The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. hurricane dorian square late sunday 1 sep noaa satellite

    Now Category 5, Dorian Batters Bahamas on Way to Florida

    It’s the strongest hurricane to hit the island chain on record, forcing residents to seek shelter from “catastrophic” winds, rain and potentially 20-foot storm surge. Despite earlier fears, forecasters believe it will then veer north, its eye perhaps missing mainland Florida. But in briefing President Donald Trump, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that even from offshore, Dorian could cause significant damage.

    Where is it headed? Its anticipated right turn would make it skirt the coast, causing heavy rains, wind and flooding in Florida by late Monday, then linger over the Carolinas Wednesday and Thursday. With some luck, it could keep turning and churn back into the Atlantic.

  2. police line shutterstock 56280433

    Texas Shooting Death Toll Rises to Seven

    After being stopped by police, a gunman shot at officers and began driving, randomly shooting pedestrians and other vehicles in West Texas Saturday. The rampage between Midland and Odessa ended with seven fatalities and three officers at a toddler among 21 wounded. The gunman ditched his Honda and hijacked a Postal Service vehicle before dying in a police shootout in a cinema parking lot. It’s the state’s second mass shooting in a month.

    Who was the gunman? While yet to be identified, he’s described as a White man in his 30s. It’s not clear what his motive was, although he was reportedly stopped for failing to signal for a left turn.

  3. india citizenship protest in assam shutterstock 1304921863

    India Strips 1.9 Million Of Citizenship Rights

    Authorities released a final version Saturday of the National Register of Citizens — purportedly aimed at isolating illegal immigrants from Bangladesh — with 1.9 million residents of the northeastern state of Assam missing. That’s fewer than last July’s four million left off of a draft list, but opponents say the NRC is a way to exclude ethnic minorities by imposing draconian requirements that they prove they or their families lived in the state since 1971.

    How ‘final’ is the list? Those excluded have 120 days to appeal in legal proceedings critics say are prohibitive to those with limited resources.

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    Boris Johnson’s Brexit Squeeze

    Britain’s prime minister promised Friday that he’d expedite the process of reaching a Brexit agreement with Brussels. But that’s unlikely to blunt the outrage of many members of Parliament after Johnson persuaded the queen to shutter the deliberative body such that it will have less than three weeks in October to decide how the nation is to exit the European Union Oct. 31.

    How does Johnson justify this? He says it will allow time for him to renegotiate an exit deal with Brussels, while creating a bold vision for Britain’s unencumbered future. Opponents, he says, seeking to block a “no deal” Brexit weaken his negotiating position and only increase the dreaded scenario’s chances.

  5. we work protest shutterstock 1479647339

    How an Obscure Labor Bill Became a 2020 Issue

    Calling core workers “independent contractors” isn’t cool — or at least that’s what leading Democratic presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris say. They’ve endorsed California state legislation that would stymie companies like Instacart, Amazon and Postmates from skirting employee protections like overtime and parental leave by not recognizing them as staff.

    Why does it matter? It shows how top Democrats — so far excluding front-runner Joe Biden — are willing to stand with organized labor, which is all for the bill, and risk the ire of big tech and the millions it has to offer in campaign cash.

    OZY reports on how tech can help Democrats.

  6. amazon deforested shutterstock 45394279

    Some Experts Believe the Amazon Is Already Doomed

    This year’s rainforest fires — along with international outrage — moved Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Thursday to declare a 60-day moratorium on clearing fires. But it may be too late, according to scientists who monitor the Amazon and its life-sustaining, carbon-trapping flora. Although some experts disagree, these researchers say that a combination of fire-cleared areas and higher temperatures are changing weather patterns and reducing rain.

    What might that cause? It could prompt the remaining forest to die off and release 100 billion tons of carbon — the equivalent of six years’ worth of emissions from the world’s coal-fired power plants.

    Read OZY’s exploration of Indonesia fire prevention.

  7. Also Important…

    The United States and the Taliban are close to an Afghanistan peace deal, the top U.S. negotiator said today as the militant group mounted major assaults on two northern provincial capitals. Pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong resumed Saturday, with protesters setting fires and clashing with police. And French Formula Two driver Anthoine Hubert, 22, was killed in a crash during the Belgian Grand Prix yesterday.

    In the week ahead: new round of U.S. tariffs on $110 billion worth of Chinese goods kick in today — beginning of a week negotiators from Washington and Beijing are due to resume trade talks. On the same day, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will help mark the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland and the start of World War II. And on Friday, New York Fashion Week begins.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for a highly analytical, creative and hands-on growth marketing manager to expand our audience even faster. Check out our jobs page and read the description here.


  1. kicker shutterstock 29647972

    Where Are Football’s Black Kickers?

    Using his foot, Pressley Harvin is breaking down racial barriers. Punting for Georgia Tech, Harvin is one of the few Black kickers in the NCAA Division I level, even though nearly half of players are African Americans. Why? One factor is specialized kicking camps that some parents pay $11,000 a year for their high schoolers to attend. Another factor is that many kickers spring from the largely White world of soccer. 

    What’s the solution? Some players, like Oregon State punter Caleb Lightbourn, say it’s up to them and their fellow Black trailblazers to start initiatives like specialty camps for promising minority players. 

    Read OZY’s look at the birth of modern college football.

  2. heavy metal shutterstock 344072960

    Now There’s an Apocalypse Fit for Eco-Hardcore

    For decades, musicians have warned of mankind’s imminent self-destruction. Eco-hardcore artists critique human behavior from nonhuman perspectives — sometimes going so far as to feature “frontmen” who are actually animals, such as Hatebeak’s Congolese grey parrot. Screaming or squawking behind a backdrop of distorted instruments, they foresee our doom.

    Is the genre resonating? Amid the climate crisis, the message couldn’t be more relevant, but some wonder if a bunch of violence-fomenting White guys (and the odd guinea pig) can honestly represent planetkind in all its diversity.

    Don’t miss this OZY story about the Turkish rapper trying to stay out of prison. 

  3. china rocket launch shutterstock 671654662

    China’s Space Industry Is Taking Off

    Earlier this month, something cosmic happened in Inner Mongolia: A Chinese startup named LinkSpace launched a rocket from the autonomous region’s Jiuquan launch facility. The rock didn’t get much higher than 950 feet, but it hovered and landed, à la SpaceX’s vaunted reusables. LinkSpace is one of about 100 startups aiming to be China’s Blue Origin and vault payloads, and perhaps people, into orbit.

    What are these companies up to? Under government regulations, they’re focused on small to midsize rockets, leading observers to conclude that they’re intended to complement the state space program — but they might compete elsewhere, if the Communist Party will let them.

  4. tattoo woman shutterstock 415460428

    Ending Modern Slavery, One Tattoo at a Time

    It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are living in some form of slavery. Ally Burke is determined to change that, one tattoo at a time, OZY reports. Victims are often “branded” by their exploiter, a practice Burke and her husband, Morgan, have seen firsthand. With the tools of their trade, the Burkes turn those signs of oppression into empowering designs while raising awareness and funds to help survivors.

    What are her plans? Burke, who felt abandoned after being raped herself, hopes to found a shelter for trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence survivors, offering love and acceptance instead of denial.

  5. uber protest shutterstock 1392452900

    How Uber and Lyft Take Drivers for a Ride

    Over the past couple of years, ride-sharing firms have kept well over a third of the fares they receive, a new report concludes. The website Jalopnik compared drivers’ takes and passengers’ bills to determine that Uber’s and Lyft’s shares are 10.6 percent and 8.5 percent higher, respectively, than publicly reported. 

    How have the ride-sharing companies responded? Both dispute the figures, while Uber concedes that longer trips during surge periods may result in a lower driver share.

    Don’t miss this OZY story about the peripheral startups hitched to ridesharing.