Guy Raz

Queen Elizabeth II, Kim Jong Un, CRISPR, Joe Biden, Guy Raz

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What I am watching today = April 24, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ Trump finally gets his British state visit

✔️ Drones to deliver medicines to 12 million people in Ghana

✔️ Beer and cigarette makers join the pot lobbying parade

✔️ Beyond Meat targets $1.2 billion valuation

✔️ Tribeca Film Festival opens in New York


Brigadoon Remote 2019 - Save the Date

Think of four days where you can work remotely in a country estate, spend the day as you want, work on your book, strategize, think, read, whiteboard, check-out, go for a hike, and have evening dinners with fellow participants where the topic of conversation is business development and entrepreneurship.

November 11-15, 2019
One hour outside of Edinburgh, Scotland
Limited to 7 participants
$250.00 deposit secures your spot

Ping at if you want to attend.



London Town: Trump and FLOTUS accepted the invitation of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to visit the United Kingdom from June 3 to 5, 2019.

Trump finally gets his British state visit — but tensions that led to delay remain: WP reports, the president, deeply unpopular in Britain, will probably not be able to avoid massive demonstrations against his visit, scheduled for early June.

May approves Huawei involvement in UK 5G network: FT reports, Chinese telecoms group banned from most sensitive parts of project on security concerns.

The Times: Theresa May set to anger US with ‘limited access’ for Huawei

: The funeral of Lyra McKee, the Northern Irish journalist who was shot dead last week during riots, is held in Belfast.

China's Belt and Road cracks down on corruption in image revamp: Bloomberg reports, the Belt and Road Initiative is getting a makeover to tone down government rhetoric and tighten oversight, after allegations of corruption and a lack of sustainability dogged some of its highest-profile projects. Beijing is taking a range of steps to exert more control over the program, officials and participants said, including a more muted publicity drive, clearer rules for state-owned-enterprises, restricting use of the BRI brand, and building overseas auditing and anti-corruption mechanisms. It’s also stepping up efforts to get developed nations to join in to spread the risk of building projects in poorer nations and to counter allegations that BRI is just an attempt to build China’s political influence.

Beijing to defend initiative as it welcomes 37 heads of state to summit this week.

Chinese enterprises invested over $90 billion in BRI countries.

China has signed 173 cooperation documents on BRI with 125 countries and 29 international organizations as of April 18, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

OTD: In 1970 China launched its first satellite, which orbited the Earth transmitting the patriotic tune The East is Red.

Mnuchin and Lighthizer to head to Beijing as trade talks resume: FT reports, talks to focus on stubborn hurdles of intellectual property, technology transfers.

“The subjects of next week’s discussions will cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement,” the White House said.

Kim and Putin set for talks as Russia seeks influence: FT reports, Pyongyang pivots to northern neighbor as ties founder with US.

‘I have long dreamed of visiting’: Kim Jong Un arrives in Russia for talks with Putin: WP reports, the Kremlin has said no major agreements will be signed during Kim’s meeting with Vladimir Putin, which is expected to take place behind closed doors.

Russia's Putin meets North Korea's Kim: Side-show or power move in nuclear crisis? DW reports, in the wake of stalled nuclear talks with the US, Kim is seeking diplomatic assistance from the Kremlin. Russia wants stability on its far-eastern border — but President Putin may have a bigger picture in mind.

Martin Wolf: The age of the elected despot is here: People want to believe a powerful and charismatic leader is on their side in an unjust world.


A new normal: A journey through America’s complex history with cannabis. Directed by Spike Jonze. (video)

University of California gets its CRISPR patent: Six years after the initial application — and after a legal dispute that sucked up tens of millions of dollars — a foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patent will be granted to the University of California. The patent, based on the work of Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier, and their colleagues, covers CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in every kind of cell, in lab dishes and in living organisms. 

FT: Drones to deliver medicines to 12 million people in Ghana

Zipline project is the world’s largest drone delivery network. The drones are planned to be able to deliver to 2,000 clinics across Ghana.


WP: White House plans to fight House subpoena of former counsel Donald McGahn for testimony on Mueller report

: In 1800 President John Adams approved the spending of $5,000 to establish a Library of Congress.

WSJ: S&P 500 and NASDAQ hit closing records

Stocks have flourished this year—the S&P 500 is up 17% while the Nasdaq has gained 22%.

Morning Consult Political Intelligence report:

- Biden remains the top overall pick among all likely Democratic primary voters and voters in early primary states.

- Buttigieg moves up to third place with 9% of the vote: More than half (64%) of likely Democratic primary voters have now heard of Buttigieg.

- Health care and the economy remain the most important issues to Democratic voters.

- Trump's approval hits record low: The President's net approval of -18 is his worst since taking office.

Trump camp descends on Pennsylvania as alarms grow over 2020: Politico reports, the president's team is set to meet with a state Republican Party riven by dissension.

Larry Hogan derides Trump as ‘dear leader’: Politico reports, Maryland Governor Hogan (R) said he's unafraid to stand up to the president but is in no rush to jump into the 2020 race.

Joe Biden: He’ll be the 21st Democrat to enter the party’s 2020 presidential field and will now announce his 2020 presidential bid on Thursday.

WP: Joe Biden to enter 2020 presidential race with Thursday video announcement

Inside Biden's battle plan
: Politico reports, he is seeking to mark his entrance into the 2020 race with a rush of union support, early-state endorsements, and fundraising figures.

Rivals are scrambling to dig up dirt on Pete Buttigieg: NBC News, Buttigieg was on nobody's radar as a serious presidential contender until a few weeks ago. Now his competitors are scrambling to find vulnerabilities.

Beto O’Rourke opens his California campaign Saturday in Los Angeles: LAT reports, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke will launch his 2020 California Democratic presidential primary campaign on Saturday with a four-day swing, stopping in Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Central Valley, and San Diego.

Trump orders administration officials not to attend White House correspondents dinner: Reuters reports, Trump, who bemoaned his treatment by the news media in a flurry of tweets on Tuesday, has barred members of his staff and administration from attending the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday, officials said.

Beer and cigarette makers join the pot lobbying parade: Politico reports, the push to legalize marijuana quickly transformed the cannabis industry into a multibillion-dollar legal business. And now Fortune 500 companies and elite K Street lobbying firms have joined the green gold rush. Altria, the tobacco giant better known for Marlboros, recently took a $1.8 billion stake in the cannabis company Cronos Group. Constellation Brands, which makes Corona beer, has spent money on cannabis lobbying after making a major investment in Canopy Growth, a Canadian marijuana company. On K Street, powerhouse firms like Holland & Knight — which has represented Comcast, Google and Dow Chemical — have taken on marijuana clients.

Pot may be illegal at the federal level but corporate giants and K Street are preparing for the push to legalize.


Applied Materials halts work for red-flagged Chinese chipmaker: FT reports, US supplier pulls staff from San’an Optoelectronics following government listing.

Pepsi dispenser: PepsiCo has announced a new beverage dispenser for the food service sector, colleges, and workplaces. The "hydration platform" is aimed at encouraging people to fill up their own reusable bottles, and not with soda, but rather with flavored, carbonated water. is preparing to take the family tree research/DNA testing company public amid increasing consumer interest in DNA tests.

Beyond Meat targets $1.2 billion valuation when it becomes the first plant-based meat company to IPO.

PayPal's Venmo closes in on a new partnership to launch a credit card.

Luminary, flush with $100 million in funding, wants to sell you a $8/month subscription to deliver exclusive podcasts. It’s planning to eventually roll out more than 40 ad-free shows, which include Guy Raz (of How I Built This fame), Lena Dunham, and Trevor Noah.

Wing Aviation, a unit of Alphabet’s Google, received the first US authorization to operate a fleet of consumer delivery drones.

SoftBank Group plans to invest about $1 billion in Wirecard, forging a partnership that allows SoftBank to take a minority stake in the German payments company.

Nikkei: Huawei closes technology gap with Apple on chip design

Chinese 4G semiconductors already 'equal to or better than' US tech giant.


LAT: As Coachella raged, the LA tech world made plans to live on Mars

Betaspace, billed as the place where “Burning Man and the Consumer Electronics Show collide.” 

Today: Tribeca Film Festival opens in New York.

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.