The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. gunman mass shooting shutterstock 1035730654

    El Paso Gunman Kills 20, Police Probing Racist Screed

    A gunman reportedly stalked shoppers with a rifle in the aisles of a Walmart, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others Saturday. Police arrested Patrick Crusius, a White 21-year-old Dallas suburbanite they believe drove across Texas to carry out the attack. President Donald Trump tweeted condemnation of the “hateful act, saying no “reasons or excuses” justify killing innocents, while the FBI launched a terrorism probe.

    What was the motive? Police are investigating whether Crusius posted an online “manifesto” praising the March New Zealand massacre at two mosques, saying America is “rotting from the inside out” and predicting that Hispanics will make Texas “a Democratic stronghold.”

  2. police line shutterstock 56280433

    Weekend’s Second Mass Shooting Kills 9 in Ohio

    In the second such incident in less than 24 hours, a gunman in Dayton, Ohio, has killed nine people. Some 27 others were injured. Responding officers “put an end to it quickly,” fatally shooting the body-armor-clad assailant equipped with spare clips for his .223-caliber rifle, authorities said. The early Sunday violence occurred outside Ned Pepper’s Bar in the historic Oregon District.

    What’s been the reaction? Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley called it “a day that we all dread happening,” and “what’s very sad, as I’ve gotten messages from cities across the country, is that so many of us have gone through it.”

  3. white house storm clouds shutterstock 562939351

    Trump Looks for New Intelligence Chief

    “I like when you vet,” President Donald Trump told journalists, saying they often “do a very good job. Not always.” The ambiguous compliment followed the Friday withdrawal of Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist, as a replacement for departing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Ratcliffe had touted qualifications, like having prosecuted major terrorism cases, that media reports showed to be exaggerated. Still, Trump said news outlets treated his choice “very harshly.”

    Who might be next? Even an interim replacement is uncertain. By law, it would be CIA veteran Sue Gordon, Coats’s deputy. She’s liked by key congressional Republicans, who may resist reported administration efforts to name someone else.

  4. wall street bull

    The US Economy Looks for Its Peak

    It’s been the best of times. American economic indicators have strengthened since 2009. But as OZY reports, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week carefully executed a “pirouette,” cutting interest rates for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. Normally, that’s to fight economic weakness, and this week, there were storm clouds: deadlocked trade negotiations with China spurred President Donald Trump to vow new tariffs on Chinese goods — unnerving investors — while global growth is weakening.

    What’s next? China, with bigger economic troubles, is defiant. Its new UN ambassador said that if Washington wants to talk, “then we will talk. If they want to fight, then we will fight.”

  5. Yellow vests shutterstock 1246496062

    France’s Yellow Vests Aren’t What You Think

    The gilets jaunes movement, unlike what its many detractors have insisted, pits everyday French against Paris’ elite, writes journalist Christopher Ketcham. After dodging tear gas with demonstrators in multiple cities and interviewing many of them, he reports that none espouse the right-wing or intolerant views that much of the French and American press have ascribed to them. 

    What are they fighting for? The protesters are hardly monolithic, but common themes shine through, like a disdain for President Emmanuel Macron’s neoliberalism, and even a counterintuitive concern about global warming — which, demonstrators point out, is disproportionately the result of upper-income consumption.

    Catch up on the movement’s origins with OZY.

  6. immigration us flag hand on fence shutterstock 719113522

    Florida Case Seen as Test of Foreign-Born Citizen Purge

    A federal judge may be writing a precedent that could haunt naturalized U.S. citizens. She’s deciding whether to strip citizenship from Parvez Manzoor Khan, a Florida trucker from Pakistan who married an American and obtained U.S. citizenship. But Khan didn’t disclose on his 2006 naturalization forms that he’d been ordered deported in 1992, which happened in California, he says, without his knowledge.

    What’s at stake? Revoking citizenship is a rare step traditionally reserved for those linked to unspeakable violence, but the Trump administration initiative that ensnared Khan — the first to go to trial — has targeted 1,600 for denaturalization.

  7. Also Important…

    Iran says it has seized another foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. India has ordered thousands of tourists and Hindu pilgrims ot evacuate Kashmir, citing a “terror threat.” Three women who died from a falling coastal cliffside near San Diego Friday were family members celebrating one victim’s cancer survival. And Russian authorities have detained more than 800 people protesting Saturday against the disqualification of opposition candidates in Moscow municipal elections. 

    In the week ahead: Sentencing for Cesar Sayoc, who’s admitted to mailing bombs to opponents of President Trump, is scheduled for Monday. Tuesday is the 74th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear attack, on Hiroshima, Japan. And the Hajj, Islam’s annual pilgrimage to Mecca and other holy sites, is expected to begin Friday.

    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.


  1. smartphones plugged in shutterstock 352936172

    How to Farm Phones for Fun and Profit

    They need the clicks and you need the money, so why not? Much has been made of industrial-scale phone farms in China, “engaging” with websites to boost their alleged audience numbers. But with the help of cut-rate smartphones and apps, ordinary Americans are doing the same thing on a smaller scale. They’re racking up phones while racking up fractions of cents per “view.” 

    How does it work? “Incentivized traffic” apps connect sites that want more traffic with viewers who get paid for their clicks and time, say, watching videos. Farmers get their phones to do it continuously, with the help of other apps.

  2. chimpanzee in uganda shutterstock 358500770

    Scientist Loses Fight for the Life of Beloved Chimp

    Poaching happens. No one knew that better than Kevin Langergraber, who studies chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kibale National Park. But this week the Arizona anthropologist witnessed Kidman, an adult female, being speared by poachers. But the two hunters weren’t expecting the angry scientist, who frightened them off and used one of their spears to battle the attackers’ dogs, killing seven and allowing another chimp to escape.

    What’s the lesson here? Efforts to fight poaching in wildlife preserves aren’t keeping up with the need. Langergraber hopes his experience will be a “kick in the butt” to fund more teams to prevent such slaughter.

    Read OZY’s look at saving Pakistan’s pangolins.

  3. Shutterstock 25958710

    Western Sahara’s ‘Gandhi’ Fights for Peace 

    As a young woman, Aminatou Haidar’s thirst to free her native Western Sahara from Moroccan rule saw her tortured during three years in prison. Four decades later, the occupying government still sees her as a dangerous separatist and agitator. But Haidar may be the strongest force preventing her fellow Sahrawis, some 170,000 of them in Algerian exile, from taking up arms. As younger leaders emerge, Haidar worries they won’t share her patience and will follow burgeoning regional militant movements toward violence. 

    What divides the generations? Haidar’s contemporaries know the cost of war, having lost family members, while for younger Sahrawis, armed struggle is a more abstract path to independence.

  4. Gaming shutterstock 705666394

    Inside the Game Studio That Never Was

    For the 25 employees of Drakore Studios it was a dream come true: a game development gig that paid. Until the paychecks failed to appear last month as the founder, Rana Mahal, claimed he’d secured the rights to a promising project, and investors were interested. “I made mistakes,” he admitted after the studio failed, but “didn’t maliciously intend for this to happen.” 

    How can it go so wrong? Game development is driven by professionals motivated by passions that can blind them to something that looks too good to be true — until it’s too late.

    OZY takes a look at the future of gaming.

  5. Rugby player Israel Folau

    How a Rugby Star Became a Champion of Intolerance

    “Hell awaits you.” That’s what former Australian Super Rugby superstar Israel Folau posted on Instagram in April about a list of “sinners” that included liars, thieves and homosexuals. This week Folau announced that he’s suing Rugby Australia, accusing the organization of wrongfully terminating him because of his religious beliefs.

    Why does this matter? In the months since Folau’s dismissal, he’s given voice to so-called “quiet Australians” who are socially conservative and feel their views are trampled upon by liberal elites — such as when he was barred from covering legal expenses on GoFundMe.

    Read OZY’s Immodest Proposal for gender equality in sports.