The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Michael Bloomberg Says He Won’t Run for President

    The former New York Mayor announced Tuesday he had opted against campaigning as a 2020 candidate, ending months of speculation. Writing in an opinion piece for Bloomberg News, the billionaire businessman said he knew he might never win the Democratic nomination and would instead “double down” on his existing work, adding he’d be launching a new campaign called “Beyond Carbon.”

    What were the odds? Bloomberg would have used his own money to run, avoiding accusations of doing favors for donations, although some believed his money would go against him as some Democrats have warned against self-funding.

    Read OZY’s Special Briefing on whether we’ll see 20 candidates in 2020.

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    US Lawmakers Launch Sweeping Trump Probe

    With a wide-ranging request yesterday for documents related to President Donald Trump’s family, business network and political associates, the Democrat-chaired House Judiciary Committee has significantly stepped up an ambitious legal inquiry into the White House. The panel will probe potential corruption in the Trump administration, including obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

    What’s special about the House Judiciary Committee? It has the authority to launch impeachment proceedings — though Rep. Jerrold Nadler, its chairman, made no mention of the word Monday.

    Don’t miss OZY’s latest installment of the Mueller Thread.

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    Guaido Returns to Venezuela Amid Uncertain Political Future

    Following a week-long tour of Latin American countries to shore up support for his anti-government movement, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó was allowed back into the country yesterday with no legal trouble. But while he was greeted by jubilant crowds in Caracas, he now faces the prospect of maintaining momentum against an apparently resilient President Nicolás Maduro.

    Why wasn’t Guaidó arrested? Some believe Maduro is wary of provoking further protests — and more international ire — by going after his opponent, suggesting that negotiations may be possible.

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    Trump Targets India, Turkey Over Trade

    Claiming India has failed to reassure the U.S. of access to its markets, and that Turkey was “sufficiently economically developed,” the Trump administration says it’s ending preferential trade status for both countries. The world’s largest beneficiary of the decades-old Generalized System of Preferences, New Delhi claimed the decision would have “minimal economic impact” — though it could hurt Prime Minister Narendra Modi in general elections next month.

    Is a new trade war brewing? Neither India nor Turkey appear willing to retaliate, though in both cases, analysts say the decision risks roiling already complicated bilateral relations.

    Check out OZY’s profile of the Indian rocker-aristocrat taking on Modi.

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    Ex-Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn Granted Bail 

    Is he too big to bail? The embattled executive could be freed from prison as early as today — but only if an appeal by prosecutors fails. Jailed since Nov. 19, Ghosn faces charges of financial misconduct in a case that’s rattled the auto world and thrust Japan’s legal system under the microscope. The Tokyo District Court had twice rejected bail for Brazilian-born Ghosn before finally setting it at $8.9 million Tuesday.

    Why the fuss? Some observers have criticized Japan’s habit of imprisoning nonviolent defendants before their trials, sometimes for more than a year.

  6. Also Important…

    A second Cabinet member has quit Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government just months ahead of a general election. Hillary Clinton has said she won’t run for the U.S. presidency in 2020. And Pope Francis has announced that the Vatican will open its archives on Pope Pius XII, who was accused of failing to protect Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust.

    #OZYfact: In a recent online survey, 60 percent of parents felt bad for using their phone around their kids — and 36 percent had been told off by their own children for using their phones too much. Read more on OZY.

    We’re hiring! OZY is looking for an ambitious journalist to cover business and finance. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


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    Second Patient ‘Cured’ of HIV, Doctors Say

    A London man has become the second person in “sustained remission” from the virus after receiving a stem cell transplant and undergoing chemotherapy, according to a new study in Nature. The unidentified individual has not needed antiretroviral drugs since September 2017. Ten years ago, Timothy Brown — dubbed the “Berlin patient” — became the first person to be effectively cured of HIV using a similar method.

    What does this mean for the masses? Researchers cautioned that this won’t change treatment for the average HIV patient, but will instead inform future research toward a cure.

    Don’t miss this OZY story on Burkina Faso’s war on HIV/AIDS.

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    Reporters Uncover $9B Russian Money Laundering Scheme

    Details of the so-called Troika Laundromat scheme were published Monday by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, the result of one of the largest-ever leaks of banking transactions. Operating as a network of more than 75 offshore companies, it was run by top Russian investment bank Troika Dialog, and beneficiaries included a charity linked to Britain’s Prince Charles and cellist Sergei Roldugin — a longtime friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Is this scheme unique? The OCCRP says it’s just the “tip of the iceberg,” with similar plots enriching not only elites in Russia and other post-Soviet countries but also drug cartels farther afield.

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    Makeup No Longer Required for Virgin Atlantic’s Female Crew

    They’re putting their best face forward. Changes to the dress code at the Richard Branson-owned airline will also allow all female flight attendants to wear pants as part of their uniform. Top Virgin executive Mark Anderson said the company had been “listening to the views of our people” and as a result, decided to boost levels of personal comfort and opportunities for self-expression.

    Is this a sea change in the air? Not exactly: Other major airlines still ask their female crew members to wear lipstick — though British Airlines already allows its female crew to wear pants.

    Don’t miss OZY’s feature about airlines competing for your peace of mind.

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    This Colombian Hip-Hop Artist Is Fueling a Green Resistance

    He’s getting back to his roots. Luis “AKA” Ramírez draws on his gritty background in Medellín’s Comuna 13, one of the country’s most violent neighborhoods — but turns to gardening as a form of radical resistance, OZY reports. While performing politically charged music with group Hip-Hop Agrario, the 32-year-old also runs a collective that turns sites of tragedy into green spaces to memorialize victims and educate youngsters.

    How bad is the violence? Comuna 13’s homicide rate jumped from 34 per 100,000 in 2017 to 65 in 2018, while observers say the killings are discussed less openly today.

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    SF Giants CEO on Leave After Scuffle With Spouse

    The MLB team announced yesterday that it’s granting Larry Baer’s request for leave after he was caught on camera Friday in a public spat with his wife that turned physical when she fell out of a chair. Pam Baer downplayed the incident, insisting she was not hurt and that the couple was still “happily married.” The league is reportedly investigating the incident.

    Who’s running things now? The Giants’ executive team will divide day-to-day operations during Baer’s absence, though some observers say he may still be “as involved as he wants to be.”

    Check out this OZY profile of the NFL’s first-ever senior VP of social responsibility.