The Presidential Daily Brief


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    It’s a Boy! Meghan Markle Becomes a Royal Mom

    The Duchess of Sussex gave birth to her first royal offspring, a boy of 7 pounds, 3 ounces, Buckingham Palace announced. His father, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and son of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, was Meghan’s side for the birth. He said both parents are “absolutely thrilled” with their new son and thankful for the  public’s support during the pregnancy.

    Does he have a name? The parents are thinking of one. What’s more certain is that the baby is the eighth great grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and seventh in line to the throne.

    Read OZY’S feature on another American who fell in love with a prince. 

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    Iran Attack ‘Indications’ Prompt US Carrier Deployment

    The White House has ordered an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East after belligerent indications from Iran, according to national security adviser John Bolton. While the U.S. isn’t “seeking war,” he said, “We are fully prepared to respond to any attack.”

    Why now? American security sources cite evidence that Iran or its allies have moved both naval and ground forces recently, possibly preparing to attack U.S. forces. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Saturday that his nation didn’t seek escalated tension with the U.S., but would defend its Persian Gulf “lifeline.”

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    Flaming Jet Lands in Moscow; 41 Onboard Perish

    It’s a “miracle” anyone escaped. So said one of 37 survivors of the fiery emergency landing of an Aeroflot jetliner at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport Sunday. Just after takeoff, the Murmansk-bound Sukhoi Superjet 100, carrying 78 people, sent emergency signals, circled the airport and burst into flames as it skidded to a stop with full fuel tanks. Shared videos show passengers jumping onto an emergency slide as the plane’s rear burned.

    What caused this? Investigators could focus on survivors’ reports of a lightning strike, and on the Superjet model itself, which has seen other technical difficulties and a fatal crash the year after its 2011 introduction.

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    Cease-Fire May Have Quieted Gaza Violence

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed “massive strikes” after Palestinians fired hundreds of rockets from the Gaza Strip over the weekend. But an Egyptian government source says Israel has agreed to a renewed cease-fire, explaining a lull in hostilities last night. The two-day escalation killed four Israelis and at least 23 Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her 14-month-old niece, whose deaths Israel blamed on an errant Palestinian rocket.

    What now? Israel has yet to acknowledge the cease-fire, but it’s likely officials want to avoid a full-scale conflict like its 2014 Gaza incursion.

    Read OZY’s analysis of Israel’s elections.

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    Report: Boeing Kept Safety Alert Problem Secret

    It knew — in 2017. That’s what federal regulators found concerning a faulty system to warn pilots of sensor malfunctions that’s been linked to two fatal crashes of 737 MAX airliners. In addition, Boeing reportedly waited six weeks after the March Ethiopian Airlines crash to inform air carriers of the problem. The company offered only partial information and explanations following October’s Lion Air crash in Indonesia, investigators found.

    What are the consequences? Regulators are continuing their inquiry, including looking at the transparency of Boeing’s safety reviews, while the U.S. Congress is conducting its own probe.

    OZY investigates if 3D printing is the future of aviation.

  6. Also Important…

    The Shanghai Composite stock index lost 5.6 percent of its value today after President Donald Trump tweeted that he’d raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods this week, blindsiding Beijing in the middle of trade negotiations. The president also said special counsel Robert Mueller “should not testify” before Congress. And opposition candidate Laurentino Cortizo has been declared the “virtual” winner of yesterday’s Panamanian presidential election, though his opponent has refused to concede.

    #OZYfact: In the last year, the number of Taiwanese applicants to universities in China has increased fivefold. Read more on OZY.

    We’re hiring! OZY is looking for a prolific sports reporter who’s comfortable creating profiles, trend stories, data-driven articles and thought-pieces. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.


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    Child Development Scheme Folds Literacy Into Laundry

    Inspired by research showing kids and caregivers respond to educational stimuli in public spaces, charities are turning laundromats into quasi-preschools. Programs such as the Family Read & Play Spaces — which has outfitted 13 laundromats in New York City and Chicago with colorful play areas, books and posters — are exploiting time that predominantly low-income families spend waiting together.

    Is it coming to a laundromat near you? With costs as reasonable as $50 a month, child advocates hope laundromat owners will warm to the idea of setting up and maintaining the spaces themselves.

    OZY examines the gender literacy gap.

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    ‘Fortnite’ Craze Has Tech Titans Trying New Weapons

    Many fight in this drop zone, but few survive. Tech giants including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are taking on upstarts in gaming — like Epic Games and its paradigm-altering Fortnite. Microsoft’s Project xCloud streaming service will test well-known games starting this year, with cloud-based Apple Arcade and Google Stadia already in the works.

    How could they accomplish that? New and exciting games, of course. Epic’s free-to-play platform needed Fortnite to attract players, and experts say big tech will need some of that kind of magic to win this battle royal.

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    Migrant Workers Protest ‘Slavery’ in Lebanon

    Hundreds of maids, nannies, home care workers and other migrant workers rallied in Beirut Sunday, decrying the “kafala” system that gives employers almost total control of their lives. Hailing mostly from Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the demonstrators called out the government for permitting employers to confiscate passports and withhold salaries in a system that activists liken to slavery.

    Is Lebanon considering ending kafala? The government is facing pressure, with Amnesty International last month publishing a report that shamed Lebanon for its “inherently abusive” system that restricts workers’ freedom.

    Read OZY’s accounting of slavery in America.

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    Whites-Only Town Highlights South Africa’s Racial Divide

    It’s not a gray area. White South Africans are reportedly creating settlements that explicitly exclude Black citizens in the country’s northwest. One new settlement called Eureka already faces a building regulation lawsuit from the local government, and judges are pondering if an all-White town should be allowed to exist 25 years after apartheid. 

    How can they justify this? Eureka residents insist they are not racist, but are seeking refuge from anti-White discrimination, noting that one new political party specifically excludes White South Africans — a racial divide many worry could influence voters ahead of Wednesday’s general election

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    Kentucky Derby Disqualification Clouds Racing’s Future

    Maximum Security was first. The 3-year-old bay led the pack at Saturday’s 145th Kentucky Derby, but became the first-ever winner disqualified on an objection: Race stewards agreed that the horse drifted into the path of another, causing its jockey to “check hard,” disrupting other horses. Twenty-two minutes after the race, officials bumped Maximum Security to 17th place, elevating second-place Country House to the winner’s circle.

    Does it end there? As President Trump weighed in via Twitter, blaming “political correctness” for the overturn, Maximum Security’s co-owner says he might appeal, while others worry the disqualification is another blow to an already declining sport reeling from a spate of California racehorse deaths.