The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Pau Gasol Guest Curates OZY’s PDB

    At 7 feet tall, this Spanish basketball star looms large — and today, Pau Gasol joins the ranks of recent OZY guest editors like Arianna Huffington, Tucker Carlson, Ken Burns and Brian Grazer to share his take on today’s must-know news. Gasol, a power forward for the San Antonio Spurs, joined the NBA in 2001. Hailing from a family of medical professionals, he has long had a passion for children’s health. His foundation works to fight youth obesity because he believes healthy, happy children and families contribute to successful communities.


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    The Heartbreaking Plight of Those Fleeing Mosul

    Images, perhaps, convey the sadness of the refugee crisis best. Every day we hear about thousands of people being forced to abandon their homes and flee to other countries — their lives broken by never-ending war. These images from northern Iraq, where coalition forces have been pushing against ISIS for months, really drive that message home. Each of the 33 photos serves as a visual reminder of the horror of war, and they will leave no one unmoved. They are testimonies to a reality that should make us think and act.

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    South Korean Women Close in on 90-Year Life Expectancy

    Great news: The world is aging more gracefully than ever, with longer life expectancies and better quality of life. A new study shows that South Korean women may live the longest: Over half the women from this country born in 2030 are expected to live for more than 90 years. The secret? Simply living a healthy life. Despite medical advances, the United States still has a long way to go, especially in tackling its obesity epidemic. 

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    We Need to Celebrate Women Every Day, and Pay Them Equally

    To celebrate International Women’s Day, the International Labour Organization launched a new report on women’s roles in modern society. Although the stats are encouraging — half of the world’s women participate actively in the job market — we are still far away from being equal. Men continue to occupy the vast majority of managing roles, and their salaries for the same positions are still higher. Without a doubt, the biggest challenge is to diminish the gap in salaries between the genders in order to evolve toward a fairer society.

  5. U.S. Attorney Fired After Refusing Order to Resign, Bombs in Syria Kill Iraqi Pilgrims and Dutch Expel Campaigning Turkish Minister

    Know This: Prominent Obama-appointed U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says he was fired by the Justice Department after refusing to resign, as 46 federal prosecutors were asked to do. Two bomb blasts reportedly targeted buses carrying Iraqi Shiite pilgrims in Damascus, killing 40. And Secret Service agents arrested a mace-carrying intruder who scaled the White House fence Friday night while the president was inside. 

    Diplomatic Impunity:  “Many European nations have also expressed deep disquiet about Turkey’s response to the July coup attempt and the country’s perceived slide towards authoritarianism under President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan.” — Analysis of issues underlying the Netherlands’ expulsion of Ankara’s foreign minister amid concerns that her campaigning for expat voters to approve a new constitution empowering Erdogan might lead to violence.

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    Will the Lagos Academy Produce Soccer’s Next Messi?

    Being a professional athlete doesn’t necessarily mean being naturally talented. It requires work, consistency, sacrifice and teamwork. All of these values are taught at academies like FC Barcelona’s, which launched the careers of stars like Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi. Today the club is expanding its influence in Africa and giving boys and girls from all over the world the chance to become professional players. Far from only teaching technical aspects of the sport, these schools impart a philosophy and way of understanding soccer — which is essential for success.

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    Others Should Follow Britain’s Lead on Fighting Obesity

    One out of every three 11-year-olds in the U.K. is overweight or obese. This not only affects the country’s medical system but also the quality of life of these future generations and, in the end, the future of the country. Governments must work to find a solution. The U.K.’s experience, offering economic incentives that encourage families, schools and the food industry to provide children with healthier choices, can be used as a source of inspiration for other societies facing the same challenge.

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    A High-Speed World Requires Reflection

    Today’s society has changed: We live in a frenetic era, dominated by speed, multiple impacts and an overload of information. With these changes, it’s important for education — especially for younger generations — to evolve and adapt to this new context and for us to be able to navigate the situations surrounding us. We can see new subjects being introduced in schools, for example, that enable children to manage conflicts peacefully, channel their emotions, cope with stressful situations and, overall, think before acting.

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    Never Take Anything for Granted: The Key to Success

    Leadership, be it in sports, business or life in general, offers personal satisfaction. But we must understand it as a temporary situation and know that we need to accept new challenges in order to stay ahead of the game. As this study reflects, leadership is an initial state of competition that can motivate us temporarily, but we must always accept new challenges to stay motivated, and ahead.

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    White Men, and Robots, Really Can Jump

    Technology advances at a tremendous speed, as proven by the existence of new robots that challenge human capacities. One of them is Boston Dynamics’ new creation, capable of lifting up to 100 pounds and jumping 4 feet high while rolling around at 9 miles per hour. The challenge? To make the most of this progress to positively influence society — harnessing technology’s use for emergencies, for example, or for improving the daily lives of disabled people.