The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. algeria protest shutterstock 1334003801

    Embattled Algerian Leader Reportedly Quits

    After weeks of protests sparked by his bid for a fifth term, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is resigning tonight — well before his term ends April 28, state media reports. He’d ruled out running in now-postponed April 18 elections, but thousands continued demanding his ouster, and the country’s military chief declared him unfit for office. A 2013 stroke has kept his public appearances to a minimum.

    Who’ll be in charge? It’s not clear, but the National Liberation Front, governing since shedding French colonial rule in 1962, has promised a national conference on protesters’ reform demands.

    Read this OZY story on Algeria’s provocative cartoons.

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    Whistle-Blower: White House Reversed 25 Security Denials

    Testimony released yesterday revealed that a White House security adviser told the House Oversight and Reform Committee last month that administration officials overturned 25 security clearances she’d denied over national security concerns. Tricia Newbold, who has overseen security checks for Republican and Democratic administrations for 18 years, said she clashed with superiors over the clearances — which had been denied for conflicts of interest, foreign influence, criminal conduct and other issues.

    What comes next? The Democrat-chaired committee could subpoena White House officials, while Republicans are likely to cast it as a partisan attack against President Donald Trump.

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    UK Parliament Rejects Brexit Alternatives — Again

    British lawmakers voted down four different alternatives yesterday to Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, including a second referendum. May is expected to hold a five-hour Cabinet meeting today to explore her government’s next steps. Meanwhile, in response to Monday’s vote, the EU’s chief negotiator warned a no-deal Brexit was increasingly likely, though “we can still hope to avoid it.”

    What now? In the lead-up to an April 10 summit in Brussels, London must produce a new Brexit blueprint or risk leaving the bloc without any economic or political game plan.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on the latest Brexit drama.

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    Algerian President to Step Down This Month

    He’s not gonna take it. After weeks of protests, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced yesterday that he’ll resign before his term ends on April 28. Although he named a new Cabinet last weekend, the ailing 82-year-old has been further pressured to speed up his exit — foreshadowed by a decision last month not to seek re-election — after a string of recent defections by former loyalists.

    What are Algerians saying? Some critics believe Bouteflika’s departure is no magic bullet, claiming they’ll only be satisfied once the entire ruling regime is overhauled.

    Check out this OZY story about Algeria’s massive defense budget.

  5. F35

    US Suspends Deliveries of F-35 Equipment to Turkey

    Citing Ankara’s interest in buying Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft systems, the Pentagon said yesterday it would halt its shipments of parts related to F-35 stealth fighter jets. NATO-member Turkey is one of the largest export customers of the jet, with sales amounting to more than $8 billion. But U.S. officials are concerned that its pursuit of the non-NATO-compatible S-400s would pose security and intelligence problems for the F-35.

    Is this part of a broader feud? Relations between Ankara and Washington are growing increasingly rocky, especially amid their differences over the Syrian conflict and U.S. sanctions on Iran.

  6. Also Important…

    A second woman has accused former Vice President Joe Biden of inappropriate physical contact. NASA has criticized India for the recent destruction of its own satellite, claiming that it boosted the risk of space debris colliding with the International Space Station by 44 percent. And police in Los Angeles say they’ve identified the suspect in the shooting death of rapper Nipsey Hussle.

    #OZYfactOnly 37 percent of adults under the age of 35 invest in the stock market — a dip from the pre-financial crash average of 52 percent. 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.


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    Burger King’s New Whopper Is Meatless

    Featuring a flame-grilled, plant-based patty topped with traditional condiments on a toasted sesame-seed bun, the Impossible Whopper debuted Monday in St. Louis. Skip the cheese and mayonnaise, and it becomes vegan. The fast food giant now joins the ranks of White Castle, which introduced a meat-free option last year, and Carl’s Jr. while McVegan burgers are available in Finland and Sweden.

    Does a vegetarianism boom await? Despite increasing awareness of cattle’s contribution to climate change, the average American consumed more meat last year than ever before.

    Don’t miss this OZY story on “peganism” — the new millennial diet.

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    Report: Slack Picks NYSE for Direct Listing

    Message received. Following Spotify’s lead, the group-communication startup will reportedly list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The cash-rich Silicon Valley company is opting for a direct listing, as opposed to a traditional initial public offering, in which its value will be determined by the market rather than by Slack itself. The IPO is expected this summer.

    What does this mean for the NYSE? It’s yet another tech IPO victory after the exchange claimed Uber and Pinterest, while rival Nasdaq recently scored Lyft’s listing.

    Read this OZY feature about why tech workers are leaving major cities.

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    China Tightens Regulation of Fentanyl-Like Drugs

    Starting May 1, Chinese authorities will list all fentanyl-related opioids as controlled substances. The change, which is aimed at stopping Chinese exporters from tweaking their drugs to evade regulations, is a key U.S. demand in trade talks that will restart Thursday — although Beijing denies the move is a concession to avoid higher tariffs.

    Will this help fight the opioid crisis? While experts have praised the measure as “a good step,” they also say China lacks the resources to properly enforce the law.

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    David Blaine Under Investigation for Sexual Assault

    The New York Police Department is reportedly probing two allegations of sexual assault against the magician best known for high-profile stunts like spending 40 days in a suspended plexiglass box. One accuser told police that Blaine sexually assaulted her in his apartment in 1998, a claim that may fall beyond the statute of limitations. Blaine, 45, has not been charged.

    Has #MeToo moved beyond entertainment? While it doesn’t often make headlines, the scientific community has dealt with allegations of sexual misconduct for years — with the U.S. National Academy of Sciences now seeking to expel offenders.

    Check out OZY’s profile of the Fox host mounting a #MeToo charge.

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    Europe’s Next Soccer Stars Will Come From MLS

    If they’d only stay. Since the beginning of 2018, seven Major League Soccer players have been claimed by major international clubs, including midfielder Miguel Almirón’s $27 million move from Atlanta United to Newcastle United in January. As OZY reports, players who cut their teeth in front of North American fans are now playing in England, Germany and Mexico.

    How does this help MLS? The top global leagues all have domestic talent pools, and America’s is coming into its own — with efforts like Kansas City’s nascent Patterson Cup, an elite youth tournament resembling those common in Europe.