Anthony Bourdain, Iran, Bernie Sanders, Sidewalk Labs, Michigan, 'A Total Circus'

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What I am watching today = June 25, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

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Anthony Bourdain, Iran, Bernie Sanders, Sidewalk Labs, Michigan, 'A Total Circus'


✔️ Bourdain Day

✔️ Iran says US sanctions mean end of diplomacy

✔️ Robots can now decode the cryptic language of central bankers

✔️ Sanders faces a new kind of threat in Warren

✔️ Sidewalk Labs releases master plan for Toronto tech utopia


Bourdain Day

Bourdain's birthday was June 25, and to mark it this year, his longtime friends and celebrity chefs Eric Ripert and José Andrés are calling on everyone, anyone, to raise a glass of beer, wine, or water—or perhaps bone marrow sucked from a straw in a Singapore marketplace, Bourdain-style—and toast to the man on what would be his 63rd birthday.



Iran rips new US sanctions as ‘outrageous and idiotic’: LAT reports, Iran said new U.S. sanctions spell the "permanent closure" for diplomacy between the two nations.

Reuters: Iran says US sanctions mean end of diplomacy

Iran said new US sanctions on its supreme leader closed the door on diplomacy and threatened global stability.

Intense heat wave hits northern Europe: DW reports, record temperatures have begun in northern Europe this week, with authorities in Germany and France on alert. Experts have said heat waves are on the increase worldwide, further evidence of climate change.

AFP: EU to sign trade deal with Vietnam

Italy selected as host for 2026 Winter Olympics
: WSJ reports, the International Olympic Committee selected Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo to host the 2026 Winter Olympics. This will be the third Winter Olympics in Italy and second at Alpine ski resort Cortina d’Ampezzo, which hosted the Olympics in 1956.

Next UK PM timeline:

- The next UK Prime Minister will be announced on Tuesday 23 July.

- Postal ballots go out to 160,000 Conservative Party members between July 6 and July 8.

- Voting closes at 5:00 pm BT on Monday 22 July.

The Times: Johnson’s campaign mired in questions over private life

UK's Johnson warns EU against any 'Napoleonic' tariffs in no-deal Brexit: Reuters reports, Boris Johnson, the favorite to become British prime minister, said he was prepared to lead Britain out of the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31 and said any EU attempt to impose trade tariffs would be akin to a Napoleonic-era blockade.

The Times: No-deal Brexit ‘would cost car industry £70m a day’

Cubans in the palace, illicit gold deals: Maduro’s ex-spy chief speaks out: In interviews with The Post, Gen. Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera gave new details of the failed uprising to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Venezuela's troubles are showing up in Cuba's economy.

Nikkei: Japan to pump $140m into Indian startups via public-private fund

Why China fell out of love with New York property
: After a crackdown on foreign deals by Beijing, Chinese investors have all but disappeared from the market.

Bloomberg: US plays down expectations for Trump-Xi meeting with hard-line

Two leaders likely to meet on June 29, US official says

Stocks are pricing in about a 20% chance of a resolution in the trade war, Goldman Sachs Group Inc strategists wrote in a recent note to clients. That’s a change from mid-April, when markets had priced in an 80% chance of a deal.

US chip startup exploits trade war to expand in China: Nikkei reports, SiFive bets open-source chips will win over Chinese clients looking to avoid US clampdown.

Henry Paulson: Balkanising technology will backfire on the US: China will benefit if America forces the world to choose between them.

Jonah Goldberg: Why doesn't Trump's tough talk on China extend to Uighur persecution?

Trump reassures Tokyo he will stick with security pact: Japan government: Reuters reports, Trump on Tuesday reassured Japan he was committed to a military treaty that both nations have described as a cornerstone of security in Asia, after a media report said he had spoken privately about withdrawing from the pact.

@bpolitics: JUST IN: Trump has recently mused to confidants about withdrawing from a postwar defense treaty with Japan, sources say

Japan Times: Japan to bask in spotlight when 'quality infrastructure' initiative is adopted by leaders at Osaka G20 summit

G20 plays down commitment to climate change action: FT reports, Japan bows to US pressure and drops phrases used in previous communiqués.


Americans are now spending more time on devices than watching TV: Bloomberg reports, for the first time, US adults this year will spend more time using their mobile devices than they’ll spend watching TV, according to EMarketer Inc. About 70% of that time will be spent on smartphones.

US adults’ TV time will drop nine minutes this year, but their digital-video time will increase by eight minutes, EMarketer estimates. That means the overall time that people spend watching movies, shows and other videos will remain roughly the same.

Marathon runners get a boost from the bacteria in their guts: LAT reports, bacteria found in the guts of marathon runners may help boost their athletic performance. Mice given the bacteria had more endurance on a treadmill.

Pushing the limits of human endurance: NYT reports, when we work out rigorously on a regular basis, our bodies adjust to limit our ability to expend energy, a study shows.

FT: The devil wears sustainable nylon, as Prada heir makes his mark

Lorenzo Bertelli oversees bags made from recycled fabric after joining family group.

Robots can now decode the cryptic language of central bankers: Bloomberg reports, machines that mimic the human brain are analyzing dense policy statements in seconds—and getting it right.


Bloomberg: Pain from Trump's China tariffs spreads

The latest victim of Trump's tariffs on China
: Instant Pot. The company that makes them says the price could go up by $38.

Trump agriculture secretary: US farmers 'casualties' of trade war - CNN

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will speak on the economic outlook in New York at 1:00 pm ET.

Morning Consult: Latest Democratic primary tracking data is live:

Biden: 38%
Sanders: 19%
Warren: 13% (+2)
Buttigieg: 7%
Harris: 6% (-1)
O'Rourke: 4%
Booker: 3%
Yang: 2% (+1)

Reuters: Joe Biden says Trump re-election strategy 'relies on vilifying immigrants'

Bernie Sanders faces a new kind of threat in Elizabeth Warren
: WP reports, Warren in many ways embraces the same brand of fiery liberalism as the Vermont independent, causing some frustration among Sanders’s allies that Warren is getting credit for ideas that they believe originated with him.

@nick_d_laughlin: Shift in net favorability since Feb 11, among Dem primary voters:

Biden: -9
Sanders: +0
Harris: -3
O’Rourke: +0
Warren: +10
Buttigieg: +29

The issues 2020 DEMs are running on, according to their social media:

Foreign policy
Climate change
Economic inequality
Gun control
Social justice
Corporate power


Brigadoon DC | Aperitivo

Thursday, June 27
5:30 - 7:30 pm
Woodward Table
1426 H Street, NW
Washington, DC

An aperitivo is often described as being similar to the American happy hour, but when it's a Brigadoon gathering, it’s much more than that.

This is a free to attend, cash bar gathering designed for meeting old friends and making new friends.

RSVP - here.

FYI: 9 tips for making the perfect Negroni, according to a master bartender


Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs unveils its high-tech ‘city-within-a-city’ plan for Toronto: The Verge reports, Sidewalk Labs says it will spend $1.3 billion on the project in the hopes of spurring $38 billion in private sector investment by 2040.

CNBC: Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs releases master plan for Toronto tech utopia

Mitch Potter: Should we go all-in on Sidewalk Labs, or click no to ‘Googleville’?

"So, Toronto, one question: How much of our fair city should we let Google gobble up in its epic quest to make Canada’s largest city the smartest in the world? None of it? Some of it? Or should we take the plunge and let Google and friends have everything they want, up to and including the takeover of vast swaths of prime Toronto waterfront outlined Monday by the digital giant’s sister company, Sidewalk Labs."

AbbVie struck a deal to buy Allergan for about $63 billion, as the two big drugmakers bet a combination will deliver new sources of growth they have struggled to find on their own.

Norway's sovereign wealth fund allowed to again invest in Walmart.

FedEx sues Commerce Department over restrictions on Huawei: WSJ reports, FedEx filed a lawsuit to stop the US government from requiring the package giant to enforce a crackdown on the Chinese telecommunications-gear maker.

Huawei digs in for a long battle with the US: WP reports, hurt by US penalties, world’s largest maker of telecom equipment tells employees to get ready for a difficult future.

Economists are concerned about rising delinquencies in consumer loans.

Gold continues to hit multi-year highs.

Google search activity suggests that business confidence should rebound next year.

Bloomberg: Facebook’s cryptocurrency gets a warm welcome in Geneva

Criticized around the world, Facebook finds a open door from officials in Switzerland.

New Instagram chief reveals plans for online retailing: FT reports, Adam Mosseri lays out vision of joining up merchants, shoppers and influencers.

Burberry sets emissions goals in bid to become carbon neutral.

FT: From spare room to super villa: Airbnb goes ‘Luxe’

Accomodation platform launches new brand in bid to move upmarket.

The company is launching its “Airbnb Luxe” sub-brand today with a portfolio of 2,000 upmarket rentals worldwide. They include beachfront villas in the Caribbean, French chateaux and historic Tuscan homes, as well as grand apartments in US and European cities.

FT: BMW accelerates rollout of electric cars

Carmaker plans to release 25 fully electric or hybrid models by 2023.


Stanford University has proposed to invest $3.4 billion in housing, part of its negotiations with regional authorities over how to mitigate the impact of its expansion on a tight housing market in the Bay Area.

OTD: In 1876 General George Custer made his Last Stand as US army troops were defeated by forces led by chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull at Little Bighorn, Montana


@detroitnews: FINAL: Michigan 7, Vanderbilt 4: Joe Donovan and Jimmy Kerr homer for Wolverines, who take first game in best-of-three final.

WP: Giannis Antetokounmpo wins NBA MVP award, completing rise from unknown to superstar

LAT: Dodgers plan to extend protective netting in wake of fan injuries

LAT: US gets lucky against Spain

USA relish 'a total circus' as they set up France World Cup showdown
: Guardian reports, arguably the two best teams at the World Cup will meet in the quarter-finals. And the reigning champions got the test they perhaps needed against Spain on Monday.

FIFA Women's World Cup = Knockout stage (16)


Italy vs. China @ 12:00 pm ET
Netherlands vs. Japan @ 3:00 pm ET

FIFA Women's World Cup = Final Eight (qualified)

United States

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.