The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. hong kong extradition law protests shutterstock 1416523730

    Tens of Thousands Protest Hong Kong Extradition Bill

    Is this their last chance? Worried that they’ll be subject to the same repression experienced by the rest of the People’s Republic of China, protesters in semi-autonomous Hong Kong thronged the city’s streets today. It was the largest of multiple demonstrations against a proposed extradition law they say would allow China to “abduct” its political opponents. The city has largely been safe from such political arrests. Protesters accused city police of restricting their movements.

    Could this work? That’s unlikely. In 2014, the Umbrella Movement’s 79-day occupation failed to win concessions, and pro-Beijing parties have a majority in parliament, which is to debate the bill Wednesday

  2. sudan shutterstock 1270364794

    Civil Disobedience Urged After Sudan Nabs Opposition Leaders

    It probably shocked few that Sudanese forces opened fire on protesters last week. Disputed casualty figures run as high as 100 killed, and the brutality has elicited comparisons to China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. It’s been noted that key junta member Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo was involved in the Janjaweed militia, infamous for its role in what many regard as genocide in Darfur.

    What’s the latest? The opposition has called for mass civil disobedience starting today after yesterday’s arrest of two key protest leaders, Mohamed Esmat and Ismail Jalab after they met with Ethiopia’s prime minister, who offered to mediate.

    Read OZY’s Flashback on why al-Qaida left Sudan.

  3. migrants lining up in southern mexico shutterstock 1410956711

    Trump Calls Off Mexico Tariff Threat, Citing Migrant Deal

    President Donald Trump “indefinitely suspended” his threat of escalating tariffs, starting Monday, on $350 billion Mexican goods after exacting an agreement to curb migration into the U.S. The Friday night announcement ended a tense week in which fears of economic downturn upset Democrats, Republicans and investors alike, with business leaders warning that tariffs would cost consumers, automakers and the agricultural sector.

    What will the deal do? Its “unprecedented steps” include nationwide Mexican troop deployments, especially at the Honduran border, while expanding a policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico to await processing. But the deal’s not done, the countries announced, and requires 90 days to finalize provisions.

  4. tennis star ashleigh barty shutterstock 1341636917

    Eighth-Seed Ashleigh Barty Wins French Open

    The 23-year-old Australian who’d quit tennis for professional cricket in 2014 beat Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova Saturday, winning the French Open and her first Grand Slam trophy. She won 6-1, 6-3 against the 19-year-old and became the first Australian to capture an individual Paris title since Margaret Court 46 years ago. “It’s unbelievable, I’m a little speechless,” she said after the victory.

    What about the men? World No. 1 Novak Djokovic ended his 26-match grand slam streak, losing to Dominic Thiem, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5. Today Thiem reprises last year’s final, playing 11-time champion Rafael Nadal. 


  5. census 2020 form shutterstock 790714156

    House to Vote on Holding Cabinet Members in Contempt

    Democratic leaders of the House Oversight Committee charge that the Trump administration “interfered directly and aggressively” with the panel’s Monday interview with former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The administration tried to prevent the interview and then limited Kobach’s responses, they charge, about his advocacy — reportedly starting before Trump’s election — for asking about citizenship on the 2020 Census and discouraging minority participation. Republican committee members called Kobach’s involvement “peripheral and inconsequential.”

    What will they vote on? Their resolution would hold Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to deliver subpoenaed documents on the Census issue.

  6. guided missile cruiser uss chancellorsville us navy

    US, Russia Blame Each Other for Nautical Near Miss

    They battled with words — and pictures — after warships of their respective navies cruised as close as 50 feet apart. The Pentagon said the guided missile cruiser Chancellorsville had to reverse its engines to avoid hitting the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov in the Philippine Sea. Russia, locating the incident in the East China Sea, blamed the American vessel for the encounter. Leaked photos bolster the U.S. story.

    Why would this happen? One retired U.S. Navy captain called it unusual — Russian forces normally make such moves in or near home waters — but thought President Vladimir Putin encouraged the move to show solidarity with China’s visiting president.

  7. helicopters in helmand province afghanistan shutterstock 1226913847

    Marine Returns to a Dying Afghan Province

    Christopher Jones was a wide-eyed U.S. Marine when he first landed in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2010. In 2019, he returned to find most of the gains he and his comrades fought and bled for had vanished, along with faith that Americans might have the Afghans’ best interests at heart. Jones’ heartbreaking account describes a people waiting endlessly for an elusive peace.

    Will it ever come? If Washington has anything to say about it, maybe. Negotiations with the Taliban are ongoing with a Trump administration anxious to end the longest U.S. war.

    Read this OZY profile on the man talking to the Taliban.

  8. Also Important…

    Four people were killed in Saturday clashes in India’s West Bengal State between members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and a rival local party. Washington has given Turkey until the end of July to cancel a planned purchase of a Russian missile system, or forfeit its acquisition of advanced U.S. fighter jets. And tens of thousands protested today in Hong Kong against the autonomous region’s legislation that would grant China extradition rights.

    In the week ahead: Today St. Louis has a home-ice shot at their first hockey championship when its Blues play Boston in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. Tonight James Corden will host the 73rd Tony Awards. And Wednesday is the 25th anniversary of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman, for which NFL star O.J. Simpson was famously acquitted.

    OZY Fest is back! Join OZY in New York’s Central Park July 20-21, where some of the biggest names and boldest thinkers — from John Legend and Trevor Noah to Stacey Abrams and Malcolm Gladwell — will help make this year’s OZY Fest the most memorable yet. Click here for tickets.


  1. steph curry upset keith allison flickr

    Raptors One Win From NBA Title After Crushing Warriors

    It was supposed to be boring. The Golden State Warriors superteam blamed for taking the mystery out of the NBA with its unmatched prowess lost its immortality last night, outgunned by Kwahi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors, 105-92. For the first time in these finals, Leonard was the unquestioned best man on the court, scoring 36 points and snatching 12 rebounds.

    Can Warriors fans still hope? While the life seems to be draining from the defending champs’ dynasty, they can: Klay Thompson, who lead his team with 28 points Friday, has recovered and calf-injured star Kevin Durant might possibly return for Monday’s Game 5 in Canada.

  2. idlib syria child with destroyed tank shutterstock 1203193720

    Why Hospitals Are the Unhealthiest Places in Syria

    According to the Physicians for Human Rights, which monitors medical attacks worldwide, Russia and the Syrian regime bombed 20 hospitals last month in the last rebel-held enclave, Idlib. Doctors who serve the area are now withholding hospital coordinates from the U.N. — meant to protect the facilities — out of fear that they’re being used for targeting. 

    Could the bloodshed get worse? With 3 million civilians trapped in Idlib, which is controlled by al-Qaida-linked groups, an all-out regime offensive could trigger one of the war’s worst humanitarian disasters.

  3. man gaming shutterstock 402752074

    Dudes Talk on Game Chat, Not Phones

    When millennial men hit 30, their social life often begins to die. Friends from college and their early 20s peel off, with neither party keen to pick up the phone. In-game chat functions fill that void. Games with a large strategy and group work component, like the ever-popular Overwatch or League of Legends, rely on players communicating through headsets — improving social outcomes in the bargain.

    What is it about gaming? One researcher posits that young boys are not given “emotional tools,” which allow for easy conversation, creating men who need the crutch.

    OZY looks for the next big thing in gaming.

  4. deep space shutterstock 545652583

    Is Time to Go to Warp With the EmDrive?

    Our best bet for reaching Alpha Centauri may defy the laws of physics. Or at least that’s the criticism leveled at the EmDrive, Earth’s coolest unproven spacecraft propulsion idea. Researchers the world over, including at NASA, believe it can convert electricity into microwaves, which bounce off a conical chamber and produce thrust. Problem is, it would only work in the vacuum of space, so terrestrial testing requires shielding the cone from magnetic and seismic interference. 

    Then what? So far, the most convincing testing has measured amounts of thrust so infinitesimal as to be dismissed as interference, but more tests are planned.

    OZY checks out the future of satellites.

  5. steampunk trio shutterstock 410594200

    Bonkers ‘Victoriocity’ Puts Listeners in Even Greater London

    If you hated the 1970s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio program, this podcast is not for you. The otherwise enlightened among us will want to visit Victoriocity, a steampunk-infused world inhabited by, among other oddities, laborers who pay tribute to their engineer god-king, architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel, by building bridges to nowhere.

    What fever dream did this spring from? Oxford, England–based theater vets Chris and Jen Sugden, who say they’ve “always been drawn to the surreal and the extreme.” After two seasons of tapping out scripts and banging out sound effects, they’re plotting a third.