The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. venezuela protest barcelonashutterstock 624687134

    Venezuela Braces for More Unrest After ‘Coup’ Attempt

    More turmoil awaits the crisis-stricken Latin American nation after clashes erupted yesterday between government troops and forces loyal to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Embattled President Nicolás Maduro described Guaidó’s “Operation Freedom” — an ultimately failed gamble to spark a broader uprising — as a coup attempt, while Venezuela’s intelligence chief appeared to break ranks from the president. Guaidó has called for a massive march today.

    Who won this standoff? While enough of the military remains loyal to Maduro to keep him in power for now, analysts say yesterday’s events indicate neither side is as strong as they thought.

  2. protect mueller sign at protest shutterstock 1225340527

    Mueller Objected to Barr’s Memo on Russia Probe Conclusions

    Attorney General William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, saying that he offered to show Special Counsel Robert Mueller the four-page summary of Mueller’s 448-page report. Mueller previously sent Barr a letter in March, stating that he disagreed with the synopsis and the kind of media attention the synopsis generated. 

    How is Barr defending himself? Although Mueller’s report didn’t absolve Trump, Barr testified that Mueller repeatedly said that he would have not found President Trump guilty of obstructing justice even if the president could be indicted. 

    Don’t miss the latest installment of OZY’s Donald Dossier.

  3. memorial candle for mass shooting shutterstock 436693627

    Two Dead in North Carolina College Shooting

    Campus authorities at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte are planning a vigil today to honor two students killed by a gunman yesterday. Four others were injured when a 22-year-old, who’s been arrested, opened fire with a pistol inside a campus building. Police haven’t yet established a motive. “This is not in his DNA,” the suspect’s grandfather told the Associated Press.

    What’s the latest on gun control? Although the first gun restriction bill since 1994 is now in Congress, it’s unlikely to make it through the GOP-controlled Senate — and even if it does, President Donald Trump has promised a veto.

    Read OZY’s feature on the unexpected lingering effect of school shootings.

  4. apple store shutterstock 107851007

    Apple Reports Mixed Quarterly Results

    Although iPhone sales dropped 17 percent in the first three months of 2019 — while profits slid 16 percent to $11.56 billion and revenue dipped 5 percent to $58 billion — those results still beat analysts’ expectations. CEO Tim Cook said his company expects to “pick up the pace” after a disappointing several months, which included an underwhelming holiday season, projecting revenue of up to $54.5 billion for the current quarter. Shares jumped 5 percent in after-hours trading yesterday.

    What should Apple be doing? Besides ensuring iPhone sales don’t continue sliding, experts say the company should prepare to shift away from its traditional strength and focus on more global needs.

  5. Also Important…

    Japanese Emperor Naruhito has ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne and marked the beginning of the Reiwa era. President Trump and congressional Democrats have agreed to spend $2 trillion on U.S. infrastructure, but have yet to iron out the details. And NASA experts are investigating a partial power outage on the International Space Station that delayed the launch of a SpaceX cargo capsule.

    #OZYfact: The U.S. sports gambling market is worth some $60 billion — which is why sports mutual funds and day trading platforms want in. 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!


  1. gaza border square shutterstock 408336367

    Israel Restricts Gaza Fishing Zone After Rocket Attack

    Israel announced that it will reduce the Gaza Strip’s fishing zone from 15 to 6 nautical miles after it said a rocket was fired from the Palestinian territory. Israel blames the Islamic Jihad group for the attack, but the Gaza-based organization denied responsibility. Either way, the livelihoods of some 4,000 fishermen and 1,500 merchants will likely be affected as the holy month of Ramadan begins Sunday.

    Could the conflict get worse? Some Israeli rights groups argue that reducing the fishing zone amounts to collective punishment, which risks making residents more desperate and spurring more conflict.

    Don’t miss OZY’s roundup of Israel’s recent elections.

  2. bribe envelope changing hands shutterstock 715144735

    Report: Financial Sector Lobbying Is on the Rise in DC

    Wall Street banks and other financial firms are spending more money to influence Washington policymaking than before the 2008 financial crisis, according to a new report by Americans for Financial Reform. The nonprofit coalition found the financial industry spent nearly $2 billion on lobbying during the 2017-2018 election cycle — 35 percent more than in the last non-presidential election. The National Association of Realtors and Bloomberg LP topped the list.

    How was the money divided? Neither major party can claim the moral high ground, since Republicans received 53 percent and Democrats 47 percent of party-specific contributions.

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    From Brooklyn to Reykjavik, This Rabbi Is Fighting for Judaism

    Due to bureaucratic hurdles and a low Jewish population in the Nordic nation, Judaism is not formally recognized by the Icelandic government — but 27-year-old Avi Feldman is campaigning to change that, OZY reports. The young rabbi is a long way from home: Born and raised in Crown Heights, New York, Feldman and his family migrated to Iceland and set up near Reykjavík Harbor, making him the first rabbi in the island nation since World War II.

    What challenges does he face? His efforts might be complicated by Iceland’s open criticism of Israel, which has prompted some local Jews to keep a low profile.

  4. Barack Obama 2016 Charlotte shutterstock 448638610

    Are the Obamas Behind Your Next Netflix Binge?

    Launched last year by ex-President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle, Higher Ground Productions announced a lineup of new Netflix projects yesterday. They include a Frederick Douglass biopic, a documentary about the early days of the disability rights movement and an adaptation of Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk. Another four productions, ranging from scripted dramas to family programming, are also in the works. The company aims to focus on stories that reflect a range of “interests and experiences,” according to Michelle.

    What’s the timeline? All in various stages of development, the projects will be rolled out over the next several years.

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    USA Gymnastics Cuts New Medical Chief

    Edward Nyman spent just one day as USA Gymnastics’ inaugural director of sports medicine and science. In a cryptic statement announcing his dismissal yesterday, the federation cited a “conflict of interest.” Nyman is the third top-tier management hire since August to have lasted less than a week, a pattern critics say reflects the organization’s struggle to bounce back after the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.

    How long will that scandal hamper USA Gymnastics? Athletes and advocates say the organization hasn’t fully grasped the gravity of the Nassar case — pointing to its pick of a male medical chief as evidence.

    Read OZY’s profile of the #MeToo hero American sports needed.