The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Democrats Prepare for More Mueller Evidence

    The Justice Department is playing ball with congressional Democrats probing President Donald Trump’s potential misdeeds by agreeing to hand over more evidence from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. While the House Judiciary Committee won’t receive the full, unredacted Mueller report, Chairman Jerrold Nadler said it will have access to “interview notes, firsthand accounts of misconduct and other critical evidence.”

    What’s the bigger picture? It’s unclear how useful or revealing the material is, but the deal suggests that the standoff between the White House and House Democrats may be cooling down for now.

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    Questions Mount Over Hong Kong’s Business Future

    With Hong Kong’s Parliament poised to consider a controversial extradition bill tomorrow, analysts are wondering what effect the new measure — which critics say could subject residents to China’s notoriously arbitrary legal system — might have on the territory’s reputation as an international business hub. “The credibility of Hong Kong is now on the line,” said the president of the American Chamber of Commerce.

    How are locals fighting back? Scores of small businesses, from coffee shops to nail salons, have pledged to close their doors Wednesday in protest against the bill, which will most likely pass.

    Check out OZY’s Newsmaker profile of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam.

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    US Africa Envoy to Push for Sudan Talks

    Tibor Nagy, the U.S. assistant secretary for Africa, will travel to the conflict-ridden country this week in a bid to broker talks between the ruling Transitional Military Council and the civilian opposition. His visit comes a week after paramilitary forces violently dispersed a sit-in, leaving more than 100 protesters dead — the latest troubling episode that’s gripped the nation of 40 million since ex-President Omar al-Bashir’s ouster in April.

    Will the U.S. have any influence in this crisis? The White House is reportedly appointing Donald Booth, a former diplomat with extensive experience in Africa, to advise Nagy, hoping to gain a greater foothold in Sudan’s political process.

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    Report: Kim Jong Un’s Half Brother Worked With CIA

    According to a Wall Street Journal source, “there was a nexus” between America’s spy agency and Kim Jong Nam, who was assassinated in Malaysia in 2017. Exactly what information he may have provided about North Korea remains unknown, considering his lack of connection to the ruling regime. Experts say the CIA has a spotty history of recruiting well-informed sources about the isolated country.

    How will this affect negotiations with North Korea? The revelation could further tarnish already tense relations, especially after Pyongyang warned Washington to “withdraw its hostile policy” toward the nuclear-armed nation.

    Don’t miss OZY’s Special Briefing on North Korea’s economic potential.

  5. Also Important…

    Rescue workers in Budapest have recovered several bodies from the wreckage of a tour boat that sank last month after colliding with another vessel on the Danube River. Nearly 100 people are dead following an attack on an ethnic Dogon settlement in central Mali. And the Vatican has released a paper aimed at helping Catholic teachers counter “an educational crisis” over gender theory.

    #OZYfact: You’re more than five times more likely to die in a fire in Russia than in the United States. Read more on OZY.

    OZY Fest is back! Join OZY in New York’s Central Park July 20-21, where some of the biggest names and boldest thinkers — from John Legend and Trevor Noah to Stacey Abrams and Malcolm Gladwell — will help make this year’s OZY Fest the most memorable yet. Click here for tickets.


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    Jailed Russian Journalist Freed After Supporters Rally

    Public figures including rappers and movie stars came to the defense of 36-year-old investigative reporter Ivan Golunov, who was arrested last week on narcotics charges in what critics claim was revenge for his work probing corruption. His supporters say police planted drugs on him, a tactic commonly used against reporters and other government critics. Before Golunov’s release Tuesday, activists had called for a march in Moscow tomorrow to demand his freedom. The country’s three most respected newspapers also ran identical front pages in solidarity.

    What now? Critics are celebrating a rare victory for civic activism in Russia after Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said all charges would be dropped and that two high-ranking Moscow cops would be fired.

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    The Future of Erotica? Podcasts

    With sound options available as podcasts or audiobooks — and Audible offering a handy feature for listeners to jump straight to the action — firms are hoping to secure a chunk of the $97 billion global porn business, OZY reports. But it’s more than just money: For women whose tastes have largely been ignored by the industry for decades, so-called “feminist pornography” wants to help women reconnect with their sexuality.

    What’s the secret? Researchers say success comes down to a biological difference, with women tending to be more into the narrative and men all about the visuals.

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    Drought Leaves 45 Million Africans With Little Food

    For the third consecutive year, a widespread drought is threatening tens of millions of people in 14 countries across Africa. While rains have finally arrived in some areas, they came too late for many crops, and food prices are spiking. The U.N.’s Central Emergency Response Fund has unlocked $45 million to convince donors to pledge more to cope with the crisis.

    Is that enough? U.N. climatologist Jesse Mason says governments and aid agencies must “recognize the seasons are changing” and act sooner with drought-resistant seeds, irrigation systems and other disaster-mitigating measures.

    Ready OZY’s Flashback about the drought that claimed a civilization.

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    Study: Women Directed Only 3% of Animated Hits

    A recent study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative revealed that women directed just 3 percent of the 120 top-grossing animated films from 2007 to 2018, and just one — Kung Fu Panda 2’s Jennifer Yuh Nelson — was a woman of color. On-screen, 17 percent of those films featured a female lead character, only three of which were nonwhite.

    Is the status quo changing? While women now hold about half of the executive positions in Hollywood movie animation studios, the study found female animators are still being funneled away from top creative roles.

    Read OZY’s Special Briefing on Cannes’ #MeToo moment.

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    David Ortiz Flown to Boston as Red Sox Show Support

    “It shocked us to the core.” That’s how president Sam Kennedy said his team responded to the news that the 10-time All-Star and beloved former Boston slugger was shot in the Dominican Republic Sunday night. The 43-year-old was airlifted to Boston Monday, where he’ll be treated at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Red Sox broadcast a tribute to the 2013 World Series MVP before last night’s game at Fenway Park, while fans later chanted “Papi!”

    Is violence common in the Dominican Republic? While local officials maintain the country is safe, a string of recent mysterious tourist deaths has heightened concerns about visitor safety in the Caribbean nation.