Taiwan Strait, Extrasolar Planets, No Collusion, Apple TV, Rob Gronkowski

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What I am watching today = March 24, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 


TOP FIVE

✔️ US vessels sail through Taiwan Strait, defying China

✔️ Exoplanet tally set to pass 4,000 mark

✔️ Barr: Mueller finds no Trump-Russia conspiracy

✔️ Apple’s Hollywood moment draws intense interest

✔️ Rob Gronkowski retires
 

GLOBALIZATION

US vessels sail through Taiwan Strait, defying China: WSJ reports, the Pentagon sent two vessels through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, a show of US support for Taiwan likely to fuel concerns in Beijing that Washington is aligning increasingly with Taipei.

China pledges openness in hopes of reaching a trade deal: NYT reports, top Chinese officials, looking at a skeptical audience both at home and abroad, pledge to open the country’s markets to foreign investment.

Rana Foroohar: National champions are not the way to compete with China: Smart industrial policy is a good thing but oligopoly is not.

China lays down a marker in Europe as Italy joins the Belt and Road initiative: Reuters reports, Italy became the first major Western economy to join the ambitious Chinese global infrastructure project.

May survives but struggles to win over Brexit rebels: FT reports, high-stakes week will see prime minister face cabinet and key Commons votes.

May defies call to set her exit date: The Times reports, Theresa May has resisted pressure to set a date for her departure in return for support for her EU divorce deal after a threatened cabinet coup fizzled out. After meeting prominent Brexiteers at Chequers yesterday, the prime minister is instead expected to allow parliament to move towards a softer exit from the European Union.

EU completes no-deal Brexit preparations: DW reports, a "no-deal" Brexit is looking increasingly likely, according to the EU and the bloc has revealed its contingency plan for that scenario. But it warned the measures could only reduce disruption, not prevent it.

Gideon Rachman: Brexit is part of a wider European struggle: All of the EU’s big six countries are facing deep internal divisions.

Marc Champion and Gregory Viscusi: On Brexit, Macron channels de Gaulle: A six-century rivalry explains why the French don’t care if the Brits leave.

DISRUPTION

Men ditch suits, and retailers struggle to adapt: WSJ reports, as companies relax dress codes, Lululemon pants enter the office; stretch ‘isn’t a dirty word anymore.’

Tech is splitting the US workforce in two: NYT reports, a small group of well-educated professionals enjoys rising wages, while most workers toil in low-wage jobs with few chances to advance.

Exoplanet tally set to pass 4,000 mark: BBC reports, The huge haul is a sign of the explosion of findings from searches with telescopes on the ground and in space over the last 25 years. It's also an indication of just how common planets are - with most stars in the Milky Way hosting at least one world in orbit around them. That's something astronomers couldn't be certain of just 30 years ago. The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia, run by the Observatoire de Paris, has already passed the 4,000 mark.

POLITICS

WSJ: Mueller probe finds no Trump-Russia collusion

NYT: A cloud over Trump’s presidency is lifted

FT: Mueller finds no collusion between Trump and Russia

LAT: Barr: Mueller finds no Trump-Russia conspiracy but doesn’t ‘exonerate’ president

WP: Mueller finds no conspiracy, attorney general says

Bloomberg: Democrats move on to plan B with Mueller finding no collusion


Mueller finds no Trump-Russia conspiracy but stops short of exonerating President on obstruction.

Trump feels "totally exonerated' by the Mueller report's conclusion. But other investigations into his administration and his business dealings will continue.

I am guessing Team Trump was aware of Russia's shenanigans during Election 2016 but did not coordinate or conspire to act in concert with said shenanigans.

Per Barr's reading of the Mueller report, collusion requires a two-way action, and not a being aware action.


No impeachment in view, but Democrats push on with investigations: NYT reports, Democrats seized on statements that were less than definitive in the attorney general’s summary.

Democrats press on with probes: WSJ reports, Democrats are calling for release of the full Mueller report and all underlying material as they vow to proceed with their own investigations. 292

Trump team sees political gold: WSJ reports, Trump’s advisers began crafting plans Sunday to use Robert Mueller’s findings as a line of attack against Democrats ahead of the 2020 election. 

Trump declares victory, and a war on his enemies: NYT reports, claiming vindication, Mr. Trump called the investigation an “illegal takedown that failed” and said those behind it should face scrutiny.

Edward Luce: Robert Mueller is the God that failed Democrats: Trump will feel dangerously vindicated — when you strike at a king be sure to kill him.

COMMERCE

With the iPhone sputtering, Apple bets future on TV, news: WSJ reports, Apple became a tech colossus by pioneering a mobile phone that transformed technology, but can no longer count on it for growth. That’s why CEO Tim Cook is making a dramatic pivot to services—an area filled with risks and competition. On Monday, it will announce revamped video- and news-subscription services. 

Apple’s Hollywood moment draws intense interest — and skepticism: LAT reports, the tech giant has spent the last couple years securing deals with show business royalty to create a lineup of programming to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Walt Disney Co.

Naspers to list its $134 billion Tencent stake in Europe: WSJ reports, Africa’s most valuable company, Naspers, plans to separately list its internet assets in Amsterdam, creating a European traded tech giant that will house its $134 billion stake in China’s Tencent.

Uber to sign $3.1bn deal for Careem as early as Monday: FT reports, US company’s acquisition of Dubai-based rival would be rare tech success for Middle East

SPORT

Rob Gronkowski retires.

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.

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