The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump Under Fire for ‘Racist’ Tweets

    “Racial arsonist strikes again.” That’s what House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, a congressman from New York, said in response to a series of Sunday tweets by President Donald Trump aimed at Jefferies’ progressive female colleagues. Apparently targeting Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, Trump urged them to “go back” to their “totally broken and crime infested” countries. All but Omar are American-born.

    What are Trump’s fellow Republicans saying? Not much: While some may be uncomfortable with his language, observers suggest they’re wary of alienating the president’s base by speaking out.

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    Chinese Growth Slows to 27-Year Low

    Thanks to ongoing trade tensions with the U.S. and weakened investment, China posted a second-quarter GDP growth of 6.2 percent — its slowest pace since at least the first quarter of 1992. Although widely expected, the diminished momentum piles pressure on Beijing to boost both consumer and investor confidence, despite having already cut more than $290 billion in taxes and fees. Still, industrial output jumped 6.3 percent from a year earlier.

    What will officials do next? Analysts expect the government to implement more borrowing-friendly measures in order to meet its target of at least 6 percent GDP growth this year.

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    Hong Kong Leader Condemns Fresh Clashes

    Protesters and riot police clashed in the northern town of Sha Tin last night, leaving at least 22 people injured. The violence followed a peaceful demonstration earlier in the day, after which police reportedly chased protesters, who hurled objects like plastic bottles and umbrellas, into a nearby shopping mall. Chief Executive Carrie Lam criticized the protesters involved in the clashes as “thugs,” and denied reports that she was stepping down.

    Are police suffering too? At least one union has asked local chiefs to better ensure officers’ “safety and mental health.”

    Check out OZY’s Special Briefing on the economic consequences of the protests.

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    Uncertainty Looms Over US Immigration Raids

    Although one senior White House official confirmed a nationwide operation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement was already underway, reports from cities like Baltimore, Chicago and New York suggested the raids had been delayed or downgraded. Meanwhile, acting ICE Director Matthew Albence refused to say whether his agency had begun the crackdown, which was expected to target some 2,000 undocumented migrants in nearly a dozen major cities.

    Will the large-scale raids ever happen? Some experts have suggested that simply generating “drama” and fear in migrant communities may have been the intended goal.

    Check out OZY’s new series, Beyond the Border.

  5. Also Important…

    EU foreign ministers are hoping to deescalate tensions in the Persian Gulf while still urging Iran to stick to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal. Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party has selected a pro-China populist mayor, Han Kuo-yu, to represent it during next year’s presidential race. And England defeated New Zealand in dramatic fashion to win its first Cricket World Cup yesterday.

    #OZYfact: The small Spanish village of Fresnedillas de la Oliva helped put Neil Armstrong on the moon. 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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    India Postpones Moon Lander Launch

    An hour before Chandrayaan-2 was set to take off today from the state of Andhra Pradesh, officials delayed the mission over a “technical snag.” A spokesman for the Indian Space Research Organization said the agency would announce a revised launch date for the probe, which means “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit. India’s aiming to become the fourth country after the U.S., Russia and China to complete a soft lunar landing.

    What’s driving India’s space program? According to the ISRO, the country’s space ambitions include making discoveries, fostering global alliances and exploring new commercial opportunities.

    Don’t miss this OZY feature about America’s “Space Mountains.”

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    Bitcoin Slumps After Trump Slams Cryptocurrencies

    Following President Trump’s criticism late last week, the most valuable virtual currency fell up to 15 percent over the weekend, while Ethereum and Litecoin dipped even more sharply, by 23 and 17 percent, respectively. Trump took aim at Libra, Facebook’s proposed virtual currency, tweeting Thursday that cryptocurrencies “are not money” and they “facilitate unlawful behavior.” Still, Bitcoin is up more than 160 percent from the beginning of 2019.

    Why does it matter? Trump’s critique may have actually been a crucial moment for cryptocurrencies because it showed they’ve become a significant part of the public conversation, analysts say.

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    Ecuador Is African Migrants’ New Gateway to the Americas

    As the U.S. and Mexico struggle to stem the tide of migrants from poor and violence-ridden Central American countries, Ecuador is building a reputation as a gateway into the region for those fleeing African nations, OZY reports. Thanks to a relatively lenient visa policy, more than 2,100 Africans have passed through this year — nearly double last year’s total. The surge is straining Ecuador’s resources, especially as it copes with the influx of refugees from neighboring Venezuela.

    What’s next? Observers believe “it’s only a matter of time” before the government is pressured by the U.S. or Mexico to crack down by hardening its visa regime.

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    Ebola Spreads to Major City in Congo

    Experts are warning of a “dangerous turning point” after the infectious disease was detected in Goma — the largest city to have been hit since the country’s Ebola outbreak last August. Health officials in the lakeside city of 2 million said yesterday a local pastor became infected last week while preaching in the Ebola-hit town of Butembo, after which he traveled to Goma by bus.

    How serious is this? While officials claim the risk is low because they quickly isolated the pastor and fellow bus passengers, others note the city’s high population density poses a significant threat.

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    Novak Djokovic Wins Wimbledon Title in Epic Final

    In a back-and-forth match, the top seed outlasted second-seed Roger Federer, 37, in a riveting five-hour, five-set showdown — the longest-ever Wimbledon final. The 32-year-old Serb is the first man to win a decisive fifth-set tiebreaker, winning the match 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3). “This match had everything,” said Djokovic of his fifth Wimbledon crown. “It could have gone easily his way.”

    How does this add to Djokovic’s legacy? He’s won four of his last five major tournaments, 16 in total, putting him on pace to exceed Federer’s 20 career major titles.

    Check out this OZY Special Briefing about the future of sports gambling.