What I am watching today = June 6, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Operation Overlord, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Beyond Meat, Big Tech, Fiat Chrysler
✔️ Today = 75th anniversary of D-Day
✔️ Trump in Ireland = Oh boy
✔️ Beyond Meat's home in the meat aisle sparks food fight
✔️ Washington to Big Tech: You're on notice
✔️ Fiat Chrysler has withdrawn its proposal to merge with Renault
Today = 75th anniversary of D-Day
Operation Overlord D-Day landings began in Normandy, France, when Allied forces began liberating northwest Europe from German occupation during the Second World War.
The extraordinary invasion of Normandy was a testament not only to the bravery on the beaches but also to British and American ingenuity.
Trump in Ireland = Oh boy.
Trump ending trip to Europe by staying at his money-losing golf course threatened by climate change: WP reports, despite the odd geography of the schedule — which requires flying hundreds of miles west to Ireland, then hundreds more miles back east to France — the president said he stayed at Doonbeg for convenience.
Trump says Irish border Brexit 'wall' will work out well: DW reports, the US president said he didn't think there'd be any problem with the border "wall" in Ireland. He was quickly corrected by his Irish host, who said any such barrier was the last thing the country needed.
WP: Trump compares Irish border to U.S. border with Mexico before heading to his golf course
Trump displayed a new level of incoherence with his meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Shannon, Ireland.
This was another classic from DJT =
No, this trip is really about great relationships that we have with the UK,” Trump said. “I really wanted to do this stop in Ireland. It was really important to me, because of the relationship I have with the people, and with your prime minister.”
Ireland has not been part of the United Kingdom since 1922.
Gerard Baker: Trump-Johnson is a team that fits the times: Despite their many flaws, the transatlantic populists are better equipped to deal with new faultlines than their rivals.
Fresh from its victory in European polls, Nigel Farage's Brexit Party is hoping to win its first seat in Britain's parliament on Thursday in a by-election in Peterborough.
Trump says no deal with Mexico is reached as border arrests surge: NYT reports, high-stakes talks failed to immediately resolve President Trump’s demand that Mexico prevent Central Americans from crossing the southwestern border. New figures showed illegal border crossings reaching a seven-year high, underscoring the roots of the president’s rage.
FT: Mexican peso under pressure after rating downgrade
Threat to economy highlighted by Fitch and Moody’s as US trade talks rumble on.
Reuters: Mexico soldiers block migrants at southern border
Mexican soldiers, armed police and migration officials blocked hundreds of migrants after they crossed the border from Guatemala in a caravan into southern Mexico.
Bloomberg: Trump calls for Mexico to `step up' as US trade talks extended
Saudi Arabia has been accused of developing its ballistic-missile arsenal with the help of China behind the back of America, its traditional military ally and protector. Advances in Saudi-owned missile technology were reported recently to US senators by intelligence official.
Millions of Asian pigs culled amid swine fever epidemic: Guardian repots, South-east Asia is battling to contain what experts say is the world’s biggest ever animal disease outbreak, an epidemic of African swine fever that was discovered in August and has already led to millions of pigs being culled in China and Vietnam. There is no vaccination for the disease, known as “pig Ebola”, which is highly contagious and fatal for pigs, albeit harmless to humans.
Taiwan has asked the United States for $2 billion of weapons, including more than 100 tanks and thousands of missiles, as tension mounts between Washington and Beijing.
Noah Smith: US-China trade war raises risks of a real one: When economic ties fray, military confrontation becomes more likely.
Guradian: Solomon Islands to decide soon on whether to cut ties with Taiwan
Pacific nation is one of the few remaining countries to have diplomatic relations with increasingly isolated Taiwan.
Guardian: Australia pledges $250m to Solomon Islands as China's influence in Pacific grows
Aussie PM Scott Morrison to unveil bilateral infrastructure program as part of latest plank in government’s regional strategy.
Russia seeks to woo foreign investors via 'Davos'-like forum: AFP reports, Running until Saturday, this year's forum in Putin's native city is expected to draw some 17,000 participants, according to the Kremlin, the same number as last year. Chinese President Xi Jinping and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are scheduled to give keynote speeches. The event comes as the recovery of the Russian economy has slowed considerably since the beginning of this year.
CNBC: China’s Xi calls Putin his ‘best friend’ against a backdrop of souring US relations
Xi Jinping started a three-day state visit to Russia on Wednesday.
Xi will speak at Russia’s economic forum in St. Petersburg on Friday.
A spot of “Panda diplomacy” was also on show after the talks Wednesday as Xi presented two pandas, Ru Yi and Ding Ding, to Moscow’s zoo. If relations deteriorate the pandas could always go home – Beijing has only loaned them to Moscow for 15 years as part of a joint research project.
Reuters: Beyond Meat's home in the meat aisle sparks food fight
Beyond Meat and its new meatless burger rivals are counting on going head to head with meat inside stores. They avoid terms such as vegan or vegetarian, and request stores do not place their products in the supermarket vegan aisle where non-meat eaters traditionally buy tofu, tempeh, and other plant-based alternatives.
House Dems + Impeachment: Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a meeting of senior Democratic leaders that she’d prefer to see President Donald Trump “in prison” rather than pursue impeachment, Politico reported late Wednesday.
For many Texas Republicans, Trump’s threatened tariffs on Mexico go too far: WP reports, the state’s GOP members of Congress are caught between loyalty to the president and the severe economic consequences the tariffs could cause.
Washington to Big Tech: You're on notice: DW reports, a rare thing is happening in the US capital. Progressives, conservatives and the Trump administration are probing the internet giants. Two companies are particularly in the crosshairs of lawmakers and regulators.
LAT: Trump is more popular with California voters than the state Legislature, new poll finds
A new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows the public's frustration with the Legislature is increasing.
Reuters: In Ohio, Republicans leaving nothing to chance in Trump re-election bid
Dozens of Republican activists, county chairs and volunteers gathered at Franklin University in Columbus last month for the state’s first-ever “Trump Victory Communication College.”
FT: Ex-Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to join Centerview
Boutique investment bank picks up political veteran, who was also Obama’s chief of staff.
WP: Trump to speak at Lincoln Memorial during July Fourth celebration
Trump plans to address the nation from the Lincoln Memorial on July 4 as part of an overhauled Independence Day celebration.
Fiat Chrysler has withdrawn its proposal to merge with Renault after the French auto maker’s alliance partner, Nissan Motor, and the French government balked at the deal.
The Times: Fiat blames French politics for scrapping $35bn Renault merger
Ford will close its engine plant in Bridgend, south Wales, by September 2020.
JPMorgan Chase is killing Finn, an experiment to attract younger customers to a new digital-banking app a year after making it available nationwide.
FT: Amazon to begin deliveries by drone ‘within months’
Electric motor will have range of 15 miles and can deliver up to 90% of packages.
Huawei denies report that orders to key suppliers cut after US blacklisting: Reuters reports, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has cut or canceled orders to major suppliers of components for its smartphones and telecom equipment following its US blacklisting, the Nikkei reported, claims that were rejected by the Chinese firm.
LAT: Disneyland declares Star Wars land opening a success, says crowding ‘nonexistent’
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.