The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Israel flag shutterstock 1047215800

    Israel Bans US Lawmakers After Pressure From Trump

    The Israeli government denied entry to Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar yesterday, attracting criticism for complying with a political demand by President Donald Trump. Both congresswomen, who are Muslim, support a boycott of Israeli goods and services over the country’s treatment of Palestinians, which led Trump to suggest that allowing them would “show great weakness.” Some worry the move sets a dangerous precedent by effectively exporting a partisan dispute. Today, Israel granted Tlaib permission to visit her grandmother in the West Bank.

    What are the implications? The ban also highlights the increasingly close bond between Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both of whom are facing re-election battles and intense criticism at home.

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    North Korea Chides Moon, Tests More Missiles

    Shortly after the Hermit Kingdom ruled out peace talks with Seoul today, the South Korean military said it detected the launch of another two short-range ballistic missiles from North Korea’s east coast — the sixth test in a month. One of its officials also ridiculed South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s earlier televised appeal, which urged Pyongyang to pick “economic prosperity over its nuclear program.”

    What’s Kim Jong Un going for? By snubbing Moon, experts suggest he now prefers to deal exclusively with President Trump, who has yet to strongly condemn any of Pyongyang’s recent tests.

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

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    Drama Continues Over Iranian Tanker Freed by Gibraltar

    Six weeks after its seizure by British Royal Marines for supposedly transporting oil to EU-sanctioned Syria, the Grace 1 could return to sea as early as today. The British territory released the vessel yesterday after Tehran assured its government that it wouldn’t deliver its cargo to the war-torn nation. But its future remains unclear, since a last-minute U.S. request to keep the tanker in Gibraltar could thrust the case back into court.

    Could the U.K. get anything in return? Officials are hoping Iran will release the British-flagged Stena Impero, which it seized in retaliation two weeks after Grace 1’s capture.

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    Trump Said to Be Interested in Buying Greenland

    Seven decades after President Harry Truman offered to purchase the autonomous Danish territory for $100 million, President Trump is reportedly revisiting the idea. Sources say he’s floated the prospect of buying Greenland, home to the U.S. military’s Thule Air Base, in multiple settings, though aides differ on whether it’s a joke. While Trump will make his first visit to Denmark next month, politicians there have already dismissed a potential acquisition as “completely ridiculous.”

    How serious is he? Trump is said to have asked White House counsel to research it, but observers say it’s most likely a flight of fancy — until it’s mentioned at a campaign rally.

  5. Also Important…

    Asian and European stocks mostly inched higher today amid lingering uncertainty over the global economy. President Trump has urged his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to launch a direct dialogue with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. And police in Zimbabwe clashed with demonstrators today after a local court upheld a ban on protests.

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for an analytical and globally minded technology reporter to sniff out today’s most important stories in science, technology and health. Check out our jobs page and read the description here.


  1. elizabeth warren shutterstock 504165175

    Poll: Voters Don’t Think a Woman Can Beat Trump

    After surveying 1,000 American voters, the women’s non-profit All In Together found that most of them believe a female Democratic nominee would lose to President Trump in the 2020 general election. Still, 58 percent of respondents said they’d vote for a woman. Taken together, those two details suggest that candidates’ perceived electability might outweigh an individual voter’s preference.

    Does that spell trouble for some contenders? Not exactly: Observers highlight other indicators showing that enthusiasm for electing women is up — while also pointing to the fact that not one of the top female candidates has lost a race.

    Read this OZY Fast Forward about why the future of U.S. politics is female.

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    Why NASA Is Herding Drones Over Texas

    As drones become increasingly prevalent, the U.S. space agency wants to integrate them more safely into the skies. So it’s doing final testing this week of a cloud-based traffic management system over Corpus Christi, Texas, before eventually handing off the responsibility to the Federal Aviation Administration. Earlier tests had been conducted in relatively obstruction-free rural areas. “We are in the start of a new era of aviation,” said project manager Ronald Johnson.

    Why does it matter? With 7 million drones expected in the skies by 2020, U.S. aviation officials — who already oversee 5,000 piloted flights per day — will need a surefire system to track the additional movement.

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    Beauty Industry Offers Cosmetics With a Better Feel

    Hoping to capitalize on the $8 trillion in disposable income claimed by people with disabilities, the beauty industry is making a push for diversity by creating more tactile products, OZY reports. Bathroom staples, such as Herbal Essences shampoos and conditioners, already feel noticeably different, making it easier for people with limited sight to distinguish. Meanwhile, easy-grip makeup brushes and cosmetic containers aid those with tremors and other disorders.

    What’s the challenge? Structural change depends on companies recognizing the problem in the first place: With 80 percent of blind people unemployed, most will never have the opportunity to convince their company to take disabled consumers into account.

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    Singer Defies Dubai’s Anti-Gay Law by Kissing Man at Show

    Frontman Matt Healey, of the British pop band The 1975, protested the emirate’s ban on homosexuality during a concert this week by wandering into the crowd and planting a kiss on a male fan. “I love you bro. We’re all human, right?” he said. After the show, Healey speculated on Twitter that he wouldn’t be allowed back into the United Arab Emirates — but given another shot, “I wouldn’t have done anything differently.”

    How serious is the prohibition? It threatens up to 10 years in prison for gay sex, and the British Foreign Office discourages visitors from all public displays of affection, which have landed foreigners behind bars in the past.

  5. car crash vehicle shattered windshield shutterstock 1105336061

    Dale Earnhardt Jr, Family Survive Plane Crash

    The two-time Daytona 500 winner, along with his wife and daughter, have been discharged from an eastern Tennessee hospital after they walked away from a plane crash yesterday largely unharmed. The private Cessna Citation caught fire after running off the end of the runway while landing at the Elizabethton airport. Earnhardt, his family and two pilots escaped the burning jet.

    Where was the family going? The semi-retired racer was scheduled to serve as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series at the nearby Bristol Motor Speedway, where he went after being treated.

    Read OZY’s feature about how NASCAR is driving millennial viewership.