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Marc Ross Daily
August 3, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Business News at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits

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✔️ Russian spy found working at US embassy in Moscow

✔️ China seeks new insights on US trade strategy

✔️ Wilbur Ross brushes off harm of Trump tariffs

✔️ Apple's market cap passes $1 trillion

✔️ Woods v Mickelson match set


My podcast diary for July 2018:

09 Akimbo: Juggling

09 Recode: Adam Grant

10 Recode: Nat Geo + Insta

12 Moment: Penn Jillette

13 Akimbo: Origin Stories

13 TWIST: 833 - Whitney Sales

17 TWIST: 836 - News Roundup

17 Intercom: Elad Gil

18 Akimbo: This Stinks

19 Altucher: Robert Greene

19 VC20: Elad Gil

23 Giant Thinkers: Blair Enns

25 Moment: Seth Godin

25 Akimbo: The Mesh

26 Altucher: Seth Godin

28 Agency Advantage: Blair Enns

RevThinking : Blair Enns

31 Schmidt List: Blair Enns


LAT: As political crisis deepens in Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa named winner in presidential election

245 arrests: A Colombian drug cartel has put out a bounty of 200 million pesos (about $70K USD) on drug-sniffing police dog Sombra. The 6-year-old German shepherd has helped police detect over 2,000 kilos of cocaine hidden in suitcases, boats, and shipments of food, and officers credit her with more than 245 drug-related arrests at Colombian airports.

‘I’m totally freaked out’: Brazilians bid farewell to paradise amid strife: WSJ reports, with gun violence surging, along with pessimism about the country’s political and economic future, the number of Brazilians who are emigrating is soaring.

US, Mexico pursue NAFTA auto deal as Canada sits on sidelines: WSJ reports, senior US and Mexican officials sought to hammer out new rules for the auto trade at the center of negotiations to overhaul Nafta, while Canadian officials sat out the latest talks amid tension between Ottawa and Washington.

Guardian: Suspected Russian spy found working at US embassy in Moscow

"The Russian national had been hired by the US Secret Service and is understood to have had access to the agency’s intranet and email systems, which gave her a potential window into highly confidential material including the schedules of the president and vice-president."

Estonia has become the first country in the world to offer free public transport to all residents.

Theresa May to tell Emmanuel Macron that Chequers plan is 'mutually beneficial': Telegraph reports, PM May will try to convince Emmanuel Macron on Friday that her Chequers plan for Brexit will be “mutually beneficial” to Britain and France as she received official notice that their meeting is “not a negotiation”. The Prime Minister has cut short her Italian holiday to visit Mr Macron at his island retreat, the Fort de Brégançon, as she steps up attempts to engage directly with EU leaders, sidestepping Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Theresa May consigned to Fort Brégançon fortress hated by French leaders: The Times reports, when the British came in sight of Fort Brégançon in 1793, they were attacked by French revolutionary forces. Theresa May will be hoping for a warmer welcome today when she arrives to see President Macron in the imposing but somewhat cramped residence where he plans to spend the next two weeks. Etiquette will probably require Mrs May to compliment the French president on his Mediterranean retreat. In practice, however, the state-owned fort has never been much loved by those who stay there.

China’s indebted conglomerates pile into anti-poverty push: FT reports, villagers say parts of Xi’s project are flawed, as companies seek favour with Beijing.

WSJ: Xi’s right-hand man is message-bearer in China-US trade dispute

Wang Qishan serves behind the scenes as a troubleshooter and a loyal lieutenant who has ties to influential Americans.

China seeks new insights on US trade strategy as it plans next moves: SCMP reports, advisers say Beijing is redoubling efforts to understand the Trump administration’s thinking as it explores potential to restart trade negotiations.

China has no idea how to play Trump: In the past, Beijing has reacted to economic challenges by opening its credit spigot and letting the money flow, and that’s what it has started doing this time too even though the mess from the last crisis is yet to be cleared. SCMP - Fraser Howie

China's top diplomat: He encouraged the Trump administration to "calm down" amid escalating tariff threats, saying increased rhetoric will not lead to results. Wang Yi said at a forum in Singapore that a US campaign to ratchet up pressure on Beijing will not "have any effect," Reuters reported. 

China ready: The Middle Kingdom said it was ready to retaliate against the latest threat by the US to raise tariffs on its goods. The Trump administration said this week that it’s considering increasing the proposed tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent.

Trump zeroes in on China after EU trade truce: FT reports, US president moves to resolve other disputes but ups ante in battle with Beijing.

ZTE loaded up with powerful Washington lobbyists to convince lawmakers to abandon penalties that would have decimated the Chinese telecom company, according to The New York Times.


FT: US tech faces big risks from Trump’s China trade war


Bloomberg: A record number of Democratic challengers are outraising GOP opponents

CAFE standards change
: The Trump administration said this morning it wants to freeze fuel efficiency standards for vehicles made from 2022 to 2025 at current levels and revoke a Clean Air Act waiver that allows California to set its own GHG specifications.

USA Today: Chinese tariffs muck up market for US pig parts and hog farmers

Wilbur Ross brushes off harm of Trump tariffs
: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday defended the Trump administration's latest threat to ramp up tariffs on China, saying it would not lead to disaster for the U.S. economy. "It's not something that's going to be cataclysmic," he said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

Poll: Fewer than 1 in 3 Americans think NAFTA is beneficial

Poll: 71% of business owners want more China tariffs

Trump donor agreed to pay Cohen $10 million for nuclear project push: WSJ reports, a major donor to President Trump agreed to pay $10 million to the president’s then-personal attorney if he successfully helped obtain funding for a nuclear-power project, including a $5 billion loan from the US government, according to people familiar with the matter. 

US intelligence officials warn of ‘pervasive’ Russian efforts to disrupt 2018 elections: WSJ reports, senior intelligence officials described Russian efforts to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections as deep, real and ongoing, showcasing their efforts to combat a threat President Trump has repeatedly dismissed. 

NYT: Russian threat to elections ‘is real,’ Trump officials say

FT: US spy chiefs warn of ‘pervasive’ Russian meddling

Russia is "a keyboard click away" from mounting a more serious attack on the upcoming US midterm elections than it did during the 2016 campaign, according to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

@nytpolitics: Blackburn and Bredesen advance in Tennessee Senate race


Hyatt Hotels, which has a global portfolio of more than 700 hotels, announced a new loyalty alliance with London-based Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) — a collection of more than 500 independent luxury hotels from around the world.

Apple's market cap passes $1 trillion with a new all-time high share price of $208.38 - first public American company to reach the milestone.


Sonos debuts on the Nasdaq at $16 per share after pricing at $15.

CBS stays mum on Moonves investigation during earnings call.

Netflix is a product and technology company: Netflix's product expertise is at the heart of everything it does, including why and how it makes its original content. This culture is easily overlooked, but doing so can be fatal. Netflix is as much a tech and product company as Facebook, Google or Amazon. http://bit.ly/2Ko8uMv

Facebook searching for its next CMO.

Kara Swisher: The expensive education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley https://nyti.ms/2KlQyCe

"They have weaponized social media. They have weaponized the First Amendment. They have weaponized civic discourse. And they have weaponized, most of all, politics."

Staffers around the country working for State AGs are circulating this commentary plotting their legal arguments.

The producers at 60 Minutes have this tapped to the planning board.

This easily could be a multi-100 billion dollar changing commentary piece that will radically change social media and Facebook's fortune.

Google is working on a search app tailored, and censored, for China. The project has sparked a furious internal staff debate.

Molson Coors is the latest big brewer to officially enter Canada’s budding legal cannabis industry. Molson Coors has partnered with Canadian-based The Hydropothecary Corporation to make booze-free, cannabis-infused beverages as soon as recreational weed is legalized in Canada this October.

Baby food on the blockchain: Nestlé is joining the effort to track food with the technology.

Snapchat is introducing speech recognition filters: Users will be able to trigger lenses and music with their voice.

Voice will be huge - plan accordingly.

Fiat Chrysler has to turn Jeep around to compete in China: WSJ reports, new Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley once promised that China would be its global engine of growth. But the company’s first-half performance there was one of the weakest for any international automaker.

Burberry is changing its logo for first time in two decades

Designer Tisci revealed the new brand on his Instagram feed


Why Starbucks’s plastic straw ban might not help the environment: Getting rid of straws is a step toward ending plastic waste–but if it just involves replacing them with hard-to-recycle plastic lids, it may not do much good at all.

Poll: 67% of US adults support companies' phaseout of plastic straws

Check yourself: Around 73% of millennial US bank customers say they're open to trying financial products from a tech company they already use.

Media consumption: The latest numbers from Nielsen show that on average American adults spend 11.1 hours every day consuming media, up 19 minutes over the previous quarter. 

-- 92 percent of adults listen to radio in an average week

-- 88 percent watch television

-- 79 percent mess around on a smartphone

-- 60 percent on a computer

-- 15 percent on a game console

What is psychographics? Understanding the 'dark arts’ of marketing that brought down Cambridge Analytica: Although it came to light with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and 2016 US presidential election, psychographic marketing may be even more effective in commercial rather than political advertising. And it's already more prevalent than you might think. http://bit.ly/2MiCSJS

Bloomberg: Internal combustion engines may have 40 more years in the tank

I saw longer - two generations


"Ozark" season 2 drops August 31.

The stakes are high for 'Crazy Rich Asians' -- and that's the point: Hollywood Reporter writes, the new film's creators turned down a "gigantic payday" at Netflix to ensure the first Asian-American-focused studio movie in 25 years would be seen in theaters and, if all goes well, reshape the Hollywood landscape: "The biggest stage with the biggest stakes -- that's what we asked for."

Fields Medal: Like the Nobel Prize for math but awarded only once every four years, and only to mathematicians age 40 and younger — new winner announced: Peter Scholze, Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli and Akshay Venkatesh.

What does ‘off the record’ really mean?https://nyti.ms/2Kmxfcb

A primer on the kinds of conversations journalists have with sources.

How chyrons took on a life of their own: In the age of Trump, cable news banners have become a medium for presidential fact-checking. 

HBD: Tony Bennett, singer, I Left My Heart in San Francisco (1962), 92

Deadline: Fox, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon win hot package on multi-million dollar theft of McDonald’s Monopoly Game


The invention of online travel and how it changed the future of travel forever: Skift Executive Editor Dennis Schaal — accompanied by recorded interviews with some of the earliest players in online travel — discusses his Definitive Oral History of Online Travel. The conversation includes back-room drama, untold tales, victory laps, and clips from players including Expedia founder Rich Barton, Priceline founder Jay Walker, former Expedia, Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, and TripAdvisor CEO and co-founder Stephen Kaufer. http://bit.ly/2MdDu3I


Afghan Whigs - Brother Woodrow, Closing Prayerhttps://goo.gl/saHB8t  


OTD: In 1936 the American athlete Jesse Owens won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.

$20 an hour: Parents are hiring Fortnite coaches to help their kids get better at the popular video game — with some shelling out up to $20 an hour for a coach.
HBD: Tom Brady, American football quarterback, 41

Golf: Woods v Mickelson match set for Thanksgiving in Las Vegas

Preseason Amway Coaches Poll:

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Ohio State
4. Georgia
5. Oklahoma
6. Washington
7. Wisconsin
8. Miami (Fla.)
9. Penn State
10. Auburn
14. Michigan

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.