The Presidential Daily Brief


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    US Justice Department Releases Muller Report

    It’s out finally out. Details of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation reveal that he was unable to conclude whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice — though it found that “Congress has the authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.” Released today, Mueller’s 400-page report also concludes that Trump campaign officials had multiple links with Moscow, though it couldn’t verify whether the campaign conspired with the Russian government. 

    Is Trump off the hook? Mueller states that if Trump didn’t commit a crime, he would have said so. He also writes that while the report doesn’t conclude that the President is guilty of a crime, it also doesn’t exonerate him.

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    North Korea Claims ‘Tactical’ Weapon Test

    They’re launching back into it. State media reported that Pyongyang tested a new type of “tactical guided weapon” yesterday — the first such launch since talks between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But while details remain scant, observers believe it’s unlikely that Wednesday’s test was that of a nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile. The Foreign Ministry also issued a demand that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be excluded from negotiations.

    Will talks collapse? Some experts believe the launch amounts to propaganda for the North Korean people while still allowing Pyongyang to stick to Kim’s pledge last year to halt ICBM tests.

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    Indonesia’s Widodo Eyes Victory Amid Objections by Rival

    Although President Joko Widodo is all but assured a second term after yesterday’s election, his chief rival, Prabowo Subianto, claimed victory in the vote — despite numerous reliable pollsters placing Widodo firmly in the lead by around 8 percentage points. Police, meanwhile, have warned supporters not to stage any destabilizing rallies. Official results will be announced next month.

    What’s next for Indonesia? Although experts believe Subianto has little chance of successfully challenging the vote, others say Widodo faces a far larger challenge: Keeping the economy humming while struggling with a fragmented Parliament.

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    Pinterest Prices IPO Higher Than Expected

    Ahead of its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today, the online scrapbooking platform priced its shares at $19 — that’s $2 more than its previous high end — for a total valuation of $12.7 billion. Some suggest it’s a vote of confidence in the tech IPO market, which has been partially tainted by Lyft’s unimpressive performance since it went public last month.

    Why does it matter? Since it’s one of the year’s most anticipated debuts, Pinterest’s experience will either soothe or raise investors’ concerns over the risk-reward ratio of tech-sector IPOs.

    Check out OZY’s Special Briefing on this year’s wave of unicorns going public.

  5. Also Important…

    The 18-year-old woman whose obsession with the 1999 Columbine school shooting sparked a massive manhunt was found dead yesterday. India’s Jet Airways has suspended all flights after failing to secure an emergency bailout from banks. And a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan Thursday, rattling buildings and temporarily stopping subway service in Taipei.

    #OZYfact: In 1933, German doctor Count Carl von Cosel stole the corpse of his deceased crush from the cemetery and lived with it for seven years. Read more on OZY.

    We’re listening! OZY has launched 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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    Scientists Partially Revive Pigs’ Brains After Death

    Will anyone piggyback off this discovery? Researchers from Yale University have partially revived the brains of pigs four hours after they were slaughtered. The study, published in the journal Nature, showed that some cellular function was either preserved or restored. Despite the breakthrough, scientists stressed that the brains showed no evidence of being able to regain consciousness after death. “This is not a living brain,” one researcher said, “but it is a cellularly active brain.”

    Will these findings stir debate? Although it could advance study into diseases like Alzheimer’s, the research also suggests that the division between life and death may not be as clear as conventionally believed.

    Read OZY’s profile of the professor heralded as a pioneer of neuroeconomics.

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    Has JPMorgan Anointed Its Next CEO?

    The American investment bank has shuffled CFO Marianne Lake into a new role running its consumer lending division — a move some believe sets up the 49-year-old to become the first woman to head a Wall Street bank. Analysts say Lake’s new job will provide her with the necessary operational and executive experience to eventually replace CEO Jamie Dimon, while one source claims she and her replacement at CFO, Jenn Piepszak, are “front runners for the longer term.”

    Who’s her boss now? While reporting to COO Gordon Smith, Lake still has significant influence over the bank’s overall direction as a member of its operating committee.

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    UK to Enforce New Age Checks for Porn

    When the controversial age verification law, announced yesterday, takes effect July 15, porn producers and free video hosting sites such as PornHub will be required to enforce strict checks to ensure users are not under 18. To access adult content, consumers will need to submit credit card or passport information, or obtain an age-verification pass from a local store. Websites that fail to comply with the world’s first such law could be completely blocked in Britain.

    Is there a downside? Privacy advocates are up in arms over the possibility of a government-owned database of porn users, noting, “Data leaks could be disastrous.”

    Read OZY’s feature on how European kids are actually learning from porn.

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    This Banned Indian Booze Is Making a Comeback

    Mahua, a pot-distilled liquor made from the dried flowers of the mahua tree, has been excluded from India’s mainstream alcohol industry for years thanks to colonial-era restrictions. But while the spirit’s banned in some states and heavily regulated in others, it remains important to tribal communities, which have carried on making mahua at home. Now, OZY reports, advocates for indigenous drinks are fighting for its production, arguing it’s “deeply connected to Indian heritage.”

    When will mahua appear in Indians’ liquor cabinets? It could take time: Distillers are also fighting against a long-standing perception that mahua is a “country” drink.

  5. Iranian flags

    Iranian Boxer Cancels Return Home Over Fears of Arrest

    She’s fighting for her future. Sadaf Khadem says she won’t come back from France — where she won a fight last weekend in an Iranian flag-themed outfit, but without a head covering — after hearing she and her trainer would be arrested. It’s unclear whether they actually face warrants, but Iranian sporting authorities expect women to wear a hijab, pants and long sleeves when competing.

    What’s the bigger picture? Since more Iranian women are removing their hijabs in public to protest the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code, authorities could be looking to make an example of the 24-year-old Khadem.