The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. anti trump protest in baltimore shutterstock 482262730

    Trump’s ‘Rodent-Infested’ Tweet Prompts New Racism Accusations

    President Donald Trump has again stoked racial divisions with a tweetstorm, this time chiding Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings for representing “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who hails from Baltimore, part of which is included in Cummings’ majority-Black district, called the tirade “racist attacks,” while many others, including the city’s mayor and Sun newspaper, responded similarly.

    Why would Trump do this? Cummings had criticized migrant detention center conditions, which Trump said were “clean” and “efficient,” and Fox News had just run a report highlighting urban blight in the district.

  2. moscow protest shutterstock 1460713211

    Moscow Protest Ends With 1,000+ Arrests, TV Raids

    Somtimes beating them bloody, police in Moscow on Saturday reportedly arrested 1,074 protesters. Massing outside the mayor’s office for nearly seven hours against election officials’ scratching of 30 mostly opposition city council candidacies for invalidated petition signatures, demonstrators clashed with baton-wielding police. Before the event, authorities arrested several of the barred candidates. On Wednesday, opposition figure Alexei Navalny, whose online broadcast studio and one other were raided by police Saturday, was jailed for 30 days for fomenting the unpermitted rally.

    What might protesters accomplish? Some believe demonstrators — who numbered more than 20,000 at a July 20 protest — hope to encourage dissent in other Russian regions.

  3. migrants in the sun shutterstock 1008288460

    High Court, Guatemala Hand Trump Border Wins

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Friday that President Trump may divert some $2.5 billion in Pentagon funding to wall off an additional 100 miles of the 2,000-mile southern border. The move legitimizes an executive order to begin building Trump’s signature project without congressional budget approval. Meanwhile, Guatemala’s interior minister signed an agreement to process U.S.-bound asylum seekers.

    How would that work? If, say, Salvadoran or Honduran migrants cross Guatemala to get to Mexico, they’ll be required to apply for U.S. asylum there, not at the American border. U.S. authorities can also send those who bypass that procedure back to Guatemala.

  4. robert mueller testifies to house committee shutterstock 1461474881

    Democrats Move Cautiously Against Trump After Mueller Testimony

    President Donald Trump’s antagonists weren’t satisfied with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Wednesday congressional testimony. Nearly everything he uttered could be found in his much-analyzed report, and opinion polls after the seven hours of hearings showed that Americans still oppose beginning impeachment proceedings, 46-37 percent. One point Mueller reiterated as emphatically as anything was the threat of new Russian election meddling, which has already inspired Democratic legislation blocked by Senate Republicans.

    Where does the battle go from here? Proceeding cautiously, Democrats have filed an “impeachment investigation” lawsuit seeking grand jury evidence and testimony presented by Mueller’s office.

    OZY’s Donald Dossier looks at Mueller’s soporific style.

  5. ricardo rossello shutterstock 1016528119

    Puerto Rico Governor to Fulfill ‘Demand of the People’

    After uproar in Puerto Rico’s streets, governor Ricardo Rosselló announced his departure next Friday, becoming the U.S. territory’s first chief executive to be hounded out of office. He might have survived, it’s said, the financial distress, Hurricane Maria’s turmoil and even close associates’ corruption arrests. But he and his staff mocking disaster victims and the poor, among others, in leaked messages proved too much.

    Will his departure help? It allows new leadership for a corruption-weary citizenry just as jobs and growth are perking up, but it also gave President Trump reason to slam Congress for “foolishly” providing Puerto Rico $92 billion in hurricane relief.


  6. Xi jinping shutterstock 677148799

    Is Beijing Controlling China’s Boardrooms? Just Ask Xi

    When he became China’s leader in 2012, business executives the world over anticipated more opportunity and entrepreneurship in the erstwhile state-run economy. That excitement was short-lived. The Chinese Communist Party has always played a role in private business, but measures introduced by Xi Jinping in the last couple of years have deepened the connection. Now Western officials have ample reason to believe Chinese firms do the party’s bidding.  

    What motivates Xi? After consolidating power last year, keeping party officials on corporate boards can help ensure that political authority can’t be usurped by corporate titans.

    OZY looks at how Chinese cameras compromise U.S. bases.

  7. Also Important…

    Hong Kong pro-democracy activists are defying a police ban, demonstrating outside of approved areas in their protests’ eighth consecutive weekend. Authorities in Nigeria say they have rescued two Turkish nationals kidnapped a week ago.  And astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will remain director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium after the conclusion of the American Museum of Natural History’s investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

    In the week ahead: The Tour de France is to conclude today in Paris with Egan Bernal set to become its first Colombian champion.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, Democratic presidential contenders will face off during a second set of debates. And the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to cut the benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point Wednesday, anticipating the effects of a trade war and a weakening global economy.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for a plugged-in business editor/reporter to find value-added stories to enhance our coverage of the world of finance and commerce. Check out our jobs page and read the description here


  1. twitter shutterstock 1239133447

    The Inventor of ‘Retweet’ Has Regrets

    Chris Wetherell says he didn’t recognize what he’d invented a decade ago. The tech developer contracted by Twitter gave little thought to what the “retweet” button might accomplish, but was pleased to see how it spread humanitarian assistance calls after disasters. Then, after the 2012 U.S. elections, it was emulated by Facebook, and sharing wasn’t just about caring. Making posts more mindlessly spontaneous, amplifying misinformation and harassment, the feature has driven Wetherell to compare it to handing “a 4-year-old a loaded weapon.” 

    Can it be stopped? In addition to its inventor’s misgivings, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has said he’s “definitely thinking” about the button’s ramifications.

  2. Cells shutterstock 1137710192

    This Artificial Intelligence ‘Sees’ Cells From Within

    Considering this century’s scientific and medical advances, it’s surprising that researchers have barely scratched the surface of how human cells look from the inside. Artificial intelligence could change that, hopes one scientist with a software background. Greg Johnson and his coworkers at Seattle’s Allen Institute have trained a deep learning system to label known cell parts, and then discover unknown components. 

    What’s the goal? Eventually, the team believes the program can be used to build the most accurate models ever of cells’ inner workings, allowing for virtual experimentation.

    OZY profiles a researcher working to edit away incurable diseases.

  3. child eating fast food shutterstock 1111941848

    Parents Overfeeding Kids? Book ’Em

    Want handcuffs with those fries? Writing for OZY, Dr. John Glynn, a University of Bahrain psychology professor, posits that with nearly a third of American kids overweight, drastic measures are required. Allowing kids to gorge themselves on fatty, sugary fare that endangers their health is abuse, he writes, and should be defined as such — even in penal codes.

    How might that work? Glynn suggests a three-strike system: a warning, then training or counseling. A third strike could result in anything from loss of parental rights to criminal abuse charges, depending on the case. Kids might suffer, he admits, but the deterrent could save others.

  4. lion roaring shutterstock 367384340

    Is ‘The Lion King’ a Copy of a Copy?

    Long before 1994’s The Lion King animated blockbuster film that’s now completing the great circle of remakes, there was Kimba. The late Japanese manga “god,” Osamu Tezuka, created the kid’s cartoon Kimba the White Lion three decades earlier, and its fans were outraged. Why? There’s the protagonist’s name, “Simba,” accompanied by a similar bird. Then the antagonist: Disney’s eye-clawed “Scar” and Tezuka’s eye-gouged “Claw,” both with spotted hyena henchmen.

    Didn’t Tezuka’s heirs sue? In fact, his production company didn’t, and Disney’s original creative team members, who claimed their story was original, denied copying — or even knowing about Kimba.

    OZY examines China’s runaway hit comics app.

  5. bridgeport bluefish atlantic league baseball shutterstock 68488315

    Stealing First in Baseball’s Atlantic League

    “Somebody has to do it.” That’s the assessment of former major league pitcher Mat Latos, now a closer for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, of sometimes bizarre rules he and fellow Atlantic League players must follow this year. The independent league is testing things like stealing first base and bans on defensive shifts and pitcher’s mound conferences under an agreement with an MLB looking to enliven the baseball experience.

    How weird does it get? Well, a radar robot determines balls and strikes, while helping get players noticed by big-league number crunchers who tap into the black box’s pitching and hitting stats.

    Check out this OZY Immodest Proposal on improving the MLB.

  6. dad shutterstock 368522639

    Stay-at-Home Dads, Keep Up With the Women’s Team!

    It’s time to stop wearing the pants. You men can’t keep up with women as caregivers/providers, and Nick Dall, OZY’s own seven-year veteran stay-at-home working dad, has revealed your secret. But rather than continue to lap up all that undeserved praise while playing Fortnite, you can implement Dall’s tips for upping your game.

    How can working dads redeem themselves? Assign a fair hourly value to parenting, then avoid work below that. Schedule meetings mid-morning, to avoid traffic and allow for afternoon school pickups. And don’t forget to remind mom who does it better.