The Presidential Daily Brief


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    “Roma” and “The Favourite” Top Academy Nominations

    The 91-year running award ceremony, scheduled for Feb. 24, will see both movies go head-to-head at 10 nominations each. The Favourite, a period comedy based around Queen Anne, has emerged as a popular contender during awards season while Roma is a black and white drama about life in 1970s Mexico.

    Is this a shift in the movie game? Roma is Netflix’s first-ever nomination for best picture, showing belated acceptance of it by the Oscars and vindicating the streaming site’s recent push for visibility on the big screen and award scene.

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    Supreme Court Allows Transgender Troop Restrictions

    The conservative-majority panel placed on hold lower court rulings barring President Donald Trump’s policy restricting some transgender people from serving in the military. Trump announced in 2017 his blanket ban proposal, which former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis refined to only those with a history of gender dysphoria, with several exceptions. Four liberal supreme court judges opposed the ruling Tuesday.

    Is this set in stone? Not necessarily. Injunctions blocking the policy have been temporarily lifted while a legal challenge by rights groups takes place in lower courts.

    Read OZY’s Special Briefing on India’s landmark gay rights ruling.


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    Dozens Are Dead After a Daytime Taliban Attack

    At least 45 people were killed yesterday during a raid on an Afghan military base southwest of Kabul — though some sources put the death toll over 100. The brazen assault comes a day after Taliban militants killed eight security forces in a neighboring province, and a week after an attack in Kabul left five dead and dozens injured.

    What’s behind the increase in violence? Some experts say the uptick is part of a Taliban ploy to secure the upper hand in peace talks with the United States.

    Don’t miss this OZY feature about how Afghanistan’s building a sustainable future for refugees.

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    Rudy Giuliani Didn’t Mean His Trump-Moscow Comments

    After suggesting Sunday that President Donald Trump and ex-lawyer Michael Cohen pursued a real estate project in the Russian capital deep into the 2016 presidential campaign, Giuliani now claims his remarks were “hypothetical.” He added they “did not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any such discussions.” It’s the second time in a week Giuliani’s walked back comments.

    Why does it matter? Because each time Giuliani misspeaks, it raises more legal questions as special counsel Robert Mueller digs deeper into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia.

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    UK Lawmakers Are Mulling New Brexit Plans

    Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s address to Parliament yesterday — during which she offered few meaningful tweaks to her unpopular plan for departing the European Union — lawmakers suggested their own amendments to break the political stalemate. One option floated by the opposition Labour Party even includes holding another public referendum.

    What’s May’s strategy? Some experts believe she’s trying to drag out negotiations to force reluctant lawmakers to support her at the last minute.

    Read this OZY opinion piece asking whether Brexit will leave Germany as Europe’s sole powerhouse.

  6. conférence de carlos ghosn (x 1974),président directeur général de l’alliance renault nissan à l'ecole polytechnique (18734166552)

    Carlos Ghosn Will Remain in Jail

    A Tokyo court again rejected the former Nissan chairman’s bail request — keeping him behind bars until at least March. The 64-year-old, who’s been jailed since his November arrest for underreporting his salary, had offered to wear an electronic tag, relinquish his Nissan shares as collateral and hand over all three passports in exchange for his release.

    What’s next for Ghosn? As the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance he helped build continues to reel from his arrest, the French automaker is expected to finally oust Ghosn as its CEO and chairman.

    Don’t miss OZY’s profile of the comic superhero-turned-international villain.

  7. Also Important…

    China has demanded that the U.S. withdraw its request that Canada extradite embattled Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has cut short a working visit to Europe after the outbreak of violent protests at home. And soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo accepted a $23 million fine for tax evasion in a Spanish court today.

    #OZYfact: It would take a woman working at an Indonesian shrimp processing plant about 4,442 years to make the average annual salary of a top executive at a U.S. supermarket. Read more on OZY.

    We’re hiring! OZY is looking for a creative, organized and ambitious Social Media Manager. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


  1. migrants refugees barbed wire shutterstock 319007378

    Germany Sets a Migrant Deportation Record

    Between January and November 2018, German authorities sent 8,658 asylum-seekers to other European Union member states — a significant bump from the 7,102 deported in the previous year. Nearly one-third were returned to Italy under the EU’s Dublin III rule, which requires asylum requests to be processed by a migrant’s first European country of arrival.

    Will the trend continue? It might: Germany’s Interior Ministry is seeking to boost deportations of unsuccessful asylum-seekers to bolster security and improve the government’s ability to track migrants.

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    France Slaps Google With a $57M Fine

    In the internet giant’s first punishment under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, the company was penalized yesterday for failing to gain users’ consent for personalized ad targeting on its Android platform. Whatever data consent information Google does include, French regulators say, is “diluted in several documents.”

    Will Google change its data policy? A spokesperson only said the company was “studying the decision” — though numerous recent GDPR-based complaints by consumer and non-governmental groups could increase the pressure to act.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on Europe’s new privacy regime.

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    This Blood Test Could Detect Dementia 16 Years Early

    According to a new study in Nature Medicineresearchers have found a blood-based protein that could serve as a biomarker to monitor Alzheimer’s disease more than a decade before symptoms appear. The protein, neurofilament light, is released into the bloodstream following cerebral damage. Rising levels were shown to correlate with the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

    When will this test be available? Plenty of follow-up is needed, but it’s a promising prospect for dementia patients — whose numbers are expected to more than double by 2050 to 14 million in the U.S. alone.

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    A Fyre Festival Caterer Is Crowdfunding for Lost Savings

    Sympathetic citizens rushed to help Maryann Rolle via GoFundMe after the Bahamian restaurant owner, featured in Netflix’s documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, said she lost her life savings when she was stiffed by the doomed music festival. With more than $158,000 raised by Tuesday morning, the campaign has far exceeded its $123,000 goal.

    Who else is paying for the Fyre flop? While festival co-founder Billy McFarland is serving six years in prison for defrauding investors, a $100 million class-action lawsuit — which also names rapper and co-organizer Ja Rule — is ongoing.

    Check out this OZY Flashback on the worst music festival in history.

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    Female Snowboarders Are Shredding With Style

    After the World Cup tour and the Winter X Games brought back the women’s big air competition, tricks once pulled off only by male riders are being increasingly performed by a new crop of female shredders, OZY reports. At the Dew Tour last month, for example, spectators were treated to back-to-back double cork 1080s, a cab double 900 — and a preview of the future of women’s snowboarding.

    How high will they go? Experts say Austrian Anna Gasser’s historic landing of a triple cork last year could set a new standard for female snowboarders.