The Presidential Daily Brief


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    In Debate, Dems Reveal Divisions Over Policy

    As nearly a dozen Democratic 2020 hopefuls faced off in Detroit last night, the two leading liberals — Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — fended off challenges from moderate rivals over their “fairy tale” promises. For lesser-known candidates like ex-congressman John Delaney and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the debate was a chance to object to “Medicare for all”-style health care, among other policy aims of the party’s progressive wing, and tout their more pragmatic approaches.

    What’s next? Ten more contenders, including front-runner Joe Biden, will debate tonight, some getting their final shot before September, when qualifying for debates will be tougher.

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    Seoul: North Korea Launches Two More Missiles

    For the second time in less than a week, South Korea’s military has reported that the Hermit Kingdom fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast Wednesday. Both projectiles reportedly reached a maximum altitude of 19 miles and flew about 155 miles. Experts say the third launch in three months is aimed at raising the stakes in nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

    When will talks take place? While President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un nominally agreed to more negotiations during their brief meeting June 30, nothing’s been scheduled yet.

    Read this OZY op-ed about why Pyongyang will keep its nukes.

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    Hong Kong Protesters Charged With ‘Rioting’

    Territorial authorities are pursuing charges of rioting against demonstrators for the first time since protests began in April. The 44 people who appeared in court today include a Cathay Pacific airline pilot, an electrician and a teacher. The charges stem from a peaceful Sunday gathering that descended into confrontations with police. Nearly all were released on bail of $128, with sentencing scheduled for Sept. 25. If convicted, they face up to 10 years behind bars.

    Why does it matter? The heftier charges could risk further angering pro-democracy activists, who’ve been largely motivated by alleged police brutality and have demanded that the government stop labeling the demonstrations “riots.”

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    Apple, Samsung Report Drop in Quarterly Profit

    Despite a 12 percent year-on-year dip in iPhone sales, the Cupertino-based company posted a 1 percent revenue boost last quarter. But profits slid 13 percent, a trend mirrored in a much greater degree at Samsung — where operating profit sank more than 55 percent last quarter thanks to lower memory chip prices. While the news sent the South Korean company’s shares tumbling, Apple beat analysts’ expectations by hitting per-share earnings of $2.18.

    What’s next for these giants? With consumers clinging to their smartphones longer, Apple is launching better deals for trade-ins and focusing more on services, while Samsung will contend with a supply glut in the semiconductor industry.

  5. Also Important…

    A new round of U.S. and Chinese trade talks ended after only half a day today. Police are still investigating the motive behind 19-year-old shooter Santino William Legan’s deadly attack on a California garlic festival Sunday. And India’s parliament has approved a law criminalizing the Muslim practice of instant divorce.

    #OZYfact: Japanese video game developer Sega launched a streaming service in 1994 — predating YouTube by 11 years. Read more on OZY

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for an ambitious journalist to cover business and finance through unique, analytical and globally minded write-ups. Check out our jobs page and read the description here.


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    Does Foreign Aid Actually Lower Global Migration?

    When President Trump announced that he’d cut aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala until they curbed migration northward, opponents argued that it would spur immigration by worsening conditions. But he may have been onto something, OZY reports: Recent research has found that in some cases, foreign aid actually increases emigration. That’s partly because people in low-income countries simply don’t have the resources to migrate, while comparatively better-off nations send more migrants to developed countries.

    What’s the trend in foreign aid? It’s dropping around the world, with a group of 30 major donor nations giving 2.7 percent less year on year in 2018.

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    Twitter Suspends Another Trump-Retweeted Account

    For the second time this month, Twitter has suspended an account after President Trump retweeted a post it published. The conspiratorial “Lynn Thomas,” which recently accused Democrats of murdering kids for brain parts, was reportedly yanked for violating the platform’s rules against holding multiple accounts to “artificially amplify or disrupt conversations.” This week, Trump retweeted its post saying Democrats interfere in elections and are “THE TRUE ENEMIES OF AMERICA!” 

    Is Twitter’s crackdown working? Despite announcing that it would warn users about tweets from public figures it believes are inappropriate, the platform has yet to apply that filter to the president.

    Read OZY’s feature on the “digital black holes” in the 2020 election.

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    Some Delivery Drivers Admit Eating Customers’ Food

    According to a new survey by restaurant supplier US Foods, 28 percent of couriers snack on people’s orders before actually delivering them. That’s unlikely to digest well with the average customer, whose anger at such a revelation would clock in at 8.4 out of 10, the study found. But drivers aren’t exactly happy, either, with 60 percent saying they’re “consistently irritated” by stingy or nonexistent tipping.

    How could this affect the market? Despite those unsettling figures, food delivery is booming: On average, Americans use two apps with which they order meals three times per month.

    Check out OZY’s Immodest Proposal on limiting Amazon deliveries per customer.

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    Gay Arab Frontman’s Band Dropped From Lebanese Festival

    Popular Arab indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila was to play the Byblos International Music Festival Aug. 9, but yesterday organizers canceled their appearance to “prevent bloodshed.” Conservative Lebanese Christian groups had accused the band, whose frontman Hamed Sinno is openly gay, of promoting homosexuality and illegally insulting religion. Sinno remained in New York while Lebanese authorities questioned his bandmates — before they apologized and removed two “offensive” songs from their Facebook page.

    Is this unusual? Apparently not in Egypt or Jordan, which banned Mashrou’ Leila, but some called it evidence of a recent erosion of freedom of expression in Lebanon.

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    US Women’s National Soccer Coach to Resign

    After steering the USWNT toward back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles, Jill Ellis says she’s calling it quits in October. Under her tenure, the program won eight tournaments and posted an overall record of 102-7-18. In her statement, Ellis thanked her players and staff for their passion and commitment in elevating the global profile of women’s soccer. “It just felt right,” she said of the timing of her departure.

    What’s next for Ellis? The 52-year-old England native plans to remain with U.S. Soccer next year as an ambassador, representing the American federation at various international events.