The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Hollywood Actress Doris Day Dies at Age 97

    One of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Doris Day, died aged 97. The singer turned actress lit up the big screen in the 1950s and 60s. She starred in comedies such as Pillow Talk and thrillers like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. Day became an animal rights activists in her later years, and it was her Doris Day Animal Foundation that disclosed her death early this morning. 

    What philosophy did Day celebrate? Day embraced the chorus of her signature tune throughout her life.  The song began with ’Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.” 

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    China Retaliates for US Tariffs  

    China is raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods in response to Trump increasing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. This comes on the heels of Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, telling Fox News that ‘both sides will pay’ for Trump’s trade war. Economists support his view, which contradicts Trump’s claim that tariffs would simply enrich America.

    How big a hit will American consumers take? The conservative National Taxpayers Union estimated the U.S. tariffs alone will offset a quarter of taxpayers’ savings from Trump’s signature 2017 tax law.

    OZY catches up on Trump’s international challenges.

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    Sweden Reopens Julian Assange Rape Case

    State prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson says Sweden will once again investigate the WikiLeaks founder on a rape accusation. Seven years ago, Assange sought refuge in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over the case, but after conflicts with its guest, the country allowed British authorities to arrest Assange last month on bail-jumping charges.

    Will the U.K. send him to Sweden? Persson said she’ll file an arrest warrant after Assange serves his 50-week jail time in Britain, but it will be up to British authorities whether to extradite him — while his lawyers fear Sweden will hand him over to face U.S. conspiracy charges.

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    Saudi Oil Tankers ‘Sabotaged’ Near Iran

    Amid increasing regional tensions, Saudi Arabia said today that two of its tankers were among four ships deliberately damaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, just outside the Persian Gulf’s entrance. The “sabotage attack” did not cause any casualties, but “significant” unspecified damage. Meanwhile, the U.S. is sending warships, bombers and missiles to the region and warning that Iran or its proxies may be preparing to attack targets that include oil shipments.

    What is Iran’s reaction? Tehran called the attacks “worrisome and dreadful,” while a Revolutionary Guards leader told lawmakers that the U.S lacks the strength to wage war on Iran.

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    Duterte Expected to Consolidate Power in Philippines Election

    He’s not on the midterm ballot, but the Philippines’ 60 million voters can’t ignore the influence of President Rodrigo Duterte. Today they’re voting to fill 18,000 offices, including half the country’s senators, 200 representatives and thousands of local officials. Observers say aligning with the swaggering populist can’t hurt candidates, as he enjoys 80 percent popularity despite international condemnation of his brutal drug war that’s killed an estimated 20,000 people.

    Who’s expected to win? Duterte’s allies are likely to carry the day, boosting his chances of extending term limits and reestablishing the death penalty.

    Read OZY’s look at Filipinos’ love of President Trump.

  6. Also Important…

    Authorities in Virginia have arrested a Massachusetts man on federal murder and assault charges involving a machete attack on two Appalachian Trail hikers. Women’s rights activists and prominent Afghans have expressed outrage over Saturday’s daylight murder of Mina Mangal, a television host and political adviser. And a San Francisco journalist says police raided his home after he refused to reveal the source of a police report on the February death of the city’s public defender.

    #OZYfact: In the decade ending in 2016, the population of Australians of Chinese origin nearly doubled to 1.2 million. 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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    Scientists Urge Conservation … in Space

    To them, it’s not simply cosmic debris. Some astrophysicists are proposing putting 85 percent of the solar system off-limits to mining or development, fearing a “gold rush” could rob moons, asteroids and planets of water and precious metals like platinum and gold. They argue that natural features like Mars’ Valles Marineris, the solar system’s largest known canyon, deserve protection like those on Earth.

    When will space mining missions begin? Perhaps within 10 years, though a British asteroid-mining company plans to launch a satellite sooner to scope out prospects.

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    States Shift Migrants’ Health Care Out of the ER

    Emergency rooms are legally required to treat everyone, regardless of immigration status, but they’re not designed for long-term care of chronic diseases. U.S. officials estimate 6,500 undocumented migrants suffer from kidney failure, often waiting until they’re near death to seek dialysis in the ER, at a cost of $300,000 per person annually. But seven states have implemented systems — from nonprofit-sponsored insurance to Medicaid-funded care — to give residents access to cheaper dialysis.

    Could those systems be expanded? Anti-immigration groups are pushing back, but migrant advocates are seeking coverage for organ transplants, which they argue are cheaper than dialysis.

    OZY looks at how Mexico welcomes migrants.

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    Facebook Dispute Blamed for Fresh Violence in Sri Lanka

    The social network’s been accused of failing to stamp out sectarian hate speech, and now online taunts are believed to have sparked more attacks. A crowd of men threw rocks at mosques and Muslim-linked businesses in the western city of Chilaw Sunday, prompting police to impose a curfew. The latest violence follows the deaths of 100 in a Christian-Muslim clash in nearby Negombo last week.

    Will peace return? After deadly Easter attacks killed more than 250 people, authorities worry sectarian violence will continue — and they’ve given police sweeping arrest and detention powers to tamp it down.

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    Alyssa Milano’s ‘Sex Strike’ Confuses Abortion Rights Allies

    They’re hardly Charmed. Some supporters of abortion rights — which have recently been targeted in a number of restrictive state laws — have praised the intent behind the #MeToo activist’s suggestion that women refrain from sex “until we get bodily autonomy back.” But they questioned Milano’s method, saying it sends confusing messages about empowerment and restricting what women do with their bodies.

    What does the other side say? For their part, many abortion opponents encouraged Milano, with one posting, “Think of all the abortions that will be avoided.”

    Read this OZY op-ed suggesting miscarriages be treated as manslaughter.

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    The Pro Basketball Players With Side Hustles

    “The 12th man on a NBA team makes more than a WHOLE WNBA team.” Thus tweeted the MVP runner-up for the Women’s National Basketball Association, Liz Cambage, driving home a point about the sport’s inequality. She also noted that the lowest salary for an NBA referee is more than the highest for a WNBA player, which maxes out at $117,500. Cambage is so displeased with working conditions that she’s likely to sit out the 2019 season.

    How do WNBA players cope? They get creative. Half play in other countries, OZY reports, to supplement the league’s $41,965 minimum salary, while others do offseason community work on behalf of the team to pick up extra cash.