The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. ncaa tournament arena shutterstock 1169905

    Virginia, Texas Tech Advance to Their First NCAA Final

    UVA has been first before, but as last year’s historic No. 1 seed falling to a No. 16. And now the Cavaliers will play in Monday’s final, thanks to Kyle Guy hitting all three last-second free throws for a 63-62 win last night over Auburn. They’ll face No. 3 seed Texas Tech, which knocked out No. 2 seed Michigan State, 61-62.

    Is there more to this story? Auburn fans may justly feel robbed, as Ty Jerome’s double-dribble went uncalled with 1.5 seconds left, meaning the Tigers would have regained possession with a two-point lead.

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    ‘We at Boeing Are Sorry’ 

    After acknowledging its deadly defect, the Seattle-based aircraft giant is reducing production of its 737 Max 8s by 20 percent while it corrects nosedive-inducing safety software. Legendary consumer activist Ralph Nader, whose grandniece perished aboard the Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 that crashed March 10, is suing and urging a boycott, despite Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg apologizing Friday for 360 deaths from that crash and an Indonesian accident five months earlier.

    How can such failures be prevented? The Federal Aviation Administration has long been criticized for allowing airplane manufacturers to self-regulate, so expect Congress to demand tighter scrutiny.

  3. brexit protest w sadiq kahn shutterstock 1359165878

    Friday Is Brexit Day, Unless…

    There are “no red lines.” That’s what British Finance Minister Philip Hammond says of talks between Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour Party rivals. Despite reports that neither side has yielded ground, Hammond says he’s optimistic an agreement can be reached on Britain’s orderly exit from the European Union.  One major sticking point is the Brexit plan’s political declaration, which outlines aspirations for the new British-EU relationship.

    Is the April 12 deadline realistic? Not as hopeful as Hammond, European Council President Donald Tusk will reportedly propose a 12-month extension, with an option to leave sooner.

  4. nato summit shutterstock 1132604732

    At 70, NATO’s Life Span in Doubt

    Formed after German militarism scorched Europe, the alliance is now threatened by Berlin’s pacifism. Although NATO nations have pledged to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense, the biggest laggard is the richest, budgeting only 1.5 percent. This casts doubt on Germany’s readiness to defend members on the eastern frontier against potential aggression of an increasingly antagonistic Russia.

    What’s at stake? While it’s been tolerated by past U.S. presidents, Donald Trump has hinted America will quit the alliance, while Britain refuses to let members “sit back and relax.”

    Read this OZY op-ed on Russia’s designs on Ukraine.

  5. isis shutterstock 491345392

    America’s Most Useful Ally Now Faces Turkey Alone

    After flushing ISIS out of Syria, Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi is on his own. A phone call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who equates Abdi’s fighters with separatist “terrorists” inside Turkey’s borders, convinced President Donald Trump to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Without them complicating things, Turkey can now attack the general’s forces.

    How could this blow back? Seeing how Kurdish allies — after achieving America’s objective — were cast aside, potential allies may be unimpressed with U.S. promises.

    Read this OZY op-ed on why Kurds are key to Syrian peace.

  6. Also Important…

    Rwanda is marking 25 years since its genocide, which killed 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis. Two children and three adults were shot at a family gathering in Chicago Saturday. U.S. authorities say it could take two years to identify what may be thousands of children separated from migrant families in a U.S. immigration crackdown. And floods have killed 70 people and affected perhaps 400,000 in southern Iran.

    In the week ahead: Israelis vote Tuesday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed to annex West Bank Jewish settlements, in a close race for re-election. The National Basketball Association’s regular season ends Wednesday. And on Thursday, Indians vote in the first stage of national elections.

    We’re hiring! OZY’s looking for an ambitious and creative podcast producer. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


  1. nazi salute thumbs down wooden hands shutterstock 687827269

    How Baraboo Got Past its Nazi Outrage

    Their downfall didn’t last long. Reportedly following a photographer’s instructions, thirty bored and impatient teenage boys in Baraboo, Wisconsin, made a Nazi salute that went viral in November. Why, the Twitterverse asked, had no one taught them about the Holocaust? The community rallied around them, while one teen, owning his “ironic joke,” apologized to the town’s Jewish residents.

    Are the wounds healing? The majority seems to be moving on, but the town’s few Jews have endured unchallenged racist flyers and taunts from those whose fervor — or indifference — continues to be nurtured by online hate.

  2. refusing alcohol wine shutterstock 1324135739

    Are Millennials Turning Away From Alcohol?

    Alcohol sales growth is slowing, while near beer and other fake-tipple sales are growing. Stats don’t explain it, but some millennials are saying they’re done with hangovers and want to live healthier. Substance abuse therapists say some are simply turning elsewhere, like to newly legalized pot, to unwind after a stressful day. Businesses are racing to pivot, with mixologists offering more alcohol-free cocktails and entrepreneurs opening booze-free bars.

    Have they killed alcohol? Millennials overall still drink their share, but Generation Z’s historically low consumption rates are causing the industry to sober up fast.

  3. Freight train shutterstock 14471524

    US Railroads Are Speeding Out of the 19th Century

    They were the tech giants of their day. But 150 years later, America’s freight railroads are trying a novel approach: Operating on a schedule. It may seem intuitive, but companies like Union Pacific and CSX have long allowed trains to sit idle waiting for customers before adding cars.

    How’s it working out? There have been growing pains aplenty, with massive traffic disruptions and federal regulators stepping in on behalf of distraught customers. But if they can iron things out, the big railroads expect their shareholders to benefit, with more freight moving on fewer trains. 

  4. romance novel shutterstock 373329937

    Women Thrive in Romance Writing — If They’re White

    There are popular cowboy, highlander and even Amish romance novels, but that’s where the diversity fizzles. Publishers keep Black couples off covers so as not to harm sales. The RITA Awards — think the Pulitzers of bodice-rippers — remains lily-white despite a growing community of Black authors confined to a racial niche genre. 

    When will the industry get woke? While White female readers have expressed openness for Black heroines, publishers are retreating, with the largest planning to close the book on its African-American line.

    Read OZY’s feature on the Arab romance revolution.

  5. shutterstock 396222481 ncaa basketball

    They Told Him to Quit. Now He’s a Final Four Star

    When De’Andre Hunter left Philadelphia as a top recruit in 2016, he went to the University of Virginia to play. But coach Tony Bennett, in the era of one-and-done, red-shirted him for that season. Many players transfer over less, but Hunter acquiesced.

    And now? This year he’s a star, even if he’s dragged in the tournament — including during last night’s first half against Auburn. But he burst out in the second half, scoring most of his 14 points and enabling a one-point win over Auburn and UVA’s first final appearance.