Luckin Coffee

Sri Lanka, Adidas, Don McGahn, Luckin Coffee, Beyoncé

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What I am watching today = April 23, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ Sri Lanka links bombings to New Zealand attacks

✔️ A new Adidas shoe uses just one material + fully recyclable

✔️ Pelosi urges caution on impeachment 

✔️ Amazon strengthens ties with Casino

✔️ The mystery of business casual


7 deadly sins of communications

Based on my experience, communication efforts fail because of these seven reasons:

1. No clear and consistent strategy

2. Over-indexing on tactics

3. Poor organization and staffing

4. No consistency or editorial calendar 

5. Know-how is not shared and made available

6. Efforts are reactive and by chance

7. Online activities not in sync with offline activities



Sri Lanka links bombings to New Zealand attacks: WSJ reports, Sri Lanka’s government has information indicating the plotters of Easter bombings that killed more than 300 people were reacting to the New Zealand shootings that left 50 Muslims dead in March, the country’s defense minister said.

Huawei has received funding from Beijing security agencies: According to a source for The Times, which indicates the CIA warned British intelligence of the links; China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and another branch of Chinese intelligence reportedly funded the telecom.

At Tokyo C20, civil society leaders from around the world press to be heard at Osaka G20: JTJ reports, participants from 40 countries concluded a gathering in Tokyo calling for inclusion at the Group of 20 leaders’ summit set to be hosted by Osaka this year.

Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet Vladimir Putin.

Japan softens tone on North Korea and Russia in foreign policy report as Abe pursues deals: TJT reports, Tokyo removed a reference to applying “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang and stopped short of explicitly claiming ownership of the Russian-held islands off Hokkaido.

FT: Japan scrambles to recover F-35 jet before Russia or China

Civilian ship joins search operation that highlights sensitivity of craft’s technology.

US, Indian navies practice hunting submarines together in Indian Ocean: Stars & Stripes reports, a Navy P-8A Poseidon and guided-missile destroyer recently joined with the Indian navy’s P8-I Neptune for submarine-hunting drills near Diego Garcia. 
To help counter China, US turns to the Coast Guard: WP reports, as a US Coast Guard cutter sailed through the East China Sea last month, Chinese vessels shadowed it on the high seas, service officials said. It was a reminder to the Americans of where they were: in a strategic area a couple hundred miles from China’s shores. 

How China is replacing US as Asia’s military titan: Reuters reports, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has refashioned the People's Liberation Army into a force that is rapidly closing the gap on US firepower – and in some vital areas has surpassed it. American victory over China in a regional war is no longer assured.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s unsteady steps revive worries over Beijing succession plan: WSJ reports, images of a slightly limping Xi Jinping stirred questions about his health and renewed concerns about succession plans for the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao.


London calling: Trump to pay a state visit to Britain in June as a guest of Queen Elizabeth II.

How to become the next prime minister: The next Conservative leader must clear three tricky hurdles before they end up in Downing Street.

Brexiteers rewrite the rules in fresh bid to oust May: The Times reports, Tory Brexiteers will make a fresh attempt today to oust Theresa May within weeks by changing party rules to allow another challenge to her leadership. Members of the party’s powerful backbench 1922 Committee are to meet this afternoon for an emergency session.

Colm Kelleher: The EU’s post-Brexit ambitions miss an important point: Lost in the London v Europe dogfight is a larger truth — the market is global, not regional.

How long will Angela Merkel's chancellorship last? DW reports, Angela Merkel says she wants to remain in office until her term is up. But behind the scenes, plans are already being hatched for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to take over the chancellorship.


A new Adidas shoe uses just one material – and is fully recyclable: Usually, Adidas's trainers include more than 12 different materials. The Futurecraft.Loop uses one plastic and could usher in an era of shoe subscriptions.

"It's estimated that 300 million pairs of running shoes are thrown away each year in the UK alone."


FNC: House Judiciary chairman subpoenas ex-White House counsel Don McGahn

Mueller report fallout threatens to redefine constraints on presidency: WP reports, the aftermath of the special counsel’s report, as well as Congress’s inability to help serve as a check on President Trump, could create a precedent in which it remains unclear where to draw lines on presidential behavior.

NYT: Pelosi urges caution on impeachment as some Democrats push to begin

Kamala Harris calls for impeachment of Trump: FT reports, the California senator is second major presidential contender to demand Congress acts.

Meet the Democrats’ new voice on foreign policy: Politico reports, Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) is an unlikely member of Congress. But he's fast becoming a force on Capitol Hill.

Herman Cain withdrew from consideration for the Federal Reserve board.

Lighthizer aide to depart as US-China trade talks progress: FT reports, the top legal adviser to Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, is leaving the Trump administration at a delicate moment in the negotiations to resolve Washington’s trade dispute with China. Stephen Vaughn, the general counsel at USTR, will be replaced by Joseph Barloon, a lawyer at Skadden Arps, in the role in the coming weeks

Q1 2019 fundraising totals:

1. Trump $30m
2. Bernie Sanders $21m
3. Elizabeth Warren $17m
4. Kamala Harris $13m
5. Kirsten Gillibrand $12.6m

Where is Howard Schultz?

NYT: Biden looms, but Bernie Sanders is running his own race

Hogan visits New Hampshire, hoping to find activists eager for an intraparty fight
: WP reports, even though most New Hampshire polls show most of the GOP base is solidly behind President Trump, the moderate Republican governor of Maryland is flirting with a primary challenge.

How to redesign GDP for the 21st century: Quartz reports, for decades, economists have tried to come up with better methods of measuring the economy than gross domestic product. But the dominance of GDP—a single figure, universally understood, and widely used for almost a century—has endured. This is despite its shortcomings gauging wellbeing and other factors that are important to a nation’s economic health. Now, though, some economists have created an ambitious new measure with the potential to challenge the preeminence of GDP. This new metric doesn’t directly measure happiness or wealth or development, but calculates something else GDP neglects—free digital goods and services. These 21st-century technologies have basically broken 20th-century practices for measuring the economy. MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, along with Avinash Collis, W. Erwin Diewert, Felix Eggers and Kevin J. Fox, have developed “GDP-B”. It’s designed to capture the numerical value of the things that we don’t pay for but still have plenty of value, such as online maps, photos taken on smartphones, Wikipedia, and social media.


This Estonian start-up is a thorn in Uber’s side: NYT reports, the ride-hailing company Bolt is an unexpected success story, and an example of a troublesome global trend for Uber.

Amazon strengthens ties with French food retailer Casino: Reuters reports, Amazon and French retailer Casino are expanding their partnership, with Amazon installing pick-up lockers in Casino stores and making more of the French company’s products available on Amazon.

Last April I predicted that Amazon would buy a French retailer.

Luckin Coffee has filed to list publicly in the US as the loss-making company battles to dethrone Starbucks in China.


Beyday: HBO had been courting Beyoncé in an attempt to air Homecoming, a behind-the-scenes look at her Coachella performance. Then, Netflix made a counteroffer so large that HBO — which has spent decades cultivating a reputation as a distributor with staggering coffers — balked and had to pull out. We now have that number: Variety reports Netflix inked a $60 million deal with Beyoncé for three projects, meaning that Homecoming sold for $20 million. It’s good to be the queen.

The mystery of business casual: No one knows what shoes to wear to work. Silicon Valley has an answer.

In defense of disorder: Humans love laws and seek predictability. But like our Universe, which thrives on entropy, we need disorder to flourish.

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.