain’s Prince Philip Criticized After Car Crash

    Was that a royal snub? Emma Fairweather, a passenger in the car that collided with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Land Rover Thursday, has spoken out about the crash, claiming he hasn’t apologized. She described how onlookers flocked to help Philip, ignoring those in the other car. The 97-year-old had been out for an afternoon drive, sans seatbelt, near the royal Sandringham estate. He quickly left the scene unhurt despite his vehicle overturning, while Fairweather suffered a broken wrist. She said, “I’m lucky to be alive and he hasn’t even said sorry.”

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    Patriots to Face Rams in Super Bowl

    New England earned a third straight ticket to the championship, edging out the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday in a 37-31 overtime win for the AFC title. In the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams ousted New Orleans in overtime after Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw an interception and the Rams’ Greg Zuerlein kicked a 57-yarder for the 26-23 win. But New Orleans fans will long remember the controversial missed call on obvious third-down pass interference that let the Rams tie the score with 15 seconds remaining in regulation time.