The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. hong kong extradition law protests shutterstock 1416523730

    Defying Mass Protest, Hong Kong Retains Extradition Bill

    After the biggest protest in Hong Kong since 2014’s Umbrella Movement, Carrie Lam, the semi-autonomous city’s chief executive, refused to shelve a proposed law that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China. Demonstrators, who turned out by the hundreds of thousands Sunday, worry that they’ll be subject to the same repression experienced by the rest of the country. Police clashed with small groups of protesters who refused to disperse after midnight.

    What’s next for the bill? It’ll get its second reading Wednesday in Parliament, which observers say is accountable more to Beijing than its citizens.

    Read OZY’s look at how China is cultivating influence in Taiwan.

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    Gove’s Cocaine Use Muddies Race for UK PM

    Environment Secretary Michael Gove may be forced to withdraw his candidacy to replace Prime Minister Theresa May after allegations that he lied to authorities about his prior drug use. Gove admitted to having used cocaine 20 years ago while working as a journalist, but is accused of misleading U.K. officials and U.S. border authorities about it. Rival candidates have suggested he could be subject to a U.S. travel ban if the allegations are true.

    Who’s in the lead? Gove’s support is expected to bleed to other candidates with a similar stance on Brexit, including front-runner Boris Johnson and underdogs like Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

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    NRA Financial Scandal Deepens

    New revelations from a Washington Post investigation add to a wider controversy about questionable spending at the National Rifle Association. Financial records indicate 18 of the NRA’s 76 otherwise-unpaid board members received money from the group, including Dave Butz, a former NFL player who pocketed $400,000 for public outreach and training. The organization maintains the allegations are unfounded.

    Is faith in the NRA shot? Some members expressed frustration about “corruption and cronyism” and others are annoyed at being squeezed for more donations, but some dismiss the scandal as being stirred up by gun control advocates.

    Hear women defend gun rights in OZY’s Take on America.

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    United Technologies, Raytheon to Merge for Aerospace Giant

    United Technologies Corp. announced yesterday that it’s planning an all-stock merger with Raytheon Co. to create a $100 billion aviation and space powerhouse exceeded in size only by Boeing. The merged company, split evenly between defense and commercial sales, would make big-ticket items like F-35 fighter jets, Patriot missile systems, space suits and even seats for airliners. It’s part of an industry consolidation trend amid government cost-cutting.

    How certain is this marriage? The proposed firm, Raytheon Technologies Corp., would be created from two businesses that don’t overlap much, so experts expect U.S. antitrust regulators to approve the deal.

    Check out OZY’s feature on China’s space industry.

  5. Also Important…

    A court in India has convicted six men in the rape, torture and murder of an 8-year-old Muslim girl in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has been shot and wounded by a motorcyclist in his native Dominican Republic. And authorities have detained some 500 people in demonstrations against Sunday’s Kazakhstan presidential elections, which protesters say were rigged.

    #OZYfact: In 2018, 52 percent of Americans went to at least one live music event. Read more on OZY.

    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.


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    ‘Hadestown,’ Journalists Lauded at Tonys

    Hadestown was the big winner even before the 73rd Tony Awards results were announced, picking up the most nominations with 14. Anaïs Mitchell’s musical locked up eight awards, including best musical. The Ferryman, set during Northern Ireland’s Troubles, earned best play of the year, and Network’s Bryan Cranston and The Waverly Gallery’s Elaine May won top acting awards.

    And the politics? Cranston dedicated his win to “all of the real journalists around the world.” He said they weren’t “the enemy of the people” as President Donald Trump has maintained, asserting, “Demagoguery is the enemy of the people.”

    OZY wonders if poetry slams might end up on Broadway.

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    Student’s Column Inspires Town to Supply Menstrual Products

    Brookline, Massachusetts, recently became what it says is the first U.S. town to provide free tampons and pads in public restrooms of city-owned buildings, such as libraries and recreation centers. Public schools are expected to follow suit. The campaign started last year when Sarah Groustra, then a high school senior, wrote a column in her student newspaper calling for an end to “shaming menstruation.”

    Will others follow Brookline’s example? Some cities across the Bay State are taking steps to make sanitary products more accessible, while California, Illinois and New York state already provide them in public schools.

    OZY introduces the smart tampon.

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    Young Arabs Put Their Faith in Social Media

    It’s hard to trust mainstream media in Egypt, where intelligence agencies own most of the major news outlets. This distrust is seeing the region buck a global trend: Young Egyptians overwhelmingly trust social media as a news source, OZY reports. Five years ago, about a quarter of 18- to 24-year-old Arabs said they turned to social media for news; now it’s a huge 80 percent.

    Is this good for fledgling democracies? Researchers worry that social media’s tendency to show users stories they agree with could further polarize the Middle East — much as it’s already done in Western nations.

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    Microsoft, Welcome Back to Big Tech

    A funny thing happened when the final bell rang in New York’s markets Friday: America’s biggest market cap was not Amazon, Apple or even Google. That honor, and membership in the $1 trillion club, went to venerable software company Microsoft. The company’s riding a wave of investor optimism stemming from its cloud services (especially after Google’s recently crashed) and the ongoing rejuvenation following CEO Satya Nadella’s arrival in 2014.

    How did it surpass other tech giants? Over four days last week, Microsoft’s shares surged 10 percent, putting its market cap head and shoulders above Amazon and Apple, both near $880 billion.

    Read OZY’s Flashback on Bill Gates’ upstart surpassing IBM.

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    Portugal Wins New Nations League Title at Home

    Playing in Porto, the host nation edged the Netherlands 1-0 to win the inaugural Nations League trophy on winger Goncalo Guedes’ second-half goal. Midfielder Bernardo Silva outshone superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who fell short after dominating Switzerland with a hat trick in the semifinals. Portugal is the first European nation to host and win a major tournament since France took the 1998 World Cup. Meanwhile, England topped Switzerland 6-5 in penalty kicks for third place.

    What’s next? The teams will begin qualifying matches in September for next year’s UEFA European Championship.

    OZY looks into English women’s soccer prowess.