The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. John Bolton shutterstock 180961418

    John Bolton’s Exit Reveals Tensions With Trump

    While President Donald Trump says he sacked his mustachioed national security adviser, the famously hawkish Bolton claims he resigned. Whatever the truth, it’s now abundantly clear how much the two men disagreed on foreign policy — with Bolton, the third national security adviser to depart the Trump administration, often pushing for tougher stances against America’s adversaries. Some reports suggest half a dozen candidates are in the running to replace him.

    Was there a final straw? Although Trump appeared displeased about how the Bolton-recommended cancellation of talks with the Taliban played out, the top aide had been dogged for months by grievances from various corners.

  2. benjamin netanyahu shutterstock 1042782061

    Arab World Rattled by Netanyahu’s West Bank Annexation Plan

    After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to annex parts of the West Bank if he wins next week’s general election, officials in Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia all condemned the move. The Arab League also described his plan, which calls for establishing Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, a “dangerous development.” Meanwhile, opponents at home suggested it was a ploy to secure right-wing support.

    What could this mean for peace? Netanyahu’s proposal deals what observers say could be a fatal blow to the two-state solution, with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling it “devastating” to the peace process.

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    GOP Narrowly Wins North Carolina Congressional Seat

    President Trump swiftly took credit for Republican Dan Bishop’s victory over Democrat Dan McCready in a special election yesterday, claiming they “changed his strategy together.” But while the GOP successfully avoided what could have been a demoralizing loss, Bishop’s margin of victory fell far short of Trump’s 11-point win there in 2016. Analysts suggest many other swing districts could still be “up for grabs” ahead of next year’s elections.

    How much does Trump affect local races? If multiplied across other districts, suburban defections — which benefited McCready — could pose a threat to the president’s reelection.

    Read OZY’s profile of the millennial breaking into the 2020 conversation.

  4. Apple shutterstock 711401311

    Apple Undercuts Video-Streaming Rivals

    During its marquee product showcase yesterday, the Cupertino-based company not only unveiled a new three-camera iPhone, but announced its upcoming TV+ streaming service would cost only $4.99, taking aim at rivals like Netflix and Disney. What’s more, Apple could attract hundreds of millions of new subscribers by offering a free year of TV+ with the purchase of a new product. The company also bumped down the price of its most popular iPhone by $50.

    Why does it matter? With customers keeping phones longer due to high prices, subscription services will be a central part of Apple’s business model.

  5. Also Important…

    Scotland’s top civil court has ruled that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful. China has announced exemptions from extra retaliatory tariffs for 16 types of U.S. imports, from cancer medication to animal feed. And today Americans are commemorating the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in a series of solemn ceremonies.

    #OZYfact: Anyone dealing with cryptocurrencies in India could soon face a fine of up to $3.5 million and 10 years in jail. 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. uber protest shutterstock 1392452900

    California Gives Gig Workers Major Victory

    By a margin of 29 to 11, the Golden State’s Senate approved a bill yesterday that recognizes contractors for tech firms like Uber and Lyft as employees — entitling them to legal protections and benefits. “One job should be enough,” said state Sen. Maria Durazo. The bill, which would empower some 1 million local workers, could go into effect as early as this week following approval from the State Assembly and a signature from Gov. Gavin Newsom.

    How will tech firms respond? By heavy lobbying: Several companies have reportedly spent $30 million for a ballot initiative to exempt themselves from the measure.

  2. hemp cannabis drink shutterstock 1224551476

    Cannabis-Infused Drinks Offer a Different Kind of Buzz

    While mixing alcohol and THC is outlawed in the United States, savvy new beverage developers are finding ways of skirting that law, OZY reports. Nevada’s Two Roots Brewing Company offers five nonalcoholic cannabis drinks, while Colorado’s CERIA Brewing launched its first THC-infused alcohol-free beer in December. With alcohol consumption on the slide, they’re part of a growing trend as cannabis usage climbs.

    What’s next? Major brands like Corona and Heineken-owned Lagunitas are tapping into a drinkable cannabis market that’s expected to hit $1.4 billion in the next five years in the U.S. alone.

  3. health care flag and stethoscope shutterstock 601099952

    US Uninsured Rate Rises for First Time Since 2010

    The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that 27.5 million Americans were uninsured last year — jumping from 25.6 million in 2017. It’s the first increase since Obamacare was passed, and comes despite decreases in the poverty and unemployment rates. Experts suggest the Trump administration’s attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act by repealing its individual mandate and providing cheaper short-term insurance may have been factors.

    What else does the data tell us? That racial disparities remain: Nearly 18 percent of Hispanics and 9.7 percent of Blacks lacked coverage, compared to 5.4 percent of Whites.

  4. camera shutterstock 393692671

    Art World Mourns Loss of Photographer Robert Frank

    The Swiss-born Frank, who died Monday at the age of 94, rose to prominence by capturing the loneliness and heartache of post-war American life in his 1958 photo book The Americans. Traveling across his adopted homeland, Frank documented the poverty and racism that lay beneath the myth of the American dream, including the banalities of everyday life. “I was tired of romanticism,” he explained.

    How will he be remembered? Observers say he “changed the course of American photography” by documenting gritty realities.

    Read OZY’s Flashback on the Russian photographer who hid all her work.

  5. antonio brown vs redskins 2016

    Controversial NFL Star Antonio Brown Accused of Rape

    Following weeks of drama over injuries and equipment, the newly signed New England Patriots wide receiver was sued in federal court yesterday for allegedly raping his former trainer. Britney Taylor claims that Brown assaulted her twice in June 2017 — later referencing one of the incidents in text messages — before raping her in May 2018.

    How has he responded? Brown, who reportedly plans to countersue, denied the accusations, saying any sex was “entirely consensual” and claiming Taylor was motivated by his refusal to invest $1.6 million in her business project.