The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Invokes Executive Privilege to Withhold Mueller Report 

    President Trump used his executive privilege to block the release of Robert Mueller’s full redacted Russia report. Executive privilege enables the President to withhold information from other government branches. The move is exacerbating tensions between the Republican President and the Democratic-led Congress, which is now holding Attorney General William Bar in contempt for not complying to handover the report. 

    Is Executive Privilege in the Constitution? While the doctrine is not overtly present in the US constitution, the Supreme Court has ruled that executive privilege is vital for the government to function. 


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    Iran Nuclear Deal Faces Uncertain Future

    Exactly one year after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, announced his country is reversing some of its commitments to that pact. In a televised address today, Rouhani said Iran would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water reserves as required by the agreement. He urged the deal’s other signatories to compel the Trump administration to ease its sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking sectors.

    What’s next? The U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia have 60 days to convince Washington — or else Rouhani says Tehran will resume enriching uranium.

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    One Dead, 8 Injured in Colorado School Shooting

    Two students are in custody following an attack yesterday on the STEM School Highlands Ranch, a public K-12 charter school in suburban Denver. An 18-year-old male student was killed in the assault — the state’s fourth school shooting since the massacre at Columbine High School 20 years ago. “Everyone thought it was a theater play at first,” a 13-year-old witness said. Police have not commented on a motive.

    How have officials responded? Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from the district, called for stricter gun legislation, while the school will remain closed this week.

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    Asia Bibi, Acquitted of Blasphemy, Leaves Pakistan

    Following the reversal last year of her conviction for blasphemy, Bibi has flown to Canada to reunite with her family. The Christian woman was sentenced to death in 2010 for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad, but always maintained her innocence. The case had polarized Pakistan, with liberals supporting the Supreme Court’s decision and hard-line religious conservatives threatening retribution against Bibi and her supporters.

    What’s the bigger picture? Blasphemy remains a highly sensitive issue in Pakistan, and critics say such allegations — even if they’re false — are often leveled to settle personal disputes.

    Read OZY’s feature about Pakistan’s female ride-share drivers.

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    New York Times: Trump Lost $1 Billion Over 10 Years

    Citing newly obtained printouts of federal tax documents, an investigation by The New York Times revealed that businesses run by President Trump lost a total of $1.17 billion on unsuccessful deals between 1985 and 1994. A lawyer for Trump said the information was “demonstrably false,” adding that IRS transcripts are “notoriously inaccurate” — though the newspaper said it confirmed the documents against records in a public IRS database of high-earners.

    How does Trump rank among wealthy Americans? The Times asserts he lost more money than almost any other individual during that time, and in one two-year stretch, more than double the next taxpayer’s losses.

  6. Also Important…

    South Africans are heading to the polls in the first nationwide elections since President Cyril Ramaphosa came to power last year. Drivers from Uber and Lyft are planning a strike today in nearly a dozen U.S. cities to protest sinking wages. And nine people are dead after a bomb exploded outside a Sufi shrine in Lahore, Pakistan.

    #OZYfact: South Africa ranks lower than any other country, apart from South Korea, when it comes to the gender gap between teachers and principals. 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.


  1. eurovision flags shutterstock 415727110

    Israel Girds for Eurovision Protests

    As tensions rise ahead of the popular European song contest next week, Israel is reportedly preparing to deny some pro-Palestinian protesters entry. Thousands of tourists are expected to arrive in Tel Aviv for the globally televised event May 14-18. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson clarified that only “anti-Israel activists … whose sole purpose is to disturb the event” would be blocked.

    Who’s behind the protests? The Palestinian-led BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement has encouraged performers to withdraw from the event — while Iceland’s leather-clad “techno-dystopian” act challenged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a wrestling match.

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    Digital Tipping Is Coming to an Industry Near You

    Already well-established in China’s creative industry, digital tipping is making its way to the United States, OZY reports. Championed by a growing crop of startups, it ensures that content creators and service providers — whether musicians, gamers, podcasters or financial sector firms — are properly compensated. Founders of online tipping platforms say those who proactively reach out to fans could turn micropayments into big profits.

    Is that a guarantee? Some experts suggest the U.S., where online consumption is more individualized, needs a cultural shift before creators see the kind of cash their Chinese counterparts currently enjoy.

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    Report: Yemeni Officials Involved in Organ Trafficking

    An investigation by Al Jazeera has implicated officials in Cairo’s Yemeni Embassy in an organ trafficking ring dating back to 2014. Recruiters are said to have flown impoverished Yemenis to Egypt, where they received around $5,000 in exchange for donating a kidney to a foreign recipient. Embassy officials allegedly provided illegal approval for transplants, which are only legal between members of the same family. Several Egyptian hospitals have also been tied to the scheme.

    How many Yemenis were exploited? An anti-trafficking organization said it had recorded around 1,000 cases, but estimated there were tens of thousands more uncounted organ sales.

    Read OZY’s Flashback about what sank Yemen’s once-bustling port.

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    Holocaust Museum Joins Boycott of Italian Book Fair

    The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum has joined a number of writers and organizations in boycotting the Turin Book Fair over its inclusion of Altaforte, a publisher with ties to the far-right CasaPound party and whose director admits to being a fascist. Holocaust survivor and writer Halina Birenbaum has also pulled out of the event, along with historian Carlo Ginzburg and popular Italian cartoonist Zerocalcare.

    How is the book fair reacting? By doubling down: With Altaforte planning to publish right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s book, organizers say the fair provides an opportunity for writers to engage in needed debate.

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    Liverpool Stuns With 4-0 Victory Over Barcelona

    A packed crowd at Anfield watched the underdogs come back from last week’s 3-0 loss in Spain to charge into their second successive Champions League final — the first time since 1986 a team has overcome a three-goal first-leg deficit in the semifinals. Barcelona had been the overwhelming favorite, especially with injured Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench, but substitute Georginio Wijnaldum shut them down, scoring twice in just 122 seconds.

    What’s next for Liverpool? Depending on who wins today’s other semifinal match, they’ll face either Ajax or Tottenham on June 1.

    Check out OZY’s feature on the next crop of European soccer stars.