The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. us trade containers flag shutterstock 1307551153 (1)

    Latest US Trade Threat: Hike Tariffs on All Chinese Goods

    At least they agreed to keep talking. But Friday’s China-U.S. trade talks — on the day that President Donald Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports — did not resolve anything. American negotiators reportedly told their counterparts that if they can’t reach a deal in a month, all remaining Chinese goods, worth another $325 billion, would be taxed at a quarter of their value.

    And the good news? After some positive tweets about the negotiations from the president, stocks rose on Wall Street after a week rocked by trade war fears.

    Check out OZY’s look at European trade policy shifts

  2. release mueller report shutterstock 1359814256

    Trump-House Feud Is About What’s Not Happening

    First off, special counsel Robert Mueller will not testify next Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee as tentatively scheduled, as the White House won’t allow it. Also reportedly not happening is ex-presidential counsel Donald McGahn’s White House-requested public statement that Trump didn’t obstruct justice.

    What else isn’t happening? Trump’s star personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, canceled a trip to Ukraine to ask its newly-elected president to investigate Democrats Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, the top presidential challenger, blaming both “enemies of the president” in Kiev and Democrats’ “spin” that he’d be meddling in the 2020 election.

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    Uber Shares Swoon in Big Wall Street Debut

    Uber Technologies Inc. stumbled as it began life as a publicly traded company Friday. With a conservative IPO price of $45 a share, it opened at $42 and dropped to $41.57 — 7.6 percent below its offering price. After a decade as Silicon Valley’s beacon of disruption, the ridesharing giant dropped investors short of where they expected to go.

    What does this mean for other startups? Dropping from last year’s $120 billion estimate to today’s $76.5 billion valuation, Uber’s shuddering takeoff should be worrisome to other tech stars going public in the coming months, like Slack and WeWork

  4. venezuela protest flag shutterstock 747177115

    A Correspondent Reflects on Venezuela’s Chaos

    When Maria Isabel Sánchez started as AFP bureau chief in Caracas in 2015, the country had plummeted into total chaos. Long lines for oil or toilet paper were standard while government and opposition propaganda was inescapable. But nothing was more disturbing, Sánchez writes, than the constant and wanton violence, which kept most people locked indoors after 7 pm. This year she counted the days until her March departure during a nationwide blackout.

    What’s going on now? The mayhem continues, with opposition legislators fleeing to embassies after being stripped of their immunity.

    Read this OZY feature about the billionaire who’s trying to feed Venezuelans.

  5. Also Important…

    Forty-four U.S. states are suing Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 other drugmakers, alleging they conspire to fix inflated drug prices. Authorities found three sets of human remains after a Saturday gas station explosion in Virginia. And the U.S. is sending a Patriot missile defense battery to the Middle East — in addition to a carrier group and B-52 bombers deployed earlier — saying it’s responding to a threat of an unspecified Iranian military action.

    In the week ahead: On Monday, President Trump will host populist Hungarian President Viktor Orbán at the White House. The 11-day Cannes film festival will begin Tuesday on the French Riviera.  And on Thursday, golf’s top pros, including resurgent Tiger Woods, will tee off for the PGA Championship.

    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. azores sailboat sao miguel shutterstock 38510782

    A Cocaine Windfall Still Pains an Atlantic Outpost

    A smuggler with a damaged sailboat hid stashes of cocaine near the edge of São Miguel island in the Azores in 2001, but bad weather freed hundreds of kilos of cocaine bricks. Some of the hitherto poor locals became rich, trading in the especially potent powder from Venezuela, while the Sicilian smuggler was imprisoned.

    What’s happened since? The trafficker was released on a technicality, and Portugal, which governs the islands, decriminalized drug possession. Many islanders say the cheap and plentiful drug turned them into addicts; and the islands have become a popular smuggling stopover.

  2. elderly man with e bike shutterstock 470348447

    Can E-Bikes Help Us Live Longer?

    The boost may be more than pedal power. Some experts believe that e-bikes, which riders pedal while assisted by a battery-powered motor, can improve older Americans’ health. Retirement-age people often find e-bikes more agreeable than regular ones, and that enables cardiovascular exercise while the movement and other stimuli can, some believe, alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s and even Alzheimer’s.

    Are there downsides? Seniors, whether walking or biking, face a greater risk of getting hurt in traffic. That means that as more start pedaling, local governments will need to improve safety by adding bike lanes and reducing speed limits.

    Read this OZY piece on homelessness among older Americans.

  3. stem cells shutterstock 248898337

    Stem Cells: The Future of Medicine … and Fraud

    While stem cell treatments have revolutionized medicine, they’ve also spawned modern snake oil pitches. As of 2017, there were 700 direct marketing clinics feeding a multibillion-dollar unproven treatment industry. It includes such things as amniotic cell treatments — purported to treat ailments like multiple sclerosis and kidney failure — being offered by disgraced doctors and beauticians.

    Can they do this? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been slow to crack down on untested therapies, leaving it up to patients to seek redress in civil court.

    Read this OZY feature about the researcher trying to decode autism.

  4. Screenshot 2019 05 09 at 5.35.30 pm

    She’s Laying Down the Law for Restaurant Harassers

    Indiana restaurateur Martha Hoover runs 14 Indianapolis-area dining establishments, but she’s grounded in law. Despite her lifelong love of cooking — particularly the French variety — she made a career out of upholding the law as a prosecutor. Specializing in sex crimes, she refused to let industry norms become a problem for her female employees once she decided to go into the culinary sector.

    How does she accomplish that? All of Hoover’s employees must attend her unique all-day bias training sessions, and, working with a national hospitality industry activist group, she’s helping rein in bro culture elsewhere too.

  5. sinclair broadcasting protest shutterstock 1055971001

    Can Sinclair Make Sports Political?

    This month Sinclair Broadcast Group outbid rivals to acquire 21 regional sports networks spun off from Fox Sports so new parent Disney wouldn’t monopolize pro teams’ TV rights. That’s concerning, posits sportswriter and Deadspin founder Will Leitch, as Sinclair is known for compelling news anchors at its 191 television stations to recite conservative editorials.

    Could this be a departure? Not really, Leitch argues, as sports broadcasters already lean right or, in the case of ESPN, yielded to pressure to silence left-leaning commentary in the wake of pro football’s national anthem protests.

    Read OZY’s look at how gambling is changing how we watch sports.