The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Talks Collapse Between Trump and Kim

    “Sometimes you have to walk.” So said President Donald Trump today after the abrupt end of a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The Hanoi talks were cut short after both sides failed to agree on even first steps to end Pyongyang’s nuclear program. “It was about the sanctions,” Trump said, explaining that Kim demanded they be lifted entirely, while the U.S. insists North Korea give up all nuclear programs first.

    Is the relationship ruined? Not all is lost as both sides suggested negotiations would continue and Kim said he’d allow an American liaison office in his country.

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    Michael Cohen Turns on Trump in Testimony

    President Trump’s former personal lawyer testified before the House Oversight Committee for over five hours yesterday, calling Trump a “racist,” a “con man” and a “cheat.” Cohen described how the president directed payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and showed lawmakers a 2017 check from Trump that Cohen called reimbursement for the hush money. He also claimed Trump knew in advance about the WikiLeaks release of Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign.

    Will his testimony change any minds? Not likely: Republicans dismissed Cohen, who’s been sentenced to three years in prison for lying to Congress, as untrustworthy.

    Read OZY’s take on why Cohen’s statements reduce Trump’s risk of impeachment.

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    India Demands Pakistan Release Downed Pilot

    Wing commander Abhi Nandan was shot down and captured in Pakistan yesterday after cross-border raids by the two countries this week. A video released by Pakistan shows Nandan in a bloodied uniform giving his name and rank but declining to answer more questions. India called the video a “vulgar display.” Meanwhile, Pakistan has closed its airspace, forcing international flights to be rerouted.

    Could this lead to war? The international community is urging restraint as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has publicly requested talks with India while referencing the two nations’ nuclear arsenals.

    Read this OZY Special Briefing on the latest skirmish in Kashmir.

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    US Nixes Proposed Tariffs on Chinese Goods

    Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer said yesterday the U.S. would suspend a planned 25 percent tax on $200 billion of Chinese goods until further notice. He said enforcement provisions of a future trade deal had been worked out and China had agreed to stop competitive currency devaluations. A tariff increase could later be used to enforce an agreement — also known as a “snap-back” provision.

    Is a trade deal close? They’re getting there, but “much still needs to be done” according to Lighthizer, including a likely summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

  5. Also Important…

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed back over calls for his resignation as a bribery scandal engulfs his administration. A fight between two train conductors in Cairo led to a crash that killed at least 25 people yesterday. And the U.S. House passed universal background check legislation in the most significant attempt at gun control in years.

    #OZYfactThe Indian city of Puducherry has the highest suicide rate in the world with 44 out of every 100,000 taking their own lives. Read more on OZY.

    We’re hiring! OZY is looking for a prolific sports reporter and editor to join our 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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    Semi-Identical Twins Are Double Delight for Geneticists

    An Australian brother and sister born in 2014 share the same DNA on their maternal side but just some of their father’s — the result of two sperm cells fertilizing one egg — according to a report yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine. The sesquizygotic siblings are just the second-known case of semi-identical twins, and the first to be discovered in utero.

    Is there a health risk? Their “extraordinarily rare” genetics make the twins susceptible to an uncommon form of cancer, but doctors will be keeping a close eye on the pair.

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    Paleontologists Find Oldest Known North American Frog

    They hit the mother toad. Virginia Tech researchers have identified the 216 million-year-old fossil fragments found in Arizona’s Chinle Formation, the site of previous large reptile and early dinosaur discoveries. Researchers say the tiny fragments of hip bone from an unnamed extinct species are the first frog fossils to be found alongside dinosaur remains.

    Is this a breakthrough? The discovery of microfossils like these will help researchers understand more about the large number of smaller creatures that roamed within the Triassic ecosystem.

    Read OZY’s story on the people of Baluchestan and their crocodiles.

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    FedEx Is Moving Into Autonomous Delivery

    It’s a package deal. The shipping giant announced yesterday that it’s working on a self-driving robot for parcel delivery, with help from the mobility tech company behind the iBot wheelchair. FedEx’s SameDay Bot will feature sensing technology, multiple cameras and learning algorithms to help it navigate sidewalks and stairs. So far several companies, including AutoZone and Walmart, have signed up as trial partners.

    Is autonomous delivery the future? While FedEx works close to the ground, Amazon and Google have been focused on drone delivery systems — while everyone navigates legal obstacles.

    Check out OZY’s feature on how 5G will impact self-driving cars.

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    Netflix Pulls Documentary Blaming Cancer on Root Canals

    It had too many holes. The streaming service has dumped Root Cause after several professional dental organizations accused it of being unscientific and spreading misinformation. In the documentary, Australian filmmaker Frazer Bailey claimed, without scientific basis, that root canals can cause serious illnesses, including cancer, and argued that patients should instead simply pull out the offending tooth.

    How responsible is Netflix for its content? The issue was also broached after Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop — criticized for wellness products based on pseudoscience — recently inked a deal with the company.

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    The Next LeBron Could Be Screenside

    They’re balling. As salaries and tournament prizes grow, gamers’ financial prospects have become closer to those of real-action professionals, OZY reports. In fact, NBA 2K League players make the same six-month base salary of $35,000 as G League athletes — and with a chance for thousands more in prize money. Next season the esports league will feature a $1.2 million prize pool.

    What about the audience? Over 1.8 million fans follow the NBA 2K League on social media platforms, but its reach is paltry compared to the NBA, as only 645,000 people watched the championship match on Twitch, with a peak of 61,000 at any one time.