The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Theresa May brexit shutterstock 1239919585

    MPs Reject No Deal Brexit

    Parliament voted Wednesday by 312 to 308 not to leave the European bloc without a withdrawal agreement in place. It follows MPs rejection on Tuesday of Theresa May’s latest negotiation with the E.U., ironing out details around the Irish backstop. Amid growing frustration in Brussels, several top European officials warned that there is no more they can do to ensure an orderly Brexit.

    What’s next? Lawmakers will vote on Thursday on whether to delay the withdrawal date until May 22. While the vote today carries political weight, it is not legally binding, which means a no-deal Brexit could still occur if a divorce agreement is not ratified.

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    US Drops Boeing Max 8s

    President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes will be grounded. The U.S. now joins dozens of countries that took action after Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash, including Canada whose transportation minister said that country experts found similarities between the crash near Addis Adaba and one involving Lion Air in October.

    What about the black box data? American safety officials are reportedly lobbying their Ethiopian counterparts to send the cockpit recorders to the U.S. rather than the U.K.

    Read this OZY Flashback about the rebel airline with a cause.

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    Paul Manafort Faced With 16-Count Indictment

    Charges against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman were returned by a grand jury in New York Wednesday, moments after a federal judge delivered the 69-year-old a 43-month sentence. It follows a 47-month sentence handed to Manafort last week. The new charges relate to mortgage fraud, while he will serve time in jail as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into election interference by Russia.

    Will Donald Trump pardon Manafort? He hasn’t taken it off the table but the grand jury’s indictment falls outside the scope of his pardon power.

    Read OZY’s latest take on Donald Trump’s administration.

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    US College Admissions Scandal Ensnares Wealthy Parents

    Prosecutors have charged 50 people — from Hollywood stars and business leaders to test administrators and college coaches — in a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme that vaulted undeserving students into top universities. Authorities claim consultant William Singer was the mastermind, helping boost the test scores of mostly unwitting high schoolers while facilitating bribes from wealthy parents to athletic officials.

    How did the scheme work? In one case, parents paid $1.2 million to squeeze their non-soccer-playing daughter into Yale as a star recruit, while another student was falsely identified as having a learning disability for an edge on standardized tests.

  5. st patrick's melbourne shutterstock 169600586

    Ex-Vatican Treasurer Jailed for Child Sex Abuse

    Cardinal George Pell, sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison, is the highest-ranking Catholic clergyman to be punished for sexually abusing children. An Australian jury had recently found the 77-year-old guilty of molesting two 13-year-old choirboys at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne during the 1990s. Pell will serve 44 months before qualifying for parole.

    How’s the Vatican handling the crisis? In a historic summit last month, Pope Francis outlined measures to tackle sexual abuse in the Catholic Church — though critics have complained they’re not enough.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on the Catholic nun abuse scandal.

  6. Also Important…

    Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, will be sentenced today on two counts of conspiracy. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign a moratorium on executions in his state. And Volkswagen announced that it will cut up to 7,000 jobs to save more than $6 billion annually.

    #OZYfact: In the first two months of 2019, 17 states have introduced legislation to create some sort of ranked-choice voting system. 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.


  1. Marielle franco

    Two Former Cops Arrested for Brazilian Politician’s Murder

    Investigators say Ronnie Lessa and Élcio Vieira de Queiroz carefully planned their attack on Rio de Janeiro City Councilor Marielle Franco, who was shot dead in her car last March. The retired military police officers allegedly spent months following Franco, whose progressive and community-minded policies were detailed in a 2016 OZY profile. She was known for condemning police violence and fighting for women’s and minorities’ rights.

    Where will the investigation lead? While authorities say the men were likely repulsed by Franco’s politics, her colleagues believe they were acting on orders from higher up.

  2. A gun store owner pointing a rifle

    Dick’s Sporting Goods Removes Guns From More Stores

    Drop your weapons. The Pennsylvania-based retailer announced yesterday that it would eliminate firearms and other hunting products from 125 U.S. locations this year — or about 17 percent of its stores — in response to slumping sales. On the heels of last year’s deadly Parkland school shooting, Dick’s ditched assault-style rifles and prohibited customers under 21 years old from buying guns.

    How will this affect business? Company stock fell 11 percent on Tuesday’s news, though executives say foot traffic and sales volume grew at the 10 locations where hunting products were removed last year.

    Read OZY’s story about why White American women are sticking to their guns.

  3. Needle inserted into a vaccine vial, close-up

    Unvaccinated Italian Kids Turned Away From School

    Some 300 children in Bologna were left out this week after the government suddenly decided to enforce compulsory vaccinations. By law, children must be immunized for measles, mumps, rubella and polio, and without written evidence of shots, children under 6 years old cannot be enrolled at nurseries or kindergartens. Several dozen students were also turned away in Veneto, as well as smaller numbers in Florence, Lucca and Naples.

    Why the surprise? Italy’s populist ruling coalition, which had long criticized the law, had been accused by doctors of spreading harmful conspiracy theories about vaccinations.

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    This French Designer Is Bringing DIY to High Fashion

    Criticizing an industry she believes is “disconnected from reality,” 30-year-old Lisa Gachet not only designs expressive, inclusive clothes, she helps shoppers create their own fashions. Her pastry-stocked Paris boutique, Make My Lemonade, sells scissors, fabrics and patterns alongside colorful ready-to-wear designs. Gachet’s version of DIY, OZY reports, feels like a feminist enterprise aimed at inspiring women with its accessible approach.

    Does Gachet have lasting power? Some observers say that by embracing both the craft movement and female entrepreneurship, she’s creating far more than just a fashion brand.

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    Cleveland Eyes Bright Future With Odell Beckham Jr.

    In what NFL analysts are calling a “bombshell” trade, the New York Giants have reportedly agreed to transfer the star wide receiver to the Browns in exchange for safety Jabrill Peppers and two draft picks. Just last summer, Beckham inked a five-year deal worth $98.5 million with the Giants, but the team floundered and the disgruntled 26-year-old riled New York’s management. He’ll join his longtime friend and LSU teammate Jarvis Landry in Cleveland.

    What’s the reaction in the Dawg Pound? Long-suffering Cleveland fans hope Beckham can help the Browns post their first winning record since 2007.

    Check out OZY’s Flashback about how football’s fastest man won Olympic gold.