Brexit, Chile, Mars, Biden, SoftBank, Virgin, Nkana FC

Marc Ross Daily February (1).png

Brexit, Chile, Mars, Biden, SoftBank, Virgin, Nkana FC

Marc Ross Daily
February 12, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


✔️ #Brexit - Britain can neither leave nor remain

✔️ Chinese investment in Israel raises security fears

✔️ Mars for less than $100k, return ticket included

✔️ Biden = ‘Weaker candidate than Hillary’

✔️ WeWork has amassed a $47 billion valuation


"In an age of abundance, commodities are losing businesses." -- Jeff Jarvis


Brexit delivers a shuddering blow to UK economic data: Chancellor tries to put on brave face as ONS releases unexpectedly poor figures.

Brexit = 45 days to go.

May to tell MPs to ‘hold our nerve’ over Brexit deal: PM to plead for more time to secure changes to draft exit treaty.

Second referendum momentum fading. 

Chris Grey: Britain can neither leave nor remain: The dispiriting situation is that the UK has now reached a point where, in a sense, it can neither leave the EU nor stay in it. That is to say, there is currently no viable route to get to ‘remain’ but even if there were what kind of EU member would the UK then be? On the other hand, there is no way of delivering Brexit which any but a tiny minority of Brexiters regard as satisfactory. Ironically, a project cloaked in the sacred cloth of the ‘will of the people’ is going to end up being the will of almost no one.

NYT: UK economy falters as Brexit looms. Amsterdam sees risks and opportunity.

New data shows the British economy grew at its slowest pace since 2012.

The right-wing pundit ‘hashtag triggering’ France: The pop historian Eric Zemmour has fashioned himself as an evangelist of French culture — and become a driving force for French conservatism.

Spain: The trial begins of 12 Catalan separatist leaders over an attempt to secede from Spain in 2017.

The trial is expected to last three months with an initial ruling in June.

WSJ: Pompeo warns Hungary against closer ties with China

: A Saudi minister said the kingdom has “absolutely nothing to do” with the AMI-Jeff Bezos dispute.

China pushes back against Turkey’s criticism of its Uighur detentions: WSJ reports, China rebuked Turkey for criticizing the mass incarceration of Turkic Muslims in western China and said a musician who Ankara says died in Chinese custody is alive.

Australia buys attack submarines to counter Chinese aggression: Australia has signed a multibillion-dollar deal with the French state-backed shipbuilder Naval Group for 12 attack-class submarines aimed at countering China’s militarization in the Pacific.

Chinese investment in Israel raises security fears: WSJ reports, security officials are raising alarms over Chinese investment in Israeli technology companies, prompting the Israeli government to scrutinize the money flows and businesses to reconsider accepting Chinese funds.

Venezuela owes China $20 billion from an oil-for-loans agreement that has supported the two countries’ alliance.

Maduro condemns 'extremist' Trump: BBC News, Venezuela's embattled President Nicolás Maduro has called Donald Trump's government a "gang of extremists" and blamed the US for his country's crisis.

"They are warmongering in order to take over Venezuela."

"It's a political war, of the United States empire, of the interests of the extreme right, that today is governing, of the Ku Klux Klan, that rules the White House, to take over Venezuela."

OTD: In 1818 Chile proclaimed its independence.


Mars for less than $100k: Elon Musk says he's confident moving to Mars will eventually cost less than $500k, possibly less than $100k, with a return ticket included.

Mars One is dead: The Mars colony startup was declared bankrupt by a Swiss court. The company was the brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, previously the founder of green energy company Ampyx Power. Lansdorp's aim was to start a company that could colonize one of our nearest neighbors.

Debit cards everywhere: Fintech companies from Square to Venmo are launching products that let customers spend money directly out of digital accounts using physical debit cards.

SE Asia eclipses China as world's mobile economy hot spot:Thais, Indonesians and Singaporeans are big-time online bankers, shoppers and ride-hailers.

1,545 scooter injuries: Electric scooters have caused 1,545 injuries in the US since late 2017, according to new findings by Consumer Reports. The report collected data from hospitals and public agencies in 47 different cities where leading scooter-sharing platforms Bird and Lime operate.

China’s demand for electric vehicles charges copper: Citi expects prices to hit $6,700 a tonne as metal is core to next motoring generation.

Your company wants to know if you’ve lost weight: WSJ reports, as more employers launch high-tech wellness programs that keep tabs on workers’ exercise, sleep and nutrition, employees worry about privacy and the consequences of opting out.


Shutdown averted? Senior lawmakers said they had reached an agreement in principle to fund border security and avoid a partial government shutdown this weekend.

More talk, less wall: Congressional negotiators agreed in principle to provide $1.375 billion for fencing and other physical barriers at the Mexican border, far less than what Trump had demanded.

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” -- James Madison, Federalist 51

McClatchy: ‘Weaker candidate than Hillary’: Democrats cast deep doubt on Biden’s 2020 value

McClatchy interviewed 31 Democratic strategists — pollsters, opposition research experts, media consultants, ex-party officials, and communications specialists — from across the country about a potential Biden campaign. The Democratic political community is more broadly and deeply pessimistic about Biden’s potential candidacy than is commonly known. 

The new rules of political design: CNN reports, if there are any emerging design trends among the initial 2020 campaign logos, it's the use of words over symbols, and the embrace of color outside of the traditional red, white, and blue. Gone are the patriotic single-letter presidential logos popularized over the past decade.

The National Federation of Independent Business’s optimism index fell 3.2 points to 101.2, the lowest since November 2016.

AMI + FARA: American Media sought advice last year from the Justice Department over whether it should register as a foreign agent in connection with work the publisher did for Saudi Arabia. 

100 years old: Hawaii state representative Richard Creagan (D) has introduced a bill to raise the smoking age on the islands to 100 by 2024. 

OTD: In 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first US president to deliver a political speech on the radio.


SoftBank invests $940m in driverless start-up Nuro: SoftBank’s Vision Fund has made another massive bet on autonomous driving technology, this time leading a $940m investment into, a maker of robot delivery vans. The group was founded in 2016 by two veterans of Google’s self-driving car team, now known as Waymo, after they decided delivering groceries was a more achievable goal for autonomous vehicles than passenger-carrying robo-taxis.

Nuro is one of the few companies to be operating fully driverless vehicles on public roads today.

A bet on millennials: Morgan Stanley has acquired Canadian stock plans administrator Solium Capital for $900m in a play to position itself as a leading wealth manager for future millennial millionaires. 

Andela, a company that connects developers in Africa with growing US startups like SeatGeek and Headspace, will incorporate artificial intelligence into its recommendation engine to create better matches between talent and employers.

Calm became the first mental health and wellness unicorn, raising an $88 million Series B to reach a $1 billion valuation. 

A billion in fees: Bristol Myers Squibb and Celgene will pay out about $1 billion in fees following their merger earlier this month, including $300M to their financial advisers — one of the most lucrative advisory deals ever. 

P&G acquired natural period care brand This Is L this week, at a rumored price point of $100 million.

WeWork has amassed a $47 billion valuation on the premise that sharing real estate resources will make living and working more efficient and affordable (and fun!) for everyone. WeWork has big ambitions to be the one company you need to source all of your real estate needs: a place to co-live, a place to work, a place to work out, a place to learn, a place to grow. From the outset, WeWork intended to offer a variety of accommodations (WeSail) and even financial services (WeBank). 

Amazon disclosed its latest bet to control the so-called smart home, adding to its fold Eero, a company that offers a Wi-Fi system that ditches traditional routers.

Restaurant Brands International, the parent of Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, is marching ahead on expanding the international presence of all three brands.

FT: Virgin plans American adventure in trains, ships, banks, and hotels

Virgin Voyages to launch the first of the four ships it is building early next year.

Virgin Hotel will open in San Francisco.

Virgin Galactic space aircraft hopes to make its second test flight from California’s Mojave desert.

Virgin Trains, a new passenger rail service in Florida, launches IPO.

LAT: Apple taps iPhone executive to be first augmented reality marketing chief


British American Tobacco, which withdrew from Formula One in 2006, when tobacco advertising was banned from the sport, is to return in a “global partnership” with McLaren. BAT is the second tobacco company to use F1 to publicize electronic smoking alternatives which are not affected by the ban.


The Bahamas hopes Kravitz ad rocks tourism growth: The Minister of Tourism is hoping The Bahamas’ new Lenny Kravitz-inspired advertising campaign will help drive stopover visitor growth “in the teens or low double-digit” percentages for 2019. Watch the ad here: Lenny Kravitz | The Islands of the Bahamas. Fly Away.:

Three Michelin stars: Dominique Crenn is the first woman in the US to be awarded the top honor by the prestigious French restaurant guide for her restaurant Atelier Crenn.

In November, three decades after arriving in San Francisco from France with no professional cooking experience or even training, Dominique Crenn got a life-changing call from the Michelin Guide.

@DrewMagary: "Bagel sandwiches are dumb." 

“The Berlinale stands for the big screen, Netflix the small screen": Berlin Film Festival artistic director Dieter Kosslick has responded to an open letter from exhibitors criticizing the inclusion of a Netflix film in competition. Yesterday, 160 German independent exhibitors sent a strong message to the festival and German culture minister Monika Grütters in which they demanded Isabel Coixet’s drama Elisa Y Marcela be removed from the competition strand.

AdWeek: Super Bowl LIII fans used a record 24.05 terabytes of mobile data

Or printing two and a half Libraries of Congress' worth of paper. 


Post a best of social post weekly on your LinkedIn profile.


Kyler Murray, the Heisman Trophy winner, says he wants to be a pro quarterback.

Naomi Osaka has split from her coach Sascha Bajin just weeks after the 21-year-old added the Australian Open to her first Grand Slam at the US Open last year, the Japanese player announced Monday.

@Naomi_Osaka_: Hey everyone, I will no longer be working together with Sascha. I thank him for his work and wish him all the best in the future.

Turner Sports has joined with Caesars Entertainment to develop gaming-related content from a B/R-branded studio within Caesars Palace Las Vegas.

56-match unbeaten record: Nkana FC of Zambia host Al Hilal of Sudan in the CAF Confederation Cup this Wednesday boosted by a record of never having lost at home in 56 African matches. The 40 victories and 16 draws came in the CAF Champions League, Confederation Cup and two now-defunct competitions, the African Cup Winners Cup and the CAF Cup.

Champions League - Round of 16 - Leg 1 of 2:

Roma v Porto - Today @ 300pm ET
Man United v PSG - Today @ 300pm ET

Tottenham v Dortmund - Wednesday @ 300pm
Liverpool v Bayern - Wednesday @ 300pm

New logo: Montréal Alouettes, one of the original teams of the CFL,  introduced a new identity designed by Québec City, Québec-based GRDN Studio.

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.