Binyamin Netanyahu, CBD, Theresa May, Eric Swalwell, Stephen A. Smith

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What I am watching today = April 9, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ US moves to impose tariffs on $11 billion of EU goods

✔️ China’s next naval target is the internet’s underwater cables

✔️ Stephen Miller's influence rising amid changes at DHS

✔️ Grab vs Go-Jek

✔️ Madonna to perform at Eurovision in Tel Aviv


Israel election: Binyamin Netanyahu on course for fifth term.

US moves to impose tariffs on $11 billion of EU goods: WSJ reports, the Trump administration moved toward imposing tariffs on about $11 billion in imports from the European Union, saying the move was justified by the bloc’s subsidies for European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

FT: US weighs $11bn in tariffs against EU over Airbus aid

Move would represent significant escalation of transatlantic trade tensions.

US plans $11bn tariffs on European aircraft, wine and cheese: The Times reports, the United States is planning $11 billion of tariffs on goods from the European Union — including aircraft, aircraft parts, motorcycles, cheese and wine — to counter the harm that it claims has been caused to Boeing by its subsidies for Airbus. The US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, said that the case had been in litigation at the World Trade Organisation for 14 years and that “the time has come for action.”

Reuters: Potential US auto tariffs would hurt Germany, Japan, Korea: Moody's

“Auto trade restrictions would cause a broader hit to business and consumer confidence globally in an already slowing global economy,” Moody’s Associate Managing Director Elena Duggar wrote.

The EU and China rescue a plan to present united front to Trump: Bloomberg reports, the European Union and China managed to agree on a joint statement for Tuesday’s summit in Brussels, papering over divisions on trade in a bid to present a common front to U.S. President Donald Trump, EU officials said. Diplomats reached an eleventh-hour accord on a draft communique after China made concessions on wording about industrial subsidies that removed a European veto threat, said one of the officials, who asked not to be identified by name. EU Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang are due to attend the gathering in the Belgian capital.

China to 'further open' its doors to Europe, PM Li says ahead of summit: DW reports, China's Li Keqiang has attempted to quell European skepticism towards China's investment approach ahead of this week's EU-China summit. Some fear projects like the Belt and Road initiative aim to bind countries to China.

Lionel Laurent: Trump's trade spat with China squeezes Europe: Brussels needs to strike an awkward balance to defend its own interests as protectionist bullets fly.

Chinese woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago had cache of electronics: WSJ reports, a Chinese woman arrested for entering President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago without authorization had $8,000 in U.S. and Chinese currency and a cache of electronic devices in her room, a prosecutor said.

China uses its clout to deflect criticism of Muslim camps: NYT reports, in the Muslim world, and in Washington and Europe, Beijing’s economic power deters action over criticism that it has detained members of ethnic minorities.

Pacific islands: A new arena of rivalry between China and the US: Beijing is making its presence felt in a region that the US navy considers strategically vital.

"The region’s vast maritime expanses have long been controlled by the US Navy, whose base in Guam is central to its ability to project power in the western Pacific. China, however, is now making its presence felt. Beijing is attracting countries with promises to boost their development, but which might also enrich local politicians and raise fears of new colonial-style domination. In western capitals, China’s Pacific push has raised concerns that Beijing has military designs on the region."

GPS data reveal secretive Chinese research vessels crossing Pacific (video): The FT's Kathrin Hille examines the Chinese oceanographic research vessels appearing between the Philippines and Hawaii based on data from and explains how Beijing is expanding its maritime influence in the Pacific.

James Stavridis: China’s next naval target is the internet’s underwater cables: Worried about Huawei’s 5G? Wait till it gets into the game for 95 percent of all data and voice traffic.

China wants to ban bitcoin mining: Reuters, China’s state planner wants to eliminate bitcoin mining in the country, according to a draft list of industrial activities the agency is seeking to stop in a sign of growing government pressure on the cryptocurrency sector.

Joseph Nye: Does China have feet of clay? No one knows what China’s future holds, and there is a long history of faulty predictions of systemic collapse or stagnation. Neither outcome is likely, though the country is facing several challenges that are far more serious than many observers seem to think.

Asia's worst aging fears begin to come true: Nikkei reports, policymakers in South Korea, China, and Japan stare into demographic abyss.

EU demands ‘real plan’ from May for Brexit delay: FT reports, Europe ministers indicate willingness to postpone British exit at Luxembourg meeting.

May offered one last chance to save Brexit deal: The Times, Theresa May will have one last opportunity to pass her deal according to Europe’s chief negotiator as she heads to Paris and Berlin for talks. Michel Barnier said this morning that the EU is willing to give the UK a final opportunity to pass her deal so long as Mrs May indicates a way forward at tomorrow evening’s emergency summit. 

UK PM Theresa May travels to Europe with Brexit extension plea: DW reports, Theresa May is meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and then with French President Emmanuel Macron to try and convince them to give her more time for Brexit. The UK Parliament has overridden her political power at home.

Robert Shrimsley: Conservatives will pay a heavy price for weaponizing Brexit: Letting hardliners frame the debate has exposed the UK to division and humiliation.

Rachel Sylvester: Broken Britain will turn to radical parties: While Farage is trying to exploit this political impasse, the ground is even more fertile for Remainers of Change UK.

Sarah O'Connor: Britain’s fragile seaside towns lay bare a dysfunctional economy: We export problems to the places least able to cope, then expect them to be resilient.


Walmart is rolling out the robots: WSJ reports, retailer to expand use of machines to scan shelves and scrub floors as it seeks to keep labor costs down.

Droids > Drones

In New York, confusion reigns in the emerging CBD edibles business: Reuters reports, the New York City crackdown highlights the inconsistencies that have emerged in federal, state and local rules governing CBD, bewildering the small but growing number of businesses selling edibles in New York and other states.


The Hill: Stephen Miller's influence rising amid changes at DHS

Trump aide Stephen Miller ‘going to clean house’ as immigration policy hardens: LAT reports, the president has vowed to take an even 'tougher' approach on immigration and border security policy with help of Miller.

Trump’s DHS purge floors Republicans: Politico reports, even GOP allies of the president are distressed by the chaos unleashed on federal immigration policy.

Ross Douthat: Trump’s immigration crisis: Behind the flailing lies a potential disaster for immigration hawks.

"For every conservative faction, supporting Trump was a gamble — do you reach for short-term victory, even though his incompetence and unfitness might cost you in the long run? The danger for immigration hawks is that the long run has already arrived."

Politico: ‘I would have preferred not to have been ejected like an Austin Powers villain’

From Nielsen to Mattis to Mooch, an optics-obsessed president narrates exits.

Kirstjen Nielsen got a 21-word tweet. Linda McMahon got a 13-minute lovefest.

Trump often blindsides his own aides, announcing major departures on his own timeline.

Biden leans into Obama identification: The Hill reports, former Vice President Joe Biden is labeling himself an “Obama-Biden Democrat” as he seeks to straddle a line to appeal to centrists and progressives in the Democratic Party. Biden’s strategy is intended to strengthen his appeal to white working-class men — who largely fled the Democratic Party in support of President Trump in 2016 — while keeping him relevant with an Obama coalition of women, minority and younger voters.

Biden support stays solid in early states: Politico reports, party leaders don’t expect lasting damage from the controversy over physical touching. But they want the former veep to stop joking about it.

Eric Swalwell (D-CA) announces a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign. The Representative is a long-shot a fourh tier candidate.

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) raised about $5 million since starting the Democratic presidential campaign earlier this year.

Midwest mayor gives Democrats hopes for White House: FT reports, Pete Buttigieg’s centrist policies, and personal history have boosted presidential ambitions.

Dems 2020 Candidates: Declared candidates + Exploratory committees:

Tier 1:

Kamala Harris (D)
Bernie Sanders (D)
Beto O'Rourke (D)

Tier 2:

John Hickenlooper (D)
Elizabeth Warren (D)
Amy Klobuchar (D)

Tier 3: 

Julian Castro (D)
Pete Buttigieg (D)
Cory Booker (D)

Tier 4:

Jay Inslee (D)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
John Delaney (D)
Tulsi Gabbard (D)
Andrew Yang (D)
Marianne Williamson (D)
Tim Ryan (D)
Eric Swalwell (D)
Wayne Messam (D) 


Audi’s new campaign tries to debunk electric vehicle misperceptions: AdAge reports, Audi and other big automakers are trying to take a bite out of Tesla's EV dominance.

Amazon's next move: Become a shipping and logistics provider for retailers, competing directly with third-party shipping companies.

In Amazon’s home city, some see an economic godsend, others a self-serving behemoth: WP reports, the online giant’s mixed reputation in Seattle offers a glimpse of what the Washington, D.C., region can expect when its new headquarters open there.

Grab vs Go-Jek: Duel of digital 'decacorns' escalates in Indonesia: Nikkei reports, $10bn ride-hailers' battle for food orders and e-payments threatens to leave both bruised.


Working by Robert Caro — how to get to the root of political power: A collection of work from the Lyndon Johnson biographer about how he works and what drives him.

Madonna to perform at Eurovision in Tel Aviv for million-dollar fee: DW reports, Madonna will put on a guest performance at the final of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Israel. The US pop superstar is reportedly getting paid $1.5 million for the gig.


Basic beginnings to global exposure: Formula One reaches 1000 races: AFP reports, From the first race at a converted World War II airbase in rural England to this weekend's 1,000th grand prix at the $240 million international circuit in Shanghai, Formula One has come a long way since it all began in 1950. Silverstone held the first race 69 years ago and the British Grand Prix has remained, with the Italian GP, the only ever-present races on the calendar. In 70 seasons, Formula One has visited 32 countries across five continents and a street circuit in Vietnam will be the newest addition next year. Formula One's organization was bought for $8 billion in 2017 by US media giant Liberty Media and is now listed on Wall Street -- a long way from the early days when tire and oil companies supplied their products for free in return for having their logos on drivers' overalls.

How Stephen A. Smith went from visionary pundit to ESPN's $10m hot-take machine: Guardian reports, the broadcaster’s shouter-in-chief is about to become the richest man in sports media after nearly washing out chasing a vision that was ahead of its time.

Champions League - Quarterfinals:

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City @ 3:00 pm ET
Liverpool v Porto @ 3:00 pm ET

Ajax v Juventus - Wednesday @ 3:00 pm ET
Barcelona v Manchester United - Wednesday @ 3:00 pm ET

The first legs will be played on 9 and 10 April, and the second legs will be played on 16 and 17 April 2019.

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.