The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Drone

    Iran Downs American ‘Spy’ Drone 

    Officials from both countries say the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. military drone Thursday. But the circumstances of the incident are under dispute: While Iran claims the craft was spying inside its territory, American officials say it was downed in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. Either way, it’s boosting fears of open war as Tehran and Washington square off over a spate of mysterious attacks on oil tankers in the region, as well as over Iran’s nuclear program.

    How strategic is the Strait of Hormuz? Twenty percent of the world’s oil supply passes through it.

  2. north korean factory seen from china shutterstock 563340280

    Xi Arrives in North Korea for Sit-Down With Kim

    In the first trip by a Chinese leader to North Korea in 14 years, President Xi Jinping has arrived in Pyongyang, where he’s meeting with Kim Jong Un during a two-day visit. The event is aimed at shoring up diplomatic and economic ties between the neighbors, which have somewhat deteriorated amid growing international pressure over North Korea’s nuclear program.

    Is there a hidden agenda? Experts suggest Xi’s visit is really aimed at signaling to President Donald Trump that Beijing and Pyongyang have each others’ backs as both lock horns with Washington.

    Read OZY’s profile of the diplomats playing the long game with North Korea.

  3. justice for jamal khashoggi protester shutterstock 1206029221

    Riyadh Under New Pressure Over Khashoggi Murder

    Following a months-long investigation into the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.N. human rights expert recommended Wednesday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman be sanctioned and his assets frozen until his involvement is fully resolved. Using recordings obtained by Turkish intelligence, Agnes Callamard’s report laid out what it described as the systemic planning of Khashoggi’s torture and murder last October inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

    What’s next? A Security Council resolution is required to pursue criminal charges, but experts say the U.S. probably wouldn’t back one — while Riyadh’s presence on the Human Rights Council would hobble a similar effort there.

  4. slack shutterstock 1427883941

    Slack Goes Public With Direct Listing

    The workplace communications app is valued at around $15.7 billion, based on a reference price of $26 per share. But that’s expected to jump as trading opens on the New York Stock Exchange today, given the San Francisco firm’s decision to opt for a direct listing. That’s when a company floats stock without the backing of underwriters and without offering premium shares in advance. With a 23.8 percent stake, venture firm Accel could emerge as the biggest winner.

    Is direct listing the future? Spotify is the only major player that’s done it before, but with Airbnb reportedly considering the method for its own public debut next year, a successful performance by Slack could see more tech companies follow suit.

  5. Also Important…

    China says ex-Interpol President Meng Hongwei has copped to taking $2 million in bribes. Hope Hicks, President Trump’s former communications director, sat for a closed-door meeting yesterday with the House Judiciary Committee. And comparing Cold War spy satellite photos to current images has revealed that Himalayan glaciers have been melting by about 20 inches per year since 2000, losing twice as much ice as they did between 1975 and 2000.

    #OZYfact: There are 2,705 women behind bars in Guatemala — 1,097 of them for extortion. 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.


  1. porn shutterstock 1272369730

    Report: UK Shelves Porn Age Verification Plan

    Sources say the government is backing down from the controversial policy that would have required all British users to have their age verified before accessing explicit content. Privacy advocates and industry insiders alike had campaigned against the move, which was first floated in 2015, arguing that it could easily be exploited to monitor and even blackmail porn consumers.

    Is it dead for good? The government is expected to announce that it’ll be shelved indefinitely — but after a recent poll showed 76 percent of Britons weren’t even aware of the plan, it’s unlikely to attract much attention.

    Check out OZY’s feature on erotic podcasts.

  2. satellites shutterstock 1428777803

    Could Storing Data in Space Help Stop Climate Change?

    Tech firm LyteLoop — whose new technology would store data in space, moving it between satellites at the speed of light — is just one of a growing number of startups hoping to find a compromise between the endless demand for data storage and concerns about the impact of servers on climate change, OZY reports. Satellite-based storage uses far less energy and can protect data from cybercrime here on Earth, but experts say humans are still a long way off from storing everything in the cosmos.

    Who wants to use it? Cryptocurrencies see satellite storage as particularly useful: To date, no satellite has been hacked.

  3. pregnant woman shutterstock 141490228

    Rather Than Have a Cesarean, Nigerians Are Dying

    Nigeria has the world’s fourth-highest maternal mortality rate, with 58,000 women dying annually. Yet only 2 percent of births in Nigeria involve a C-section — well short of the global average of 21 percent. Myths surrounding the safety of the surgery, coupled with religious and social taboos, push many expectant mothers to choose a risky vaginal birth over a medically necessary surgical one.

    Is that stigma changing? A nonprofit called Mamalette is supporting pregnant women and trying to end the taboo, but the country’s lack of doctors poses another major complication.

    Don’t miss this OZY feature on Nigeria’s doctor drain.

  4. hollywood shutterstock 1428873581

    Top Talent Agency Faces Sexual Harassment Suit

    An unnamed former assistant says APA, one of the largest talent agencies in the world, has a “sexually abusive environment” where she was regularly exposed to unwanted advances and explicit comments. She claims CEO Jim Gosnell had violent mood swings, called her crude names and threatened to have her fired when she rebuffed his advances. She also accused management of threatening her with legal action if she reported being sexually assaulted by a client.

    How did APA respond? It described the lawsuit as a “scheme of extortion,” claiming it previously investigated her allegations and found them to be fabricated.

  5. David Ortiz Boston Red Sox shutterstock 35657254

    Dominican AG: David Ortiz Wasn’t Intended Target of Attack

    The mystery over the June 9 shooting of the former Boston Red Sox slugger deepened yesterday after Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez said Big Papi was a victim of mistaken identity. He claimed Ortiz was sitting with Sixto David Fernández, the intended target, and wearing similar clothes. According to Rodríguez, Fernández had fallen afoul of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, which paid 25-year-old Rolfy Ferreyra to carry out the shooting.

    How believable is that story? Some are skeptical, noting that the 2013 World Series MVP is extremely famous and would be instantly recognizable in his home country.