The Presidential Daily Brief

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    Nine Dead, Dozens Injured in New Zeland Mosque Twin Attacks

    Nine people have been confirmed dead after gunmen fired on two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand. A further 50 are believed injured. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.” Mass shootings are historically rare in New Zealand, where gun control is widely supported by both sides of politics. One eyewitness said he saw a man with a “helmet and glasses and a military-style jacket” enter one of the mosques. Police have taken one suspect into custody. 

    What can be done? Authorities have been mulling moves to record hate crimes in a separate category in order to combat rising racism.

    Read OZY’s coverage on what we know about terrorism

     

     

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    Senate Votes to Reject Trump’s Emergency Declaration

    Republican Senators joined Democrats in a vote of 59-41 supporting a disapproval resolution to overturn President Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border, a first for Congress. Donald Trump has indicated he would use his veto to kill the legislation. Trump declared the emergency last month to steer $3.6 billion of additional funding for border barriers.

    Does the president have too much power? Some Republicans think so and legislation has been proposed to overhaul the National Emergencies Act 1976 to rein in presidential power.

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    UK Lawmakers Vote to Delay Brexit

    MPs today voted by 412 to 202 for the Prime Minister to ask the E.U. to extend the withdrawal deadline beyond Mar. 29, which follows yesterday’s vote to reject a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances. Theresa May is urging lawmakers to consider her twice-defeated divorce deal once more next week — warning if they don’t approve it by March 20, it could significantly delay Brexit.

    Is there a silver lining to the turmoil? Observers say a delay of several months gives all sides a chance to “change the course of Brexit,” perhaps by hashing out a softer withdrawal.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on the latest Brexit drama.

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    Boeing Faces Mounting Business Crisis

    After the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s decision yesterday to ground Boeing’s 737 Max following Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash, the world’s largest planemaker is facing an uncertain future. Battling with European rival Airbus for commercial dominance, the Chicago-based company — which has largely relied on sales of 737s for revenue — is looking to CEO Dennis Muilenburg to help steer it out of a potentially crippling crisis that threatens $600 billion in orders.

    Just how big is Boeing? With more than 100,000 worldwide employees powering a global supply chain, it’s seen as a significant contributor to the U.S. economy.

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    GOP-Controlled Senate Challenges Trump

    For the second time in recent months, several Republicans joined a vote to rebuke President Donald Trump’s friendly policy toward Saudi Arabia. While the measure is unlikely to force the White House to end its military support of Riyadh, it could suggest a developing trend: Today GOP senators are also expected to tip the scale in favor of blocking Trump’s declaration of a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    What will Trump do? If today’s measure passes, he’ll likely veto it — especially since talks collapsed between Republican senators and the White House on separate legislation limiting presidential emergency powers.

    Read this OZY opinion from a Republican urging the GOP to defy Trump.

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    Malaysia Moves Ahead With Kim Jong Nam Murder Trial

    She’ll have her day in court. Prosecutors in Malaysia on Thursday dashed the hopes of Doan Thi Huong, her lawyers and the Vietnamese government — all of whom hoped the Vietnamese suspect in the 2017 killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother would walk free. Earlier this week, authorities released her Indonesian co-defendant Siti Aisyah, but Huong hasn’t been as lucky: She goes on trial April 1.

    How will Vietnam respond? Officials are reportedly still in talks with the Malaysian government in a bid to secure Huong’s freedom.

  7. Also Important…

    Former Democratic Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke has announced his intent to run for president. Police in New York say alleged Gambino crime family boss Francesco Cali has been gunned down. And Norwegian lawmakers have nominated 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg for a Nobel Peace Prize.

    #OZYfact: The UNESCO-listed Villa Tugendhat, located in Brno, Czech Republic, reflects the tumultuous waves of history that washed over the country in the past century. Read more on OZY.

    We’re hiring! OZY is looking for a prolific sports reporter and editor to join our team. Could this be you? Check out the job description for more details … and find all our open jobs right here.

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    US Drops ‘Occupied’ From New Report on Israel

    Language in the U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report is under scrutiny after the term was completely left out — for the first time ever — in reference to the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza. It specifically referred to the Golan Heights, which some top U.S. lawmakers have sought to recognize as part of Israel, as “Israeli-controlled territory.”

    Do the Golan Heights belong to Israel? Although Tel Aviv captured the region in 1967 and annexed it through a 1981 law, the international community has never recognized its claim.

    Read OZY’s feature about how the Israel debate shapes U.S. politics.

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    India’s Innovators Are Taking On Farm Trash

    It’s messy business. Faced with farm waste cleanup that costs $30 billion annually, a growing crop of Indian startups is promising sustainable waste-to-wealth solutions, OZY reports. From making paddy straws into bio-coal briquettes to developing eco-friendly cremation materials, they’re focusing on converting farm waste into bio-slurry and bio-gas. It’s part of a crucial attempt to reduce worsening air pollution, especially in New Delhi.

    What are the biggest challengesBesides the sheer scale of India’s agri-waste, there’s also the logistics of transporting bales of raw material across the expansive sub-continent.

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    Spotify Hits Apple With EU Antitrust Complaint

    Listen to this. In a complaint to the European Commission, the Swedish music streaming service has accused the Silicon Valley tech giant of holding an unfair advantage and limiting consumer choice in its app store. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek claimed Apple’s 30 percent transaction fee is particularly damaging because it forces Spotify, which competes with Apple Music, to inflate prices — or else suffer from stifling technical limitations.

    Does Spotify have a fighting chance? European regulators have been tough on antitrust violators, fining Google $2.7 billion in 2017 for unfairly funneling users to its shopping platform.

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    Marvel Pursues First Film With Asian Lead

    Based on a 1973 comic book character, Shang-Chi will be the studio’s first production with an Asian protagonist, a move aimed at increasing diversity in its superhero stock. Destin Daniel Cretton has reportedly been tapped to direct the project, while the cast will be mostly Asian and Asian-American.

    Does diversity pay off? Judging by two earlier projects, yes: Captain Marvel earned $455 million globally in its opening weekend, a record for a female-led film, while Black Panther was the first superhero flick to be nominated for the best picture Oscar.

    Check out OZY’s feature on the Nigerian-Americans changing Hollywood.

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    Parkland Survivor to Meet His Barcelona Soccer Heroes

    Shot five times while shielding his classmates from a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year, FC Barcelona fan Anthony Borges will meet the team at a training session in Spain today. Last night, the 16-year-old attended a match between his favorite squad and France’s Lyon. Borges will also receive a T-shirt signed by Barça players “in honor of his bravery.”

    How did his trip come about? The team reportedly helped Borges with his medical treatment and arranged the visit after spotting the youngster wearing a Barcelona shirt during a TV interview.