David Beckham

Rees-Mogg, Xi Jinping, Beverly Hills, WeWork, David Beckham

MRD July.png

What I am watching today = March 26, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


✔️ Rees-Mogg signals readiness to back May’s Brexit deal

✔️ Italy’s hug makes China feel warm inside

✔️ How eating habits changed at George Mason University when delivery robots came to the campus

✔️ Release of Mueller report sets off political tussle

✔️ Apple looks to TV as part of its own digital ecosystem


Time and money

“I can’t afford it.”

“I don’t have the time.”

…almost always means, “this is not a priority.”

When we care, it’s amazing how much we can get done. One way to choose to care is to be clear about your priorities, which means being clear in your language.

And so we can say to ourselves, “I’d love to do that, but it’s not a priority.”

Remarkable work is usually accomplished by people who have non-typical priorities.

-- Seth Godin


UK Parliament votes to take control of Brexit from May: WSJ reports, Britain’s Parliament moved to pry control of the Brexit process away from Prime Minister Theresa May, forcing votes on alternatives to her unpopular plan to extract the UK from the European Union. 

Rees-Mogg signals readiness to back May’s Brexit deal: FT reports, leading Eurosceptic issues warning after MPs vote to take control of EU withdrawal process.

Robert Shrimsley: Brexit paralysis pulls Tories towards an early election: Forcing the parties to clarify their positions would ideally create a majority.

France: President Macron, Jean-Claude Juncker, Xi Jinping, and Angela Merkel meet in Paris to discuss global governance.

“We would like to make progress renovating multilateralism. We have divergences, obviously in the history of humanity power does not go without rivalry, none of us are naive,” Macron said after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “But we respect China and are determined to have dialogue and cooperation.”

Chinese investments in Europe: German EU commissioner floats EU veto right: DW reports, alarm bells are ringing over Italy's involvement in Beijing's infrastructure project. EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger thinks an EU veto over future Chinese deals in Europe could protect the continent.

Virginia Postrel: Italy’s hug makes China feel warm inside: The first G-7 country to join Belt and Road embraces Beijing’s benign view of its place in the world.

European Parliament to vote on controversial copyright reform: DW reports, will the reform of European Union copyright law herald the downfall of the digital era as we know it, or is it merely a matter of compensating artists? The European Parliament is set to vote on the landmark dispute.

Australia weighs laws against ‘weaponised’ social media: FT reports, PM wants to make groups accountable for content after Facebook streaming of NZ attacks.

Mexico asks Pope Francis and Spanish king to apologize for colonialism: DW reports, Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador told the Spanish king and the Vatican that "wounds are still open" from the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1521. The Spanish government was not amused.


Beverly Hills weighing ban on all tobacco sales: The famed city of Beverly Hills is considering a ban on the sale of all tobacco products. The city’s health commission is meeting today to finalize its recommendation, which it will present to city officials in May. 

How eating habits changed at George Mason University when delivery robots came to the campus: WP reports, in the two months since the robots arrived, an extra 1,500 breakfast orders have been delivered autonomously, say the companies that run the service.

30 legendary startup pitch decks and what you can learn from them http://bit.ly/2SMNA2C

Kara Swisher: Owning a car will soon be as quaint as owning a horse: The shift away from private vehicles will happen faster than we think.

Brain ‘creates cells until well into old age’: The Times reports, The human brain produces new cells well into its twilight years, according to a study. In research that may offer a new path towards understanding forms of dementia, scientists have found that the hippocampus region of the brain, used for memory and mood, generates fresh cells even in its tenth decade.


Release of Mueller report sets off political tussle: WSJ reports, Trump offered praise for Robert Mueller as his 2020 campaign ramped up efforts to use the special counsel’s findings as a political weapon, while Democrats set a deadline for delivery of the full Mueller report to Congress.

Republicans and Democrats angle to take the offensive after Mueller report: LAT reports, in the wake of the special counsel's report, both parties are calling for further investigations. Democrats want to examine obstruction. Republicans want to investigate the investigators.

An unnamed adviser to the President says the White House will renew its attacks on the media this week: The alleged strategy to "slam and shame the media" follows Friday's news that the so-called “Mueller Report” had been delivered -- an announcement that has prompted broadcast news to revamp schedules on the fly all weekend and into this week.

According to the Tyndall Report, the three main broadcast networks made the Russia collusion investigation the second-most-covered news event of 2018, trailing only the Kavanaugh hearings, another scandal.

Trump and Republicans seek to turn the tables in post-Mueller Washington: NYT reports, Trump denounced adversaries, calling them “treasonous” people who are guilty of “evil” deeds and saying they should be investigated themselves.

Jonathan Bernstein: Even in victory, Trump shows his weakness: Predictably, the president is overselling his supposed exoneration – and demonstrating why he’s unfit for office.

The US Gulf coast has become a net exporter of crude oil.

Digital hype aside, report says political campaigns are mostly analog affairs: NYT reports, a new report finds that, on average, campaigns in the 2018 midterm election cycle spent no more than 5 percent of their overall media budgets on digital ads on platforms like Facebook and Google.

Television ads and direct-mail campaigns remained the biggest expenses for campaigns, accounting for about half of all media spending, the group said.

Job approval of Congress: Congress' 26% job approval rating is the highest it has been in over two years.

"The Democrats won the 2018 midterms by focusing on the issues, not collusion. For most voters, politics is about their lives, not a self-righteous TV show." -- David Brooks

Election 2020: Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) announces he won't seek re-election.

Democratic candidates, pressured by party base, split on how liberal to be: WSJ reports, presidential aspirants test waters on health care, environmental policy; ‘bring on the tension.’


McDonald’s to buy AI company Dynamic Yield: FT reports, the acquisition will help burger group customize its menu displays based on differing variables.

New space race on the horizon: It's going to take some deep pockets to challenge Richard Branson-backed OneWeb and Elon Musk's SpaceX. A group of private equity firms and pension funds have agreed to buy Inmarsat for $3.4B, launching the UK-based satellite operator's shares up 8.4% in London. The bidders - Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board - were drawn to the "considerable potential for in-flight connectivity and the internet of things," they said in a statement.

WeWork said its loss last year doubled to nearly $2 billion.

Airbus secures $35 billion China deal in new blow to Boeing.

Nike’s Air Jordan brand is winning over European soccer fans: Bloomberg reports, the iconic basketball brand is storming onto Adidas’s home turf.

Hyundai and Kia have now recalled three million vehicles in North America since 2015.

Volvo chief warns against ‘irresponsible’ self-driving roll-out: FT reports, Hakan Samuelsson said it was “irresponsible” to put autonomous vehicles on the road if they were not sufficiently safe, because that would erode trust among the public and regulators. “We have a responsibility and everybody who’s in this business has that responsibility, because otherwise you’re going to kill a technology that might be the best lifesaver in the history of the car,” he said.

Faraday Future signs a strategic partnership with Chinese video game firm The9 to build a car in China: The jointly-owned venture will manufacture an EV based on the previously announced FF91.

Apple looks to TV as part of its own digital ecosystem: FT reports, the company is offering more services but questions over pricing remain.

JD.com and Alibaba export AI and robot logistics expertise: Nikkei reports, e-commerce giants expand delivery and warehouse solutions beyond China.

Alibaba acquires Israel-based Infinity Augmented Reality: Infinity offers AR tools for a range of Industries including gaming and healthcare.



'It's a no-knickers feeling!' The healing power of wild swimming: Liz Richardson’s new show explores the transformative qualities of a freezing cold dip. http://bit.ly/2U6riJk

Brexit, a threat to Britain's sporting hegemony? AFP reports, can British sport, which has benefited massively from the opening of European borders, survive Brexit? Experts say the uncertainty created by Britain's probable EU exit could undermine the multi-billion-dollar Premier League and Formula One. Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has become the richest football league in the world, a financial juggernaut fuelled by huge television contracts that has attracted a global audience.

Formula One divided as Brexit threat zooms into view: AFP reports, the new Formula One season is underway but the action on the track is being overshadowed by concerns over the implications of Brexit, with so many teams calling Britain home. Seven of the 10 F1 teams are based in Britain and there are nine European races this season, making the nation's impending departure from the European Union an unwanted headache even for such a globalized sport.

Sports Illustrated predicts Nats will miss playoffs, Bryce Harper’s Phillies will lose World Series: WP reports, the magazine picked Washington to win the National League pennant in four of the previous six years.

Why David Beckham is desperate to keep Inter Miami out of the suburbs: Guardian reports, the former England captain wants his team to play in downtown Miami, as soccer in North America markets itself as an urban game.

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


Leonardo da Vinci, SpaceX, Pennsylvania Democrats, David Beckham

Marc Ross Daily February (1).png

Leonardo da Vinci, SpaceX, Pennsylvania Democrats, David Beckham

Marc Ross Daily
March 4, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


✔️ US, China close in on trade deal

✔️ Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaidó plans return

✔️ Japan okays research using human cells in animals

✔️ House Democrats to probe claims of Trump obstruction

✔️ Glory Glory Man United? The paradox of profits without trophies


US, China close in on trade deal: WSJ reports, China and the US are close to completing a trade deal, though hurdles remain. Both countries could lift some tariffs imposed last year, and Beijing would agree to ease restrictions on American products.

A formal agreement could be reached at a summit between Trump and Xi, probably around March 27, after Xi finishes a trip to Italy and France.

The two sides continue to negotiate over issues involving Chinese industrial policy the US argues gives Chinese domestic firms an advantage, especially state-owned enterprises.

NYT: US and China near a trade deal to drop tariffs

The Trump administration is close to a trade deal with China that would roll back tariffs on both sides of the Pacific but may do little to achieve the substantive changes to China’s economy that the United States initially set out to win.

The agreement under discussion would expand markets for American financial services firms and farmers, in part by requiring that China buy large amounts of energy and farm goods, like liquid natural gas and soybeans.

Noah Smith: Trump should take aim at China’s joint-venture rule: The partnerships required to do business in the country are a cover for stealing US know-how. 

Huawei executive files suit over Canadian detention: WSJ reports, Meng Wanzhou claims her legal rights were violated when she was detained at Vancouver International Airport in December following an extradition arrest request from the US.

Nikkei: Five things to expect from China's top political meeting: Slowing growth and geopolitical tensions to dominate discussions at the National People's Congress.

China convened on Sunday its once-a-year meeting of the country's two top political bodies to set the nation's direction for the coming year.

The country's foremost political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, kicked off the nearly two week-long meeting, preceding the National People's Congress on Tuesday.

Economic slowdown

Trade war with the US
Foreign policy

On Tuesday morning, Premier Li Keqiang’s work report will set targets for gross domestic product expansion, the fiscal balance, inflation and other factors. The domestic policy mix will be defined by the three so-called “critical battles,” launched in 2017, against pollution, financial risks, and poverty.

China's legislature will vote next week on a highly-anticipated bill that will bring "a fundamental change" for foreign investors in a move that could help ease US trade tensions.

Nikkei: China hails 2019 as a 'critical year' to realize Xi's goals

Nation's biggest political meetings of the year kicked off on Sunday.

China says it needs a ‘proper increase’ in defense spending: Bloomberg reports, Beijing said it would need to increase its military spending to protect itself.

Mark Helprin: The US is ceding the Pacific to China: While Washington’s focus is elsewhere, Beijing plays the long game—that means preparing for war.

South Korea to seize on world's first full 5G network: Nikkei reports, SK Group and KT lead the pack in new services like holographic streaming.

Philippine Navy looks to join rescue bid for Subic shipyard: Nikkei reports, admiral prefers South Korean or US bidders to preserve strategic facility

NYT: After India loses dogfight, questions arise about its ‘vintage’ military

An aerial clash last week with Pakistan was a rare test for the Indian military — and it left observers a bit dumbfounded.

As America strengthens ties with India to help counter China, critics say its military faces challenges, including aging hardware and low funding.

AFP: Modi and Imran bask after 'good' Kashmir crisis

Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaidó plans return: WSJ reports, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó said he plans to return to Venezuela on Monday in a move that directly confronts President Nicolás Maduro’s authority and could end with Mr. Guaidó in jail.

US considers emergency economic aid for Venezuela: FT reports, financial assistance would be dependent on Nicolás Maduro standing down.

Pressure on Kenny over Facebook lobby claims: The Times reports, Enda Kenny is being pressed to say whether he used Ireland’s presidency of the EU to lobby other member states on behalf of Facebook after “explosive” allegations about his alleged inappropriate relationship with the social media giant emerged over the weekend. 

Brexit bribe? UK PM May unveils $2.1 billion fund for Brexit-backing towns: Reuters reports, British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday set out plans for a 1.6 billion pound ($2.11 billion) fund to help to boost economic growth in Brexit-supporting communities with ministers denying it was a bribe to win support for her EU exit deal.

France to set new €500 million digital tax for 30 tech giants: DW reports, France's finance minister will bring forward legislation this week for a 3 percent tax on companies including Google and Facebook. Public anger about tax avoidance by digital giants has prompted the move.

AFP: Macron calls for French reconciliation with Italy

French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a call for reconciliation with Italy following a diplomatic spat between the neighbors that saw Paris briefly recall its ambassador.

Relations between the two countries have fractured due to repeated clashes between centrist Macron and Italy's populist coalition government.

France and Italy to celebrate Leonardo da Vinci's anniversary together: DW reports, France's president has invited his Italian counterpart to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the artist's death. Emmanuel Macron hopes the gesture will help end a diplomatic spat between the neighbors.

Washington restores status of EU mission to US: DW reports, the US has announced a reversal of last year's sudden downgrading of the European Union's diplomatic status. The EU delegation in Washington has been restored to member state from international organization.


SpaceX rocket with an unmanned crew capsule blasted off on Saturday for the International Space Station, in a key milestone for Elon Musk’s space company and NASA’s long-delayed goal to resume human spaceflight from US soil later this year.

Japan okays research using human cells in animals: AFP reports, Japan has given the green light to a controversial research process involving implanting animals with human stem cells that could eventually help grow human organs for transplant inside animal hosts.


House Democrats to probe claims of Trump obstruction: FT reports, the Judiciary committee chair says he will seek dozens of documents this week.

WP: House Judiciary chairman says he will launch probe of Trump’s ‘abuse of power’

On Monday the House Judiciary committee will issue demands for documents from more than 60 people and entities. The targets include the president’s son Donald Trump Jr and the chief finance officer of Trump’s business empire, Allen Weisselberg. Other possible targets are John Kelly, Trump’s former chief of staff, and former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Mueller's final report will ignite an epic war over disclosure: Bloomberg reports, there will be a struggle in Congress, on cable TV and social media and probably in the courts over how much must be disclosed from what will begin as a secret report to Attorney General William Barr. There also will be an epic political fight over whether the findings implicate President Donald Trump in wrongdoing that may even merit his impeachment, as some Democrats say, or clear him after a 21-month investigation that he and other Republicans call a “witch hunt.”

Trump’s emergency declaration hits a major roadblock in the Senate: LAT reports, Republican Sen. Rand Paul has reportedly become the fourth senator on his side of the aisle to commit to voting for a Democratic-backed resolution to rescind Trump’s emergency declaration.

OTD: In 1861 Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as American president for the first time.

WSJ: Trump’s job-approval rating ticks up, along with warning signs

Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll also finds Democratic primary voters looking for a nominee with aggressive policy ideas.

Trump’s job-approval rating, at 46%, is similar to those of Clinton and Obama at this point in their terms.

The poll also found the majority of Democratic primary voters are looking for a nominee with aggressive policy ideas.

Trump’s improved rating to an uptick in support from white men without a college degree.

Trump cumulatively leads a generic Democratic opponent, 46% to 40%, in four Midwestern states he carried in 2016—Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin—along with Pennsylvania, which borders the Midwest.

Trump trails a generic Democrat, 50% to 39%, in five Sunbelt states Democrats aim to flip in 2020: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas.

Pennsylvania Democrats wonder how far is too far left: NYT reports, some worry that Democrats’ momentum in the state could screech to a halt if the party’s eventual 2020 nominee strays far left.

Anne-Marie Slaughter: Today’s centrist candidates are not a cross-section of America: Those who espouse a new political middle ground are overwhelmingly affluent white men.

"Any effort to create a sustainable new coalition must reach across gender, race, ethnic, and generational lines. Otherwise “centrist independent” will become code for well-off white people who no longer feel comfortable in the Democratic party."

Death toll tops 20 after tornadoes hit Southeast: Storms swept through swaths of Alabama and Georgia; the most destruction appears to be in Lee County, Ala.


Vale chief steps down over deadly dam collapse in Brazil: FT reports, Fabio Schvartsman agrees to ‘temporary’ resignation under pressure from prosecutors.

HBO and Turner chiefs depart amid AT&T shake-up of WarnerMedia: FT reports, Richard Plepler and David Levy exits follow final approval for $80bn takeover.


Bloomberg: Spielberg says Netflix and theater films aren't equal for Oscars 


Glory Glory Man United? The paradox of profits without trophies: Can one of the world’s most profitable football clubs keep growing if it no longer wins the biggest competitions?https://on.ft.com/2EwqT90

LA Galaxy unveils a statue of David Beckham.

AFP: Neymar hints at joining Real Madrid