The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. donald trump campaigning shutterstock 386608537

    Trump Admits Asking Ukraine to Probe Biden

    There was “absolutely nothing wrong; it was perfect.” That’s how President Donald Trump described his July phone call with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump confirmed media reports that he asked his counterpart to investigate Democratic front-runner Joe Biden. Opponents accuse him of abusing his vice presidential power by pushing for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor causing trouble for an energy company linked to Biden’s son.

    What’s been the reaction? While Democratic leaders have so far resisted impeachment proceedings, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said, “We very well may have crossed the Rubicon here.”

    OZY’s Donald Dossier wonders if probing Ukraine could backfire for Democrats.

  2. Climate change protest shutterstock 1406456162

    Global Warming ‘Hitting Harder and Sooner’

    As world leaders convene in New York to discuss the climate crisis, U.N. experts say the situation appears far more dire than previously thought. The five-year period from 2015 to 2019 was the hottest on record, averaging an estimated 1.1 degrees Celsius above preindustrial times, and even 0.2 degrees warmer than the average temperature from 2011 to 2015. The report presented by the World Meteorological Organization also says melting ice sheets are raising sea levels faster than before.

    What’s the solution? To limit the warming to 2 degrees above preindustrial temperatures WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas says “the level of ambition needs to be tripled.”

    Read OZY’s look at how some Europeans are avoiding jet travel. 

  3. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke out yesterday against reinstated U.S. sanctions on his country. Source: Getty

    Trump, Iran on Collision Course at UN

    For his part, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he’ll offer a “hand of friendship and brotherhood” toward nations willing to follow its “coalition of hope” to make the Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz safe. Meanwhile, President Trump arrives in his hometown hoping to rally countries to join the U.S. in clamping down on Iran, which it blames for Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi petroleum facilities that shuttered 5 percent of the world’s oil output.

    Who’s got the upper hand? Each side has detractors, but observers say Trump would have particular difficulty seeking cooperation from countries unsettled by America’s exit from other multinational efforts.

  4. thomas cook shutterstock 1010517694

    Thomas Cook Collapse Strands Thousands of Travelers

    The U.K. government is mobilizing to bring 150,000 stranded Britons home after the collapse of the world’s oldest tour operator. Thomas Cook, in debt by $2.1 billion, engaged in failed talks with creditors and shareholders Sunday to obtain $250 million to stay afloat. Now London is organizing the “U.K.’s largest ever peacetime repatriation,” in the words of the Civil Aviation Authority’s chief executive.

    How bad is it? Including non-British customers, 600,000 travelers are stranded abroad with their return trips canceled, while more than 21,000 Thomas Cook employees have lost their jobs.

  5. Also Important…

    Seven children died when their wooden school building collapsed today in Nairobi, Kenya. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared yesterday in Houston at an Indian American event called “Howdy Modi!” where he introduced his host, “a great American president,” Donald Trump. And residents of Trump Tower in New York City have reported the theft of $353,000 worth of jewelry from their apartments.

    #OZYfact: Between 2000 and 2017, the foreign-born population of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin grew an average of 45 percent. 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. Shutterstock 1225569952

    ‘Fleabag,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Win Top Emmy Awards

    Considering the fantasy epic’s final season got 32 nominations, its two prime-time trophies — for best drama and Peter Dinklage as best supporting actor — may have seemed a letdown. Meanwhile, Fleabag star and creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge surprised many by beating out Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus for best comedy actress, while her show snagged awards for writing, directing and best comedy series. Acting is “really hard and really painful,’ Waller-Bridge said, holding her Emmy, “but it’s all about this.”

    Who else scored? Amazon shows made headway against streaming rivals with seven Emmys, but lagged behind Netflix, which also earned lead actor honors for Jharrel Jerome in When They See Us.

    Watch OZY’s own Emmy-winning host.

  2. ebola shutterstock 1086766736

    Is Tanzania Hiding an Ebola Outbreak?

    The World Health Organization publicly rebuked Tanzania’s government Saturday for withholding vital health data. On Sept. 14 the country’s health minister formally reported there were no cases of the virus, declaring, “There is no Ebola outbreak in Tanzania.” But WHO later learned via other sources of three potential cases, including one confirmed fatality on Sept. 10. A year-long outbreak has claimed more than 2,000 lives in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

    What are the consequences of secrecy? WHO officials warn that withholding data will slow response times, in turn speeding Ebola’s spread.

    Read this OZY profile of Congo’s top Ebola fighter.

  3. india currency shutterstock 306583529

    India’s Crypto King Goes to War

    Akshay Aggarwal wants two things: for cryptocurrency to change India’s tech scene and to get his name out there. His dream took him from New Delhi to Silicon Valley and back again, where he set up Blockchained India in 2017 with several friends, OZY reports. But with India’s government increasingly wary of decentralized currency, the group’s pivoted towards activism, arguing that blockchain could root out corruption while helping established players enter the burgeoning market.

    Will India ever get there? Aggarwal’s bet might not be on the money, as the Supreme Court is hearing petitions this week over banning digital currencies altogether.

  4. ruiz carl 2019

    Celebrity Chef Carl Ruiz Dies at 44

    The Food Network regular, who had recently opened New York City hot spot La Cubana, died in his sleep of a suspected heart attack over the weekend. “He was a mighty force of down home Cuban cuisine,” his restaurant said in a statement, adding that he “lived life to the fullest, just as he cooked.” Ruiz was a frequent guest on Guy Fieri’s shows, including Guy’s Grocery Games and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. A “heartbroken” Fieri said, “Over the years, I’ve met a lot of great people but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million.”

    How will Ruiz’s legacy be kept alive? To honor his work, La Cubana is establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation to help promote aspiring chefs.

  5. antonio brown 2015

    Troubled Receiver Antonio Brown Quits NFL

    The 31-year-old announced on Twitter Sunday that he “will not be playing in the NFL anymore.” Two days earlier, New England officially released Brown for sending threatening text messages to an artist who accused him of sexual misconduct, and he’s also being sued by his former trainer for alleged sexual assault. In since-deleted tweets the All-Pro wide receiver called out Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was charged with soliciting sex at a Florida massage parlor, for hypocrisy.

    What’s next for Brown? While the NFL is investigating the allegations against him, Brown reportedly plans to file a labor grievance demanding contractual payments including a $9 million signing bonus.

    Don’t miss this OZY story about the sleepers in college football.