The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. opioids

    Reports: Sackler Family Could Ditch Purdue Pharma

    The family behind the manufacturer of OxyContin might give up ownership of the company and pay $3 billion of their own money to resolve more than 2,000 lawsuits blaming Purdue Pharma for fueling America’s opioid crisis. Talks over the deal — which could total $12 billion and would leave Purdue in bankruptcy — are still ongoing, but a successful settlement would make the pharmaceutical giant the first opioid maker to settle all claims against it for its role in the epidemic.

    Would that help the crisis? Medical experts say the crucial next step is to promote empathy for addicts and compel elected officials to pursue treatment and support programs.

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    Boris Johnson Seeks to Suspend Parliament

    The British prime minister has asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament for several weeks between Sept. 10 and Oct. 14. That means lawmakers, who return from recess next week, will have very little time to pursue legislation that might thwart Johnson’s Brexit plan — which includes the possibility of a no-deal withdrawal — before the Oct. 31 deadline.

    How scandalous is this? Various officials, including members of Johnson’s own Conservative Party, have spoken out against the move, warning it could lead to the collapse of the government.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on Johnson’s exit strategy.

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    Epstein Accusers Offer Moving Testimonies in Court

    “He robbed me of my dreams.” So said one of the 16 women who aired their grievances against disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in a New York court yesterday, detailing how the convicted sex offender abused them while they were teenagers. The hearing marked an extraordinary opportunity for his alleged victims to speak up before the judge dismissed the criminal case due to Epstein’s recent suicide — which his lawyers have argued was actually a homicide.

    What’s next? Investigators’ focus has now turned to Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who’s believed to have helped him recruit young women.

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    Malaysia’s Ex-Prime Minister on Trial Again in 1MDB Scandal

    Najib Razak turned up in court again today to face 21 counts of money laundering and four counts of abuse of office over his alleged role in a multibillion dollar corruption scheme involving the 1MDB state investment fund. It’s one of several ongoing trials involving the former leader, who lost a reelection bid last year and faces dozens of charges over the alleged receipt and concealment of at least $550 million between 2011 and 2014.

    Where did the money go? Investigators believe much of the stolen $4.5 billion went toward lavish real estate properties, Monet and Van Gogh paintings and the production of Hollywood hit The Wolf of Wall Street.

  5. Also Important…

    Deutsche Bank has revealed that it holds tax records from President Donald Trump that pertain to a congressional subpoena. Due to overcrowding, big box retailer Costco’s first location in China was forced to close early on opening day. And comedian Dave Chappelle has been criticized for joking about Michael Jackson’s accusers during his latest Netflix special.

    #OZYfact: Worldwide, 732 million children attend schools where corporal punishment is not fully prohibited. 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. nursing home shutterstock 536383975

    The ‘Granny State’ Is Coming to US Nursing Homes

    Amid fears of elder abuse, a growing number of states are introducing rules requiring nursing homes to let relatives set up webcams in patients’ private rooms, OZY reports. Families argue that peace of mind trumps all, but older Americans and their advocates believe privacy shouldn’t end after middle age. Experts, meanwhile, say balancing those two is difficult — and a recent survey of caregivers suggests the creepy nature of snooping on mundane activities isn’t worth the benefits.

    Is this trend here to stay? The U.S. population above the age of 65 is predicted to double from 49 million in 2016 to 98 million in 2060, meaning the debate will likely only intensify.

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    Feds Charge Ex-Google Engineer With Stealing Trade Secrets

    Before he left the company in 2015, Anthony Levandowski allegedly stole 14,000 files from Waymo, Google’s self-driving car division, and brought them with him to Uber in 2016. Now, after a two-year FBI probe, federal prosecutors in California have charged him with 33 counts of trade theft. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution, for every count.

    What’s Levandowski’s story? His lawyers claim he was authorized to download the documents as a Google employee, and maintain he never passed them to Uber. 

    Check out OZY’s Fast Forward about the spinoffs outperforming Uber and Lyft.

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    Russia to Send Nuclear-Powered Cargo Ship Through Arctic

    Sevmorput, a 30-year-old nuclear-powered container carrier, is currently being loaded with 5,000 tons of fish for its first journey from the Russian far eastern region of Kamchatka to St. Petersburg via the Arctic. The one-of-a-kind vessel will sail north of Siberia, around the west coast of Norway and through the narrow waters between Sweden and Denmark before entering the Baltic Sea. Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear energy company, was granted control of the Northern Sea Route last year.

    What’s the future of Arctic shipping? One recent paper predicted the region could become “the most nuclearized waters on the planet” within 15 years.

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    Near-Total Ban Declared on Trade of Elephants for Zoos

    The Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species ruled on Tuesday to prohibit baby African elephants from being captured and sent to zoos, safari parks or circuses. The decision followed an intense debate in Geneva, which saw the EU include loopholes for “exceptional circumstances,” while Zimbabwe and Botswana — the main suppliers of wild elephants — joined the U.S. in voting against the new regulation.

    Does it also protect Asian elephants? The ban only applies to African elephants, but the Asian species already enjoys more restrictions against international trade.

    Read this OZY story about the man challenging Kenya’s “big conservation lie.”

  5. 800px carli lloyd usa vs can sep17

    USWNT Star Carli Lloyd Considering NFL Career

    “If she’s going to do this, she’ll do it.” That’s what trainer James Galanis said about Lloyd’s interest in kicking for an NFL team next season. Galanis claims she’s received interest from several squads — including an offer to play in a preseason game Thursday — after a video emerged of the soccer star drilling a 55-yard field goal at the Philadelphia Eagles’ training camp. While that offer conflicted with a USWNT game, Lloyd said she’s “seriously considering” the prospect of going pro.

    Why does it matter? Lloyd’s appearance in the NFL could pave the way for greater gender equality in sports.