The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Trump to Visit Shooting Sites as GOP Mulls Gun Control

    Today President Donald Trump will visit the sites of last weekend’s back-to-back shootings in Texas and Ohio that left 31 people dead and dozens more wounded. The White House says he’ll seek “to have a conversation” about preventing such tragedies — but local observers are wondering whether that’ll be possible, given his history of incendiary statements. In Washington, meanwhile, Republicans are coalescing around so-called “red flag” legislation facilitating the confiscation of firearms from at-risk owners.

    What could a new law look like? That still partially depends on Democrats, some of whom want tougher bills banning military-style assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.

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    Pakistan Vows Response to India’s Kashmir Move

    Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday vehemently challenged India’s recent deprivation of the predominantly Muslim region’s special status. He claimed that New Delhi aims to ethnically cleanse Kashmir, and vowed before Parliament to “raise this at every level,” including at the UN Security Council. Tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries spiked this year over the disputed territory, split between areas under Indian and Pakistani administration. China, which borders Kashmir, called its status change “unacceptable.”

    What do ordinary Kashmiris face? A widespread security crackdown — which involves a personal communication and media blackout, OZY reports — could enrage residents, and some have already observed small-scale protests.

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    US Stocks Bounce Back as Trump Waves Off Trade War

    Following their worst day of the year Monday — thanks to the Chinese yuan’s depreciation — the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all closed at least 1.2 percent higher yesterday. And despite dire warnings from Beijing that its feud with Washington could spiral out of control, President Trump downplayed the prospect of a long-term trade war, claiming that “massive amounts of money” were flowing into the U.S. from China and elsewhere.

    Is market volatility always bad? Not necessarily: Some analysts say long-term investors can take advantage of the turmoil by purchasing otherwise solid stocks that have temporarily dipped.

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    Peter Strzok Sues FBI Over Dismissal

    A year after being fired from the bureau for sending text messages critical of President Trump, the veteran counterintelligence agent has sued his former employer, claiming his dismissal was the “direct result of unrelenting pressure” from Trump and his allies. The lawsuit also contends that the government violated Strzok’s privacy by releasing his personal messages. The Justice Department wouldn’t comment on the case.

    What does he want? Besides reinstatement, Strzok is seeking back pay and official recognition of wrongdoing, partly for what he claims was an agency tolerance for political speech — when it agreed with the president.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on the takeaways from the Mueller Report.

  5. Also Important…

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said his country’s most recent round of short-range missile tests was a warning to the U.S. and South Korea. More than 90 people have been injured in a suicide bomb attack on a police station in Kabul. And Italian far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has embarked on a “beach tour” to shore up support before expected new elections.

    #OZYfact: Higher Ground Labs, based in Chicago and founded by former Obama campaigners, has invested $15 million in 36 startups working to bolster progressive politics. 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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    Germany’s Refugees Are Landing Jobs Quickly

    The federal Institute for Employment Research announced that a surprising 36% of refugees in Germany aged 15 to 64 are currently employed. That’s about a year ahead of expectations, though half of all the country’s working-age asylum-seekers are temporary workers or perform low-skilled jobs, while only 8 percent work as researchers or doctors.

    Why does it matter? While the entry of more than 1 million refugees in 2015 sparked a wave of anti-immigrant social and political upheaval across Europe, the fresh statistics support Chancellor Angela Merkel’s optimistic belief that Germany can absorb so many migrants.

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    Can This ‘Artificial Tongue’ Fight Whisky Fraud?

    According to a study in this week’s Nanoscale, a chemistry journal, Scottish scientists have developed an “artificial tongue” that distinguishes minute differences in whisky varieties — possibly thwarting counterfeiters. By using gold- and aluminum-based “taste buds,” the device can nail the difference between the same brand aged in different barrels, with at least 99% accuracy. Able to differentiate other liquids, the technology could also be used in food safety and quality control.

    Is fake booze a big business? One recent study found that 21 out of 55 purportedly rare Scottish whiskies on the secondary market were fake.

    Read this OZY profile of the first American woman to make scotch.

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    Why Diagnosing ‘Rare’ Diseases Is Half the Battle

    The U.S. National Institutes of Health defines a “rare disease” as one afflicting fewer than 200,000 Americans. But since combined they affect one in 12 Americans, those illnesses are more common than their designation suggests. Even so, there aren’t enough patients to make discovering treatments much of a priority, OZY reports. That’s partially why less than 10 percent of some 7,000 rare illnesses out there are currently being researched, experts say — with a steady stream of new maladies being identified.

    How can that change? By staging public awareness campaigns, advocacy groups such as the National Organization for Rare Disorders are helping pile pressure on officials to act.

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    Fellow Writers Remember Toni Morrison

    “Thank you for making us better.” That’s how Black poet Danez Smith honored the pioneering American novelist and Nobel laureate after her death this week at age 88. Professional colleagues of various backgrounds are remembering Morrison, whose seminal works like Beloved and Song of Solomon bore witness to the Black experience, OZY reports, by examining the legacy of slavery and intergenerational trauma.

    How will her legacy live on? Besides opening up a space for Black writers, Morrison also helped shape the art of modern writing, building “worlds with semicolons and italics the way birds build fortresses with sticks,” author Damon Young wrote.

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    Chelsea Apologizes for Sex Abuse by Former Soccer Scout

    Eddie Heath, the British team’s former chief scout, sexually abused youth system players for Chelsea, which apologized “unreservedly” on Tuesday, throughout the 1970s. In a new report, barrister Charles Geekie detailed how Heath, who died in 1983, exposed children as young as 10 to sexual innuendo and pornography before assaulting some in private. Geekie, who interviewed 23 witnesses, also accuses Chelsea former assistant manager Dario Gradi, now 78, of failing to act when a player’s father accused Heath of sexual assault.

    How have victims been affected? The trauma still affects their day-to-day lives decades later, and they’re still waiting for compensation claims to be worked out.