The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Democratic Rivals Take Aim at Biden

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has long been considered the front-runner among Democrats vying for the presidency. But some are now wondering whether his political days are numbered: In last night’s second primary debate he faced a powerful attack from Sen. Kamala Harris over his track record on racial issues. Observers said Biden, who was also targeted by other contenders, appeared rigid and defensive — and could be hampered by what some saw as “a very shaky start.”

    Could Biden bounce back? While he may have the credentials for the top job, this OZY op-ed argues that the very definition of electability is changing — and that old White men just don’t cut it anymore.

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    At G-20, Focus Falls on Trade

    “We need to send a strong message.” So said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while opening the global summit in Osaka today, commenting on the importance of fair and open trade. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump hopes to use the international confab to iron out economic disputes with China and India, while attendees will also aim to address environmental issues and the digital economy.

    Are there any signs of success? Trump appeared to tone down his usually combative rhetoric upon arrival, though some analysts suggest it’s a typical pattern that doesn’t necessarily affect policy.

    Don’t miss OZY’s new series about the monopolies of the future.

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    US Supreme Court Ends Term With Major Rulings

    Yesterday the nation’s top court decided to punt in two closely watched cases. Effectively approving political gerrymandering — seen as win for Republicans — the court said such questions should be handled at the state level. But it didn’t buy the Trump administration’s argument for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, which was met with measured relief from Democrats, though justices left the door open for the White House to make its case in lower courts.

    What’s the bigger picture? While both rulings show the court generally leans conservative, OZY reports, they also prove Chief Justice John Roberts is still capable of throwing a curveball at the Trump administration.

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    Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Announces Departure

    The company’s second most prominent leader, and the man behind its products’ iconic designs, will step down later this year. Ive, who insiders say had become less involved in day-to-day affairs since launching the Apple Watch in 2015, will form his own independent design firm that will still work closely with Apple.

    What’s next? Ive’s departure suggests the company is placing a greater emphasis on software design and services — reflected in the virtual demotion of the designer’s former team, which will now report to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams rather than CEO Tim Cook.

  5. Also Important…

    During a brief meeting between the two leaders in Japan today, President Trump jokingly told Russian President Vladimir Putin, “Don’t meddle with the election.” A pregnant Alabama woman who was shot in the stomach was charged with manslaughter this week after the fetus died. And NASA has announced a new mission, called Dragonfly, that will explore Saturn’s largest moon.

    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.


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    Twitter Unveils New Rules for Politicians

    The social media network already allowed policy-violating tweets from political figures and world leaders because they were deemed to be “in the public’s interest,” but it’ll now begin adding disclaimers to those posts. The company’s announcement didn’t specifically mention President Trump, although he’s violated Twitter’s guidelines numerous times: Last year, for instance, he threatened North Korea with nuclear war — yet the tweet wasn’t deleted, despite advocating mass violence.

    To whom will it apply? Only officials with verified accounts and more than 100,000 followers will be affected by the new rule.

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    Migrant Rescue Ship Faces Down Italian Authorities

    German vessel Sea-Watch 3 has been anchored off the Italian island of Lampedusa since Wednesday — but Italy’s hard-line Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has prohibited its 42 rescued migrants, including three children, from disembarking. They were saved two weeks ago, and the ship’s captain, Carola Rackete, said that many passengers are exhausted and need to reach shore.

    What happens next? A delegation of Italian lawmakers has boarded the vessel and vowed not to leave until the migrants reach shore, while Salvini has threatened to seize the ship and arrest its crew.

    Check out OZY’s story about Mexico’s child migrant crisis.

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    Video Games Are Ditching Macho Tropes

    While basic good-versus-evil narratives still reign in video games, titles are increasingly moving away from the over-the-top masculinity of the past and toward more nuance and complexity, OZY reports. Players can now navigate games as female characters that are more action hero than sex symbol, or follow macho protagonists with emotional depth and conscience. And while there’s still a long way to go, female gamers, who now make up 45 percent of the market, welcome the shift.

    Is this the future? Researchers say industry demographics are changing and developers are meeting the demands of an increasingly sophisticated, older audience.

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    Musicians’ Union Fights for Streaming Royalties

    With a rally in Los Angeles yesterday, local members of the American Federation of Musicians took their fight for parity directly to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Their demand: Bring musicians in line with other creators, who were granted residual royalties years ago. They say that in the streaming era, musicians aren’t afforded the same rights as directors, producers and other TV and movie industry workers.

    Will Hollywood sing their tune? The musicians are getting support from unions representing actors, writers and teachers, but studios are increasingly looking to Europe for scoring.

    Read OZY’s profile of the Hollywood stuntwoman fighting whitewashing.

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    Gauff Set for History-Making Wimbledon Debut

    Florida teen Cori “Coco” Gauff will be the youngest Wimbledon competitor in the Open era after qualifying at 15 years and 122 days old. She bested Belgian Greet Minnen 6-1, 6-1 Thursday to earn her berth. The fabled grass-court tournament begins Monday, but Gauff isn’t nervous: “I don’t know about any of the records I break until … somebody tells me,” she said after making history.

    What are her odds? Gauff faces a tough road ahead, but the tennis world is already heralding her as a player to watch in the future.

    Check out this OZY feature on the mental hurdles athlete-moms face.