The Presidential Daily Brief

important

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    Reports: Trump Asked Ukraine to Help Discredit Biden

    President Donald Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden for possible misuse of power, several news outlets are reporting. The request allegedly came in a July 25 phone call during which Trump repeatedly sought Kiev’s help in showing Biden lobbied for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating an energy company where his son Hunter Biden was a director.

    Where could this lead? The Washington Post reports that a mysterious whistleblowing complaint about a promise Trump made to a foreign leader is linked to the alleged Biden request, which was reportedly followed by a cutoff in aid to Ukraine.

    Read OZY’s Donald Dossier on the Democrats’ impeachment dilemma.

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    How the Arabs Won Israel’s Election

    For the first time, Arab voters and politicians have emerged from the margins of Israeli governance, winning the third most votes and 13 of 120 parliamentary seats in Tuesday’s election. Their Joint List probably won’t help centrist Benny Gantz form a coalition, but they can still undermine conservative leader Benjamin Netanyahu, whose re-election campaign has demonized Arab Israelis, by lending votes to his opponents. 

    Why is Arab representation important? Their Knesset clout could win more funding for long-neglected areas, and if Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White parties form a unity coalition, Joint List head Ayman Odeh, as main opposition leader, would be privy to intelligence briefings.

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    Warren Tops Biden in Iowa Poll

    Is persistence paying off? Among the 17 Democratic presidential hopefuls attending yesterday’s Polk County Democrats Steak Fry in Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden had seemed unassailable. But a new CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll shows 22 percent of Democrats likely to attend the state’s February caucuses — a crucial first nomination test — prefer Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with Biden at 20 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders came in third at 11 percent.

    Is this an outlyer? She’s been rising in national polls, too. Still, Biden remains a front runner in most surveys, including those questioning voters in Warren’s home state of Massachusetts.

    Let OZY introduce you to the party’s dangerous digital strategist.

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    US to Send Troops to Protect Saudi Oil Facilities

    The Pentagon plans to deploy several hundred “defensive” troops to Saudi Arabia in the wake of damaging attacks on oil facilities Sept. 14, blamed on Iran. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said new antimissile batteries and possibly aircraft would also be sent amid increasingly threatening language from Iran, which denies launching the reported cruise missile and drone strikes claimed by Houthi militants it supports in Yemen.

    What does this signal? By sending a modest contingent, Washington is both showing support for its ally while ramping down expectations of a military confrontation with Iran, which has vowed “all-out war” in response to a Saudi or U.S. assault.

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    Thunberg Takes Climate Protest to UN

    After inspiring millions of people in a global climate strike Friday, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg will take her demands to Monday’s United Nations climate change summit in New York. Thunberg and her allies, like U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, will need all the help they can get, as around 60 countries will meet but some of the world’s biggest economies reliant on coal won’t speak.

    What will Thunberg demand? “You can still fix this,” she says to world leaders in a recently released film — but with CO2 increasing and the Amazon burning, climate scientists say time is running out.

    Catch up with OZY’s Special Briefing on the water crisis.

  6. Also Important…

    Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong smashed surveillance cameras and ticket sensors in a subway station today. U.S. military media handlers apologized Saturday after posting a tweet implying that UFO fans gathered to “storm” Nevada’s legendary Area 51 would be struck by a stealth bomber. And a bomb left on a minibus exploded yesterday, killing 12 people near the Iraqi city of Karbala.

    In the week ahead: After hosting new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the White House’s second formal state visit since 2016, President Trump will travel to Ohio with Morrison today to visit an Australian-owned paper recycling facility. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled Protect America From Assault Weapons. And on Friday, world track and field championships will begin in Qatar, where protests against the emirate’s law prohibiting homosexuality are expected.

    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.

intriguing

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    US Migrants Are Taking Mexican Baseball Jobs

    Teams in the Liga Mexicana were permitted only seven foreign-born players until 2016. Then, team owners voted to expand the definition of a native player to include those with verifiable Mexican heritage. The new rule spawned a rush of Mexican-American players, including its home run leader, a Californian named Chris Carter. They now occupy 30 percent of team rosters.

    Is that so bad? The league has become more competitive, but it has also sidelined Mexican-born players, causing some fans to ask whom the league is for. 

    Check out this OZY story about when Babe Ruth wanted a raise.

  2. the wing founder audrey gelman pregnant inc mag cover

    The WeWork of #MeToo Carves a Niche

    The Wing — billed as coworking spaces where women don’t have to choose between motherhood and a career — has eight U.S. locations and plans for 12 more around the world by 2020, while investors have kicked in $117.5 million. The spaces, decorated with the work of female, transgender and nonbinary artists, have blush-pink interiors, are stocked with supplies from female-owned businesses and are built by female-owned contracting firms.

    What’s the buzz around it? Last week, the Wing’s founder, Audrey Gelman, became the first visibly pregnant woman to appear on the cover of Inc. — or any business magazine.

    Read OZY’s look at this phenomenon in Mexico.

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    This UK Journalist Divides, but Can She Conquer?

    Her critics say she blurs the line between journalist and activist and violates media ethics. Her supporters see her as the only hope for bringing to light a complicated plot involving Russian money and pro-Brexit figures. Carole Cadwalladr says she’s a little bit of both — “an activist for the truth.” Since her explosive reporting on Cambridge Analytica for The Guardian, Cadwalladr has been derided by media colleagues even though her work prompted official campaign financing probes.  

    Where could this lead? Some observers believe she may be an archetype for a future in which polarizing media stars do journalism’s heavy lifting.

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    AI May Already Be Predicting Earthquakes

    Seismologists avoid using “earthquake prediction,” which has evoked junk science and crackpot theories since Charles Richter devised his scale. But Los Alamos National Laboratory geophysicist Paul Johnson says he’s trained a machine-learning-based algorithm capable of anticipating a type of quake within days of its occurrence. Using acoustic signals, the algorithm predicted four out of five “slow slip” events in the Pacific Northwest between 2013 and 2018. The study awaits peer review.

    Problem solved? No. Training the algorithm on more-damaging sudden temblors nearer the surface will be much more difficult — if even possible — as such events are far less frequent.

    OZY looks back at a quake that united the world.

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    Poverty Is No Joke, but Rich Comics Aren’t Funny

    They killed it. Humor, that is, by showering successful comedians with cash. Take Dave Chappelle, argues OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson. As a hungry young performer, Chappelle could bring the house — however humble — down. Now that he’s pulling in $20 million per special, he’s laughing all the way to the bank, while audiences are left with shtick that’s often rehashed, and sometimes borrowed.

    Whatcha gonna do about it? Robinson’s Indecent Proposal is a humor tax of sorts: Like that Robin Hood movie Chappelle was in, you’d take from the rich comics and give to the poor, though admittedly that’ll dull their edge too.