The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. cokie roberts a

    Veteran Political Journalist Cokie Roberts Dies at Age 75 

    The pioneering female journalist passed away Tuesday due to complications from breast cancer. Roberts’ career started in 1978 with National Public Radio, where she made a name for herself covering Washington politics. She moved to ABC News in 1988 and won many awards and accolades throughout her decades-long career, including three Emmys and induction into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. 

    How will she be remembered? The best-selling author was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress in 2008. Beyond her own work, she is also celebrated for paving the way for the next generation of female journalists.  

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    Trump Eases Iran Threats, Defers to Saudis

    After weekend attacks claimed by Iran-backed Yemeni rebels set two Saudi oil facilities ablaze and threatened a global oil shortage, President Donald Trump said he was “locked and loaded” to retaliate along with allies in Riyadh. But yesterday, even as U.S. assessments pointed to a cruise missile strike directly from Iran, not Yemen, he was more reserved. Trump said he’d “like to avoid” military confrontation, adding that Tehran officials “want to make a deal.”

    Why the about-face? Some observers say the Saudis are reluctant to directly confront their cross-Gulf rivals, who have developed a formidable arsenal of long-range weapons.

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    Netanyahu Ups Annexation Ante as Israelis Vote

    Israel votes today in an unprecedented second election in a year, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing either a fifth term or defeat — and possibly a prison term on corruption charges. Doubling down on earlier pledges to absorb some West Bank land housing Jewish settlements, yesterday Netanyahu promised to annex “all the settlements” in what is widely recognized as Palestinian territory.

    Can he win? An outright victory is unlikely, with his Likud party polling close to the opposition Blue and White, but forming a government will likely hinge on the handful of seats controlled by the secular Yisrael Beiteinu party.

    OZY’s Special Briefing explains how we got here.

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    UK’s High Court Hears Parliament Suspension Case

    It’s down to the jurists. Members of Parliament and Prime Minister Boris Johnson are locked in a battle over his authority to “prorogue,” or suspend the legislative body. Today the 11-member Supreme Court begins hearing arguments that could give MPs a chance to challenge Johnson’s ability to withdraw the country from the European Union on Oct. 31 without an agreement from the bloc.

    What’s behind this? While the court’s president said its decision will not affect Brexit, opponents of the suspension argue that tying Parliament’s hands to prevent “crashing out” is precisely — and illegally — what Johnson hopes to accomplish.

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    Reports: WeWork Expected to Postpone IPO

    Amid questions about the coworking space firm’s worth and its corporate governance, its parent We Company is said to be scrapping a marketing roadshow and postponing this month’s initial public offering until at least October. In recent months, the company has been under pressure to go public to fund its operations, though critics say WeWork’s model could leave it vulnerable during an economic downturn.

    Why does it matter? Sources suggest We might seek a valuation between $10 billion and $12 billion — less than it’s raised in its nine-year existence, and a massive reality check from January’s $47 billion valuation.

  6. Also Important…

    The New York Times is facing heat for an op-ed that reported new sexual misconduct accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but omitted that the alleged victim declined to be interviewed. More than 1,000 people have died of dengue fever in the Philippines this year. And the White House cleared former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to answer limited questions before the House Judiciary Committee today, but blocked two former presidential aides from testifying in the committee’s impeachment inquiry.

    #OZYfact: The president of the currently striking United Auto Workers, Gary Jones, lives in a 3,563-square-foot mansion outside Detroit. Read more on OZY.

    OZY is hiring! We’re looking for an analytical and globally minded reporter to sniff out today’s most important stories in science, technology and health. Check out our jobs page and read the description here.


  1. data breach shutterstock 329743196

    Almost All Ecuadorians Exposed in Data Leak

    A misconfigured database led to the exposure of 20.8 million records — more than Ecuador’s 16.6 million population — including information from government records and bank accounts. VpnMentor cybersecurity researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar discovered the leak on an insecure server in Miami two weeks ago and worked with ZDNet to analyze and verify the data.

    Why does it matter? Because breached data such as family relationships, tax identification numbers and even home addresses could endanger citizens, including the 6.7 million children whose records were exposed.

    Don’t miss this OZY feature about how secret apps violate your privacy.

  2. jamescook

    Maori Community Shuns Replica of Captain Cook’s Ship

    The reconstructed Endeavour sailing ship is part of a flotilla circumnavigating New Zealand next month to commemorate 250 years since British explorer James Cook’s discovery — for Europeans, anyway — of the nation’s North Island. But indigenous Maori representatives on the island’s northern tip say they weren’t consulted and they’ve refused to allow the ship to dock. Now the Ministry of Culture and Heritage has canceled the stop.

    Why did the Maoris protest? “He was a barbarian.” So said Anahera Herbert-Graves, of the Ngāti Kahu tribe, adding that Cook’s “invasions” included murders, abductions and rapes.

    Don’t miss this OZY piece on Mormon Pacific islanders.

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    Study: For 1 in 16 Women, First Sexual Experience Was Forced

    Some 3.3 million American women aged 18 to 44 first experienced sex as rape, a new study has found. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the survey of more than 13,000 women found that many victims were children — 29 percent aged 11 to 16, and 7 percent even younger — at the time of the assaults, a quarter of which also resulted in physical injuries.

    What’s the lasting impact? Women first forced into sex were more likely to report adverse health effects later, from unwanted pregnancies and menstruation problems to pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis.

  4. shane gillis fired

    ‘SNL’ Fires Shane Gillis for Offensive Recordings

    Even before his first episode, the comedian was dumped yesterday from Saturday Night Live after clips emerged of him using racist and homophobic slurs. A statement from the show, which returns Sept. 28 for its 45th season, called his language “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable,” and lamented not reviewing the recordings earlier. Meanwhile, former cast member Rob Schneider defended Gillis against the “intolerable inquisition” reacting to his “comic misfires.”

    What does Gillis have to say? While saying he respected the decision, he tweeted, “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away.”

    Don’t miss this OZY piece exploring Dave Chappelle’s excesses.

  5. Gaming shutterstock 705666394

    Pro Players Want to Be Paid for Gaming Too

    Gaming often provides a respite from professional athletes’ grueling routines — but now they’re looking to add esports to their resumes, OZY reports. Athletes like Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster are signing gaming endorsement deals, and while there’s no precedent for an IRL athlete concurrently competing with a joystick, some wonder whether a digital version of diamond-and-gridiron star Bo Jackson might soon appear.

    Is the money that good? While most salaries can’t approach multimillion-dollar MLB or NBA paychecks, it’s the fastest-growing sport, expected to score an estimated $2.4 billion next year.