The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Feud Intensifies Between Trump, Democrats

    “We are now in a constitutional crisis.” So said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee recommended that Attorney General William Barr be held in contempt for failing to produce the unredacted Mueller report. Hours earlier, President Donald Trump invoked executive privilege for the first time in his tenure to block access to it. Meanwhile, the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. in its own Russia inquiry.

    What’s Trump’s next move? Some believe the White House may be stalling to make room for potential negotiations with the legislative branch.

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    North Korea Launches Unidentified Projectile

    The South Korean military reported that today Pyongyang carried out its second launch in five days. While few details were immediately available, the development follows what North Korea claimed was a “strike drill” last weekend of rocket artillery and tactical guided weapons — though some experts said Pyongyang may have actually launched a new, more advanced short-range missile.

    What about future talks with Washington? Analysts say the recent uptick in launches signals that North Korea may be preparing to give up on diplomacy.

    Read OZY’s profile of North Korea’s “Spice Girl propagandist.”

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    Guaido Deputy Detained in Caracas

    The U.S. is warning the Venezuelan government of “consequences” after intelligence agents last night whisked away Edgar Zambrano, opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s right-hand man in the National Assembly. He was towed away in his own car after refusing to get out, and is believed to have been transported to the notorious El Helicoide prison.

    What’s next for Venezuela’s protest movement? Zambrano’s detention suggests a crackdown is coming against those involved in last week’s failed uprising — especially after the Constituent Assembly stripped him and six other lawmakers of parliamentary immunity.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on how Venezuela’s “coup” went wrong.

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    US-China Trade Talks Marred by Uncertainty

    As high-level negotiations resume today between Beijing and Washington, the two sides face perhaps the greatest challenges yet in resolving their simmering trade dispute. Tomorrow, U.S. tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports will jump from 10 to 25 percent — a move Chinese officials, who have reportedly taken a tougher stance in talks, said would provoke “necessary countermeasures.”

    What lies ahead? If observers thought both sides were close to reaching a deal as recently as a week ago, they may now wonder whether these talks will even hold up.

  5. Also Important…

    The Trump administration has slapped new sanctions on Iran targeting its metals industry. Uber is expected to price its initial public offering either below or at the midpoint of its target range. And Australia’s central bank has admitted that a typo made its way onto 46 million $50 bank notes.

    #OZYfact: Delhi’s Sunder Nursery Heritage Park is home to 300 varieties of trees, 45 types of rare plants and around 80 species of birds. 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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    Did Russia Interfere in South Africa’s Election?

    Russian operatives were preparing to influence Wednesday’s election by launching a disinformation campaign in favor of the governing African National Congress, according to documents seen by the media. A Russian nongovernmental organization connected to Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was apparently behind the plan. Researchers say there is no evidence the propaganda campaign had any effect.

    Haven’t we heard of Prigozhin before? According to the Mueller investigation, he runs Russia’s Internet Research Agency, which led the smear campaign against Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. election.

    Check out OZY’s take on how to stop Russian election meddling.

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    India’s Cattle Farmers Are Fleeing Massive Droughts

    Facing what they call the worst water shortage since 1972, more than 4,000 farmers from Maharashtra state have brought their livestock to “cattle camps” run by aid organizations. The families reside in makeshift tents while struggling to preserve the last of their cattle — and their livelihoods as farmers. The impact of extreme droughts has permanently damaged farmland, depleted groundwater and even pushed some debt-laden farmers to suicide.

    How widespread are these shortages? At least eight Indian states are experiencing droughts this season, prompting the government to deploy tanker trucks to communities in need.

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    Genetically Modified Viruses Save Teen From Superbug

    After a double lung transplant, a 15-year-old British teen was struck by a life-threatening infection that was resistant to antibiotics. Turning to an experimental therapy, doctors injected her with genetically modified bacteria-eating viruses, or bacteriophages. It was the first time the treatment, known as phage therapy, was used on this kind of bacteria, and a year later the patient is alive and well.

    Will phage therapy go mainstream? It requires further testing, but researchers hope this “historic” success could lead to new tools to fight the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant infections.

    Check out this OZY story about real-time diagnostics soothing patients’ concerns.

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    Disney Reports $353 Million Loss on Vice Media

    The Walt Disney Co. disclosed in its quarterly earnings yesterday that it has written off $353 million from its 11 percent stake in the digital publisher — the second such accounting decision in less than a year. Combined with last September’s $157 million write-down, Disney’s lost some $110 million more than it originally invested in Vice, once valued at $5.7 billion.

    Why does it matter? Analysts say it’s symbolic of the hit that once-vaunted digital media companies have taken, pointing to the sales of Mashable and Mic in recent years for far less than their original stated value.

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    Gambling Will Change How You Watch Sports

    With states racing to legalize gambling after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way last year, major league teams are developing a range of features to keep fans engaged by letting them place wagers during games, OZY reports. Innovations like in-stadium lounges, gambling apps and interactive TV channels offer teams not only a slice of a $60 billion industry — but also a fresh way to build lasting connections with fans.

    What’s the secret? One NBA executive says more enjoyable experiences in arenas will keep spectators coming back and interacting socially.