The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. joe biden hugging mariska hargitay shutterstock 769773043

    Joe Biden’s ‘Affectionate’ Conduct Under Scrutiny

    The charismatic former vice president — and presumed contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — is trying to contain a growing scandal after former Nevada legislator Lucy Flores said he made her feel “uneasy” at a 2014 event through “inappropriate” physical contact. In his first direct statement since Flores’ accusation, Biden said yesterday he didn’t intend for his “expressions of affection, support and comfort” to be inappropriate and pledged to “listen respectfully” to any allegations.

    Could this tarnish his policies? While supporters praised his outspoken stance against sexual violence, they’ve also said that “nobody gets a pass.”

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    Turkey’s Erdogan Faces Electoral Rebuke

    Following nationwide municipal elections that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had pitched as a fight for his country’s “survival,” his Justice and Development Party is now facing a major setback: The opposition Republican People’s Party has taken control of the capital, Ankara, and the election commission says it’s also pulled ahead in Istanbul — Turkey’s largest city — where both parties have claimed victory.

    What does this mean for Erdogan? Experts say the disappointing results, which come amid mounting economic turmoil, reveal the once-mighty strongman could be vulnerable after all.

    Catch up on Erdogan’s politics with this OZY Special Briefing.

  3. kim jong nam shutterstock 620295536

    Malaysia Reduces Charge in Kim Jong Nam Killing

    “I’m very happy.” So said 30-year-old Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, who pleaded guilty Monday to the lesser charge of “causing hurt by a dangerous weapon” in the 2017 assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother. She and her Indonesian co-defendant, Siti Aisyah, who was released last month, were alleged to have smeared a nerve agent on Kim’s face inside the Kuala Lumpur airport. The women said they believed it was a harmless prank.

    Will she walk free? Although Huong was sentenced to three years in prison, her lawyers suggest she might be released as soon as next month.

    Read this OZY feature about how Malaysia is rewriting history.

  4. ukraine flag shutterstock 602813873

    Comedian Pulls Ahead in Ukraine Presidential Election

    It’s no laughing matter. Preliminary results from Sunday’s first round of voting showed Volodymyr Zelenskiy winning around 30 percent of ballots. The 41-year-old upstart, who plays a fictional president on TV, has no political experience. He’s cast himself as a fresh alternative to political old-timers President Petro Poroshenko and ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who polled around 16 and 13 percent, respectively. A run-off between the top two candidates will take place April 21.

    Does he represent real change? Critics say Zelenskiy — who they fear is a pawn for a shadowy Ukrainian tycoon — has offered little by way of actual policy substance.

  5. Also Important…

    Ethiopian officials are preparing to release a preliminary report today on last month’s fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has appointed a caretaker government to oversee the country’s political transition. And a 23rd racehorse died yesterday at California’s Santa Anita Park.

    #OZYfact: In a typical week, around 30 percent of Americans do not make any purchases with cash. Read more on OZY.

    We’re hiring! OZY is looking for a dynamic integrated marketing specialist to join our sales support team. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


  1. akihitoshutterstock 464867093

    Japan Names Its New Imperial Era

    Tokyo has revealed the highly anticipated name for the era that will begin when Crown Prince Naruhito succeeds his father, 85-year-old Emperor Akihito. The prince’s reign, which begins May 1, will be called “Reiwa” — meaning order and peace. In Japan, era names are used alongside the Western calendar and are meant to set the tone for the nation. The concept is rooted in the ancient Chinese idea that the sovereign defined time itself.

    How significant is this milestone? At the end of the 30-year Heisei era, the Japanese will bid farewell to the first monarch to abdicate in two centuries.

    Read OZY’s story about the link between ghosts and cheap rent in Japan.

  2. saudi consulate in istanbul where khashoggi thought killed shutterstock 1204110271

    Bezos Security Chief Blames Saudis for Hack

    An investigator for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says his team “concluded with high confidence” that Saudi Arabia — supposedly upset with the Bezos-owned Washington Post’s coverage of a Saudi journalist’s murder — hacked his phone to obtain texts and explicit photos proving an extramarital affair with news anchor Lauren Sanchez. AMI, which publishes the scoop-breaking National Enquirer, insists Sanchez’s brother was its only source. Riyadh has denied any involvement.

    What are legal experts saying? If the allegation is true, they suggest U.S. authorities bear responsibility for protecting Americans from powerful foreign hackers.

  3. Man throwing away a large piece of raw steak into the trash

    Politics Looms Large on Indians’ Dinner Plates

    There’s a lot at steak. Calling it “an assault on multiculturalism,” the head of India’s West Bengal state — and a likely contender for prime minister — is defying a ban on beef imposed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, OZY reports. Since cows are worshipped by many Hindus, beef is a potent political tool. BJP’s ban panders to Hindu nationalists, and attacks on predominantly Muslim cattle traders have spiked since it was introduced.

    What’s the effect on local businesses? Some restaurateurs say there’s mounting skepticism over beef, suggesting diners have an appetite for the BJP’s strategy.

  4. Rapper

    Rapper Nipsey Hussle Gunned Down

    The 33-year-old was reportedly shot dead in broad daylight yesterday in front of his clothing store in Los Angeles. Two others were injured in the shooting, which a police source claimed may have been gang-related. Born Ermias Asghedom, Hussle was known for giving back to his community, funding projects devoted to the arts, technology and education. His 2018 debut album Victory Lap snagged a Grammy nomination for best rap album.

    How are people reacting? Celebrities from Rihanna to LeBron James shared condolences on social media, and Pharrell Williams said Hussle inspired “millions who will uphold your legacy forever.”

  5. shutterstock 396222481 ncaa basketball

    Michigan State Victory Sets Up NCAA Final Four

    They’ll be holding court. With their 68-67 win over top-seeded Duke yesterday, the MSU Spartans are headed into college basketball’s elite tournament in Minneapolis next weekend. Alongside them are the Auburn Tigers and the Texas Tech Red Raiders — both appearing in the Final Four for the first time ever — as well as the Virginia Cavaliers, making their first appearance since 1984.

    What can we expect? Some say the fact that it’s filled with newbies will make this year’s tournament excitingly unpredictable.

    OZY asks: What would happen if players ran college basketball?