The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Scores Big With Handshake on Korean DMZ

    President Donald Trump’s surprise tête-à-tête with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea is seen as a diplomatic coup. Arranged within two days, it yielded a historic first for a sitting U.S. president setting foot in the Hermit Kingdom. It also provided a dramatic stage for the two leaders to revive talks aimed at dismantling the pariah state’s nuclear arsenal.

    What else happened at the meeting? New White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham cleared a space for journalists to witness the meeting — emerging bruised after a scuffle with North Korean guards.

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    Protesters Break into Legislature as Hong Kong Marks Handover Anniversary

    Hundreds of protesters stormed Hong Kong’s legislature on Monday after prying doors and gates open with metal objects. Riot police have since left  the building, allowing protesters to raise a British colonial flag and deface portraits on the walls. The incident is unfolding as Hong Kong marks 22 years since the British handed the territory back to China. While protests are common each July 1, they’ve taken on renewed importance this year following weeks of demonstrations against legislation allowing extradition to mainland China.

    Do all protesters support those in the legislature? The incident has exposed divisions among demonstraters, with pro-democracy Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung regrettably calling the move ’a big mistake.’ 

    Read about Hong Kong’s capital flight on OZY.

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    Small Plane Crashes in Texas, Killing 10

    The twin-engined Beechcraft BE-350 King Air apparently lost an engine on takeoff, causing it to veer sideways and crash into a hangar at the Addison Municipal Airport, about 20 miles north of Dallas. Both crew members and all eight passengers perished in the fiery accident Sunday morning. Another airplane and a helicopter inside the hangar were damaged when the plane, headed for St. Petersburg, Florida, hit the structure.

    How did this happen? Officials haven’t said, but the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

    Read OZY’s look at how a Grand Canyon plane crash changed history.

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    Trump-Xi Deal to Revive Trade Talks Encourages Investors

    Securities on Asian markets rallied today, encouraging later-opening European markets, buoyed by Saturday’s meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Trump at the G-20 summit in Japan, where they agreed to restart trade talks. Trump said he’d delay higher tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods, as well as lift some restrictions on Chinese phonemaker Huawei. Xi said China would buy more U.S. farm products.

    What difficulties do negotiators face? Hard-liners on both sides are likely to present obstacles: Americans want China’s markets opened, while Chinese officials are reluctant to dismantle state economic controls.

    OZY’s Donald Dossier looks at the impact of resuming trade talks.

  5. Also Important…

    Japan has resumed commercial whale hunting for the first time in 31 years. A Canadian publishing company has fired cartoonist Michael de Adder, who tweeted a cartoon of President Trump playing golf past a man and his daughter who drowned crossing the Rio Grande into the United States. And European Union heads of state in Brussels are continuing to struggle over naming the bloc’s top leaders.

    #OZYfact: Back in the 1980s, one of the pioneering nations for cell phone use was Zaire. 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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    New York Outlaws ‘Gay Panic’ Criminal Defense

    Defendants in New York state who commit assault or murder can no longer mitigate their crimes by claiming they were suddenly enraged or delirious upon learning that, for example, a person they were attracted to turned out to be gay or transgender. Amid Manhattan’s Pride celebrations yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill prohibiting use of the psychological defense, which has been debunked as scientifically unsupported.

    Are there objections to the new law? Defense lawyers have complained it limits defendants’ options, calling it “yet another tool to incarcerate more people.”

    Read this OZY feature of forbidden love behind bars.

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    Trevor Noah Was Never Just the Next Jon Stewart

    The Daily Show host’s rise to become the “busiest man in comedy” hasn’t been easy. As he wrote in his best-selling memoir, Born a Crime — which is set to be adapted for the big screen — his early life in South Africa was tense. But, OZY reports, that background is responsible for his immense success: In the very White, U.S.-centric world of late night TV, Noah’s global perspective has changed the conversation around politics and comedy.

    What will Noah do next? Catch him alongside some of the world’s top writers, chefs, celebrities and other changemakers at OZY Fest this month in NYC.

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    OxyContin Maker Struggles Under Scrutiny

    Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the narcotic pain reliever, is expected to report revenue under $1 billion for the first time in over a decade and is reportedly considering bankruptcy. The company, controlled by the wealthy Sackler family, is besieged by legal challenges over its role in the opioid crisis and mounting probes into fraud allegations. Meanwhile, employees are heading for the door in droves amid widespread corporate restructuring.

    Is Purdue to blame for the crisis? While OxyContin has fallen out of favor with doctors in recent years, the firm is accused of aggressively marketing the medication despite deadly consequences.

    OZY takes a look at Trump’s pharma policies.

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    Donations Pour In for Migrant Rescue Skipper’s Legal Costs

    Shortly after Italian police arrested Carola Rackete, the German captain of the Sea-Watch 3, for forcing the vessel into port Saturday to unload dozens of rescued migrants, two German TV hosts launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay her legal fees. By mid-Sunday, more than $550,000 had been raised, with pro-immigration activists calling Rackete a hero. The ship had been blocked for two weeks off the island of Lampedusa waiting for permission to dock.

    How are European governments reacting? Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Rackete ramming a police boat was an “act of war,” while German officials argued that rescuing migrants shouldn’t be “criminalized.”

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    Brooklyn Nets Bet Big on Free Agents Durant, Irving, Jordan

    Kevin Durant landed a $164 million, four-year deal. But he’s just beginning the arduous rehab of a torn Achilles tendon, so the Nets may not know for more than a year whether the two-time NBA Finals MVP is worth it. The upward-minded Nets also signed point guard Kyrie Irving away from Boston, and snagged veteran center DeAndre Jordan coming off a brief Knicks stint. 

    What does this mean for Brooklyn? After floundering into a short playoffs appearance last season, the team may now have the experience to vault into elite status.

    See how OZY’s free agent crystal ball held up to reality.