Turkey, Tory Party, Google Assistant, Joe Biden, FC Cincinnati

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What I am watching today = April 1, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


✔️ Erdogan set to lose control of Turkey’s two biggest cities

✔️ Will Germany become the world's largest market for medicinal cannabis?

✔️ Biden defends behavior with women

✔️ Anti-fur sentiment grows

✔️ FC Cincinnati pull in crowds


Thought leadership: Introverts wanted

Here's the big idea = Going forward, thought leadership and idea amplification is the process to shape globalization, disruption, and politics.

From my experience, most people over-index on tactics and vanity metrics and fail on strategy and organization.

From my experience, not engaging, not sharing, not playing doesn't make the difference.

If you want to start a business, win a campaign, or change a culture you can't do it from the sidelines.

Like the lottery, you got to be in it to win it.

Just this week, rising Democrat star and potential national candidate Stacey Abrams on The View told the audience, "I am an introvert. I don't like public stuff."

Imagine that.

An introvert.

A leader who has served as Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives was her party's nominee in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, and in February 2019, she became the first African-American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address.

Imagine that.

An introvert.

Abrams went on to tell the audience she is self-aware, recognizes the fear, and take steps to "hack opportunity."

She closed powerfully by saying, "In politics, they will never elect you if they never hear from you. You can't secretly run for president, or governor, or school board."

A good reminder from even one of the most talented politicians amongst us - You got to be in it to win it.


Turkey elections loosen Erdogan’s grip on power: WSJ reports, the party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to have lost the mayoral race in its historical bastion, Istanbul, a stinging setback for a leader who has towered over Turkish politics for the past 16 years.

Erdogan set to lose control of Turkey’s two biggest cities: FT reports, local election results signal major setback as voters punish president in Ankara and Istanbul.

Soft Brexit will shatter Tory party, May warned: The Times reports, Theresa May’s cabinet is the “most ill-disciplined in British political history”, the Conservative chief whip has admitted. The stark declaration by Julian Smith came as the prime minister was warned she faced a split in her party if she pursues a “soft” Brexit this week.

Britain will be on track to Brexit on May 22 if the House of Commons votes tonight for a permanent customs union, a European negotiator has said. 

Jean-Claude Juncker warns EU's patience 'running out' over Brexit: DW reports, the United Kingdom has yet to agree on a path forward regarding its departure from the European Union. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is starting to get fed up with Britain's approach to Brexit.

China purchases could undercut Trump’s larger trade goal: NYT reports, a trade deal could result in China promising to buy hundreds of billions of dollars of American products. But that could potentially make U.S. industries even more beholden to the Chinese.

Trump presses allies to confront China over Uighurs: FT reports, diplomatic mission coincides with resumption of trade talks in Washington.

China's Xi says West has long-term economic, military superiority: Reuters reports, leading party theoretical journal Qiushi, which means “Seeking Truth”, published lengthy excerpts for the first time from a speech Xi gave in early 2013 shortly after becoming party boss, warning of the dangers the party faces. Citing Marx and Engels, Xi said socialism would inevitably vanquish capitalism, but that it would be a long historical process. China practices what it calls socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Chinese officials issue stark warning about South China Sea confrontation: SMH reports, China has warned it may take “more countermeasures” against United States patrols in the South China Sea, as tensions worsen in a potential military flashpoint between the two major powers. Two senior Chinese officials intervened in an academic discussion at the Boao Forum for Asia on Friday to air China’s grievances against the United States' freedom of navigation patrols near islands claimed by China in the contested waterways.

Bloomberg: Trump’s sale of F-16 jets to Taiwan is making China nervous

The US may finally sell Taiwan the warplanes it has sought for more than a decade to defend against China. Their arrival would deal more of a political shock than a military blow to Beijing.

AFP: New Zealand PM touts 'important' China ties amid Huawei spat

Japan snubs China at dawn of new imperial era
: The Times reports, Japan revealed the name of the country’s new imperial era today, with a choice that reflects the nationalist pride of its prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and its tense relations with China. Yoshihide Suga, the chief cabinet secretary, announced the name Reiwa, meaning “Auspicious Harmony”, on national television. The new name will succeed that of the current era, Heisei, or “Abounding Peace”, when Emperor Akihito abdicates in favor of his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, at the end of this month.

Reiwa: Japan reveals name of new era ahead of Emperor's abdication: Japan Times reports, the new era will be the 248th in the history of Japan, which has used the Chinese-style system for indicating the year since 645. In modern times, each era has run the length of an emperor’s reign. This is said to be the first time that the characters chosen were drawn from Japanese classical literature, with prior era names, or gengō, having used kanji from Chinese literature. The poem from which they are taken describes an ume Japanese apricot flower in full bloom in early spring after surviving a cold winter. The new era will start on May 1, when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends to the Chrysanthemum Throne following the abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito, a day earlier.

@REIWA: 70 percent of traffic to http://reiwa.com  today were from people in Japan, mistaking the real estate portal for their country’s new imperial era. #reiwa

Support for Volodymyr Zelensky surges in Ukraine poll: FT reports, TV comedian with no political experience poised to face Petro Poroshenko in run-off.

The Times: Comic Volodymyr Zelensky rides a wave of voter anger to top Ukrainian presidential poll

The first and second-placed candidates will contest a run-off vote on April 21.

Trump, Putin and a possible ‘red-line moment’ in Venezuela: NYT reports, during his presidential campaign, Donald Trump often complained about how President Obama drew red lines that he never enforced. Trump is now facing his own red-line moment, our correspondent writes in an analysis.

@AP: BREAKING: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announces 30-day plan to ration electricity as nationwide power cuts continue.


When it comes to disclosing sponsors, your Google Assistant may be mute: Reuters reports, as voice-enabled speakers become mainstream, tech companies grapple with how to deliver greater convenience while still generating the ad revenue that traditionally has funded free searches.

Will Germany become the world's largest market for medicinal cannabis? DW reports, the use of medicinal cannabis has been allowed in Germany for two years now. But because domestic cultivation hasn't gotten off the ground yet, the plant has been imported, mainly from Canada. That might change soon.

Lego helping revive memories: BBC reports, you might think it is child's play - but plastic bricks are being credited with reviving memories in elderly care home residents in Manchester. Lego therapy is helping people to rediscover communication skills and encourage them to socialize.


Biden defends behavior with women, says he never believed he acted inappropriately: LAT reports, after accusations of an unwelcome kiss and touching, former Vice President Joe Biden says it was “never my intention” to cause discomfort or offense.

Joe Biden’s affectionate, physical style with women comes under scrutiny: WP reports, the appropriateness of the former vice president’s physical behavior is being questioned after a Democratic politician wrote a viral Internet post describing an alleged 2014 encounter that left her offended and uncomfortable.

Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend Indiana mayor whose stock and poll numbers have risen in the last weeks following a breakout performance in a CNN town hall, will report more than $7 million raised in the first quarter for his presidential bid.


Zuckerberg’s call for more tech rules fails to impress: FT reports, Facebook chief calls for updated internet regulations as political pressure mounts.

Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo samples fail Indian quality test; company rejects findings: Reuters reports, Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo samples failed quality tests conducted by the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan, according to a public notice from the state's drugs watchdog, findings that were rejected by the US drugmaker.

PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler explore European venture: Bloomberg reports, the French carmaker and its Italian-American peer have been holding preliminary discussions to collaborate on a “super platform” -- the basic underpinning of a car model -- to reduce their investment costs in the highly competitive region, said the people who asked not to be named as the matter is private. Preliminary talks could be announced by the end of the first half, one of the people said.


As anti-fur sentiment grows, California’s oldest trappers are calling it quits: LAT reports, "Trapping is a dead hose in California and there isn't a dad gum thing we can do about it," the president of the California chapter of the National Trapper's Association said recently.


FC Cincinnati pulls in crowds as MLS continues its knack for expansion: The Guardian reports, the Orange and Blue are the latest expansion team to become a success with fans. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. While Atlanta’s rise was somewhat unexpected, Cincinnati has long been hailed as a cradle of soccer in North America. Some put that down to the city’s German heritage. Others simply point to a well-run USL outfit which harnessed the local soccer community, attracting huge crowds to Nippert Stadium, years before MLS entry. Whatever the reason, MLS in Cincinnati feels right.

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


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.