The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Susan Wojcicki Curates OZY’s PDB

    Not many CEOs can boast that more than a billion people use their product every month — which is just one reason OZY is very pleased to welcome YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki as curator of the Presidential Daily Brief. The Harvard grad and mom of five (the littlest is still an infant) was employee No. 16 at Google, and her accomplishments include driving acquisitions (including that of YouTube) and boosting the company’s ads business. Wojcicki became YouTube’s CEO in 2014, and oversees content, business operations and product development. Today, she joins the ranks of past curators like Michelle PelusoSatya Nadella and Jeb Bush to share her take on today’s must-know events and personalities.

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    Taking Stock, 10 Years After Katrina

    A decade on, what have we learned? Hurricane Katrina was “a natural disaster” that “became a man-made one,” as President Obama put it. And it was a major wake-up call to massive inequality in the United States. There remains much to do on that front, and in many ways, New Orleans is still putting the pieces back together. But the human side of the disaster and recovery is worth hearing — as in this story of two people who met, fell in love and built a family in the aftermath of the storm.

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    The Fight Over Gay Marriage Continues

    It’s not over yet. Marriage equality is probably the biggest civil rights movement of the past decade, and it struck a major victory with the Supreme Court ruling back in June. But there’s still a ways to go. Several county clerks in Kentucky, for instance, are denying marriage licenses to gay couples on the basis of their religious convictions. One clerk has even appealed to the Supreme Court, in what her lawyers consider a “first test of the rights of public officials” since the same-sex marriage ruling. Clearly, more progress is needed.

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    America Needs to Support New Mothers

    It’s time they can’t get back. Mothers worldwide take paid leave to be at home with their newborns, but the U.S. is the only developed country not to offer government-mandated maternity leave. Even though some firms are becoming more generous with paid leave, the vast majority of female workers in America — 88 percent — get no paid leave after childbirth. Experience has shown me that paid maternity leave helps reduce turnover, which means it’s great for business as well as families. 

  5. Suspect Arrested in Killing of Texas Deputy, Fan at Atlanta Baseball Game Dies After Fall

    Authorities nab suspect in deputy’s gas pump murder near Houston. (CNN)

    Fall from Atlanta ballpark’s upper deck kills fan. (Washington Post)

    ‘Awakenings’ author Oliver Sacks dies at age 82. (Reuters)

    Migrant kids rescued from van in Austria slip out of hospital. (The Guardian)

    ‘Largest ever’ offshore natural gas field discovered off of Egypt. (AFP)


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    Lawyer Helps Tech Firms Diversify

    She’s guiding them to the straight and (not so) narrow. Diversity in the workplace is a critical issue, especially in Silicon Valley, and lawyer Joelle Emerson is on the case. Her firm, Paradigm, is helping more than a dozen tech companies — including Pinterest — select, develop and retain more diverse staffs. Opening recruitment to more schools can be a good start. But there’s likely no finish line, Emerson says, and firms looking to make real changes need to set diversity goals —and remain dedicated to them.

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    The Online-Video Gold Rush

    Get ready for bigger battles over smaller screens. As TV viewership declines, especially among millennials, online video has become one of the hottest corners in media. Over the last year, several companies, in both media and tech, have rushed to compete in this emerging space. There’s a lot of speculation over what the new challengers mean for YouTube. When I’m asked about the competition, I say that it’s a good thing, to the extent that it focuses us on improving our product. The digital ad market is growing quickly, and there will be more than enough room for many successful companies.

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    Migrants Don’t Leave Home Without Their … Phones

    Their port of call? A charging station. The migrant migration we’re seeing in Europe — and across the globe — is being fueled, at least in part, by access to smartphones and global positioning apps. These pocket-size supercomputers are bringing real change to people’s lives, day in and day out. Who would’ve thought, just five years ago, that a smartphone would be up there with food and shelter as a critical necessity? This article is a great reminder of why my top priorities at YouTube are mobile, mobile and mobile.

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    Taylor Swift and Her Powerful Sisterhood

    She’s a juggernaut. When I took my daughter and her friends to a Taylor Swift concert recently, I was blown away. The 25-year-old songstress has really come into her own over the past couple years, and it’s not just the music: Swift has developed into a force in the creative industry, and she’s done it on her own terms, whether she’s challenging distributors, forging close bonds among other powerful young women or redefining social media.

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    Take Some Time Off, Already

    It’s time for a break. Yes, in Silicon Valley’s tech industry, there’s a pervasive culture of long hours and never signing off or shutting down. But overworking just does not work, and to me, it’s not a status symbol either. I make it a point to be home for dinner every night with my family, and it turns out that the benefits accrue not just to my personal life, but to my professional life too. The big lesson here? Working more is no substitute for working hard and working smart.