Hong Kong, Vladimir Putin’s Chernobyl, Electric Scooters, Dems + Trade, Hot-Desking

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Marc Ross Daily
August 13, 2019
Curation and commentary from
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

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Hong Kong, Vladimir Putin’s Chernobyl, Electric Scooters, Dems + Trade, Hot-Desking


✔️ Hong Kong airport cancels flights for second day

✔️ What happened at Russia’s missile test site?

✔️ Atlanta bans electric scooters at night

✔️ Dems’ 2020 problem: How to be tougher on trade than Trump

✔️ The hidden hell of hot-desking


Bloomberg Radio: Sound On: 2020 elections, the NRA, and immigration

Last Friday, I joined Bloomberg Radio's Sound On program.

Bloomberg Chief Washington Correspondent Kevin Cirilli was the host.

Wendy Benjaminson, Bloomberg News 2020 Politics Editor, and Ben Chang, Former White House National Security Council director of communications, also joined the program.


US-China trade talks
2020 presidential elections

You can catch the 34-minute episode - here.


“People won’t cut their cell phones. They might delay buying cars. But they can always cancel a vacation,” says Ulf Lindahl, chief executive of AG Bisset, who predicts that “mass tourism may be the Achilles heel”, of the global economy in the next downturn.

WP: Hong Kong airport cancels flights for second day as protesters reoccupy terminal

Hong Kong airport faces second day of disruption
: WSJ reports, protesters swamped Hong Kong International Airport for a second straight day, blocking the gates to the security and immigration areas and snarling the busy transit hub.

Protests disrupt Hong Kong airport for second day: NYT reports, Hong Kong’s airport suspended check-ins as peaceful protesters disrupted its operations for a second day. The demonstration came hours after the city’s embattled leader pleaded for order following days of escalating chaos and violent street clashes.

FT: Anti-government protesters flood back into Hong Kong airport

Action prompts territory’s largest carrier to issue warning on non-essential travel.

The Times: Don’t plunge Hong Kong into abyss, Carrie Lam warns protesters

Protests put Hong Kong on collision course with China’s Communist Party
: NYT reports, the grand political experiment to marry Beijing’s brand of authoritarianism with a bastion of civil liberties appears to be facing a moment of reckoning.

Bloomberg: Trump is making Xi’s superpower 2050 plan tougher by the day

Chinese president wants to achieve great power status by 2050.

Risk of falling into a ‘middle income trap’ is growing.

Reuters: Yuan at right level, disorderly capital flows unlikely - China central bank official

The South Korean won continues to weaken against the dollar.

Rupakjyoti Borah: India responds to Belt and Road Initiative with an infrastructure push

New Delhi does not want China to dominate its backyard so has started spending.

How far will China go to support Pakistan's position on Kashmir?: DW reports, both India and Pakistan are vying for China's support in the dispute over Kashmir. Experts say that although China is critical of India's move to control the region, it's unlikely to affect economic ties with India.

In Russia, days of fake news and real radiation after explosion: NYT reports, Russians vented their anger about the absence of reliable information after the deadly explosion of a nuclear reactor last week.

Russia says radiation levels rose by 4-16 times in city after accident: TASS

Trump confirms missile exploded during testing in Russia: WSJ reports, Trump on Monday appeared to confirm reports that an advanced nuclear cruise missile had exploded during testing in Russia, saying on Monday night that the US was “learning much” from the incident.

WSJ - Editorial: Vladimir Putin’s Chernobyl: A mysterious explosion may be evidence of a new nuclear missile.

NYT - Editorial: What happened at Russia’s missile test site?Don’t expect a straight answer from Vladimir Putin’s government.

VOX: Stephen Biegun likely Trump’s pick to be US ambassador to Russia

US troop drawdown in Afghanistan complicated by resurgent Taliban
: FT reports, Islamist movement gains territory as Washington seeks end to its longest-running war.

Salvini’s promises raise new questions for Italian economy: WSJ reports, the next Italian government is likely to be led by Matteo Salvini, whose apparent willingness to run bigger budget deficits raises the risk of a clash with the EU and a rocky period for markets.

Matteo Salvini’s vision for an Italy that makes its own rules: The Times reports, if Salvini’s League party wins office in the autumn, Italy will return to being as polarised and restive as it was under Silvio Berlusconi.

The Italian Senate will return Tuesday from its summer vacation to set a crucial date for a no-confidence vote that could spell the end of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's populist government.

FT: Salvini tells Gere to take rescued migrants ‘back to Hollywood’

Actors criticize refugee policy after Italy turns away boat carrying 151 people.

Bill Emmott: Italians wait for the real Matteo Salvini to reveal himself: An election would force him to think about policy rather than self-promotion.

Germany confronts growing risk of economic slowdown: FT reports, fears that manufacturing dip will hit jobs and services prompt stimulus debate.

The Times: Tory donors tell Boris Johnson: time for a deal with Nigel Farage

Majority of Britons support 'Brexit by any means': poll: Reuters reports, a majority of Britons believe Prime Minister Boris Johnson must take Britain out of the European Union “by any means”, even if that involves suspending parliament, an opinion poll conducted for the Daily Telegraph said on Monday.

A ComRes opinion poll showed 54% of respondents said they agreed with the statement: “Boris (Johnson) needs to deliver Brexit by any means, including suspending parliament if necessary, in order to prevent MPs (Members of Parliament) from stopping it.”

FT - Editorial: MPs must save the UK from a no-deal Brexit folly: The first priority is to delay Britain’s EU departure date of October 31.

Robert Shrimsley: Bet on the Brexiters until Remainers show unity: One side has displayed fixity of purpose, while the other is riven by competing priorities.

Therese Raphael: Have Britain’s Remainers blown their last chance? Parliament had various chances to leave the EU with a deal under Theresa May. With Boris Johnson now PM, it may regret the missed opportunities.

The Hill: Bolton: US would 'enthusiastically' support no-deal Brexit for UK

The Times: US promises fast‑track trade deals for Britain and backs no‑deal

"We’re with you and eager to negotiate, key Donald Trump aide assures Boris Johnson."

The UK's GDP drop last quarter was driven by the post-Brexit-deadline destocking.

The Times: The palace won’t untangle your no-deal mess, Boris

The Queen’s aides are determined she won’t be pulled into the looming constitutional crisis.

The Times: Gordon Brown warns no‑deal is pushing UK towards split

The former prime minister says opponents of Scottish independence fail to realize the Union is heading for ‘oblivion.’

Guardian: Canada murders: teenage suspects died by apparent suicide, police say

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were wanted over the killing of three people and were the subject of a police manhunt.

Argentina: Mauricio Macri's poor performance in the primary elections sent shockwaves through Argentina's markets. Macri's loss in the general elections would be bad news for the nation's economy.

Argentina’s president vows to fight back from primary rout: FT reports, investors see odds of default soaring as peso and other assets hit following shock result.

The Times: Argentina poised for left-wing takeover after Macri election drubbing

President Macri was comfortably beaten by Alberto Fernández and now looks odds-on lose power in October’s presidential elections.

FT - Editorial: Argentina needs a long-term economic plan

FT: Brazil tries to block Bolsonaro’s son from US post

Court urged to rule ambassador’s role requires more diplomatic experience.

Gideon Rachman: Moscow, Hong Kong and the liberalism of the streets: Events in both places show how single-grievance protests can evolve into wider movements.


Michael Skapinker: How drinking habits are changing worldwide: Young people certainly drink less often but binge drinking is now more common.

Diageo last week took a majority stake in Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit sold as an alternative to gin — a move seen by analysts as the drinks giant’s attempt to grab more of the growing teetotal market.

Worldwide, in 2016, 57 percent of those aged 15 or over had not drunk alcohol in the previous 12 months, according to World Health Organization figures.

There are signs of increasing teetotalism in drinking countries. In the UK, where Diageo is headquartered, one in five people aged 16 and over said they did not drink at all in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Injured pianist Isabelle Albertin leads France e-scooter crackdown: The Times reports, a professional pianist whose wrist was broken in a collision with the rider of an electric scooter led efforts to impose further curbs on the vehicles in France yesterday. With two fractured bones, Isabelle Albertin, an accompanist at the Paris Opera ballet for 30 years, has been unable to play for three months. She was hit by a man speeding across a square in Halles, central Paris. Three people have been killed and about 50 injured in the past three months while riding e-scooters in the Paris region but Albertin’s case caught the public imagination. It led to a campaign joined by other victims to demand much tougher measures in the city and across the country.

AP: Atlanta bans electric scooters at night, after deadly wrecks

Scientists hail promise of first effective Ebola treatments in Congo trial: Reuters reports, scientists are a step closer to finding the first effective treatments for the deadly Ebola haemorrhagic fever after two potential drugs showed survival rate of as much as 90% in a clinical trial in Congo.

Guardian: World's largest urban farm to open – on a Paris rooftop

The 14,000m² farm is set to open in the south-west of Paris early next year.


WSJ: New tariffs will have bigger impact on women’s clothing than men’s

FT: Scaramucci breaks with Trump as Twitter feud escalates

Hedge-fund boss who became a vocal supporter now says the president is too divisive.

From race to plastic straws, Trump dials up culture wars in divisive play for votes: WP reports, Trump is deliberately amplifying public tensions by seizing on divisive topics to energize his base, campaign aides say. And while Democrats debate policy, Trump is trying to force them to defend far-left cultural ideas.

NYT: Democrats’ 2020 problem: How to be tougher on trade than Trump

AP: Biden is still the Democrat to beat, but rivals see weakness

Harris looks to make inroads in Iowa after slow start
: WSJ reports, after a slow start in Iowa, Sen. Kamala Harris’s campaign is ramping up its presence and its message against President Trump, but still lags organizationally behind much more established candidates. Ms. Harris made 17 stops across 11 counties in five days during a bus tour of the state.

Nikkei: Huawei adds Washington lobbyists to navigate US sanctions

Sidley Austin lawyers will help company on export controls and security topics.

Nikkei: US soybeans pile up as trade war tests Trump's support base

Latest farm data points to massive oversupply as China halts purchases.

Ted Van Dyk: Are we all unilateralists now? On war, trade, and climate, Democrats sound remarkably similar to Trump.

Stephen Mihm: Trump’s currency war smacks of the 1930s: Too many have forgotten the searing pain of the last “uncoordinated break-up” of the world’s currency regime.


Shinola watch production facility tour + College for Creative Studies visit | Brigadoon in Detroit

Brigadoon Detroit 2019 | Salon Dinner + Tour

October 3-4

Brigadoon is bringing together a peerless group of entrepreneurs and thought leaders for our second annual event in Detroit, Michigan.

We will gather for a special dinner and discussion at the Shinola Hotel's San Morello restaurant on Thursday, October 3 and enjoy morning tours of the College for Creative Studies (CCS) and the Shinola watch production facility on Friday, October 4.

For Thursday's salon dinner, Paul Snyder, the Paul & Helen Farago Chair of Transportation Design @ College for Creative Studies, will lead the discussion on transportation design, including aeronautic, marine, ground, and emerging mobility systems. In addition, Paul will discuss the need for brands to have a deeper understanding of the end user and making better use of ethnographic research.

More details + tickets - here.


Wheels: Audi and Huawei join forces to accelerate smart car development

Will work on projects in the area of Intelligent Connected Vehicles.

SomeOne rebrands the House of Commons for the digital age: Design agency SomeOne has updated the visual identity of the UK's House of Commons to make it perform better across different platforms including apps and social media. London firm SomeOne was tasked with a holistic rebranding project to improve consistency across all touchpoints, including procedural documents, signage, and digital applications. http://bit.ly/2N1hdcn

Financial Times + McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2019 - the long list: https://on.ft.com/2N1dAmQ

Pilita Clark: The hidden hell of hot-desking is much worse than you think: Penny-pinching ploy that casts people out to the noisy, chaotic wasteland of shared work spots.

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.