The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. director robert s. mueller  iii

    Barr: Mueller Found Trump ‘Did Not Conspire’ With Russia

    Attorney General William Barr reported to Congress today that Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections and possible collusion by President Donald Trump’s campaign, found no evidence of a conspiracy with the Kremlin. Barr, who has authority on what to release or withhold from Mueller’s report, also wrote that the report “did not exonerate” the president regarding obstruction, nor did it find him culpable.

    What’s next? With Mueller’s investigation concluded, other investigations — like New York state’s and other Justice Department offices — remain to play out, while House Democratic leaders are beginning new inquiries.

  2. anti brexit protesters shutterstock 1342204046

    Britons March En Masse, Urging New Brexit Vote

    As many as a million demonstrators, organizers claimed, marched through London Saturday, demanding a new vote to solve a seemingly intractable parliamentary impasse over Britain’s European Union exit. Prime Minister Theresa May convinced EU leaders Friday to extend the Brexit deadline from March 29 to April 12 after Parliament again rejected the bloc-approved departure formula.

    What now? Members of May’s Conservative Party are urging her to quit after she indicated she might not seek an exit plan vote this week if it lacks support, while by this morning nearly 5 million had signed a petition to cancel Brexit.

  3. new zealand mosque attacks mourners shutterstock 1342729910

    New Zealand Unites Against Deadly Bigotry

    “New Zealand mourns with you. We are one.” That was how New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed Muslims during Friday prayers. Meanwhile, thousands made a human chain around the Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington, symbolically protecting worshippers inside against the sort of attacks that killed 50 people in Christchurch a week earlier. The government moved swiftly to ban military-style assault weapons and women wore headscarves to show solidarity with the victims. 

    What’s the latest response? On Saturday New Zealand also banned the killer’s manifesto — a move certain to provoke debates over limiting expression, no matter how objectionable.

  4. Qatar (520283787)

    Sun, Surf and the Taliban in Qatar

    Beachcombing tourists sipping cocktails to golden oldies on violin and piano seems a strange backdrop to this month’s peace talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban. More surreal was the lack of clues of historic goings-on at the Qatari hotel, where frustrated correspondents angled for information, aside from sightings of Chitrali-capped Afghans and the odd camo-clad American.

    Is an agreement on the horizon? The top U.S. negotiator claims “real strides” toward ending the 17-year war, while Washington recently shunned a Kabul official — whose government can’t participate — for saying the talks are selling out his country.

  5. new york times

    Trump vs. ‘Times’ Has Changed Reporting in the US

    When The New York Times called President Trump a liar in its pages, it wasn’t just a departure from norms at the Gray Lady. It signaled a broader shift in political reporting. After months of critical coverage, often to Trump’s bemusement, mainstream media effectively became an arm of his opposition.

    Is it a race to the bottom? The bottom line, perhaps. Negative Trump stories in the “failing New York Times” are some of the paper’s biggest hits, keeping one of its feet out of the media graveyard.

    Check out this OZY analysis of how the president helps the media.

  6. Also Important…

    Helicopters are ferrying 1,300 passengers from a cruise ship stranded amid high seas with engine trouble off the coast of Norway. U.S.-backed forces claim to have defeated Islamic State in its last Syrian stronghold. The Guggenheim art museum in New York City will no longer accept contributions from some members of the Sackler family, whose name is on the museum’s education center, because of their connection to prescription opioid maker Perdue Pharma.

    In the week ahead: visit the White House — two weeks ahead of Israeli elections. NASA astronauts will conduct the first all-female space walk Friday. And the NCAA basketball tournament’s Sweet 16 round begins Thursday.

    #OZYfact: The International Energy Agency estimates that solar power generation will overtake coal by 2040. Read more on OZY.

    Listen Up! The Thread, the latest installment of OZY’s popular podcast. Subscribe now on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.


  1. tmishutterstock 19472176

    Forty Years After US Meltdown, Nuclear Is Back

    A deal to build six reactors in India might be the boost the U.S. nuclear industry needs. Domestic production has dwindled over the decades since accidents like Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island and Ukraine’s Chernobyl. But nuclear fission remains CO2-free, even it lacks wind and solar’s green sheen. And new reactor technology could produce hydrogen to power zero-emission cars.

    What about the radioactivity? Environmental groups’ concerns over nuclear leaks have been outweighed by the pressing need to reduce greenhouse gases, whose effects on the climate may be eclipsing Fukushima-type meltdowns in their scariness.

  2. maya women and children shutterstock 616369706

    When Your ‘Parents’ Turn Out to Be Baby Traffickers

    Jean-Sebastien Hertsens Zune left France to search for his birth parents in Guatemala and found a web of human trafficking, kidnapping and genocide instead. Mothers sent children to fraudulent “boarding schools,” soldiers massacred indigenous peoples and sold surviving children and recruiters purchased babies, often for lucrative foreign adoptions with papers listing “parents” who were actually co-conspirators.

    Is there hope of reunification? The government banned foreign adoptions in 2008 and began investigating, and a nonprofit has painstakingly found 488 children’s families, while thousands continue to seek answers. 

    Read this OZY story about trekking to help impoverished Guatemalans.

  3. woman with delivery box in winter shutterstock 1188869926

    Can the Retail King Hold Off Amazon?

    The battle has been joined. Walmart, which isn’t as valuable to Wall Street as Amazon is but still outsells Jeff Bezos’ digital behemoth, is testing new weapons in its epic retail war. It’s acquired a startup, Jetblack, which caters to New York City’s upper-income moms by offering to deliver nearly anything they need within an hour.

    How can this make a difference? Jetblack isn’t making money, but it’s helping develop a voice-based ordering AI that could someday boost Walmart’s online presence — which the company reportedly hopes will thrive in an increasingly voice-oriented retail environment.

  4. businessman with smartphone and umbrella 199985336

    Getting Your Literature in Bite-Size Morsels

    A paragraph can hook someone on a narrative, and that’s how Hooked’s story begins. Relaying tales in text-message format, the app has reached 100 million readers with its 1,200-story library. They take the form of conversations that provide a stripped-down and intensified reading experience. Celebrities Snoop Dogg and Mariah Carey are among investors in the platform, which costs nothing, unless you want an ad-free experience.

    Is this the future of learning? That’s perfectly plausible with an attention- and time-deprived generation in mind, even if it means reimagining King Lear in a tweetstorm.

  5. pitcher yu darvish on august 5 2017 wikimedia commons

    Do the Cubs Have a New Goat in Yu Darvish?

    After blowing World Series starts with the Dodgers, the Japanese-born right-handed pitcher had a disastrous first year with the Chicago Cubs on a six-year, $126 million contract, barely two years after the team broke its legendary Billy Goat Curse with a championship. Slouching into his 30s, Darvish finds himself stuck in a Groundhog Day loop that sees him repeatedly returning to the disabled list.

    Should fans abandon hope? With the Major League Baseball season starting Thursday, Darvish is primed for a comeback, saying, “I don’t want ‘boo’ anymore. I want ‘Yu’!”