The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Warren Urges Impeachment in Wake of Mueller Report 

    He welcomed attack by a “hostile foreign government.” That’s the finding on President Donald Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report — released Thursday — that Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren says justifies Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. Meanwhile, House Democrats plan to subpoena the unredacted report and the Mueller probe’s evidence against the president.

    How’s Trump taking this? After declaring a “really great day” upon the report’s release, the president tweeted that the “Crazy Mueller Report” contained “fabricated and totally untrue” statements, “some of which are total bull***.”

    Read OZY’s Special Briefing on the report.

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    Who Gets the Last Laugh in Ukraine’s Election?

    Ahead of Sunday’s presidential run-off in Ukraine, comedian Volodymyr Zelensky appears set to tromp incumbent President Petro Poroshenko — but the certainty ends there. A politically inexperienced populist who plays an accidental president on TV, he’s captured the attention of Ukrainians desperate for change. But he’s floated few concrete policy proposals, while his ties to the country’s most notorious oligarch raise more questions. The raucous campaign, meanwhile, has been Ukraine’s most bizarre.

    Why is he so popular? Amid lingering corruption under Poroshenko, and a simmering war with Moscow-backed separatists, many Ukrainians are wondering whether it’s finally time for something — anything — different.

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    Paris Is Simply Shocked Its Warlord Is Attacking Tripoli

    French officials seemed surprised when Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, 75, launched an offensive on Tripoli earlier this month. He hasn’t hidden new French military hardware, while Paris believes he’ll stabilize Libya and combat extremist terror exporters. President Trump had a friendly chat with Haftar this week, while he also enjoys Saudi, Egyptian, Emirati and Russian support. 

    Why back Haftar? Aides reportedly convinced French President Emmanuel Macron it would be a quick fix and political prize, but Haftar’s march against a U.N.-recognized unity government has bogged down and threatens to restart the country’s civil war.

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    How a Guantanamo Jailer Befriended a ‘Terrorist’

    Raised on Fox News and televangelism, Oregon National Guardsman Steve Wood eagerly deployed to guard Guantánamo terror suspects. But his life was upended after befriending Mohamedou Salahi, the camp’s “highest-value” inmate. Wood ended up vouching for Salahi in the legal proceeding that freed him after 14 years — and even visited him in his native Mauritania.

    Are there unresolved issues? Under his release terms, Salahi, who was never prosecuted, still can’t travel to see his American wife and son — while a cousin who advised Osama bin Laden says he has a diplomatic passport and the ear of Mauritania’s president.

  5. Also Important…

    Police in Northern Ireland have charged two men, ages 18 and 19, under Britain’s Terrorism Act in Thursday’s fatal shooting of journalist Lyra McKee. The Southern California couple convicted of torturing and starving 12 of their 13 children have been sentenced to life in prison. And Afghan security forces were reported fighting attackers inside the country’s communications ministry.

    In the week ahead: Sunday is Easter, but Pope Francis may be upstaged by Queen Elizabeth II, who marks her 93rd birthday on the same day. Comedian Lil Dicky’s all-star environmental video will likely keep trending Monday, when the world celebrates Earth Day. And on Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the planned citizenship question on 2020 Census questionnaires.

    We’re listening! OZY has launched a series about love stories — and we want to hear yours. If you’ve found yourself in an unconventional or intriguing romantic situation, send an email to and tell us all about it!


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    Did US Influence Stoke San Salvador’s Murders?

    When former Salvadoran rebel Raúl Mijango negotiated a 2012 truce between MS-13 and Barrio 18, two powerful gangs with U.S. connections synonymous with anti-migrant fervor, he had noble intentions. The truce reduced murders 41 percent, but neither Washington nor the public approved — and by 2015, it was scrapped. As a result, murders jumped 70 percent to the world’s worst rate and boosted northward migration.

    Has anything improved since? A brutal police crackdown followed, signaling what some call a drift toward the oppressive enforcement tactics that spawned the country’s 1980s civil war — driving more migrants out.

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    The Earth May Have Entered a New Era

    Did humanity launch a new geologic era in 1950? Leading scientists will vote on the question starting next week and it could shift how the planet talks about climate change. A new Anthropocene era would mean that humans are affecting the state of the planet more than natural events are. But not everyone is convinced.

    How are scientists split? Some argue that humans’ major global impact began thousands of years ago — with carbon-generating deforestation and agriculture — while others wonder if assigning an arbitrary date is of any use.

    Check out OZY’s series on climate change.

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    Underground Parties Rock Baghdad

    Less armor, more metal. Heavy metal, electronic music and rock are daring the Iraqi capital’s youth to venture out after 16 years of warfare. The booming music scene has given birth to underground nightclubs, which have attracted notable DJs from Turkey and Dubai. For Iraqi youth, these underground parties offer an escape from conservative norms, militia violence and hard-line politics. 

    Are such gatherings accepted? Any display of “Western culture” is considered haram (forbidden) in the eyes of religious fundamentalists, whose death threats have driven at least one metal group to flee to the U.S.

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    Fighting for Equality in Science’s ‘Utopia’

    Women earn half of biological science degrees, but few advance to San Diego’s prestigious Salk Institute, established in the 1960s as a loosely governed research “utopia.” In 2017, just 16 percent of senior faculty were female, so women sued to break up an “old boys’ club” they claim limits their grant opportunities and lab space. One litigant lost her position, but last year, #MeToo accusations derailed one of the lab’s top scientists.

    What has changed? A new generation of leadership appears more nurturing of women’s careers, but Salk’s consensus-based governance may make progress elusive.

    Read OZY’s profile of a bacteria trainer.

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    The MLB Is on Another Record-Breaking Track

    The dings just keep coming. Sure, batters have been setting long ball records in the past several years, but in just the first 10 percent of the season, a phenomenal 5.3 percent of non-strikeout at-bats were home runs. That pace, if maintained, would yield 6,372 four-baggers this season, surpassing the record 6,105 bashed in 2017.

    What’s not to like? For spectators, it will mean a less dynamic game, as evidenced by a historic dearth of stolen bases, with more jogging than running and fewer interesting defensive plays.

    Read OZY’s feature on how to score cheap baseball tickets.