Kim Jong Un

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

MRD July.png

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.


Kim Jong Un, Moon Jae-in, Huawei, Angela Merkel, Baker Mayfield, World Cup 2026, Amazon Prime

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Kim Jong Un, Moon Jae-in, Huawei, Angela Merkel, Baker Mayfield, World Cup 2026, Amazon Prime

Marc Ross Daily
April 27, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Global Business News at the Intersection of Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here


✔️ North, South Korea aim to declare end to war this year

✔️ Huawei pulls €500m bond offering moments before pricing

✔️ ‘Mexico First’ campaign could end welcome for U.S. oil giants

✔️ At least Macron got a kiss: Now Merkel's up to sway Trump

✔️ Trump warns other nations not to undermine U.S. World Cup bid


Team Trump’s China gamble

The Trump administration's top economic and trade officials — including Steven Mnuchin, Larry Kudlow, Robert Lighthizer, and Peter Navarro — will head to China next week to try to prevent tit-for-tat tariffs from taking effect. But analysts doubt they can convince Xi Jinping to make any big concessions. 

Trump the deal marker seems confident.

‘I think we’ve got a very good chance of making a deal,’ Trump said earlier this week.

Trump went on to say, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is headed to China in "a few days" to resolve the ongoing trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. "They trade with us [but] we can't trade with them," Trump declared. Both countries have proposed tariffs on the other, after the Trump administration's Section 301 investigation into China's business practices.

American business continues to be baffled by Trump's goals in China trade battle. No one seems to have the answer to one key question: What will it take for Trump to declare victory and withdraw his threat to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion worth of Chinese goods? 

"Based on my conversations, both with U.S. government officials and Chinese government officials, there's been a lack of specificity in what China could do that would satisfy the United States and avoid the imposition of tariffs and investment restrictions or anything else," Erin Ennis, vice president  the US-China Business Council, said during a panel discussion Wednesday hosted by the Global Business Dialogue, an industry-funded.

Have you ever made a trip to a foreign land with no agenda and clear outcomes?

Usually it is for fun and vacation.

When it is for business and deal making it is called a boondoggle.

Maybe Team Trump will get to see the Great Wall so it won't be a complete waste. 

Huawei pulls €500m bond offering and America’s Huawei probe - Why you should care

Huawei scrapped a bond sale after it emerged that America’s DOJ is investigating the Chinese telecoms giant over suspected violations of Iran-related sanctions. 

Bankers and fixed income investors close to the deal said demand for the bond was strong on Wednesday evening until the company called off the deal without explanation. Some investors speculated that Huawei stopped the deal because the company was aware of an investigation and wanted to protect buyers from any impact on the price of the security.

The €500m ($605m) offering would have been the firm’s first euro-denominated debt sale. The probe reportedly concerns Huawei’s shipments to Iran of products originating in America.

Why should you care?

America’s Huawei probe will lead to China to find its own American target.

Tim Culpan, the technology columnist for Bloomberg Gadfly, in his recent column writes that whether or not Huawei is guilty of busting American sanctions isn’t the point.

With various U.S. government agencies searching for excuses to clamp down on China’s top technology hardware company, all this attention could fall under the rubric of violating a ban on sales to Iran, espionage, or anything else the U.S. government doesn’t like.

He writes it is possible that Huawei may have committed infractions. Or not.

Regardless, what is essential is that American investigations into alleged violations are being escalated. From one rogue company – ZTE Corp. – to another. Two is a coincidence; three is a trend.  If another Chinese company is investigated, Beijing will have the cover it needs to get even tougher on the U.S. and its corporate giants.

There is a lot of smoke around Huawei for a company few Americans can properly pronounce. Start paying attention to this company because regulators in Beijing are and the impact will shape commerce on both sides of the Pacific.


NK + SK: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in greeted each other at the border, then walked hand in hand into South Korea.

Bloomberg: North, South Korea aim to declare end to war this year

Modi-Xi: Taking place today and tomorrow in Wuhan, China, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets with China’s President Xi Jinping. Talks between Modi and Xi are intended to manage tensions rather than break new ground.

In 1980, the economies of India and China were almost identical in size, with GDP just below $200 billion. Today, China’s economy ($12 trillion) is six times larger than India’s ($2 trillion).

FT: Huawei pulls €500m bond offering moments before pricing

 scrapped a bond sale after it emerged that America’s justice department is investigating the Chinese telecoms giant over suspected violations of Iran-related sanctions. The €500m ($605m) offering would have been the firm’s first euro-denominated debt sale. The probe reportedly concerns Huawei’s shipments to Iran of products originating in America.

Why the head of Pacific Command will be the next US ambassador to South Korea instead of Australia: AP reports,  Australia’s prime minister said Wednesday that the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, Adm. Harry Harris, will not become Washington’s next ambassador to Australia and will be posted to South Korea instead. 

The Thucydides trap: Bloomberg reports, China will become the dominant economic power in Asia in the near term but will not displace the U.S. militarily, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said in an exclusive interview. He also stressed the need for the major powers to act in a “constructive” way to contain the potential military tensions when a new power emerges to rival a hegemon like the U.S.

‘Mexico First’ campaign could end welcome for U.S. oil giants: NYT reports, as Trump moves to recast trade and border relations with Mexico, American oil companies are worried that the prospective winner of Mexico’s presidential election will play his own nationalist card. The leading candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, wants to reverse policies that have tied a knot between Mexico and the United States in recent years in energy production and consumption. And he has promised to make sure that oil never falls “back into the hands of foreigners.”

Schönen tag: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting with Trump today at the White House.

A former State Department official told the NYT, “Merkel is going to Washington and it looks like the U.S. just doesn’t care.

At least Macron got a kiss: Now Merkel's up to sway Trump: Bloomberg reports, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has one advantage when she meets Donald Trump to discuss a host of conflicts: expectations she can sway the U.S. president are close to zero. After three days of back-slapping bonhomie with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump is allotting two hours on Friday for a White House meeting with the leader of Europe's biggest economy.

Trump's UK visit: Trump will visit the U.K. for bilateral talks with Prime Minister Theresa May on (Friday) July 13. Expect all meetings with crown and state to take place outside of London Town and well away from planned protests.

It will be a 24-hour visit during which he will finally be granted his wish of meeting the Queen.

A Brexit choice between bad and worse: A customs union won't solve Britain's problems — but it's better than the looming alternative.
Bloomberg - Michael Bloomberg

Britain's economy grew by just 0.1% in the first quarter, its weakest pace since 2012

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson: To the delight of Conservatives everywhere, Davidson last night announced that her and her partner Jen Wilson are expecting, with the baby due in October. 

NYT - Editorial: Mr. Macron comes to Washington: President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Washington was certainly grand theater: the hugs and kisses with President Trump, the dandruff whisked off his lapel, the first lady's broad white hat, and then the 40-year-old French wunderkind rising before Congress to deliver a stern lecture in elegantly accented English on why the American president is wrong about multilateralism, protectionism, nationalism, Iran and climate change. Mr. Macron no doubt planned the bait-and-switch for some time.


NYT: For many, life in Trump’s orbit ends in a crash landing

"Half of the top aides who came to the White House with Mr. Trump in 2017 are gone."

Trump’s ever-mounting scrap heap: Politico Magazine reports, the president is under fire, but it’s the people in his orbit who end up in disgrace.

Sen. Menendez ethics: The Senate Ethics Committee "severely admonished" Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) for accepting gifts and advocating for the interests of Salomon Melgen, a Florida doctor, and campaign donor.

CNBC: John Kasich met privately with billionaire donor Ron Burkle as the Republican Ohio governor considers a run for president: Sources

Republicans moving up in race for California governor and U.S. Senate, poll finds: SJMN reports, with 40 days to go until the June 5 primary, two Republican candidates for governor are fighting for second place, and a little-known GOP candidate could also make waves in the campaign for U.S. Senate, according to a new poll. The poll, released Thursday by the UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies, found Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, continuing to lead the field for governor with 30 percent among likely voters, followed by Republicans John Cox, a San Diego County businessman, at 18 percent, and Travis Allen, an Orange County state assemblyman, at 16 percent.


BMW to export from China: In 2020, the carmaker will produce its first electric SUV at its Chinese joint-venture factory.

YouTube’s plan to clean up the mess that made it rich: Extremist propaganda, dangerous hoaxes, videos of tasered rats—the company is having its worst year ever. Except financially.

Amazon’s doubled its profit in the first quarter and said it would raise the price of Prime membership to $119 a year from$99. 

100 million products now available to Prime members in two days or less.

A Walmart deal for a majority stake in Flipkart, at a roughly $20 billion valuation, is expected soon. 

Intel’s profit surged 50 percent, helped by sales of server chips and other data center equipment.

Facebook faces tough questions in Britain that it avoided in the U.S.: NYT reports, in London, Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, faced more than four hours of questions from a British parliamentary committee over the company’s data-collection techniques, oversight of app developers, fake accounts, political advertising and links to the voter-targeting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Southwest Airlines has firmed up an order for 40 Boeing 737 MAX jets worth $4.68B.

Subway plans to close 500 of its 26,000 U.S. locations this year while opening 1,000 internationally.


A robotic port in China won’t need humans to unload ships: Autonomous trucks and cranes will move containers all day.

Why we should bulldoze the business school: There are 13,000 business schools on Earth. That’s 13,000 too many. And I should know – I’ve taught in them for 20 years. 
Guardian - Martin Parker

Over 400 startups are trying to become the next Warby Parker. Inside the wild race to overthrow every consumer category: Wharton professors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs are fueling an entire generation of Warby Parkers. Now there are more than 400 startups tackling products from toothbrushes to bras. What could go wrong?

Who creates a nation’s economic value? A challenging analysis that forces us to reconsider how our economies work — and who it works for.

"Among other things, we need to re-think the relationship between markets and governments; make a clear distinction between creators of wealth and those who merely extract it; embrace bolder collective ambitions, notably a shift to a greener economy; and spend on the future, instead of embracing a sterile and counterproductive austerity." 


Louis Arthur Charles = Name for newest UK Royal family member

Venice to start turning tourists away: The Times reports, officials in Venice plan to turn away day-trippers and keep visitors separate from residents on main thoroughfares as crowds descend on the lagoon city over May Day. The “urgent” measures, which the mayor said were unprecedented, aim to control a stifling tourist boom that brings up to 120,000 visitors on peak days, more than double the dwindling population of 53,000.

FT: Helicopter noise blights the ‘hipsters’ Hamptons’


NFL Draft: Quarterback Baker Mayfield went first overall in the NFL draft, to Cleveland.

The Browns didn't disappoint. It doesn't matter.

Can you say London Jaguars? The owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Shahid Khan, offered to buy the English national soccer stadium, Wembley.

NFL and Amazon renew partnership to stream Thursday Night Football globally during 2018 and 2019 seasons to over 100 million Amazon Prime members.

Trump warns nations against opposing US World Cup bid: Morocco is putting up an unexpectedly strong challenge to host 2026 tournament with Fifa officials reportedly rankled by Trump’s travel ban.

Bloomberg: Trump warns other nations not to undermine U.S. World Cup bid

FIFA is expected to decide in June on the host for the 2026 competition, which will be the first to feature an expanded 48-nation field.

@realDonaldTrump: The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations)?

Knights the hottest show on Vegas Strip: AP reports, the Vegas Golden Knights remained undefeated in the playoffs by dominating the San Jose Sharks 7-0 in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals. The hottest show on the Las Vegas Strip got even hotter as the Knights — who were 200-1 at many sportsbooks to win the Stanley Cup before the season began — opened their second playoff series with a rout of the Sharks that was over before the Zambonis hit the ice.