The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Police Catch Suspect After Potential Terrorist Attack

    Three people were killed and several others injured following a shooting on a tram in the Dutch city Monday morning, according to Utrecht’s Mayor. Police reportedly arrested 37-year-old Gökmen Tanis, a Turkish male, in connection with the incident. An earlier manhunt prompted school closures and heightened security in the area while witnesses described scenes of “complete and utter chaos” at the site of the attack.

    Is this terrorism? A Dutch anti-terrorism coordinator said that a lot remains unclear as they’re still collecting the facts but they couldn’t rule out a terrorist motive.

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    New Zealand Weighs Gun Reform After Massacre

    It’s firmly in their crosshairs. Following Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement of imminent anti-gun measures in the wake of Friday’s mosque shootings in Christchurch, her Cabinet set a goal of hashing out a plan within 10 days. Accused gunman Brenton Tarrant is believed to have legally owned at least four guns. Meanwhile, local media reported panic-buying among gun enthusiasts ahead of legislative changes.

    How many guns do New Zealanders own? With a population of just under 5 million, the country is home to around 1.2 million firearms.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on the Christchurch massacre.

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    Ethiopia Cites ‘Similarities’ in Boeing Crashes

    After a preliminary review of data and voice recorders from last week’s doomed Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, the country’s Transport Ministry announced yesterday that the disaster exhibited “clear similarities” to October’s Lion Air Flight 610. Both tragedies involved new Boeing 737 Max 8 jets — the company’s best-selling aircraft — making erratic movements shortly before crashing. Authorities are expected to release a preliminary report within 30 days.

    What’s Boeing doing about it? It’s doubled down on its still-unfulfilled pledge to tweak the faulty MCAS software that was believed to have caused Indonesia’s Lion Air disaster.

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    Sources: Lyft Eyes $21 Billion Valuation for IPO

    They’ve got a ticket to ride. Embarking on a roadshow today in a bid to draw investors to its initial public offering, the San Francisco-based firm will reportedly place its valuation at $21 billion to $23 billion. The first ride-hailing service to go public, Lyft is also expected to raise some $2 billion before being listed on the Nasdaq by the end of the month.

    Are other firms following suit? Lyft rival Uber will reportedly launch its own IPO next month, while Silicon Valley startups Slack and Pinterest are also expected to go public in what’s shaping up to be a landmark year for IPOs.

    Check out OZY’s feature on Pakistan’s female-driven ride-hailing industry.

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    US-Backed Forces Face Uphill Fight in Syria

    Weeks after launching an offensive to eradicate ISIS from its final foothold in the war-torn country, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces says the Kurdish-led militia is struggling to retake the village of Baghouz. Thousands of people are reportedly still inside the enclave, which has faced a week of shelling and airstrikes, while around 1,300 ISIS fighters have been killed and 520 captured since the offensive began.

    How long will the battle go on? While the SDF spokesman cited a “personal estimate” of less than a week, recent experience suggests it could last longer.

  6. Also Important…

    Germany’s two biggest banks, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, have said they’re discussing a merger worth an estimated $2.2 trillion. Israel’s Supreme Court has banned far-right politician Michael Ben-Ari from participating in next month’s elections. And flash floods and mudslides have killed at least 79 people in eastern Indonesia.

    #OZYfact: In the 1940s, the Soviet government began testing anthrax, the plague, tularemia and other biological weapons on Vozrozhdeniya Island. Read more on OZY.

    We’re listening! OZY’s launching a series about love stories — and we want to hear yours. If you’ve found yourself in an unconventional or intriguing romantic situation, send an email to and tell us all about it!


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    Erdogan Campaign Rallies Feature Mosque Shooting Video

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly using footage — scrubbed from Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms — from the Christchurch shootings to mobilize his religious base ahead of March 31 local elections. At Erdogan’s televised rallies he also showed anti-Turkish fragments of the manifesto written by suspected gunman Brenton Tarrant, and vowed to “uncover the connection” between the massacre and Tarrant’s 43 days in Turkey in 2016.

    What’s behind Erdogan’s move? Observers say he’s looking to distract voters from the currency depreciation that has plunged the economy into a recession.

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    UK Health Service Caught in Baby Formula Scandal

    They’re milking the system. According to a recent investigation, one-third of local commissioners who allocate resources within Britain’s publicly funded National Health Service accept sponsorship from milk formula companies. Accepting payments from the industry, which often uses aggressive marketing tactics, breaches World Health Organization guidelines.

    What are the risks? In the U.K., which has one of the world’s lowest breastfeeding rates, a recent report found cow milk allergy diagnoses have jumped 500 percent over the past 10 years.

    Read OZY’s feature about the U.S. firm letting parents bring babies to work.

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    India’s ‘Berlin Wall Collapse’ Could Pay Political Dividends

    A pain point for generations of believers, Sikhism’s holiest shrine sits across the border in Pakistan. But recently India and Pakistan choreographed a rare moment of symphony, announcing plans for visa-free travel to the site — part of a strategy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, OZY reports, to woo India’s 20 million Sikhs ahead of this year’s elections. But the sharp deterioration in relations between the countries has cast a shadow on the project.

    What’s the downside? Excitement over the visa-free travel corridor is also tinged with worries about the proximity of Pakistani soldiers and checkpoints that will crop up once it’s opened to the public.

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    ‘King of Surf Guitar’ Dick Dale Dies at 81

    The legendary musician, credited with launching the instrumental beach sound of the 1960s, died Sunday after years of health problems. He reportedly discovered his distinctive reverb-heavy sound by attempting to musically capture the feeling of surfing after he moved to Southern California in 1954. Born Richard Monsour in Boston, he was influenced by his father’s Lebanese tarabaki drums, and began playing guitar to emulate Hank Williams.

    What’s Dale’s musical legacy? Though he didn’t have any huge hits, his 1962 song Miserlou featured in the film Pulp Fiction and his innovative techniques influenced superstars including Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen and the Beach Boys.

  5. Football

    Johnny Manziel Is Returning to US Football

    He’s playing the field. Following a failed stint in the Canadian Football League, the onetime red-hot American football prospect has landed on the Memphis Express of the new Alliance of American Football. But while the former Texas A&M quarterback may be a breath of fresh air for a team that’s 1-5, it remains to be seen whether coach Mike Singletary can tame the notoriously troubled Manziel.

    Is the AAF home to other NFL flameouts? In addition to QB Garrett Gilbert of the Orlando Apollos, there’s also first-round draft pick Trent Richardson, who plays for the Birmingham Iron.

    Read this OZY analysis about how (football) size matters.