The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. benjamin netanyahu shutterstock 1042782061

    Israeli PM Promises to Annex Jordan Valley If Reelected 

    In a speech broadcast by all Israeli television channels, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swore to annex the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea in the occupied West Bank if he is reelected. Conservatives are welcoming the announcement, but Netanyahu’s rivals accuse him of “spreading propaganda,” subjecting Palestinians to apartheid and endangering Israeli security.

    Why does it matter? Officials and analysts warn that annexing occupied territory would strike a blow to peace since the West Bank forms the basis to a future two-state solution, which the global community endorses. 



  2. John Bolton shutterstock 180961418

    Trump Sacks National Security Advisor John Bolton 

    President Donald Trump says he informed Bolton last night that “his services were no longer needed in the White House” — though Bolton claims he offered to resign. What’s known for sure is that the two men fundamentally disagreed over the role the U.S. should play in the world, with Bolton often pushing for a more aggressive stance against Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan. He’s now the third national security adviser to depart the Trump administration. 

    How are people responding? Both Republicans and Democrats celebrating Bolton’s exit, highlighting his somewhat controversial reputation in Washington.

  3. kabul panorama shutterstock 414329746

    Trump Says Taliban Peace Talks Are ‘Dead’

    “I’m not discussing anything.” That’s how President Donald Trump summed up the prospect of further negotiations with the militant group yesterday after abruptly canceling a weekend meeting with Taliban and Afghan officials at Camp David. That appeared to contradict suggestions by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just a day earlier that talks could be salvaged. But some sources say Trump might still relent.

    Does that mean hopes for peace are dashed? Experts warn that both Afghan and American lives are in danger of more attacks, with one Taliban leader reportedly saying, “Let’s see who can win this war.”

    Check out OZY’s Special Briefing on America’s longest war.

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    Brexit Battle on Hold as Parliament Suspended

    Before British lawmakers began their official five-week suspension today, they delivered another stinging message Monday night to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Amid cries of “Shame on you!” from the opposition, a majority voted to block his second attempt to call snap elections. In response, Johnson pledged his government wouldn’t seek a Brexit extension, despite a new law requiring that he do so if a withdrawal deal isn’t reached by Oct. 19.

    Can Johnson ignore that rule? That’s still unclear: Foreign Minister Dominic Raab suggested that “conflicting laws or competing legal advice” might further complicate the picture.

  5. North korea shutterstock 148621262

    North Korea Teases New Talks — Then Fires New Projectiles

    Hours after a top North Korean diplomat said his country was willing to restart nuclear talks with Washington, Pyongyang launched two unidentified projectiles Tuesday toward the Sea of Japan. According to South Korea’s military, which said it’s “maintaining readiness,” they flew a maximum of 205 miles — and were the eighth weapons launch since late July.

    What message is North Korea sending? Analysts suggest it’s continuing to develop its short-range missile capacity while also avoiding any perception that it’s threatening the United States.

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    Jack Ma Steps Down as Alibaba Chairman

    The Chinese e-commerce giant is closing a crucial chapter today as its charismatic chief officially steps down from his post. Ma, who’s also celebrating his 55th birthday Tuesday, founded the $460 billion company out of his Hangzhou apartment 20 years ago — and has since become a Chinese corporate titan known for his brash and uncompromising leadership style. Experts say the departure of the country’s most recognizable business persona will leave a gaping hole in its corporate world.

    What will he do next? Citing the “physical limits on one’s ability and energy” that comes with being a business leader, the former English teacher says he’ll take his philanthropic efforts back to the world of education.

  7. Also Important…

    The U.S. is believed to have extracted a high-level spy from Russia in 2017 amid concerns that the Trump administration would inadvertently expose the asset. Saudi Aramco’s chief executive has said the state oil company will complete an initial public offering “very soon.” And Japan’s environment minister claimed Tokyo Electric Power might need to dump radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean after running out of space to store it.

    #OZYfact: Loneliness sparks greater anxiety and depression among African American women than it does among men. 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. google shutterstock 746561200

    Google Under New Scrutiny by 50 Attorneys General

    Headed by Republican Ken Paxton from Texas, attorneys general from nearly every state, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, announced a bipartisan antitrust probe against Google yesterday. With only Alabama and California sitting it out, they’ll investigate whether the search giant unfairly stifles competition in online advertising, as well as look into its handling of user data.

    Is Google feeling the heat? The Justice Department’s antitrust division is already investigating the company, which says it’s cooperating with regulators, noting, “This is not new for us.”

    Read OZY’s Fast Forward about the secret apps violating your privacy.

  2. benjamin netanyahu shutterstock 1042782061

    Bibi Looks to World Leaders for Help at the Polls

    For the second time this year, Israel’s heading to the polls this month — and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is relying on famous friends for an electoral bump. Meeting with the likes of President Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, OZY reports, is key for the foreign policy-minded Netanyahu. By rubbing shoulders with the world’s political elite, Israel’s longest-serving leader is boosting his reputation amid unpopular Palestine policies.

    What message will he sell Israel? If Netanyahu can convince voters the biggest issue facing the country is security, his near-certain indictment on corruption charges could become a footnote.

  3. abortion pills shutterstock 171501734

    Dutch Doctor Sues FDA for Blocking Access to Abortion Pills

    Rebecca Gomperts, who prescribes abortion-inducing medicine to American women online, filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration Monday, alleging that it interfered with her telemedicine practice, Aid Access. Gomperts said the FDA has confiscated drugs she prescribed, most often to rural women with no nearby access to an abortion clinic. She also claims the agency has blocked Aid Access from receiving payments.

    What’s Gomperts’ goal? To stop the U.S. government from suing her patients for buying prescribed FDA-approved medication.

    Don’t miss OZY’s feature on the fight over abortion pills by mail.

  4. neanderthal shutterstock 156326159

    Were Neanderthals Taller Than Previously Thought?

    Until recently, researchers had only studied nine Neanderthal footprints from four different sites. But now, 257 fossil footprints from around 80,000 years ago — when Neanderthals were the only hominins known to be in Europe — have been uncovered in northern France. While skeletal remains previously indicated that adults ranged from 59 to 63 inches in height, analysis of these prints suggests some individuals may have been as tall as 75 inches.

    What else do the footprints show? The well-preserved tracks were mostly made by children, raising more questions that researchers say can’t be answered by this “snapshot” into a moment in their lives.

  5. shutterstock 396222481 ncaa basketball

    California Takes First Step Toward Paying College Athletes

    With a new bill approved 72-0 yesterday by California’s legislature, state lawmakers paved the way for college athletes to cash in on their names, images and likenesses. If signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the law, which takes effect in 2023, will trigger a conflict over the NCAA’s amateurism rules. Newsom is likely to face heavy lobbying by both the NCAA and universities, though the bill has been publicly endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and LeBron James.

    What’s next? Since California’s home to more than 20 Division I schools, including heavy-hitters like UCLA and USC, analysts say the decision could lead to “a domino effect across college sports.”