The Presidential Daily Brief

important

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    Mexican Drug Lord El Chapo Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

    Joaquin Guzman Loera, one of Latin America’s most brutal criminals, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn. Guzman, more commonly known as El Chapo, lead Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. He was extradited to the U.S in 2017 and convicted by a federal court last February. He was found guilty on ten counts, including narcotics trafficking and using a firearm in drug deals.

    Was the trial fair? Guzman’s defense attorney doesn’t think so. Everyone who decided the fate of El Chapo was kept anonymous for their protection, yet allegations of jury misconduct have circulated following the trial. 

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    US House Denounces Trump’s ‘Racist Comments’

    In a powerful rebuke of President Donald Trump, the Democrat-controlled House condemned him for legitimizing “increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” The non-binding resolution — ignited by Trump’s tweets urging four congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries — passed with votes from four Republicans and one independent as well as unanimous support from Democrats. “I know racism when I see it,” said civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis.

    Why does it matter? While the first House repudiation against a president in more than 100 years carries no punishment, some say Trump’s comments could be used against him in legal challenges to his immigration policies.

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    Sudanese Military, Opposition Sign Power-Sharing Deal

    In what an African Union envoy called a “huge achievement,” representatives from the country’s Transitional Military Council and opposition coalition signed a declaration today aimed at charting a course out of political deadlock. Five members from each side will sit on a new sovereign council, which will rule for around three years until elections are held, while a Cabinet will be appointed by the opposition.

    How else will power be divided? The two groups’ specific roles have yet to be decided, but they’ll be outlined in a constitutional declaration, the second part of the agreement, expected to be signed Friday.

    Read this OZY feature on Sudan’s mysterious, almost-but-not-quite liquor.

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    German Defense Minister Takes Top EU Job

    Narrowly elected in a secret ballot last night, Ursula von der Leyen has become the European Commission’s first female president. The center-right minister, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, urged colleagues to “work together constructively” and pledged to fight poverty, push for women’s rights and boost social welfare. As OZY reports, the 60-year-old trained gynecologist and mother of seven may well replace Merkel as the new face of Europe.

    How successful might she be? Observers believe the divided nature of the European Parliament means von der Leyen — whose commission writes and enforces laws — may have a tough time passing legislation.

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    US Bans Sales of F-35s to Turkey

    Blaming his predecessor for placing tough restrictions on Ankara, President Trump reluctantly approved the measure after Turkey’s purchase of a Russian-made S-400 air defense system. “Lockheed isn’t exactly happy,” he said, referring to the F-35’s manufacturer: “That’s a lot of jobs.” Analysts say Trump’s “unfortunate affinity” for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was behind his administration’s delay of Tuesday’s widely expected decision.

    What’s the bigger picture? The move will probably further strain relations between the two NATO members, which have already locked horns over Kurdish fighters in Syria.

  6. Also Important…

    The president of U.S. reproductive rights group Planned Parenthood has been forced out of her job over her management style. A top U.S. diplomat has vowed to help end a political and economic dispute between South Korea and Japan. And fugitive former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, sought in a corruption case,  has been arrested in the U.S. and faces extradition back home.

    #OZYfact: The U.S. is now denying a record 70 percent of asylum requests. 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.

intriguing

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    Ex-Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Dies at 99

    The respected jurist and World War II veteran died at home in Florida after suffering a stroke on Monday. Nominated by President Gerald Ford in 1975 and approved in just three weeks, he spent 35 years on the bench. In his early days, the Chicago native was considered a center-right judge, but as the decades passed Stevens found himself slightly to the left as the court grew more conservative. He retired in 2010.

    What is his legacy? Stevens’ most prominent opinions include arguments against using the death penalty for mentally disabled defendants and in favor of more legal rights for Guantánamo Bay prisoners.

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    Elon Musk Unveils Brain-Machine Interface Tech

    In his first public presentation of Neuralink yesterday, the mercurial billionaire introduced technology he hopes will allow paralyzed people to control computers with their minds. The system involves a “neurosurgical robot” that implants ultrathin threads, which are more flexible and carry more data than current cerebral implants, into a patient’s brain. Musk, who is recruiting new employees to the startup, has provided most of its $158 million funding.

    When will it be introduced? Neuralink, which demonstrated its tech with a lab rat, could begin human tests next year with help from Stanford University researchers.

    Read OZY’s feature about whether at-home brain stimulation can treat depression.

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    This TV Star Is Bringing Species Back From the Dead

    Forrest Galante is often a long way from home. The biologist-turned-TV host — and soon expert witness to the U.S. Senate — finds himself deep in jungles, rainforests and other far-flung locales, searching for something the world thinks doesn’t exist anymore, OZY reports: extinct animals. Galante, the host of Animal Planet’s Extinct or Alive, recently rediscovered the Fernandina Island tortoise near an active Galápagos volcano, rousing excitement from the scientific community.

    Will he save the animal kingdom? While the work can be dangerous and Galante, 31, has had a few close calls, he says it’s all worth it when fans say he’s changed their lives.

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    Netflix, HBO Reap Emmy Nominations

    HBO regained its status as the most-nominated network after briefly falling behind Netflix last year. Its 137 nominations were buoyed by a record 32 for the final season of Game of Thrones, including multiple cast members competing against each other in acting categories, and another 19 for Chernobyl. Netflix is still firmly in the running with 117 nods, including 16 for Ana DuVernay’s When They See Us and 13 for Russian Doll.

    Will Netflix and HBO dominate again? They easily overshadowed NBC’s 58 nominations and Amazon’s 47, but they’ll be challenged by a number of innovative new shows and up-and-coming stars when the winners are announced.

    OZY explores Apple’s Netflix challenge.

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    Manny Pacquiao Disputes Claims of Saudi Arabia Fight

    British boxer Amir Khan claims the Filipino boxing legend and senator signed on for a November bout in Riyadh. Not so fast, Pacquiao, 40, says: Denying claims of a contract, his spokesman says “it hasn’t been even discussed.” Instead, the Pacquiao camp is firmly focused on Saturday’s showdown in Las Vegas against 30-year-old American Keith Thurman for the World Boxing Association welterweight title.

    Who’s going to win? Despite the 10-year age difference, analysts give Pacquiao the advantage in speed and stamina — while Thurman has an edge with his power and tactics.