Nicolás Maduro, Emperor Naruhito, William Barr, Robert Mueller, Caster Semenya, Urban Meyer

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What I am watching today = May 1, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ Guaido’s high-risk gamble flops as Maduro keeps grip on military

✔️ The brain makes no distinction between a broken bone and an aching heart.

✔️ Mueller complained to Barr about memo on key findings

✔️ Milken Conference trades rainbows for clouds

✔️ Caster Semenya loses appeal against IAAF testosterone rules


Brigadoon Annapolis 2019 | Salon Dinner + Sailing

Starting Thursday, September 12 please make plans to attend Brigadoon Annapolis | Salon Dinner + Sailing

Dinner will be held at Flamant on Thursday, September 12 and a morning cruise of the Chesapeake Bay will take place on Friday, September 13.

Cost per ticket is $355.00.

Secure your spot - here.


Venezuelans clash as small group of troops Joins Maduro: WSJ reports, opposition leader Juan Guaidó, flanked by a small group of heavily armed troops outside a military base, called for Venezuelans to protest to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, setting up a potential armed struggle. 

NYT: Venezuelan opposition leader steps up pressure, but Maduro holds on

Venezuela's Guaido calls for 'largest march' in history
: Reuters reports, Venezuelans were expected to take to the streets for what opposition leader Juan Guaido pledged would be the 'largest march' in the country's history, a day after he called for the military to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido’s high-risk gamble flops as Maduro keeps grip on military: Bloomberg reports, it was a ploy that from its outset was a long shot.

WSJ - Editorial: High stakes in Caracas: Either democratic forces oust the regime, or Cuba cements its hold.

Arms binge: Defense spending in Turkey has surpassed the world’s top 15 arms purchasers, a reflection of the burden on the country’s strained finances after its foray into neighboring Syria, where it fought both Islamic State and US-backed Kurdish forces. Spending on NATO’s second-largest army rose 24 percent to $19 billion in 2018. Worldwide, military spending rose 2.6 percent last year to $1.82 trillion.

Kuwait on Wednesday inaugurated one of the world's longest causeways, linking the oil-rich Gulf state's capital to an uninhabited border region set to become a major free trade hub.

Crashed F-35A fighter jet located, US says: Nikkei reports, the F-35A stealth fighter that crashed off the coast of Japan has been found, and recovery efforts are underway, a U.S. Air Force commander said Monday. 

Japan’s new emperor accends to throne: WSJ reports, Japan welcomed Emperor Naruhito to the throne with dancing and fireworks at midnight—when the new emperor’s era, known as Reiwa, began.

Japan's new empress, Empress Masako, waves as she and Emperor Naruhito leave the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

Charles Parton: The true cost of signing up with Huawei: There is nothing hysterical in doubting the wisdom of intimate contact with the CCP.

The formidably resourced Huawei propaganda machine wants to convince you that “if you don’t trade with Huawei, you don’t trade with China.”

China needs others as much as others need China.

Dragons, disrupted: Foreign suspicion is hemming in China Inc’s global rise: The Economist reports, if China wants to see more of its companies succeed abroad, it should cut them slack at home.

China, US hold 'productive' trade talks in Beijing: Reuters reports, China and the United States held "productive" trade talks in Beijing on Wednesday and will continue discussions in Washington next week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, as the two try to end their trade war.

Next week China’s Vice Premier Liu He will come to Washington for further talks.

OTD: In 1707 the English and Scottish parliaments merged after acts were passed in each house.

FT: Cameron falls short of target for $1bn China fund

Office of former UK prime minister hopes first fundraising round will be concluded soon.

UK Conservatives steer clear of Brexit ahead of elections: WSJ reports, candidates focus on local issues in a bid to counter voter exhaustion and anger that threatens Prime Minister Theresa May and her ruling party.

Therese Raphael: Jeremy Corbyn is playing a strong hand well on Brexit: The Labour Party’s contortions on Brexit are sound political strategy. The big question is whether it all holds together until the next national election.

FT: Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in jail

WikiLeaks founder convicted for breaching bail in 2012 by hiding in the Ecuadorean embassy.

Sweden grants asylum to 2 Pussy Riot activists: DW reports, two members of the Russian protest group have won an appeal on their asylum claim in Sweden. The couple said they had received death threats and feared arrest if forced to return to Moscow.

Isabelle Mateos y Lago: Both sides would suffer in a renewed EU-US trade clash: Europeans should not be complacent about the effect of uncertainty on investment.


Rejection kills: The brain makes no distinction between a broken bone and an aching heart. That’s why social exclusion needs a health warning.


@JamesMLindsay: #OnThisDay in 2011 Navy Seals raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the orchestrator of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. President Obama called it "a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people."

Mueller complained to Barr about memo on key findings: WP reports, a letter from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to Attorney General William P. Barr and a subsequent phone call reveal the degree to which the men disagreed as they handled the probe of the president.

Mueller objected to Barr’s summary of report on Russia: WSJ reports, special counsel Robert Mueller said in a letter to Attorney General William Barr that Barr’s letter to Congress summarizing his office’s investigation failed to fully capture the context and substance of their probe.

As Trumps sue to block subpoenas, Democrats ponder impeachment: NYT reports, House Democrats see President Trump’s latest provocations as a dangerous abuse of power. The efforts have revived internal debate over the ultimate weapon in their arsenal: impeachment.

Trade wars hurt American farmers: US farmers’ personal income fell by the most in three years during the the first quarter of 2019 — the latest harbinger of potential political trouble for Trump stemming from losses linked to trade wars.

Democrats, Trump agree to aim for $2 trillion infrastructure package: WSJ reports, Democratic congressional leaders said President Trump agreed to aim for a $2 trillion infrastructure package, though the sides didn’t discuss how it would be paid for. 

LAT: Beto O’Rourke travels California seeking direction and his old spark

@jonallendc: Biden’s shock-and-awe campaign to the top:

* Big money
* Huge poll boost
* Hits ping off him like video-game defenders
* Quick pivot on impeachment obscures gaps with liberals
* Except Bernie, rivals won’t attack him directly

Hartford Courant: Quinnipiac Poll shows Biden with huge lead among Democrats

Biden 38%
Warren 12%
Sanders 11%
Buttigieg 10%
Harris 8%
O'Rourke 5%


Stephen Gandel: The Milken Conference trades rainbows for clouds: Markets are up. Unemployment is down. Profits aren’t a disaster. So why are attendees so glum?

Server maker Super Micro to ditch "made-in-China" parts on spy fears: Nikkei reports, Super Micro Computer, the server maker at the heart of spy chip allegations last autumn, has told suppliers to move production out of China to address US customers' concerns about cyber espionage risks, according to industry sources familiar with the matter. Despite denying allegations that its Chinese-made motherboards had been implanted with malignant chips, US customers and especially government-related clients have asked Super Micro not to supply them with motherboards made in China because of security concerns, according to one company executive. 

Huawei plans world’s first 5G TV.

FT: Marriott takes aim at Airbnb with home rental service

World’s largest hotel operator opens a new front as industry grapples with online rivals.

Ford has borrowed anti-collision technology from its cars to build a supermarket trolley that children can't crash.

FT: Beyond Meat looks to raise up to $240m in upsized IPO

Plant-based meat substitute company could be worth $1.5bn after strong investor interest.

WeWork files for IPO.

FT: Ex-Google chief Schmidt steps down from Alphabet board

Board reshuffle comes after company issues disappointing earnings report.

Bloomberg: Ford partners with Amazon to enable package deliveries to trunks

ESPN Magazine to go web-only.

CBS embraces strategy of making shows for its rivals: WSJ reports, about a quarter of CBS-produced shows this year are for other platforms, from Netflix to Disney+.


K-Pop stardom lures Japanese youth to Korea despite diplomatic chill

Three tonnes of rubbish collected from Everest: AFP reports, a dedicated clean-up team sent to Mount Everest has collected three tonnes of garbage in its first two weeks, officials said Wednesday, in an ambitious plan to clean the world's highest rubbish dump.


Caster Semenya loses landmark legal case against IAAF over testosterone levels: Guardian reports, the South African 800m star Caster Semenya has lost her landmark legal case against athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, in a decision that will send shockwaves through sport. It means that the 800m Olympic champion will have to take medication to reduce her testosterone if she wants to run internationally at events between 400m and a mile. The surprise verdict, which was announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after three arbitators had spent more than two months deliberating over the complex and highly contentious case, came even though Cas agreed that the IAAF’s policy was “discriminatory” to athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) such as Semenya.

Caster Semenya loses appeal against IAAF testosterone rules: DW reports, champion sprinter Caster Semenya has lost her appeal against regulations limiting testosterone levels in certain women's athletic events. The judges found the rule "discriminatory" but also said limits were necessary.

Drone Racing League teams up with Lockheed Martin on autonomous drones.

Reggie Bush might recruit Urban Meyer to end his retirement, coach at USC: SI reports, Bush said he and former teammate Matt Leinart might try to recruit Urban Meyer to end his retirement and coach at USC if head coach Clay Helton struggles in 2019.

@Brett_McMurphy: Updated @CFBPlayoff title odds via @SuperBookUSA: 

Clemson 2-1
Bama 5-2
Georgia 7-1
OhioSt 10-1
Mich, OU 14-1
LSU, Texas 25-1
ND, Wash 30-1
UF, Oregon, Neb, A&M 40-1
Auburn 60-1
Wisconsin 80-1
FSU, Iowa, Miami, MissSt, PennSt, USC, Utah, WashSt 100-1
MichSt, OkSt, TCU, VT 200-1

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.