The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. 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.

  2. guided missile cruiser uss chancellorsville us navy

    US, Russia Blame Each Other for Nautical Near-Miss

    The rival powers battled with words — and pictures — after warships of their respective navies nearly collided. In the American version, the guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville had to throw engines into reverse 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 noted that it was unusual, as 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.

  3. oil tankers shutterstock 1272844774

    ‘State Actor’ Blamed for UAE Tanker Attack

    A report on the May 12 attack near the Emirati coast that damaged four oil tankers didn’t name a nation, but Iran is presumed to be the “actor.” The United Arab Emirates, which informally presented the report to U.N. diplomats, teamed with Saudi and Norwegian researchers to probe the sabotage. It found that “a high degree of sophistication” was required to plant explosive charges on specific vessels among some 200 in the area.

    What are the implications? The finding adds to pressure on Iran, which denies involvement, but is already facing a buildup of U.S. forces in the region amid charges that it’s planning to attack American targets.

    OZY’s security analyst tries to decipher America’s Iran policy.

  4. auto industry factory assembly line shutterstock 54472

    Automakers Tell Trump: Regulate Us More

    You may want to pull over. Some of the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturers have a request for President Trump: Don’t loosen fuel economy standards so much. After a history of lobbying against regulations, 17 firms, including Ford, General Motors and Toyota, say they need more predictable requirements. They argue that rolling back Obama-era regulations completely will cost them dearly as some individual states, notably California, set their own strict standards.

    What would the rollback do? Administration plans call for freezing fuel economy standards at 37 miles per gallon, scrapping a target of 54.5 mpg by 2025.

    Read OZY’s profile of a man who’s creating fuel out of air.

  5. labour campaign shutterstock 636731416

    Fledgling Brexit Party Faces First Defeat

    After its triumphant showing in European Parliament elections last month, Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party — advocating a “hard” no-deal departure from the European Union — fell short of winning its first seat in Britain’s Parliament. Despite expectations of a Brexit Party victory in yesterday’s special election in Peterborough, which voted Leave by 61 percent in 2016, the Labour Party won the seat by 683 votes.

    How is the search for a new PM going? Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation takes effect today, but Conservative Party heir apparent Boris Johnson seems likely to face an immediate confidence vote if party members elect him.

    OZY’s John McLaughlin weighs in on U.K. leadership.

  6. Also Important…

    Democratic presidential front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden has reversed his position opposing federal abortion funding. School officials in Colorado are considering tearing down Columbine High School, prompted by people’s “morbid fascination” with the 1999 mass shooting there. And South African authorities have warned neighbors of a wildlife reserve to watch out for 14 escaped lions.

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.

    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. green turtleshutterstock 308545340

    It Doesn’t Just Float: Microplastics Found on Ocean Floor

    Much reporting on marine plastics has focused on surface pollution like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But new research enabled by a deep-sea robot submarine out of California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute provides an alarming new twist on such waste: It sinks. “We found that most of the plastic was below the surface,” explained the institute’s chief scientist, noting microplastics are distributed at all depths, and particles have invaded digestive systems up and down the food chain.

    How widespread is it? The samples were collected just off California’s coast, so more research will be needed to measure the contamination’s reach.

  2. singer dua lipa shutterstock 729189922

    Who’s Albanian? You’re Listening to Them

    The impoverished nation on the Adriatic may be having a tough time, what with anti-government riots, but its soundtrack may conquer the world. OZY reports that millennial chanteuses with Albanian roots are crushing it on American and international stages, from chart-toppers like Sweet But Psycho by Ava Max to strings of pop hits from Rita Ora and Bebe Rexha. And Dua Lipa, this year’s best new artist Grammy-winner, was born in London to Albanian parents.

    Is this an Albanian Invasion? Tirana University’s arts school has been upping its game and other creative academies have sprung up with instruction in pop and electronic music in hope of nurturing the next generation of hitmakers.

  3. beyond meat shutterstock 1278389962

    Plant-Based ‘Meat’ Cooks Up Big Money

    Beyond Meat posted a $10.8 million quarterly profit in its first earnings report since going public last month. The Los Angeles-based firm calls itself “the future of protein,” producing plant-based meat alternatives like the Beyond Burger. The company’s stock climbed 160 percent following its IPO and the earnings report juiced the price another 23 percent in after-hours trading. Net revenue has jumped 215 percent year over year.

    Will the world go meat-free? Faux flesh could claim 10 percent of the global meat industry in the next decade, analysts say — if they can figure out how to define the market: Some are confused by Beyond rival Impossible Foods claiming it sells “meat made from plants.”

    OZY reports on what’s next in agriculture.

  4. youtubeshutterstock 511826203

    YouTube Removes Videos of Extremists, Anti-Extremists

    Facing accusations that it was enabling everything from jihadis to White supremacists to mass shooting conspiracy theorists, YouTube introduced a new removal policy Wednesday. But videos reporting on and combating such extremism have been vacuumed up along with the unwanted content. After the purge, users discovered things like the shuttering of a channel run by high school history teacher Scott Allsop, who had posted archival footage of Nazi Germany “to help students learn about the past.”

    What other issues have arisen? Those who study extremism are calling for the propaganda to be removed, but preserved — so the phenomenon of online hate can be better understood.

  5. neymar jr of brazilian national soccer team shutterstock 198326666

    Neymar Testifies in Brazil About Rape Accusation

    The Paris Saint-Germain soccer superstar reported to Rio de Janeiro police headquarters yesterday in a cybercrime investigation linked to a Brazilian woman’s rape allegation against him. Najila Trindade filed a complaint against Neymar last week, claiming he raped her in a Paris hotel room in May after she refused to have unprotected sex. Trindade went public with her allegations in a TV interview Wednesday. São Paulo police are investigating her claim.

    Has Neymar responded? He said he fell for a “trap” in social media posts attempting to prove his innocence — prompting Thursday’s questioning about sharing Trindade’s images and messages without her permission.

    Read this OZY True Story about a sexual assault.