The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. iran prison captivity shutterstock 749189701

    Iran Claims Arrest of 17 CIA Spies

    Tehran announced today that it had arrested — and in some cases already sentenced to death — of its citizens who had been recruited as spies  by the United  States. All of the arrests, the statement said, took place before April. The alleged spies worked at “sensitive” military and nuclear sites, according to an intelligence officer for the Islamic Republic said at a press conference.

    What’s the U.S. response? Experts fear the move could be another escalation of tensions with the West, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “the Iranian regime has a long history of lying,” while acknowledged that his department is working toward the release of Americans held by Iran.

  2. Hong kong protest shutterstock 1425188288

    Dozens of Hong Kong Protesters Injured in Mob Attack

    Scores of men in white shirts wielding clubs and pipes attacked demonstrators and other passengers at a Hong Kong train station, injuring 45 people and leaving protesters charging that police refused to intervene. Opposition lawmakers have vowed to investigate the attack by suspected triad gang members. Police, who’ve regularly clashed with protesters, say waiting for reinforcements slowed their response.

    Is more violence ahead? The government has condemned the attacks, but viral footage could inflame divisions, especially given heightened opposition to the law that would extradite Hong Kong residents to mainland China for trial.

    OZY looks at Carrie Lam, the leader dividing the city.

  3. Shutterstock 1456093790

    Trump Ramps Up ‘Squad’ Attacks

    “They need to apologize to America,” President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday, “for the horrible (hateful) things they have said.” Thus continued a running battle of political swipes between the commander in chief and four progressive congresswomen, who have said much the same thing about the president. They’re “destroying” the Democratic Party, Trump added, but “can never destroy our great Nation!”

    Why persist? Democrats have accused Trump of being racist for suggesting the four “go back” to the “places from which they came,” but some analysts say stoking such divisions might help him win swing states in 2020.

    OZY’s Donald Dossier asks what Trump wants in an opponent.

  4. Shutterstock 1452918911

    Puerto Rico Governor Won’t Seek Reelection, Won’t Resign

    Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said he will not run for a second term in 2020 and plans to relinquish his leadership of the New Progressive Party — but he will finish his four-year term. That’s despite more than a week of mass rallies demanding his ouster following the leak of group chat messages between Rosselló and his Cabinet that demeaned women and the LGBT community and joked about the 3,000 killed by Hurricane Maria.

    Will Rosselló’s move be enough? It’s unlikely, since his party’s vice president asked for his resignation yesterday, and protests are continuing. Said one resident: “We want him gone. That’s it.”

    OZY’s Flashback remembers San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz’s first big battle.

  5. googleshutterstock 552493561

    Google to Settle Multibillion-Dollar Privacy Lawsuit

    The tech giant is expected to pay a modest $13 million to escape a multibillion-dollar privacy suit filed in 2010 after vehicles used for Google’s Street View mapping project stored emails, passwords and other private information from millions of unencrypted Wi-Fi networks worldwide. The controversy, dubbed “Wi-Spy,” once rivaled Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in notoriety.

    Why so low? Attorneys for the class-action suit’s 20 plaintiffs say identifying other victims would be difficult with decade-old data snippets. Instead, the remaining money will go to privacy advocacy groups.

    This OZY feature examines Google’s robot car program.

  6. Also Important…

    Preliminary results indicate comedian-turned-President Volodymyr Zelensky’s party won a resounding victory in Ukraine’s snap parliamentary elections Sunday. After being delayed by a technical issue last week, India’s unmanned Chandrayaan-2 moon probe lifted off today. And Robert Morgenthau, a longtime New York City district attorney who prosecuted mobsters and Wall Street tycoons, has died at the age of 99.

    #OZYfact: Africa’s land-locked Chad has been assessed as the world’s most vulnerable nation in the face of climate change. Read more on OZY.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for an innovative senior graphic designer to help our marketing campaigns go viral. Check out our jobs page and read the description here.


  1. british airways shutterstock 528828226

    British Airways Cancels Cairo Flights Over Terror Threat

    Passengers rushed to book new tickets after the airline abruptly suspended trips to the Egyptian capital Saturday night as “a precaution to allow for further assessment” of airport security. Meanwhile, the U.K.’s Foreign Office warned travelers of “a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation.” German carrier Lufthansa also canceled some flights to Cairo, but resumed flying Sunday.

    What could have caused this? While British Airways’ official explanation for the week-long suspension was vague, the airline reportedly assessed Cairo’s airport security on Wednesday and Thursday before the decision.

    OZY explores how artificial intelligence is changing air travel.

  2. Climate change protest shutterstock 630429824

    Can Mental Health Care Keep Up With Global Warming?

    The physical toll of the climate crisis is ever more obvious, with heat waves across Europe and North America setting record temperatures and threatening the well-being of millions. But there’s also a mental health impact that academia is increasingly moving to define and address, OZY reports. Institutions like John Hopkins and Yale are adding climate change-related anxiety and depression training to their medical schools.

    What do we need to learn? One simple task is naming new phenomena, like “eco-anxiety” and “solastalgia” — distress over environmental change — while better understanding traumas like surviving heat waves, wildfires and floods.

  3. California condor shutterstock 320557883

    Once Nearly Extinct, California Condors Thriving

    Conservationists have returned North America’s largest bird — revered in Native American cultures — from the brink of extinction in the 1980s. At their most critically endangered, fewer than two dozen had survived poaching, habitat destruction and lead poisoning from carrion tainted by hunters’ pellets. From those few, taken for breeding, the 1,000th condor chick has hatched in Zion National Park, and today more than 300 condors exist the wild.

    What lessons can we learn? While widespread extinction threats loom with climate change, the condor program shows that sustained conservation efforts can pay off.

    OZY talks with a leader in conservation.

  4. Shutterstock 1431802226

    New ‘Lion King’ Roars to Summer Records

    The photorealistic remake earned $185 million in the U.S. and Canada in its first weekend, making it the biggest July opening ever. Though it’s still dwarfed by Avengers: Endgame — which just surpassed Avatar as the biggest ever global hit with revenue of $2.79 billion — The Lion King set its own record as the biggest North American debut for a PG-rated movie. The 1994 original’s $1.5 million opening weekend record from just two theaters still stands.

    Who loved it the most? Foreign audiences also flocked to see Simba and Pumbaa, especially in China, where theaters raked in $98 million.

    OZY checks in on the future of animation.

  5. Shutterstock 299534801

    Shane Lowry Wins First Major Golf Title at British Open

    The 32-year-old Irishman battled strong wind and heavy rain to win the tournament by six strokes, holding off opponents by shooting a final round score of 72. Local fans may have been disappointed that Rory McIlroy didn’t do better as Northern Ireland hosted the Open for the first time since 1951, but notable stars Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods also failed to make the cut.

    How did Lowry get here? After blowing a four-shot lead going into the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open, he missed the cut in four straight Opens — losses that make this win sweeter, since he finished the job close to home.

    See OZY’s look at the next generation of talented golfers.