The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. memorial candle for mass shooting shutterstock 436693627

    US Struggles With Shock of Two Mass Shootings

    “Our real challenge is to look within.” So said a pastor at Washington’s National Cathedral yesterday as the country attempted to process back-to-back gun killings over the weekend that left 29 dead and dozens injured. The attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, prompted some to rethink their daily routines. They also refocused attention on President Donald Trump’s combative rhetoric against immigration, as well as what many describe as his messages of intolerance.

    How are the investigations proceeding? Police, who have questioned the El Paso suspect, characterized the attack as “domestic terrorism,” while there’s no evidence that the deceased Dayton gunman was motivated by ideology.

  2. Carrie lam hong kong shutterstock 1424766968

    Strike Paralyzes Hong Kong as Protests Rage On

    Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the semi-autonomous territory is near “the verge of a very dangerous situation” after the ninth consecutive weekend of protests. Today, demonstrators fanned out across Hong Kong, blocking streets and public transport, while more than 200 flights were canceled. Civil servants reportedly vowed to join the general strike by the thousands as Lam showed no sign of quitting, as demanded by demonstrators, who also want protest-related prosecutions dropped.

    How have police handled the chaos? Amid claims of heavy-handedness, authorities announced today that they’ve arrested more than 500 people and fired more than 1,000 rounds of tear gas since early June.

  3. Indian army border guard Kashmir shutterstock 314067611

    Amid Crackdown, India Moves to End Kashmir’s Special Status 

    Tensions in India’s only predominantly Muslim region — and with neighboring Pakistan — are likely to rise after New Delhi attempted to cancel its special autonomy Monday. This followed Indian authorities placing Kashmiri politicians under house arrest, cutting communications and banning public gatherings. Critics say that by rushing through Monday’s decree, which may face a legal challenge, the Indian government is attempting to tweak the local demographics by allowing more Hindu settlers.

    How are local residents reacting? One former Kashmir official warned that “the darkest day in Indian democracy” could result in “catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent.”

    Check out this OZY op-ed about the conflict over Kashmir.

  4. chinese yuan shutterstock 508013581

    China Lets Yuan Dip as Trade Spat Worsens

    For the first time since 2008, Beijing let its currency drop 1.4 percent, allowing it to trade above the key seven-per-dollar threshold. Monday’s apparently retaliatory depreciation follows threats by President Trump last week to slap 10 percent tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports. Japan’s Nikkei and South Korea’s Kospi stock indexes fell 1.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, on the news Monday, while S&P 500 futures dipped 1.1%.

    Why does it matter? Some analysts fear that the currency move — sure to anger Washington by making American goods more expensive in China — opens a worrisome new front in the trade war.

  5. Also Important…

    Iranian state media reported yesterday that authorities had seized another foreign ship they claimed was smuggling fuel. Huawei says its smartphones now account for 38 percent of China’s market. And New Zealand has unveiled a bill that would legalize abortion for all women.

    #OZYfact: There were at least 33 lynchings and 69 incidents of mob violence across India between January 2017 and July 2018 — all fueled by WhatsApp. 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.


  1. hoberboard shutterstock 416801692

    Frenchman Hoverboards Across English Channel 

    Franky Zapata received a three-helicopter escort yesterday as he hovered from France to England in around 20 minutes using the jet-powered device he designed himself. Wearing a jet fuel tank on his back, the Jet Ski-powered waterboard champion — who failed on his first attempt July 25 — hit nearly 120 mph during the 22-mile crossing. Asked whether he made history, Zapata said, “Time will tell.”

    Is hovering the future? It might be: Just today, Japanese electronics firm NEC Corp. showed off a “flying car” that reached 10 feet during a test flight.

    Read OZY’s Flashback about one tiny Spanish suburb’s role in the U.S. moon landing.

  2. yemen children shutterstock 481293601

    Food Deliveries to Resume in Yemen’s Houthi-Controlled Areas

    It’s a rare piece of good news for war-ravaged Yemen, where three-quarters of its 30 million inhabitants require humanitarian aid: The United Nations food agency reached a deal with Houthi militants to resume food shipments in rebel-held areas. The World Food Program discontinued some deliveries June 20 after accusing the Iranian-supported Houthi faction, which is fighting a Saudi-led coalition, of diverting aid meant for vulnerable populations.

    When will aid resume? The WFP says details should be worked out in the coming days, but help can’t come quickly enough: The suspended supplies fed some 850,000 people.

  3. der spiegel shutterstock 1354576406

    Der Spiegel Under Fire Again for ‘Anti-Semitism’

    It’s the second such allegation in weeks by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, which lambasted the German newsweekly’s recent cover picturing ultra-Orthodox Eastern Europeans. The group tweeted that the image uses stereotypes “to portray Jews as foreign or exotic,” which promotes anti-Semitism. Previously, the magazine took heat for an article on pro-Israel advocates’ alleged hold over Berlin’s foreign policy.

    Will Der Spiegel respond? It defended its cover to the Jerusalem Postsaying the image captured “a historical street scene” from 1928 Berlin, and wasn’t intended as an “anti-Semitic cliché.” 

    Don’t miss this OZY feature about why Nigeria’s Jews are caught in a separatist war.

  4. Insect food shutterstock 535148725

    Why Mexico Is Buggin’ Over Insect Cuisine

    While insects may be the answer to our protein needs, possibly helping solve world hunger and reducing carbon emissions, Mexican authorities aren’t convinced. Home to nearly a third of the world’s edible insect species, it could be a world leader in bug bites — yet claims a mere 1.7 percent of the growing market, OZY reports. Production costs and a lack of insect husbandry culture have sidelined the nation from an industry expected to hit $1.2 billion by 2023.

    What can Mexico do? Policymakers could recognize invertebrate livestock as a food source and codify standards for its cultivation, making it easier for local producers to compete.

  5. Tom brady shutterstock 1432729208

    Reports: Brady Signs Two-Year Extension With New England

    Six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady will reportedly take home $23 million this year — an extra $8 million on his original contract with the Patriots. His original arrangement was set to expire after the 2019 season, but with this extension he’ll play his 20th season with New England and continue at least through 2021, while pocketing $70 million.

    Is this a good deal? While the salary seems astronomic to a layman, it’s actually a steal considering the 42-year-old QB has taken New England to nine Super Bowls. Besides, the bargain leaves plenty of salary beneath the NFL’s cap for other positions.