The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. london mayor boris johnson shutterstock 62692297

    Tory Rebels, Opposition Deal Johnson Key Brexit Defeat

    After British Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened snap elections on Oct. 14 if his Brexit agenda was undermined, 21 rebels from own Conservative Party and opposition lawmakers did exactly that. Parliament voted 328-301 to deny Johnson’s government control of parliament, giving MPs the power to pass legislation prohibiting what Johnson has repeatedly threatened: “crashing out” of the European Union without an arrangement handling trade, legal and other post-breakup relationships.

    Where could this lead? Johnson has vowed to oust rebels from his party, which would make new elections, which Parliament must approve, more likely as the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline looms.

  2. hurricane dorian square late sunday 1 sep noaa satellite

    Hurricane Dorian Kills Five in Bahamas

    “The devastation is unprecedented.” That’s how Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis described the catastrophic storm that destroyed an estimated 13,000 homes as it stalled over the archipelago Monday. While forecasters predicted the hurricane — which arrived as a Category 5 but is now downgraded — would move eastward, they also said even “a small deviation” could mean it thrashes the southeastern U.S. coast next.

    Why is Dorian so dangerous? The longer it swirls in one place, the more its severe winds weaken structures and its torrential rain adds to rising floodwaters.

  3. fire flames shutterstock 528158368

    Dozens Feared Dead in California Boat Fire

    At least 15 bodies have been recovered after a commercial diving boat burst into flames early Monday near an island northwest of Los Angeles. The 75-foot vessel, anchored only 20 yards from shore, carried 33 passengers and six crew members, but most were asleep below deck when the fire erupted. Five crew members jumped ship and were rescued. The local coroner’s office is planning for more casualties, while a Coast Guard official said to prepare for “the worst outcome.”

    Was there any foul play? So far, authorities say there are no signs of criminal activity, while the boat was reportedly in full compliance with safety regulations.

  4. carrie lam hong kong shutterstock 1421986934

    Hong Kong’s Lam Denies She’s Resigning

    Following a report that she floated the idea of stepping down during a closed-door meeting with business leaders — supposedly blaming herself for causing “unforgivable havoc” — Chief Executive Carrie Lam quickly denied that was her intention. In a 24-minute recording obtained by Reuters, Lam said the controversial extradition bill that sparked the territory’s protest movement wasn’t “instructed” or “coerced” by China. But she also claimed she had “very limited” space to solve the crisis.

    What have we learned about China’s intentions? Lam says Beijing recognizes the risk a crackdown would pose to its reputation and insists it’s “willing to play” along.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Newsmaker profile of Lam.

  5. Also Important…

    A Taliban attack on an international housing complex in Kabul yesterday killed 16 people and injured 119 others. Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is holding an online vote on whether to form a coalition with the Democratic Party that would exclude the far-right from government. And U.S. congressional Democrats will reportedly probe President Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to silence women who claimed to have had affairs with him.

    #OZYfact: The CBD market reached $591 million last year — and could top $20 billion by 2022. 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. iran potatoes shutterstock 1024645882

    Iran Is Stockpiling Potatoes Too

    “Death to potatoes!” Such was the rallying cry a decade ago against Iran’s then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was notorious for doling out spuds to supporters. But with sanctions choking Iran’s economy — leading to shortages of imported staples like corn, rice and barley — potatoes are back in a big way, OZY reports. Production is in overdrive in provinces desperate to stave off food shortages, while an export ban has kept prices low and supplies steady.

    How does that suit Iranian palates? The country’s cuisine may be changing: Gone is the beef than anchored most family meals, replaced by a largely plant-based diet to help keep costs down.

  2. airbnb shutterstock 392661172

    Airbnb Hosts Offer Free Housing to Hurricane Evacuees

    The company has activated its Open Homes Program to shelter relief workers and those forced to evacuate in regions hit by Dorian’s wrath. Over 800 hosts have already made accommodations available in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Airbnb is urging more hosts to participate in the program, which began after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

    Are hosts losing business? Not exactly: Open Homes provides an opportunity to exercise their altruism with properties that would’ve been empty anyway.

    Read OZY’s feature about the link between ghosts and cheap rent in Japan.

  3. facial recognition photo database shutterstock 483186154

    Chinese University Tests Facial Recognition System

    China Pharmaceutical University’s installation last week of a pilot system that detects students’ faces without their consent has been met with widespread criticism. Officials at the school in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, say surveillance technology at building entrances and in two classrooms would monitor attendance — as well as track whether students are paying attention. They’re considering expanding the program to all classrooms.

    Is monitoring attendance problematic? The university argues it’s not invading anyone’s privacy, since classrooms are public spaces. Besides, there’s something of a precedent: Facial recognition technology is already being used across China to identify jaywalkers, unlicensed drivers and criminal suspects.

  4. peter shutterstock 220276291

    ‘Doctor Who’ Writer Terrance Dicks Dies at 84

    The London-born screenwriter died last week after a short illness, according to a Monday announcement on the show’s official Twitter account. Best known for his work on the iconic BBC sci-fi seriesDicks wrote and edited more than 35 episodes between 1968 and 1983 and served as a script editor on more than 150 episodes. He also wrote over 60 novelizations of Doctor Who stories.

    What else was on the author’s resume? Dicks got his start on the 1960s TV series The Avengers and worked on BBC adaptations of Oliver Twist and Vanity Fair. He also penned children’s fiction series including The Baker Street Irregulars.

  5. novak djokovic shutterstock 516301852

    Novak Djokovic Withdraws From US Open Amid Boos

    Succumbing to a sore left shoulder, the top-seeded defending champ bowed out of the tournament midmatch, down 6-4, 7-5, 2-1, setting off a chorus of boos from the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Serbian star embraced opponent Stan Wawinka before hauling his tennis bag into the tunnel. It was the 13th time that Djokovic retired in the middle of a match. “I’m sorry for the crowd,” he said, adding that he was not offended.

    When will he play next? Djokovic said he hopes to recover in time for the Rakuten Japan Open in four weeks.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Newsmaker profile of teen tennis phenom Coco Gauff.