The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. hong kong protest shutterstock 1437457952

    Calm Returns to Hong Kong Airport After Clashes

    Following two straight days of chaos at the transport hub — caused by pro-democracy protesters blocking departure gates and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights — operations appeared back on track Wednesday. But in an attempt to prevent future protests, Hong Kong’s airport authority was granted an injunction against demonstrators, who clashed with cops last night at various points. That means they’ll face arrest and removal from almost all areas if they return.

    Who’s weighing in? Besides President Donald Trump, who called the situation “very tough,” the company with a controlling stake in Cathay Pacific Airways has thrown its support behind embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

  2. us trade containers flag shutterstock 1307551153 (1)

    Trump Delays Some China Tariffs in Pre-Holiday Move

    U.S. stocks rallied yesterday after the White House announced it would delay new tariffs on around $156 billion worth of Chinese goods. Originally scheduled to take effect next month, 10 percent taxes on imports like mobile phones, laptops and toys would wait until Dec. 15. “We’re doing this for Christmas season,” President Trump told reporters. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.44 percent on the news.

    Is the trade war coming to an end? That’s unlikely, since tariffs on some $107 billion worth of Chinese imports will still go into effect Sept. 1, and at least one senior U.S. official said Washington wasn’t extending an olive branch toward Beijing.

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    Guards During Epstein Death Taken off Duty

    A new report suggests two staffers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein apparently hung himself Saturday, had fallen asleep while assigned to guard Epstein’s unit. The Justice Department placed on leave those two employees — who logged that they’d checked on the inmate every 30 minutes during the three hours they’re believed to have spent sleeping, sources said. The facility’s warden, Lamine N’Diaye, has been reassigned.

    What’s the reaction? Some expressed dismay that N’Diaye would continue working, with one union official arguing his removal of Epstein from suicide watch was “egregious.”

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on the Epstein affair.

  4. angela merkel shutterstock 1378552598

    Germany Reports More Negative Growth

    Europe’s largest economy appears headed for a recession after contracting 0.1 percent during the second quarter, dragging down its annual growth rate to just 0.4 percent. Uncertainty over global trade and poor performance in the automobile industry — thanks to tighter emissions standards and digitization — were key drivers. Before the data was released today, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she saw “no need for a stimulus package.”

    Why has Germany been hit so hard? As a major exporter, its economy is particularly sensitive to developments like an economic slowdown in China or sinking investor confidence ahead of a potentially chaotic Brexit.

  5. Also Important…

    The Los Angeles Opera has announced that it’ll launch an investigation into accusations that general director Placido Domingo sexually harassed women for decades. CBS and Viacom have agreed on a merger, creating a conglomerate worth at least $28 billion. And a prominent Saudi activist has reportedly refused to deny being tortured in prison in exchange for her release.

    #OZYfactU.S. church attendance among adults has plummeted 20 percentage points in the past two decades. 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. liberty

    US Official Suggests Rewording of Statue of Liberty Plaque

    Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has offered a rewrite of the sonnet inscribed below the iconic New York City statue. During a radio interview yesterday, he intimated that Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus should say, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” That aligns with Monday’s immigration rule denying legal migrants residency if they’re poor or receive public assistance.

    Have times changed? When it was published in 1883, Cuccinelli noted, “that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe” — a distinction some see as racist.

  2. assembly line factory shutterstock 671998303

    Auto Sales in India Hit Two-Decade Low

    Some 15,000 workers have been laid off in recent months as the Indian auto industry continues to suffer — with sales falling nearly 19 percent in July to a 19-year low, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. That plunge was driven by a 31 percent drop in passenger car sales. Another million jobs in the auto components sector are also reportedly at risk, while the industry group is asking the government to fast-track a “revival package.”

    Why does it matter? Since carmaking accounts for around half of India’s manufacturing sector, continuing turmoil could seriously affect the country’s GDP.

    Check out OZY’s feature on ride-sharing spinoffs hitting it big.

  3. Venezuela shutterstock 703997221

    Venezuelans Are Entering Colombia’s Criminal Underworld

    With about 4 million Venezuelans having fled to neighboring countries in recent years, their vulnerability has become a boon for criminal networks elsewhere, OZY reports. Authorities in Colombia, for instance, report that hundreds of migrants have been swept up by everything from guerrilla militancy to the country’s infamous cocaine trade. Women are especially vulnerable, being recruited into prostitution as soon as they cross the border and often going on to become recruiters themselves.

    Why are they doing it? Desperation compels Venezuelans to take bigger risks, so they’re settling for less than what Colombian or Mexican gang members would make — but more than what they’d earn back home.

  4. malnourished

    Climate Change Is Making Child Malnutrition Worse

    According to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, global warming-fueled droughts could reverse recent gains made against child malnutrition by stoking food insecurity. Researchers used data on more than 580,000 children in 53 countries, as well as satellite images of drought conditions since 1990, which revealed that countries like Chad, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are being hit hardest. Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half the deaths of children under the age of 5.

    What could be done? Besides basics like improving local governance and boosting irrigation, experts say promoting nutritionally diverse farming methods would also go a long way.

  5. jay z shutterstock 19761655

    NFL, Jay-Z Partner Up Over Entertainment, Activism

    Under a new deal between the league and the rapper’s entertainment company, Roc Nation, the NFL will consult with the firm on major events like the Super Bowl. But it could also help elevate the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative, aimed at addressing criminal justice reform, police and community relations, as well as access to education in economically disadvantaged areas. Jay-Z described the partnership as “an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”

    Why the alliance? The league faces a credibility problem with African Americans — who make up nearly 70 percent of its on-field workforce — especially following the NFL’s handling Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest.