Amazon, Australia, Amnesty International, Andrew Yang, Amazon

Marc Ross Daily August.png

Marc Ross Daily
August 23, 2019
Curation and commentary from
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Amazon, Australia, Amnesty International, Andrew Yang, Amazon


✔️ Macron: Record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an "international crisis"

✔️ EU floats plan for €100bn sovereign wealth fund

✔️ Trump has remade GOP, but poll finds it's at a price

✔️ SiriusXM launches a $4/month student subscription

✔️ Facebook has coffee shops now


Reuters: G7 or G5? Trump and Johnson add unpredictability to French summit

Bloomberg: Macron calls on G7 countries to discuss Amazon forest in summit

French President Emmanuel Macron has said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an "international crisis" that needs to be on the top of the agenda at the G7 summit.

Reuters: Trump's message to G7 leaders this weekend: Be more like US

The G7 Summit will host the heads of countries with advanced economies from United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and France and will be held in Biarritz, France between the 24th and 26th of August.

G7 members:

Canada Justin Trudeau Prime Minister
France Emmanuel Macron President
Germany Angela Merkel Chancellor
Italy Giuseppe Conte Prime Minister
Japan Shinzō Abe Prime Minister
United Kingdom Boris Johnson Prime Minister
United States Donald Trump President
European Union Donald Tusk Council President

Guest invitees:

Australia Scott Morrison Prime Minister
India Narendra Modi Prime Minister
Spain Pedro Sánchez Prime Minister
Rwanda Paul Kagame President

Risto Penttila: G7 summit in Biarritz should mark the return of the western alliance: A new approach to global governance is needed and this meeting is the place to start.

Macron dashes Johnson’s Brexit deal hopes: FT reports, French president says backstop ‘indispensable’ and renegotiation would leave agreement little changed.

Reuters: Too late for new Brexit deal, France's Macron tells Johnson

Macron tells Johnson: Irish backstop is indispensable: The Times reports, In a joint press conference at the Élysée this afternoon before their first face-to-face talks since Mr Johnson took office, the French president said there could not be a “reshuffling” of the withdrawal agreement, but held open the possibility of making some tweaks to the deal. Adopting Angela Merkel’s suggestion that progress should be made within 30 days, Mr Macron said: “No one will wait until October 31 to find the right solution. We should all together be able to find something smart within 30 days if there is goodwill on both sides.” But he added: “We will not find a new withdrawal agreement within 30 days that will be very different from the existing one”

Macron’s grand vision for a modern French enlightenment: The Times reports, the French leader wants to fashion a new world order, and through clever manoevres, he has already swept the board in Europe with the appointments of key allies. Charles Bremner explores his next steps.

The Times: France is eurozone’s bright spark amid German gloom

Rival Italian parties set out tough stances for deal
: FT reports, Five Star insists on its reform agenda as country’s president considers options.

Italy: President offers politicians more time to avert snap elections: DW reports, a snap election hangs in the balance as President Sergio Mattarella has agreed to meet party leaders again next week. Squabbling has beset Europe's third-largest economy and plunged the government into a crisis.

Rachel Sanderson: Corporate Italy buckles up for latest political rollercoaster: Business owners warn of credit squeeze since start of the year.

Why is Donald Trump ignoring Germany? DW reports, with Trump due to attend the G7 in France and later visit Poland, many are wondering why a stop-over with Angela Merkel in Berlin isn't on the list. Experts say the cold shoulder move is part of a wider strategy.

EU floats plan for €100bn sovereign wealth fund: FT reports, ‘European Future Fund’ would invest in strategic sectors where bloc lags global rivals.

Nikkei: Chinese mobile carriers eye sharing 5G networks to curb costs

Despite government hype, state-owned carriers are reluctant to take the plunge.

Expat Chinese embrace freedom—marching against Hong Kong protests: WSJ reports, Hong Kong’s summer of political unrest is going global. In countries like the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK, the sometimes aggressive tactics of Chinese demonstrators rallying to support Beijing risk a backlash in the West.

YouTube disables 210 channels that spread disinformation about Hong Kong protests.

Hong Kong’s ‘Gang of Four’ hit back at Beijing: FT reports, veteran pro-democracy campaigners targeted by China deny accusations of leading protests.

Pupils swell ranks of Hong Kong protesters: The Times reports, hundreds of schoolchildren gathered in a Hong Kong square to demand political reforms, as the teenagers became a new and potent force in the territory’s massive pro-democracy movement. Wearing black and holding umbrellas, the students endured sweltering heat for a demonstration in Edinburgh Place today, where they held up posters denouncing police brutality.

Banks call for order in Hong Kong as jewelers warn of trade fair dud: Reuters reports, Hong Kong banks published full-page newspaper ads calling for law and order in the Chinese-ruled city and international jewelers sought the rescheduling of a huge trade fair as weeks of pro-democracy protests showed no sign of let-up on Thursday.

US and ASEAN to hold first joint naval drills near South China Sea: Nikkei reports, Southeast Asian bloc walks tightrope between Washington and Beijing.

Bolsonaro says Brazil lacks resources to fight Amazon fires: FT reports, President points finger at non-governmental organizations, citing funding cuts.

Bolsonaro rejects 'Captain Nero' tag over Amazon fires: AFP reports, "I do not defend the burnings, because there always was and always will be burnings. Unfortunately, this has always happened in the Amazon," Bolsonaro said, referring to dry season, land-clearing fires. "But accusing me of being a Captain Nero setting fire to things is irresponsible. It is campaigning against Brazil," the president told reporters outside his Brasilia residence.

LAT: Amnesty International blames Amazon fires on Brazilian government

Brazilian minister booed at climate event as outcry grows over Amazon fires
: Guardian reports, a political storm over rainforest devastation as Ricardo Salles attends summit.

AFP: UN, France raise concern over Amazon wildfires 'crisis'

Why is the Amazon burning?
WP reports, the region is home to some of the wettest land on earth, soaked in more than 400 inches of rain each year. So how can it burn? And why are wildfires — blazes that spewed so much smoke this week that they turned the Sao Paulo day into night — growing?

There are an estimated 52 million dogs in Brazil, far more than anywhere else in Latin America.


The death of diesel in Norway? Sales of diesel cars in Norway has dropped by 95% and the share of diesel vehicles in use has sunk to just 32%, almost half what it was in 2013.


AP-NORC poll: 62% disapprove of how Trump’s handling his job

Just 36% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president; 62% disapprove.

The numbers may be ugly for a first-term president facing reelection in 14 months, but they are remarkably consistent. Trump’s approval rating has never dipped below 32% or risen above 42% in AP-NORC polls since he took office.

Trump has remade GOP, but poll finds it's at a price: LAT reports, Trump has remade the Republican Party in his populist image, but at a price that puts his reelection in jeopardy, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll finds. Asked whether the party should “become more populist, stressing issues like strong borders, protecting jobs from foreign competition and standing tough against crime and social disorder” or should “become more traditionally conservative, stressing fiscal responsibility, defense, and pro-business policies,” more than 4 in 10 Republicans supported the populist side.

Can Trump prevent a US recession in election year? DW reports, Trump is pressuring the Fed to stave off a sharp economic downturn as he seeks reelection in 2020. The feelgood effects of his $1.5 billion program of tax cuts are due to run out soon, so what can he do?

Trump campaign seeks to mobilize women in 2020 battleground states: Reuters reports, Trump’s re-election campaign is hosting events in 2020 battleground states on Thursday to mobilize and train suburban women, an important voting bloc that defected from Republicans during last year’s congressional contests.

Justin Webb: Donald Trump faces challenge from the enemy within: A Tea Party conservative is set to embarrass the Republicans by fighting the president for the party’s 2020 nomination.

Mark Sanford, the Republican former governor of South Carolina, briefly touted as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, has been seriously considering a run against President Trump for the party’s nomination in 2020.

US factory activity shrinks for first time since 2009: FT reports. survey of industry executives points to further weakness in American industry.

The federal government will rack up $12.2T in deficits through 2029, according to a new projection from the Congressional Budget Office.

The surprising surge of Andrew Yang: Politico reports, turns out delivering a message of economic doom with a little self-deprecating humor can win over some people. Even a few disenchanted Trump voters.

Joe Biden’s poll numbers mask an enthusiasm problem: NYT reports, there are signs of a disconnect between support for Biden in polls and excitement for his campaign on the ground in Iowa.

James Freeman: Biden gets better: Now imagine what he could do with a moderate policy agenda.

@realDonaldTrump: Just heard that Sean Spicer will be on “Dancing with the Stars.” He will do great. A terrific person who loves our Country dearly!


HP Chief Executive Dion Weisler is stepping down as the leader of one of the world’s largest PC makers later this year for family health reasons.

Volkswagen wants name hidden for far-right AfD meeting: DW reports, German carmaker Volkswagen has said it wants a hall named after the company to be rechristened for a party conference by the far-right Alternative for Germany party. It also wants its company logo to be covered up.

Boeing’s troubles cost the aerospace industry $4bn a quarter.

SiriusXM launches a $4/month student subscription to try snagging young ears from Spotify.

Goldman Sachs plans to hire more than 100 engineers for trading floor tech roles and wants to go after its rivals in the tech and finance industries to do so.

JPMorgan plans to shut down its Chase Pay smartphone app in another reversal of its digital strategy.

Amazon has opened its largest campus yet in Hyderabad, India.

How aggressively cute toys for adults became a $686 million business: 8,000-plus characters, 29 Conan O’Brien dolls alone: inside the Funko Pop Vinyl phenomenon.

Facebook has coffee shops now. It’s only the beginning of the branded city of the future: Fast Company reports, free coffee, loaner bikes, and public events: These are some of the amenities that tech brands and banks offer at a new generation of retail spaces.

Facebook has announced plans to open a series of five “Facebook Cafes” across the UK by early September.


Welcome to McDonald’s. Would you like a podcast with those fries? NYT reports, with podcasts rising in popularity, it’s no surprise that companies are producing their own. “The Sauce” was a branded podcast that McDonald’s paid Gizmodo to produce as a tongue-in-cheek apology to disappointed customers. While it’s no exposé, the show offers a vivid illustration of how companies are increasingly using the tropes of popular podcasts in their own audio projects. These are not advertisements, exactly, but subtle brand-building efforts intended to entertain as well as persuade.


Jay-Z gets caught in the NFL’s Kaepernick buzzsaw: WSJ reports, the star rapper was surprised that his new role in promoting the league’s social-justice initiatives was met with sharp criticism as Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned.

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.