The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. justice shutterstock 449681407

    US Reverses Course on Census Citizenship Question

    A day after Justice Department officials said the Census Bureau would begin printing the 2020 questionnaire without the controversial question, the agency announced it’ll search for ways to include it. The decision came after President Donald Trump tweeted he was “absolutely moving forward,” apparently spurring administration lawyers — who’d been summoned by a federal judge for an explanation — into action.

    What happens next? The administration has until Friday to explain its reason for including the question, after which U.S. District Judge George Hazel may proceed with a case challenging its legality.

  2. hong kong protest shutterstock 1437457952

    Hong Kong Arrests Stir Fears of More Turmoil

    “Things could get worse.” So said one lawmaker in the semi-autonomous territory Thursday after police arrested a dozen people on a range of offenses in connection with protests earlier this week. Most of the arrests were related to the disruption of celebrations marking the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, while one was tied to the storming of the legislative building — which is out of commission for three months due to the damages.

    How else are things heating up? A diplomatic spat is developing between China and the U.K. after London summoned Beijing’s envoy over his recent remarks suggesting Britain meddled in Hong Kong’s affairs.

  3. person in jail behind bars shutterstock 568547536

    North Korea Releases Detained Australian Student

    Alek Sigley, the 29-year-old who went missing in Pyongyang last week, arrived in China Thursday after being released by North Korean authorities. It’s still unclear why the graduate student, who’d been running a tourism business in the North Korean capital, had been detained — nor did Sigley comment on his detention. “I’m good, I’m very good,” he told reporters in Beijing.

    Can we learn anything from this case? Analysts say that openly confronting Pyongyang would have exacerbated the situation, so Australia’s “discreet, behind the scenes work” via Swedish authorities helped win Sigley’s release.

    Read OZY’s profile of the man behind North Korea’s only private university.

  4. migrants climbing border wall shutterstock 1229072248

    US Court Blocks Border Wall Funding

    The White House will almost certainly appeal a decision by the 9th Circuit Court to uphold a federal ruling against President Trump’s plan to redirect $2.5 billion from the Pentagon toward his border wall. The San Francisco-based court found by a 2-1 margin that only Congress has that authority, and rejected the administration’s argument that it was in the public interest.

    Is this the only such challenge? Several other cases, including a lawsuit against the White House by the Democrat-controlled House, are pending — during which time the administration isn’t able to start building.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Donald Dossier on Washington’s new border wall.

  5. Also Important…

    Washington is preparing for a colorful Fourth of July celebration today featuring tanks and an address by President Trump. A federal judge has temporarily prevented Ohio from enforcing its controversial fetal heartbeat bill. And singer Joss Stone says she was deported from Iran over concerns that she would attempt to stage a public performance.

    #OZYfact: Between 2011 and 2016, Connecticut’s Fairfield County sprouted the fastest-growing wealth gap between the top 1 percent and the middle class of any metro region in the country. 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. Night city view of Amsterdam, the Netherlands with Amstel river shutterstock 278852369

    Is Amsterdam’s Red Light District Cleaning Up Its Act?

    Femke Halsema, the Dutch capital’s first female mayor, has unveiled a series of proposals observers say would amount to the most significant overhaul of the famously hedonistic neighborhood since the Netherlands legalized prostitution two decades ago. The proposed changes — aimed at protecting sex workers, cracking down on crime and tidying up the city — focus on reducing or obscuring the district’s 330 brothel windows.

    How will Halsema decide what to do? She’ll hold a series of public consultations, in which sex workers hope their voices will be heard, before more concrete plans are drawn up in September.

  2. boeing 737 max shutterstock 1212299986

    Boeing Offers $100 Million to Relatives of Crash Victims 

    The Chicago-based planemaker has pledged a $100 million fund for families and communities affected by the two crashes of 737 Max jets within a span of five months, saying the money will support “education, hardship and living expenses.” But Sanjiv Singh, a lawyer representing families of crash victims, said he was “suspicious” of the offer, calling it “a child-size band-aid on a deep gaping wound.”

    What about Boeing’s legal troubles? The company acknowledges the fund is separate from the estimated $1 billion it’ll likely pay to settle dozens of lawsuits.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on whether Boeing will ever soar again.

  3. trash shutterstock 367852877

    Report: US Tops the Heap in Global Waste Crisis

    A recent study shows the U.S. produces three times more garbage than the global average, yet it only recycles 35 percent of its solid waste, ranking among the worst of developed nations. The country, home to 4 percent of the world’s population, accounts for 12 percent of all waste — while China and India, which together comprise 36 percent of the global population, produce a combined 27 percent.

    How can the U.S. improve? It needs political will: Since China and its neighbors banned U.S. waste imports, experts say America has failed to build the infrastructure to facilitate a culture of recycling.

    Check out this OZY feature about Lebanon’s waste warriors.

  4. black girl gamer shutterstock 671596228

    Black Women Level Up in the Gaming Industry

    The gaming business is worth $135 billion annually — but Black women are almost nowhere to be seen. In an overwhelmingly male and White industry, women comprise just 27 percent of gaming professionals, and only 1 percent identify as Black. But now, groups like Thumbstick Mafia and Brown Girl Gamer Code are giving a voice and a sense of community to Black female gamers, OZY reports, building on what used to be isolated efforts.

    What’s next? Beyond simply providing supportive environments and opportunities for socializing, these groups are moving toward creating their own games.

  5. dutch supporters shutterstock 56978575

    Netherlands to Face US in Women’s World Cup Final

    It took extra time to get there, but the Dutch team will advance to its first-ever World Cup final after Jackie Groenen made a low shot in the corner of the goal in the 99th minute to beat Sweden 1-0. While the Swedes challenge England for third place Saturday, Dutch defender Dominique Bloodworth wants the Americans to see orange all day Sunday, saying, “Hopefully we can hurt them and do something great.”

    Can they beat Team USA? The Oranje are the defending European Cup champions — but the Americans have won the last six times they’ve met, most recently in 2016, and will be playing on an extra day’s rest.