Iraq, Iran, Facial Recognition, US-China, Brexit, Slack, Tiger Woods, New Orleans Pelicans

Marc Ross Daily May.png

What I am watching today = May 15, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Iraq, Iran, Facial Recognition, US-China, Brexit, Slack, Tiger Woods, New Orleans Pelicans


✔️ US evacuates diplomatic staff from Iraq

✔️ San Francisco bans facial recognition technology

✔️ Trump believes China tariffs will help him win reelection

✔️ Slack said it expects to go public June 20.

✔️ Tiger Woods intends to play at the Tokyo Olympics next year


Brigadoon Remote 2019 | Scotland

Brigadoon is organizing its first remote gathering of entrepreneurs and thought leaders at Carphin House in Fife, Scotland this fall. 

Carphin House is a country mansion situated on 15 acres of stunning Scottish countryside near to St. Andrews.

The house is a natural blend of historic tradition and modern comfort. The house offers ensuite bedrooms, a country farm kitchen, a sitting and sunroom, plus a beautifully furnished dining room.

There is plenty of space to get lost in and explore, but at the same time enjoy roaring fireplaces and cozy couches perfect for strategic thinking or engaging conversations.

With cows lowing in the distance and nothing but blue sky and countryside, Carphin House is the perfect place to work remotely.

Think of four days where you can work remotely in a country estate, spend the day as you want, work on your book, strategize, think, read, whiteboard, check-out, or go for a hike.

End each day with private chef prepared dinners with fellow participants where the topic of conversation is business development and entrepreneurship.

More here:



US embassy staff to leave Iraq as Iran tensions mount: WSJ reports, the US ordered all its nonemergency staff to leave Iraq immediately, amid heightened tensions with Iran over recent attacks against oil tankers and facilities in the Persian Gulf region.

FT: US evacuates diplomatic staff from Iraq

WP: White House weighs responses to potential Iranian attacks, including troop increase

Officials said the number of troops in the region could rise to more than 100,000 in the most dramatic scenario.

Reuters: Amid trade war, China's Xi preaches openness, says no civilization superior

Nikkei: China scrapped 30% of draft trade deal, sources say

Pages went from 150 to 105 after Chinese leadership objected to 'unequal treaty.'

Why US-China trade talks are about more than trade

Nikkei: China employs social media in trade tussle with US

China's official media has been mentioning "trade war" more frequently.

According to the World Bank, China accounted for nearly 60% of the footwear the US imported in 2017—and nearly all of the footwear sold in the US is imported.

Economic activity in China cooled across the board last month.

Chinese retail sales on the weakest pace for 16 years as industrial output cools.

Trump predicts victory over China if Fed matches stimulus moves in Beijing.

Robert B. Zoellick: A better way to deal with Beijing: Pressure the Chinese to act responsibly. Don’t settle for a trade deal or blunder into a cold war.

Jonathan Swan: Trump's long trade war:

Senior administration officials tell Axios that a trade deal with China isn't close and that the US could be in for a long trade war.

Trump’s mindset on the Chinese is simple: They only respond to shows of brute force.

Does Trump actually believe that China pays the tariffs? The consensus is "yes": That's what he actually believes - his belief in tariffs is "like theology."

Trump’s tariffs may be here to stay: NYT report, Trump’s tariffs, initially seen as leverage, give the US the highest tariff rate among the most developed countries.

John Authers: China may have miscalculated Trump’s weak spot: By raising tariffs, the White House puts pressure on China to stimulate its economy, which will lead to a recovery in US share prices. 

China’s LNG tariff threatens Trump energy export goal: FT reports, a 25% levy means US liquefied natural gas would probably have to go elsewhere.

Trump to sign order laying ground for Huawei ban: FT report, move will prohibit companies from using telecoms equipment from Chinese group in US.

Peak populism: Britain's Nigel Farage and Matteo Salvini of Italy are projected to lead a surge in support for populist parties in this month's elections to the European Parliament.

Brexit’s loudest voice seizes comeback chance: NYT reports, the populist Nigel Farage shifted his focus to media work after the 2016 referendum. He’s back with a new party and an accusation of betrayal.

Brexit vote #4: PM Theresa May will put her Brexit deal to the Commons next month in a vote that will determine her remaining time as prime minister. She told Jeremy Corbyn last night that in the week commencing June 3 she will bring in legislation implementing the divorce agreement with or without Labour’s support.

Macron struggles to electrify EU campaign: FT reports, French president’s party faces risk of losing to Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National.

US warns EU over €13-billion defense spending: DW reports, the US has warned the European Union that plans to boost defense cooperation within the EU could undo decades of trans-Atlantic cooperation and damage NATO. The EU's foreign policy chief said US concerns were unfounded.


San Francisco bans facial recognition technology: NYT reports, taking a stand against potential abuse, San Francisco banned the use of the software by the police and other agencies. It is the first such move by a major US city to block a tool that many police forces are using in the search for criminal suspects.

Gregory Chaitin: Against Method: Gregory Chaitin is a mathematician, an expert in complexity. Already as a young prodigy, he contributed greatly to the philosophy of mathematics and computer science. Chaitin states that although there are truths in science that cannot be proven, there is a reason for huge optimism. This natural-born rebel has been recently constructing a theory of the source of beauty and creativity in nature. The new theory that he calls meta-biology. Watch the trailer here:

Japan plans to create 10 billion 14-digit phone numbers as 5G era nears: TJT reports, the communications ministry plans to create for assignment some 10 billion 14-digit phone numbers starting with the code "020." With the commercialization of fifth-generation, or 5G, superfast mobile communications fast approaching, 11-digit numbers are expected to run out as early as fiscal 2022.

WP: One solution for keeping traffic stops from turning violent: A robot that separates police officers from drivers.

The machine is designed cut down on confrontations between police officers and motorists by reducing the impact of racial bias.

France seeks to stop fashion brands from destroying unsold goods: Bloomberg reports, France is taking aim at the fashion industry’s heavy environmental footprint with a plan to stop companies from destroying unsold items, a government official said. While mass-market apparel brands often mark down goods until their shelves are cleared, luxury labels have long preferred to burn some unsold items or bury them in landfills rather than risk damage to their image that might come from having them spotted in discount bins.


Alabama passes abortion ban: WSJ reports, the bill would effectively ban the procedure in the state and is aimed at reaching the US Supreme Court to challenge a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. 

FT - Editorial: The US needs antitrust law for the 21st century

Bloomberg - Editorial: Trump’s other trade war.
 The US is threatening tariffs against imported cars from Europe. Bad idea.

LAT: Trump tests the patience of his political allies in his approach to trade and tariffs

Trade war’s pain for rural areas raises tensions between Trump, Republicans: WP reports, some Republican senators, increasingly frustrated with President Trump, took the unusual step of openly criticizing him. Fueling their concerns was the impression that Trump may not have a clear endgame.

WP: ‘I don’t see him crying uncle’: Trump believes China tariffs will help him win reelection

Marc Thiessen: Trump didn’t start this trade war. China did.

Katie Bo Williams: What’s great power competition? No one really knows
: More than a year since the new National Defense Strategy refocused the U.S. military away from counterinsurgency and back towards the country’s greatest strategic competitors, some policy and strategy experts say the Pentagon hasn’t yet figured out how to “compete” with Russia and China. 
It’s the “trillion-dollar question,” one Marine Corps planner says.

Bloomberg: Biden’s early dominance tests the strength of Democratic left

Not 'born to be in it': Beto O’Rourke strikes more humble tone as buzz fades: Guardian reports, in an about-face, candidate says Vanity Fair cover came across as an expression of white privilege as he attempts to reboot campaign.


Impossible Foods, a direct competitor to newly public Beyond Meat, has raised $300 million at a new valuation of $2 billion.

Slack said it expects to go public June 20.

MailChimp debuts a CRM platform to help small businesses act like enterprise businesses.

Nordstrom’s NYC flagship merges open space with hidden tech

“I don’t think the city needs another place just to buy a pair of pants,” says co-president Pete Nordstrom.

TV advertising isn’t dead (yet): Prognosticators keep calling for TV's demise. Madison Avenue has a different view.

Bleacher Report going all in on sports gambling: CNBC reports, Bleacher Report has gone all in, quickly adding sports gambling to its digital platforms and expanding its footprint in the space. In February, the company announced a deal with Caesars to develop sports-betting studio shows inside one of its Las Vegas casinos. The gaming-related programming will start later this summer and is expected to reach the 250 million people who access Bleacher Report across social media.

Walt Disney moved to take full control over Hulu through a wide-ranging deal with Comcast.

FT: Volvo Cars signs multibillion-dollar electric battery deal

Swedish group wants half its sales to be fully electric by 2025.

Michael Hiltzik: Uber’s car-wreck IPO could change Wall Street’s thinking about its ‘unicorns.’ The Uber and Lyft IPOs are big wake-up calls for Wall Street and tech mavens.


Claude Monet’s eponymous 1890 painting of haystacks turned purple under a setting sun, sold Tuesday for $110.7 million—a record for the impressionist. It was the ninth most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

Meet Aurel Bacs, the man who sparked the vintage watch boom: Why are classic timepieces suddenly more sought-after, more Instagrammed, and more valuable than ever before? The answer has a lot to do with auctioneer extraordinaire Aurel Bacs.

The Type 64 is the oldest car to wear a Porsche badge. A rare sports car, which was designed by Ferry Porsche for the 1939 Berlin-Rome race and was the first to wear a Porsche badge, is expected to fetch more than $20 million at RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, CA, this August.

Art speculators bid to lose: David Geffen, Peter Brant, and other collectors pledge to bid on art they want but new third-party backers aim to reap fees by getting outbid; ‘they don’t know what they’re doing.’

"Increasingly, the goal is to earn a quick payout from the fees surrounding guarantees rather than to bring home any actual paintings. New investors, many from real-estate and international finance, have discovered the guarantee and want to reshape it into a financial instrument entirely distinct from collecting art, with its own margins and strategies. All of this is roiling the houses and old-guard collectors, with some warning that the new generation is propping up the art market."

RIP: Tim Conway, comedian’s comedian and ‘Carol Burnett Show’ star, dies at 85.


New Orleans Pelicans won the NBA lottery and the right to take Zion Williamson, the Duke star, in the June draft.

John Gapper: Premier League wins by creating room at the top for football clubs: England’s top division shows how to triumph in the age of global sports.

Tiger Woods indicated that he has every intention of representing the United States at the Tokyo Olympics next year. 

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.