The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Xi jinping shutterstock 677148799

    As China Marks National Day, Hong Kong Revolts

    Chinese officials marked 70 years of Communist rule Tuesday with unparalleled military pomp. Presiding over a 15,000-strong military parade on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, President Xi Jinping vowed, “No force can shake the status of this great nation.” But farther south, protesters in Hong Kong seemed to do just that as they clashed with police — disrupting Beijing’s big day with a public display of defiance. Reports say one demonstrator was shot with a live round.

    What’s next? If confirmed, that would amount to the most serious escalation yet of the 17-week movement, one that’s likely to consolidate anti-government anger.

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    US Impeachment Inquiry Gathers Momentum

    Despite a two-week congressional recess, the probe into President Donald Trump is steaming ahead — and his personal lawyer is the latest target. House Democrats are seeking documents detailing Rudy Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine, where he’s accused of helping Trump pressure his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Democratic rivals. Meanwhile, new reports suggest Trump also asked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for help discrediting special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

    Will the GOP turn against Trump? The president’s allies might be tempted, says OZY analyst John McLaughlin, since the crisis has brought “the collateral damage of the Trump era into sharper focus.”

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    WeWork Shelves Its Troubled IPO

    Weeks after dramatically busting down its valuation — and following last week’s exit of controversial CEO Adam Neumann — the workspace startup announced it would delay its high-profile initial public offering. The move allows the company, which lost nearly $2 billion last year, to discreetly plot a course forward with an eye toward strategic expansion and boosting profitability.

    How pressing is WeWork’s problem? Analysts say its current cash-burning rate of $700 million per quarter could leave it broke by the second quarter of 2020.

    Check out OZY’s Special Briefing on this year’s tech IPOs.

  4. boris johnson leave shutterstock 426421486

    Boris Johnson to Deliver Brexit Plan to EU

    The British prime minister says he’s preparing to present his vision of the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union to officials in Brussels — after which his government will make it public. But leaked details involving the status of the much-discussed Irish border are said to have already angered both Ireland and Johnson’s domestic opposition.

    Is Brexit still on track? Britain’s political parties appear to be gearing up for the prospect of a snap election, observers say, which would likely take place in the event that the country’s withdrawal is delayed.

  5. Also Important…

    The chief operating officer of Credit Suisse has resigned after an investigation found he’d ordered surveillance against a former colleague who joined a rival bank. On Tuesday, South Korean fighter jets patrolled the skies over islands that are controlled by Seoul but also claimed by Japan. And American opera star Jessye Norman has died at age 74.

    #OZYfact: Georgia’s Chattahoochee County has had America’s lowest voter turnout in the past four elections. 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.


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    How Rabbits Might Explain the Female Orgasm

    New research into why women orgasm — when, biologically speaking, it’s not necessary for reproduction — suggests it could have evolved from uterine contractions that make mammals like rabbits and cats ovulate during intercourse. Scientists tested their hypothesis on rabbits that were dosed with antidepressants known to reduce orgasms, and saw a 30 percent drop in their ovulation rate.

    Is it all in their heads? Researchers said the rabbits’ ovaries were not affected by the drugs, suggesting brain circuitry and hormones are responsible for sex-triggered ovulation. That mechanism, in turn, could have evolved into human orgasms.

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    Palestinian Territories Aim for Silicon Valley Status

    With many traditional businesses unfeasible due to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, a young generation of Palestinians is driving an explosion of tech startups as a way to catapult the local economy forward. Incubators like Flow and Fikra Hub are transforming the tech industry there, OZY reports, contributing to a 34 percent year-on-year growth in startups. That provides a glimmer of hope for thousands of well-educated young workers.

    Where do local innovators go from here? Insiders say the territories still need a few success stories to “empower the people” and build sustainable momentum.

  3. new york cathlic church shutterstock 272747969

    Report: NY Archdiocese Purged Priests Accused of Sex Abuse

    According to an independent investigator, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has removed every priest accused of sex abuse — while new cases have virtually stopped. Former U.S. federal Judge Barbara Jones, appointed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan to investigate the church’s handling of allegations, said she was “encouraged by what I’ve seen.” But she recommended digitizing records and hiring an employee dedicated to fielding abuse-related complaints.

    How are survivors reacting? One advocacy group described Jones’ report as an attempt to handle allegations “in house” and called on the state’s attorney general to launch an external investigation.

  4. jerry seinfeld shankbone 2010 nyc

    Jerry Seinfeld Wins ‘Comedians in Cars’ Copyright Battle

    A U.S. judge ruled that a copyright complaint filed in 2017 by former collaborator Christian Charles was barred by the statute of limitations. Charles claimed he originally pitched Seinfeld the idea for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee in 2002, long before they collaborated on the show’s pilot in 2012. The two parted ways shortly after the pilot, and according to Seinfeld’s attorneys Charles gave up any claims to sue when he agreed to be paid $107,700 for his work on the show.

    What’s next? Charles’ lawyer said an appeal is likely, arguing the statute of limitations was “Seinfeld’s only defense.”

    Don’t miss OZY’s Newsmaker profile of controversial comic Dave Chappelle.

  5. college basketball shutterstock 1126537859

    California Will Allow College Athletes to Get Paid

    Yesterday Gov. Gavin Newsom approved the Fair Pay to Play Act, which allows athletes at in-state universities to profit from their name, image and popularity. Assuming the law survives challenges in court, it could dramatically alter the NCAA’s business model nationwide. It’s already received a boost from superstars like LeBron James, who has argued that athletes at every level deserve to be paid for their talents.

    When does it take effect? In 2023 — and it could be joined by legislation in New York that aims to make universities share their sports revenue with the players they recruit.