April 11, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Caracal Global Daily = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics
✔️ EU leaders agree to six-month Brexit delay
✔️ Gliding missiles that fly faster than Mach 5 are coming
✔️ Netflix is making a major play for the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood
✔️ Chuck E. Cheese operates 515 locations nationwide
✔️ HBD: Jeremy Clarkson, TV presenter, Top Gear and Grand Tour
WSJ: WikiLeaks’s Assange arrested at Ecuador embassy in London
Assange has been holed up for almost seven years.
IMF warning: The IMF's new chief economist, Gita Gopinath, does not foresee a global recession, but she does warn of "many downside risks." The fund reckons global growth will be 3.3% this year—a 0.2 percentage point downgrade from earlier forecasts—and 3.6% next year. Particular weaknesses are seen in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa.
Europe’s small, open countries brace for Brexit: Ireland, the Netherlands, and Belgium are most exposed.
EU gives UK more time to resolve Brexit: WSJ reports, European Union leaders agreed to postpone Brexit until Oct. 31 to allow British Prime Minister Theresa May more time to try to get the UK’s Parliament to approve the country’s divorce deal with the bloc.
EU leaders agree to six-month Brexit delay: FT reports, Theresa May told she has until end of October to finalize UK’s departure.
The prime minister is due to update the Commons today on the new deadline of October 31, which was set at the extraordinary European Council.
Iain Duncan Smith led calls for Theresa May to name her departure date following the news overnight that Brexit would be delayed for a further six months.
UK business lobby accused this morning of “driving small firms to despair” with “debating, dithering and delay” in the three years since Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Philip Stephens: Britain can now change its mind about Brexit: Macron’s emergence as a latter-day de Gaulle should not stop a second referendum.
Angela Merkel vs. Emmanuel Macron: Battle between her legacy and his future plays out at summit.
Renewed tensions between Italy and Brussels: Italy's populist government has conceded it won’t hit the budget-deficit target agreed on with EU authorities, setting the stage for another standoff with Brussels. The finance ministry said this year's deficit will be 2.4% of GDP, rather than 2% agreed upon in December after tense negotiations. Those discussions resulted in a rise in borrowing costs for Italian banks, businesses, and households, reviving memories of the eurozone’s 2010-12 debt crisis, from which Italy has yet to fully recover.
Did Russia meddle in Magadascar's election? A BBC investigation has revealed that at least six candidates were offered money by Russians in the lead up to last year’s presidential elections in Madagascar. The presence of Russian political strategists with alleged ties to the Kremlin, posing as tourists with the alleged aim of helping to control the tightly fought race, has raised questions whether democracy in the former French colony has been fatally compromised. https://bbc.in/2Kq5tRi
US military wary of China’s foothold in Venezuela: Foreign Policy reports, the head of US Southern Command says Beijing is using disinformation and debt diplomacy to dig in as Maduro clings to power.
US warship cruises disputed sea in Philippine war games: AFP reports, the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, with at least 10 F-35B stealth jets on deck, stood guard as amphibious tanks rolled onto a Philippine beach located a short sail from islands also claimed by China.
China sweetens its cloud offer in US trade talks: WSJ reports, Beijing sweetened an offer to open its cloud-computing sector to foreign companies, in a bid to forge a trade deal after U.S. negotiators rejected an earlier proposal.
US, China agree to establish trade deal enforcement offices: Mnuchin: Reuters reports, the United States and China have largely agreed on a mechanism to police any trade agreement they reach, including establishing new "enforcement offices," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.
Janah Ganesh: Donald Trump’s trade obsession keeps the peace with China: The US president is not interested in a clash of philosophies because of his fixation.
Hong Kong's stock market capitalization overnight surpassed Japan's for the first time since the Chinese equity bubble popped in 2015.
FT: Japan wants better access to US in return for free trade deal
Tokyo says Trump administration will have to offer significant concessions.
An agreement that does not include concessions to Japan would be illegal under World Trade Organization rules and stands no chance of ratification by Japan’s Diet, according to a senior trade official directly involved in preparations for the talks.
Nikkei: China's 'Japan hands' make comeback as US ties wilt
Newly appointed Tokyo ambassador puts Rolodex in motion for Xi visit preparation.
As China's next ambassador in Tokyo, Kong Xuanyou will pave the way for President Xi Jinping to visit Japan, possibly twice, this year.
Australia to pick its next leader—with an election: WSJ reports, Australia’s conservative government said it would hold national elections on May 18, betting on tax cuts and security spending to fend off a challenge by center-left opponents.
Australia will hold new elections in May: DW reports, Prime Minister Scott Morrison moved to dissolve parliament and call for new elections. The conservative leader will face a challenge from center-left Labor leader Bill Shorten, who currently leads in the polls.
Edward Luce: Trump is building a populist global club: Benjamin Netanyahu’s win would not have happened without the US president’s help.
AFP: Sudan's defence minister says army has arrested President Omar al-Bashir
Sudan’s military overthrows the president, ending his 30-year rule: WP reports, the apparent ouster of President Omar al-Bashir came after months of growing protests across Sudan.
In letter on clerical sex abuse, Pope Benedict XVI decries ’60s sexual revolution, describes seminaries filled with ‘homosexual cliques’: WP reports, the pope emeritus broke his years of silence on major church affairs, attributing the clerical sex abuse crisis to a breakdown of church and societal moral teaching and said he felt compelled to assist “in this difficult hour.”
Black hole picture captured for first time in space ‘breakthrough’: The image of a black hole captured by the Event Horizon Telescope. Photograph: EHT Collaboration.
A network of eight radio telescopes around the world helped to record the image.
Hypersonic missiles: Gliding missiles that fly faster than Mach 5 are coming. They combine the speed of intercontinental ballistic missiles with the accuracy of cruise missiles.
10 breakthrough technologies for 2019 curated by Bill Gates. http://bit.ly/2UNpXqY
Ex-Obama counsel expects to be charged soon in Mueller-related case: NYT reports, Gregory B. Craig may soon be indicted on charges related to his work for the Russia-aligned government of Ukraine, lawyers said. Craig would become the first top Democrat to be charged in a case developed by the special counsel.
Pete Buttigieg challenges religious right on their own turf: NYT reports, Buttigieg has confronted evangelicals like Vice President Mike Pence, questioning the moral authority of religious leaders who have stayed silent on Trump’s conduct.
New York City declares a public health emergency over measles outbreak, mandates vaccination: New York City declared a public health emergency yesterday over a measles outbreak that has sickened 285 people — most of them in an Orthodox Jewish community — since last fall.
Netflix continues pursuit for Oscar glory: In a deal reported to be worth tens of millions of dollars, Netflix is making a major play for the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Owning the cinema would allow Netflix to more easily showcase films that it wants to put up for Academy Award contention without dealing with traditional theatrical release windows.
JetBlue appears to be gearing up for service across the Atlantic.
YouTube broadens its already huge array of e-sports content.
Standard & Poors is rolling out a new version of its S&P 500 index, but focused on "socially-minded" companies.
Standard Chartered will pay US and British authorities more than $1 billion to settle a probe over allegedly violating Iran sanctions.
Boeing revealed it received zero 737 Max orders last month.
Chuck E. Cheese: The company averages $1.6 million per restaurant and operates 515 locations nationwide.
NYT: Uber is said to aim for IPO valuation of up to $100 billion
Volkswagen AG is exploring purchasing a big stake in its Chinese electric vehicle joint venture partner JAC Motors.
The twilight of combustion comes for Germany's empire of engines: The nation that invented the heart of the car at the dawn of the 20th century might struggle to adapt to the coming electric era. https://bloom.bg/2KtP0LJ
Nikkei: Tesla and Panasonic freeze spending on $4.5bn gigafactory
The Japanese company also suspends planned investment in Shanghai plant.
Walmart to refit 500 more stores to lure back online shoppers: FT reports, biggest US retailer focuses on improving existing estate as it battles with Amazon.
What is Huawei and why is the US government so afraid of it? LAT reports, Ren Zhengfei turned a company with no intellectual property into the world’s largest telecom. Washington says he had help from Beijing.
WP: Stadium wants to be America’s biggest sports network. And it doesn’t want to be on cable.
“Killing Eve” delights because it is so anti-Bond: The series, which has recently returned for a second season, plays with the tropes of the thriller genre. https://econ.st/2KnNN8G
Will Apple just kill iTunes already? Adam Clark Estes writes, people have been complaining about iTunes for ages. The bloated and confusingly arcane piece of software has been updated and repurposed and jerry-rigged to handle new tasks for the past 18 years, and one developer says it won't live to see its 19th birthday.
HBD: Jeremy Clarkson, TV presenter, Top Gear and Grand Tour
Simon Kuper: Why the elite media are surviving in this populist age: ‘A reader introduced himself as “an FT/Economist liberal”. Elite media are becoming clubs.’
The bursting, beautiful shelves of famous bibliophiles: Amid the decluttering craze, we asked José Andrés, Andrew Sean Greer and other famous book lovers for the stories behind their collections. https://wapo.st/2KtlFkM
The Masters tournament begins at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.