The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Ekrem İmamoğlu shutterstock 1431110216

    Erdogan Loses Istanbul to Opposition Candidate — Again

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) are reeling after yesterday’s victory of opposition figure Ekrem İmamoğlu, who told supporters they had “fixed democracy” in the city. İmamoğlu narrowly defeated an Erdoğan ally in March’s mayoral ballot, but the AKP convinced electoral officials to redo the poll. This time, İmamoğlu captured a convincing 54 percent, prompting the AKP candidate, former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, to concede.

    Is a change in the air in Turkey? It’s the first major defeat for the previously unbeatable Erdoğan, and the mayor-elect could emerge as a national challenger.

    Read OZY’s Special Briefing on the Erdoğan presidency.

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    After Near-Attack, Washington Pushes Iran Talks

    “We’re prepared to negotiate with no preconditions.” So said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday, after reports emerged that he and national security adviser John Bolton had briefly convinced President Donald Trump to launch attacks on Iran in retaliation for downing an American drone. Sources suggest both countries remain poised for conflict: Washington is planning secret actions short of direct confrontation, while a former adviser to Tehran described the probability of escalation as “very, very high.”

    What’s the endgame? In an NBC interview aired yesterday, Trump said, “I think they want to make a deal, and my deal is nuclear … they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon.”

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    Pete Buttigieg Faces Anger Over Police Slaying

    “We have tried but not succeeded, and I take full responsibility for that.” That was Sunday’s mea culpa from the South Bend, Indiana, mayor, who paused his presidential campaign to face his city’s own police shooting controversy at a heated town hall meeting. Citizens’ anger erupted after the fatal June 16 shooting of a Black man, Eric Logan, by a White officer. Police alleged Logan was breaking into cars and brandishing a knife, but there were no bodycams — which Buttigieg acknowledged hadn’t been properly deployed — to record the incident.

    How could this affect Buttigieg’s candidacy? The timing won’t help: On Thursday, he’s set to face a large field of rivals in the first Democratic debate.

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    FedEx Apologizes for Failing to Deliver Huawei Phone to US

    China’s Foreign Ministry is demanding answers and reportedly threatening to blacklist the American shipping firm after a U.S.-bound package was returned with a note citing the “U.S. issue with Huawei.” The package, which contained a smartphone made by the Chinese telecom giant, was being shipped between the U.K. and U.S. offices of PC Magazine. Huawei called the failed delivery a “vendetta” by FedEx — which described it as an “operational error” and apologized.

    Will FedEx take a hit? Its stock slipped a little in early trading Monday, but more importantly, FedEx needs to stay on Beijing’s good side as China accounts for 7 percent of the firm’s global revenue.

  5. Also Important…

    Wind and rain collapsed a tent housing a religious event in India’s Rajasthan state Sunday, killing 14 people. President Trump plans to visit South Korea this weekend after a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un raised hopes of revived denuclearization talks. And meteorologists warn that a potentially dangerous heat wave in Europe this week could see temperatures reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

    #OZYfact: Until a few years ago, Austin, Texas, was the only major U.S. city where income kept pace with rent hikes. 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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    Mars Rover Discovers Possible Sign of Life

    What’s percolating under all that red dust? NASA reports that its roving laboratory, Curiosity, has found “startlingly high” quantities of methane gas in Martian air, a tantalizing indication that it might be generated by hidden microbes. Because methane — known for being produced by animals on Earth — breaks down in sunlight in a few centuries, it must be relatively recent.

    What now? After the ”surprising result,” the rover spent the weekend trying new experiments to determine if the high methane levels were generated by previously unknown geothermal sources, rather than organic activity.

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    How Did an Airline Forget a Sleeping Passenger?

    Air Canada passenger Tiffani Adams says she fell asleep on a 90-minute Quebec City flight, only to wake up around midnight alone on the cold, dark plane parked far from the terminal in Toronto. She called a friend, but her phone went dead — and the onboard charging ports had no power. Finding a flashlight in the cockpit, Adams eventually signaled a luggage handler who provided a ladder so she could climb down from the plane.

    What is the airline saying? Air Canada, which confirmed the June 9 incident that’s now making headlines, has apologized and promised to investigate.

    OZY looks at the future of Boeing.

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    German Climate Protesters Take Over Coal Mine

    While 40,000 people demonstrated for decisive action on climate change in Aachen, Germany, this weekend, 1,000 activists provided some at the nearby Garzweiler coal mine. They broke through police lines to occupy the site for three days in order to call attention to Germany’s use of fossil fuels. Many of the protesters left the mine peacefully on Sunday, though a small group was removed after a scuffle with police.

    Can this accomplish anything? Rising climate concerns have boosted the Green Party’s popularity, and conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel now favors making the country climate neutral by 2050.

    Read OZY’s story to find out where the next climate disaster could be.

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    Romance Novelist Judith Krantz Dies at 91

    Hers was comfort food, served up steamy. The best-selling author, whose novels about the sensual intrigues of beautiful, wealthy people sold 85 million copies, died at home Saturday in Los Angeles of natural causes. Krantz’s debut novel, 1978’s Scruples, was published when she was 50 and it rocketed to No. 1 on The New York Times’ best-seller list. Several of her books, including I’ll Take Manhattan, were made into TV miniseries.

    What else did she do? She started as a journalist, writing for Ladies Home Journal and Cosmopolitan, with her most popular article being “The Myth of the Multiple Orgasm.”

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    Bringing the Fight to the Field of Play

    Afghanistan is a country defined by decades of conflict, but one kind of competition is lifting the nation’s spirits: Since the early 2000s, strides in world cricket, soccer and martial arts have built a sporting community. But it’s not all fair on courts and fields, OZY reports. Though many of the Taliban’s gender prohibitions have been lifted, Afghan women still face structural barriers and sexual abuse scandals.

    What have these athletes accomplished? Fighter Siyar Bahadurzada won a major MMA championship and last year climber Hanifa Yousoufi became the first woman to ascend Afghanistan’s highest peak, Mt. Noshaq.