The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. colombo sri lanka shutterstock 1141635959

    Threats Loom Over Sri Lanka as Death Toll Lowered

    Some mosques in the island nation held Friday prayers despite warnings of fresh attacks following Sunday’s bombings, which were claimed by ISIS. The presumed ringleader is believed to have died in those attacks but security services are still hunting for other suspects — prompting Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. to issue travel warnings to their citizens. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry lowered the official death toll by more than 100 to “about 253,” citing calculation errors.

    How big is the investigation? Dozens of suspects are already in custody on a variety of charges, while the FBI and Scotland Yard are among the six foreign law enforcement agencies chipping in to help the effort.

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    Kim Jong Un Hints at Fresh Tensions With US

    During the North Korean leader’s two-day visit to Russia, where he met President Vladimir Putin for the first time, state media reported that Kim said the U.S. acted in “bad faith” during recent talks. He also warned that peace on the Korean Peninsula depends “entirely” on Washington, adding that Pyongyang “will gird itself for every possible situation.”

    Is this just bluster? Some experts believe Kim’s diplomatic efforts, which also included a recent trip to China, actually indicate that international sanctions are working.

    Read OZY’s profile of the diplomats playing the long game with Pyongyang.

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    France’s Macron Pledges Economic Reforms

    In a speech at the Elysee Palace in Paris, President Emmanuel Macron offered a long-awaited response to the anti-government yellow vest movement that’s produced months of unrest. Acknowledging a “lack of trust” in the system, he promised higher pensions and more than $5 billion in income tax cuts, but he also emphasized that it’s time to restore public order.

    What’s on Macron’s mind? Considering both his predecessors lasted only one term, he’s under pressure to make sure these reforms translate to lasting change — especially since the far-right National Rally party remains popular.

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    Reports: Uber Ratchets Down Valuation 

    Following Lyft’s lukewarm performance on the market since going public last month, Uber is tempering expectations ahead of its own highly anticipated initial public offering. Believed to be considering a valuation of $80 billion to $90 billion — down from $120 billion, according to the highest estimates — it’s expected to offer shares at around $44 to $50 apiece.

    Is there a silver lining? Tech giant PayPal is rumored to be snapping up $500 million worth of Uber stock, which some investors might interpret as a vote of confidence in the deeply unprofitable company.

    Check out OZY’s Special Briefing on this year’s tech IPOs.

  5. Also Important…

    Local officials in Mozambique have evacuated tens of thousands of people as the second cyclone in six weeks hit the impoverished African country. Two Los Angeles universities ordered around 200 unvaccinated students and employees to stay home after they were potentially exposed to measles. And Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, a quarterback from the University of Oklahoma, was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals as this year’s top NFL draft pick.

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.

    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!


  1. ebola epidemic evacuation shutterstock 325626257

    Congo’s Ebola Doctors Threaten Strike

    Fed up with weeks of threats and assaults, hundreds of doctors and nurses in the country’s Ebola hot spot are demanding that the government take concrete steps to ensure their security — or else they’ll go on strike next week. Years of conflict have bred distrust toward local authorities, which means health workers are targeted for referring patients to government clinics to treat a disease many believe is either fake or a foreign conspiracy.

    How disastrous could this be? Besides threatening the fight against Ebola, the strike would also affect millions of locals suffering from scourges like malnutrition and malaria.

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    Amazon Floats Free One-Day Delivery

    What a difference a day makes. The retail giant announced an $800 million plan yesterday to speed up its current two-day delivery service for Prime members, part of an effort to boost the premium service’s lagging subscription rates. Although it’ll be rolled out in North America first, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky noted the plan would amount to “a global improvement in speed” for Prime.

    How are Amazon’s numbers? While the Seattle-based company posted a record $3.6 billion profit in the first quarter of 2019, significant spending this year could hamper its future revenue growth.

    Read this OZY feature about the “click and collect” wars.

  3. Color photo of an aerial view of boats lining up to form the words S.O.S and ACID OCEAN

    The World’s Oceans Are Getting Stormier

    According to a study published in the journal Science, extreme ocean winds have been gaining speed and waves have been growing taller since 1985 — and climate change is likely the culprit. Using a network of satellites and ocean buoys to track those two factors, researchers from the University of Melbourne found that the biggest increase in extreme weather was in the Southern Ocean, where wind speeds grew by 8 percent and waves by 5 percent.

    What are the risks? Not only are coastal communities being hit by more intense flooding and erosion, experts say, but bigger waves could also break up Antarctic ice at a faster rate.

    Catch up on OZY’s original series, The New Frontiers of Climate Change.

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    Clothing Brands Are Rethinking Their Fabrics

    Retailers are increasingly diving into the emerging market of wellness textiles, offering products infused with oil, charcoal and vitamins that trap body heat, improve circulation and moisturize skin, OZY reports. Called “cosmetotextiles,” these fabrics help clothing firms tap into a wellness industry estimated to be worth $4.2 trillion. And it’s not just about beauty: Sportswear, summerwear and even military clothing could also benefit from these innovations.

    How safe are these products? With regulation in its nascent stages — some products are being certified as medical devices — experts suggest consumers should be careful.

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    NBA Hall of Famer John Havlicek Dies at 79

    “He was a champion in every sense.” That’s how the Boston Celtics described the 13-time NBA All-Star and franchise points leader, who died Thursday after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Havlicek spent all 16 years of his career in Boston, winning eight championships and scoring over 1,000 points each season. A talented multisport athlete, he also played baseball and football for Ohio State, where he helped win the national basketball championship in 1960.

    What impact did Havlicek have on the NBA? Known for his stamina and versatility as a guard and forward, Havlicek revolutionized the “sixth man” role that had been created for teammate Frank Ramsey.