The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. virginia gov ralph northam wikimedia commons

    Virginia Governor Struggling Amid Racism Scandal

    Despite publicly refusing to resign over the weekend, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is still reportedly considering that option as he faces mounting pressure from his own party over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook. Northam is said to be feeling out support within his administration as he weighs his options, though a resignation seems increasingly likely.

    What does this scandal mean? While it threatens to undo key Democratic gains in Virginia, observers say it also reveals how deeply ingrained racism remains — even among those who aim to serve minority communities.

    Read this OZY profile of the model fighting racism in fashion.

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    Europe Is Pressuring Nicolas Maduro

    After the embattled Venezuelan leader defiantly rejected calls for new elections, the U.K., Spain, Denmark, France, Austria and Sweden all officially joined the U.S. Monday in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate ruler. It followed a suggestion by President Donald Trump — whom Maduro warned against intervening in Venezuela’s crisis — that taking military action there remains “an option.”

    What else can we expect from the turmoil? Troubling times for the country’s cocaine dealers, for one: That’s because Maduro’s beleaguered government is believed to be aiding and abetting local crime syndicates, OZY reports.

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    Pope Francis Begins Historic Middle East Visit

    The United Arab Emirates rolled out the red carpet — literally — for the 82-year-old pontiff in Abu Dhabi as he arrived on the first-ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula. During his three-day trip, Francis will attend the Global Conference on Human Fraternity and deliver a Mass tomorrow that’s expected to draw around 135,000 followers.

    Is politics on the agenda? While the Vatican has pushed for a cease-fire in Yemen’s civil war, in which the UAE is heavily involved, it remains to be seen whether Francis will directly address the issue in talks with the country’s leadership.

    OZY asks: Could the pope’s inclusive approach doom Catholicism?

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    Australia Will Crack Down on Bad Banking

    They’re banking on a solution. Following a new report revealing how financial institutions have been ripping off customers for years, today the Australian government announced a shake-up of the banking, insurance and pension sectors. In a 1,000-page report, the government-appointed Royal Commission found that clients were purposely given bad advice and charged unwarranted service fees, among other misdeeds.

    Will there be broader fallout? The findings arrive just months before a May election in which the ruling conservative government, which initially opposed the inquiry, is expected to fight for survival against the Labor party.

  5. Also Important…

    Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, was declared the winner in El Salvador’s presidential election yesterday. President Trump has said he plans to keep U.S. troops in Iraq to monitor the situation in neighboring Iran. And EU investigators have arrived in Poland to probe the illegal slaughter of sick cows and the export of thousands of pounds of meat to more than a dozen countries.

    #OZYfact: Up until about 1790, the majority of America’s 4 million people lived within 50 miles of the ocean. Read why that matters today on OZY.

    We’re hiring! OZY is looking for a talented Executive Assistant and Office Manager to join our team. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


  1. patriots helmet shutterstock 474626236 (1)

    Patriots Ride High After Super Bowl Victory

    New England beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 yesterday in the lowest-scoring championship game ever. Despite throwing an interception on his first pass, 41-year-old Tom Brady — now the oldest quarterback to win the NFL title — finally broke through the Rams’ defense to earn a sixth Super Bowl ring for himself and coach Bill Belichick. “Everybody counted us out,” Belichick said after the game, “but we’re still here.”

    Is Brady finally done? To the likely dismay of his detractors, he’s signaled more than once that he’s not ready to retire quite yet.

  2. Queen Elizabeth II

    UK Considers Royal Escape Plan for No-Deal Brexit

    God save the queen. Or at least the British government will, should the country fail to negotiate an orderly withdrawal from the European Union. Officials have reportedly “repurposed” Cold War-era plans to evacuate Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family to an undisclosed location if riots break out following a no-deal Brexit next month.

    Is panic actually spreading? Not quite yet — though only one-quarter of Brits expect things to get better, while major companies like Nissan are reluctant to keep their investments in the U.K.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on the future of Europe.

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    Africa Is Finding Power Off the Grid

    With help from innovative new solar projects, more residents of power outage-prone sub-Saharan Africa are seeing the light, OZY reports. Despite a challenging lack of financing and infrastructure, a new crop of startups are finding ways to provide off-grid power through solar energy kits, pay-as-you-go utilities and more.

    How will solar power help? Experts say it lets 58 percent of households powered by off-grid tech become more economically active, and 36 percent even generate additional income after making the switch.

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    Washington State’s Measles Outbreak Is Spreading

    At least 44 people are now infected with the highly contagious and potentially deadly virus, including 32 children under 10. A dozen new cases have been confirmed since Gov. Jay Inslee declared a public health emergency last month. Of those infected, 37 were not vaccinated, thanks to Washington state’s allowance for nonmedical vaccination exemptions.

    Could this lead to forced vaccinations? Legislation was introduced last week that would end exemptions for anything other than medical reasons — meaning Washington could soon join California, West Virginia and Mississippi, which already have similar laws on the books.

  5. 21 savage

    ICE Arrests Rapper 21 Savage

    Claiming the 26-year-old is a British citizen who overstayed his American visa by more than 12 years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 21 Savage — who’s long cast himself as an Atlanta local — in Georgia yesterday. An agency spokesman also said the Grammy-nominated rapper, real name Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was convicted on drug-related charges in 2014.

    Why are fans so confused? With no trace of an English accent, 21 Savage has been closely associated with Atlanta’s music scene — even giving back to the local community through various outreach and philathropic efforts.

    Read this OZY Flashback about what Common’s father learned from his son.