The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Feud Intensifies Over Trump’s Racist Remarks

    President Donald Trump doubled down yesterday on his stinging criticism of four progressive Democrats, claiming “they hate our country” and should leave it. Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of Trump’s targets, responded, “This is the agenda of white nationalists.” She joined her colleagues in the so-called “squad” to denounce what they said was a political distraction. Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on House Republicans to formally condemn the president’s comments in a resolution.

    How tense can this showdown get? Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, asked Capitol Police to boost security for lawmakers as the scandal intensified Monday.

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    EU Struggles to Save Iran Nuclear Deal

    Signaling the bloc’s commitment to sticking to the 2015 agreement even as it unravels, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said yesterday that Tehran’s recent breaches weren’t significant enough to warrant more sanctions. She was referring to Iran exceeding the limits on stockpiled uranium and enrichment. Still, EU foreign ministers failed to muster a broader strategy on how to defuse tensions between Washington and Tehran.

    Is there any hope? Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested his country might negotiate over its ballistic missile program — but only if the U.S. stops selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    Read this OZY op-ed about the “shaky ladder of escalation” in the Iran crisis.

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    New US Asylum Rule Draws Global Criticism

    Following an announcement by the Trump administration yesterday that it would effectively end asylum protections for most Central American migrants seeking to cross the U.S. southern border, the U.N. refugee agency said it was “deeply concerned” about the new rule. Legal experts argue the measure, which goes into effect today, violates domestic and international laws, calling it the “most egregious” of the administration’s immigration policies.

    What’s next? The White House can expect a swift challenge in court, and victory is far from guaranteed: Federal judges have recently ruled against similar attempts to tweak asylum policy.

    Don’t miss OZY’s new series, Beyond the Border.

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    US Lawmakers to Grill Facebook Over Libra

    Starting Tuesday, the social media giant will undergo two days of congressional hearings amid bipartisan concerns over its plans to launch its own cryptocurrency. Critics of Libra have found a powerful ally in Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who called it a potential national security threat and suggested the company will be hard-pressed to convince the government it can be sufficiently regulated.

    How soon could Libra launch? Facebook previously said it expects the cryptocurrency to go live next year, but with both Congress and the White House watching, its debut might well be delayed.

  5. Also Important…

    At a bail hearing for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, currently facing sex trafficking charges, U.S. prosecutors said he’d stashed away a “pile of cash” and a foreign passport in a safe. Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway ignored a House subpoena to testify about her alleged violation of the Hatch Act. And Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline, has been forced to cut flights as deliveries of the Boeing 737 Max remain delayed.

    #OZYfact: HIV prevalence in Nigerian adults has dropped by 40 percent since 2017. 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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    Study: Online Dating Most Common Way to Meet

    Nearly 40 percent of opposite-sex couples met online in 2017, according to a study conducted by researchers from Stanford and the University of New Mexico. That figure is almost double what it was in 2010. During that same period all other conventional ways of meeting — whether through work, family or peers — declined.

    Why do more people seek romance on the internet? Researchers say it’s partly the broader pool of potential matches, while another study suggests online daters tend to chase prospects that are 25 percent more attractive than they are.

    Read this OZY story about why politics matters for U.S. couples.

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    Uber Will Tie Executive Pay to Diversity Goals

    In its latest diversity report, the ride-hailing giant showed measured progress, boosting its percentage of Black and Latinx employees to 9.3 and 8.3 respectively. But precious few occupy higher-paying tech roles, while White males still comprise 43 percent of the leadership team. Uber says it plans to increase the number of women in managerial roles to 35 percent and that of other underrepresented employees to 14 percent by 2022. And the C-suite’s compensation will depend on it.

    What’s the primary challenge? According to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, it’s meeting those goals while still maintaining the discipline it takes to move through Uber’s ranks.

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    Can a TV Show Reverse Bulgaria’s Brain Drain?

    The poorest European Union nation is experiencing a rapid decline in population and is expected to shrink further, thanks to outward migration — which makes Petya Kertikova’s mission all the more vital. She created a television show called The Returnees, OZY reports, which showcases Bulgaria’s best and brightest who, like Kertikova, have lived abroad but returned to do whatever they can to stem the tide. So far, it’s featured more than 70 Bulgarians focused on improving the country and reviving its economy.

    How fast are people leaving? The U.N. says Bulgaria’s population could drop 23 percent by 2050, a bigger long-term trend than in war-torn countries like Syria.

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    More Than 1 in 10 Children Unvaccinated Worldwide

    About 20 million global youth did not receive shots to protect against measles, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus last year, according to data analyzed by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Preventing outbreaks requires immunizing 95 percent of the global population, but rates have hovered around 86 percent since 2010. Last year, 350,000 cases of measles were detected — more than double the number from 2017.

    Why is this problem so pronounced? Nearly half the world’s unvaccinated children live in 16 countries that have been hit hard by war, famine and humanitarian catastrophes.

    Check out OZY’s feature about how Nigeria is winning the battle against HIV.

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    Hall of Fame Boxer Pernell Whitaker Dies in Accident

    Fellow boxers and fans alike are honoring the southpaw known as “Sweet Pea” after the 55-year-old was fatally hit by a car while walking in Virginia Beach late Sunday. Hailed as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers of his time, Whitaker boasted a record of 40-4-1 with 17 knockouts. Despite his small stature, he was “so big in heart and skills inside the ring,” according to his longtime friend Evander Holyfield.

    What were Whitaker’s top achievements? The four-time world champion won a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics, while critics still insist he was robbed of a victory against Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. in a 1993 draw.