The Presidential Daily Brief


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    US Hits Iran With New Sanctions

    Warning that his “restraint” is running out, President Donald Trump approved new sanctions against the Islamic Republic yesterday following last week’s downing of an American drone over the Strait of Hormuz. The latest round of punishment will prevent Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top Iranian officials from accessing financial services and assets abroad. In response, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the new measures “outrageous and idiotic.”

    Will these sanctions work? Some analysts suggest they’ll have little — or even the opposite — effect, since Iran has learned “to become more insular.”

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    Hundreds of Migrant Kids Moved From Texas Facility

    Following media reports on the allegedly dismal conditions there, U.S. authorities transferred nearly 300 children from a Border Patrol station outside El Paso yesterday. The decision came after a group of lawyers detailed the “appalling” state of the overcrowded facility, where children — many of them hungry and sick — reportedly hadn’t bathed in weeks since crossing the border.

    Will this spur broader action? The Department of Health and Human Services has acknowledged the “urgency” of the situation and, together with other federal agencies, has requested $4.5 billion to help manage it.

    Don’t miss OZY’s feature on Mexico’s own child migrant crisis.

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    Kushner to Launch Mideast Peace Plan

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, is in Bahrain this week, where he’s rolling out his $50 billion plan to help end the Arab-Israeli conflict. Described as a Marshall Plan for Palestine, it’s aimed at kick-starting investment in the war-torn region. But its prospects remain uncertain: Neither Israel nor Palestine are participating in the two-day workshop in Manama, while Palestine has broadly criticized Kushner’s proposal.

    What’s holding back development? Besides the conflict itself, experts say Palestine’s economy will remain stifled so long as it lacks control over its borders — and thus over imports and exports.

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    Boris Johnson Touts Ability to Reach New Brexit Deal

    The front-runner to become Britain’s next prime minister said he’ll be able to make the “abundant technical fixes” necessary for the U.K. to leave the European Union by Oct. 31. And although the former London mayor says he doesn’t think a no-deal Brexit will happen, he’s willing to allow it. Johnson also refused to discuss a recent incident when police were called to his home over a spat with his partner. Meanwhile, he’s declined to take part in a TV debate today against his rival, Jeremy Hunt.

    Could Johnson actually muster a plan? Some are skeptical about the EU going for yet another deal after its unwillingness to renegotiate with ex-Prime Minister Theresa May.

  5. Also Important…

    Shareholders at scandal-plagued Nissan have voted to overhaul the company’s corporate governance structure. President Trump said yesterday that the New York-based columnist who recently accused him of sexual assault was “totally lying” and is “not my type.” And Mexico said it has sent nearly 15,000 troops to the U.S. border in a bid to stem illegal migration.

    #OZYfact: In 1854, John Rollin Ridge became the first Native American to write a novel in English. 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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    Canada Moves to Boost Migrant Workers’ Rights

    Ottawa hopes to end abuse against temporary foreign workers by allowing them to work for any business in their sector, rather than a single employer. The decision comes after a Globe and Mail investigation discovered that under the current system, where an employee’s right to stay in Canada is tied to a specific job, migrant workers at risk of deportation are being exploited by recruiters and employers.

    Are labor advocates satisfied with the change? Union representative Santiago Escobar called it a partial victory, but said he hopes low-wage migrant workers will someday receive permanent status upon arriving in Canada.

    Read OZY’s profile of the activist naming and shaming Lebanon’s bad employers.

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    This Lawyer Is Leading the Legal Charge Against Apple

    Mark Rifkin’s career is studded with major antitrust judgments — but now he’s preparing for his biggest legal battle yet, OZY reports. The Princeton grad will appear before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of iPhone users who claim Apple’s monopoly on the App Store drives up prices. The court has already ruled that users have the right to sue, setting up one of the first big legal fights for Big Tech.

    Will he win? Detractors say the case is exploiting wider anti-tech sentiment, but with Washington moving to rein in the biggest Silicon Valley firms, the time may be right.

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    Ukraine Struggles to Control Massive Measles Outbreak

    The Eastern European nation has recorded the world’s highest increase in measles cases, with more than 100,000 detected since mid-2017. After years of declining vaccination rates, authorities are now aggressively immunizing children across the country. But adults are still at risk, and they comprise half of the country’s measles cases and deaths. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, officials have already detected 53,000 cases — and 18 deaths — this year.

    Is this an isolated problem? An epidemiologist in Washington state said the recent outbreak there has been traced back to a visitor from Ukraine.

    Read OZY’s profile of the U.S.-born doctor curing Ukraine’s health system.

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    K-Pop Sensation BTS Launches Mobile Game in Industry First

    The seven-member boy band has teamed with South Korean gaming company Netmarble to release BTS World — the first major mobile title to revolve around a K-pop band. It lets fans role-play as the group’s manager, going back in time to guide them to global fame. BTS also extended their record for Billboard No. 1 digital song sales with their 13th chart-topper, A Brand New Day, released for the game.

    How big is K-pop? Observers say South Korea is increasingly relying on the massive $5 billion musical industry, as well as gaming, as key exports while traditional stalwarts Hyundai and Samsung face uncertain times.

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    Italy Wins Bid for 2026 Winter Olympics, Paralympics

    Milan and the ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo beat out Sweden, the only other bidder, to host the games. The fashion hub will play home to ice hockey and all skating competitions, while Cortina — which previously hosted the Winter Games in 1956 — will host alpine skiing. Other snow sports will be held at nearby venues in the Italian Alps.

    Why so few candidates? Other contenders, which included Austria’s Graz and Canada’s Calgary, dropped out over the event’s sky-high costs in a trend experts say is only building.

    Read OZY’s Flashback about when the Austrian army saved the Winter Olympics.