Shinzo Abe

Belt and Road, Shinzo Abe, Starbucks, Maria Butina, Don Quijote, Vacation

MRD July.png

What I am watching today = April 26, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


TOP FIVE

✔️ Xi vows new direction for ‘Belt and Road’ after criticism

✔️ Does Starbucks make you smarter?

✔️ Maria Butina is not a Russian spy, but a 'spotter'

✔️ “I haven’t seen anything else quite like Don Quijote”

✔️ The new vacation perk: Celebrity encounters

ROSS RANT

21 ways to not have the right network:

1. Same backgrounds - think homophily.

2. Lack of mission statement.

3. Thinking small.

4. Too much self-reliance.

5. Same skills. Same talents. Same ideas.

6. Too provincial.

7. Limited perspective.

8. Choosing personality over purpose.

9. Reactive. 

10. Not stubborn enough.

11. Easily swayed.

12. Over-reliance on cash and class as the connection.

13. Spending not investing.

14. No reboot.

15. Too many jerks.

16. More campaign, not cause.

17. Comfortable and content.

18. Thinking the hype is real.

19. Lack of moxie.

20. Don’t do the work.

21. Many ideas, no execution.

-Marc

Marc A. Ross specializes in thought leader strategy for executives and entrepreneurs working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics. 

GLOBALIZATION

China’s Xi vows new direction for ‘Belt and Road’ after criticism: WSJ reports, China’s President Xi Jinping signaled a recalibration of his global infrastructure-building program as he sought to assuage foreign critics who blame Beijing for pushing excessive lending onto developing economies.

Xi pledges open Belt and Road but west is split on programme: FT reports, Beijing chips away at wariness over flagship infrastructure building project.

Nikkei: Xi pledges Belt and Road reboot amid rising 'debt trap' concerns

China's Belt and Road is 'green and clean,' says Xi
: DW reports, Chinese President Xi Jinping says the Belt and Road program must be "open, green and clean." Beijing wants to dispel fears that its infrastructure plans will leave countries saddled with debt and environmental damage.

UK in China: Philip Hammond, the chancellor, attends the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, along with President Putin.

China lobbies ASEAN on yuan use, cracking dollar dominance: Nikkei reports, Beijing proposes Asian currencies, including yen, be added to emergency pool.

AFP: Xi says will abolish anti-competitive subsidies to Chinese firms

China’s Xi signals approval for Trump’s trade war demands
: Bloomberg reports, Xi spent a large portion of his speech Friday addressing Chinese domestic reforms, pledging to address state subsidies, protect intellectual property rights, allow foreign investment in more sectors and avoid competitive devaluation of the yuan. All four are issues the US is addressing in trade talks with Beijing.

China's rocket start-ups develop 'shoebox' satellites: Reuters reports, China's private rocket manufacturers are racing to develop small rockets capable of sending satellites into space at affordable prices, as part of a broader Chinese dream of building commercial satellites that can offer services from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal shipments.

Geoffrey Owen: How to meet the challenge of China: Western governments should think twice before trying to keep Chinese companies out.

"Fifty-two years ago, the French journalist and politician Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber wrote a hugely successful book called Le Défi Américain (The American Challenge). In it, he warned that European industry was about to be overwhelmed by giant American companies such as General Motors and Ford. Unless urgent action was taken to create bigger European companies, Servan-Schreiber argued, Europe would became a technological vassal of the US."

Dan Wang: Why China will rival the US in high tech: Critics who say bureaucracy and rote education stifle innovation are missing the biggest factor in the mainland’s favor: its huge market. 

Anjani Trivedi: Why China can’t pull up the world: Beijing’s stimulus has been targeted and domestically focused. That means it won’t do much to boost growth elsewhere.

LAT: Trump's withdrawal from TPP trade deal is hurting U.S. exports to Japan

The White House is scrambling to undo the damage of Trump’s swift withdrawal from what would have been the world’s largest regional trade agreement.

The remaining 11 members proceeded anyway, slashing tariffs and leaving US businesses at a significant competitive disadvantage. 


Today: Donald Trump hosts Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, at the White House.

Japan’s Abe visits White House in latest bid to soothe Trump’s ego — and avoid his ire: WP reports,the Japanese leader has played a diligent inside game to mixed results but now faces a new test amid President Trump’s threats on trade.

Trump and Abe to meet as Japan and US seek trade deal: NYT reports, Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will meet today to discuss a bilateral deal that was almost unthinkable two years ago. But the United States may have to agree to some concessions.

The US is pushing to reduce its trade deficit with Japan and gain better access to the Asian nation’s agricultural market. Japan is looking for a concrete promise that it won’t be hit by possible US tariffs on auto imports.

Reuters: Japan tells US can't link monetary policy to trade: finance minister Aso

FT: Japanese government and Nissan reject Renault merger talks


Relations sink to new low after double snub to French carmaker.

Europe’s nationalists band together in bid for influence: WSJ reports, European Parliament elections next month will test the strength of an energized far-right’s views, offering a signpost to Europe’s politics in coming years. Nationalists are reaching across borders to try to build an alliance they hope can reshape the legislature.

France’s Macron vows to cut taxes, stay on pro-business course: WSJ reports, French President Emmanuel Macron promised to cut taxes in a long-awaited address that sidestepped demands for immediate measures to quell months of violent yellow-vest protests.

FT: French employees face challenge to short-hours culture

Macron wants citizens to work longer in bid to increase tax revenues.

Macron responds to yellow vest protests by promising tax cuts, more reforms: DW reports, President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to ease taxes on France's middle class, reform its civil service while also reinstating public order. His long Elysee Palace news conference follows months of yellow vest protests.

DISRUPTION

Virgin plastics: As the EU waves through the single-use plastics ban, broadly shuns fracking and pushes for decarbonization by 2050, plans for a wholesale contradiction involving INEOS and US ethane are underway in the city of Antwerp.

Roger Dooley: Does Starbucks make you smarter? One thing the coffee giant has been very smart about is preserving the powerful aroma of roasted coffee beans. Research shows that the mere smell of coffee can improve some cognitive functions. University of Toronto researchers recently published results which verified the concept that coffee cues prime the brain with an expectation of increased sharpness. Subjects from cultures where coffee drinking is common experienced higher levels of alertness and attention when primed with coffee cues than those from tea-oriented cultures.

One sign that neuromarketing has transcended its era of hype and hucksterism: Nielsen now has 16 neuro labs globally, including five in the US. One opened late last year in Cincinnati, Ohio, the heart of client country and home to Procter & Gamble, which is among the marketers that now have neuroscientists in-house.

"I think the industry is still a little bit of wild, wild west. It's still got plenty of snake oil in it," says Duane Varan, CEO of MediaScience.

POLITICS

Trump sought out loyalist to curtail special counsel — and drew Mueller’s glare: WP reports, Trump’s efforts to enlist Corey Lewandowski as a back channel were read by some legal observers as one of the clearest cases for potential obstruction of justice laid out in Robert S. Mueller III's report.

Admitted Russian agent Butina to be sentenced in US, faces deportation: Reuters reports, admitted Russian agent Maria Butina will be sentenced on Friday by a federal judge after pleading guilty in December to conspiring with a Russian official to infiltrate a gun rights group and influence U.S. conservative activists and Republicans.

USA Today: Maria Butina is not a Russian spy, but a 'spotter': DOJ revives intrigue over gun rights activist

Rolling Stone: 17 takeaways from Maria Butina’s sentencing memo
 http://bit.ly/2VvVpKE

The NRA-friendly Russian national reveals a plot to get Vladimir Putin on American cable TV.

FT: Sanders launches attack on Biden over lobbyist fundraiser event

Attendance at private function underlines ex-vice president’s urgent need for cash.

Reuters: Like Trump, Democrat Buttigieg bills himself as a turnaround expert

Bloomberg: Biden banks on Trump to help win White House in 2020


"Biden’s strategy – which his campaign said will include an emphasis on rebuilding the middle class and unifying the country – comes after more than two years of party post-mortems concluded that Hillary Clinton’s almost single-minded emphasis on Trump’s shortcomings contributed to her loss in 2016."

Offshore drilling + 2020: The Trump administration has shelved plans for a vast expansion in offshore oil and gas drilling following a court decision blocking fossil fuel activity in large swaths of the Arctic. Offshore drilling is not seen as such a swell idea in Trump must-win state Florida.

Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox: America’s future depends on the bedroom, not the border: With a historically low unemployment rate, America is running low on workers in everything from high-tech to construction, manufacturing and services as Donald Trump’s stronger immigration policies help raise wages for existing US workers, from the lowest paid to well-paid construction workers, for the first time in decades.

COMMERCE

Uber ratcheted down its target valuation to a range of about $80 billion to $90 billion.

FT: Uber to pitch IPO between $44 and $50 a share

Ride-hailing app could raise $8bn-$10bn and will sell about $500m of stock to PayPal.

Nikkei: Japan's Don Quijote exports retail 'jungles' in age of Amazon

Discounter bets on bricks-and-mortar chaos to win Asian customers.

Bloomberg: The cult Japanese retailer making billions breaking all the rules https://bloom.bg/2Vrn13v

Don Quijote is a little like a mashup of TJ Maxx, Dollar Tree, Costco, and the no-frills grocer Aldi, with a dollop of Japanese eccentricity thrown in. 

“I haven’t seen anything else quite like Don Quijote,” says Michael Causton, a retail analyst in Tokyo for Japan Consuming. “It’s chaotic, messy stores, which belie what’s behind it—a highly disciplined, extremely rigorous management philosophy.”

Retail experts have described Donki, as it’s popularly known, as a jungle, a hoarder’s paradise, even a fire hazard, with shelves so heavily packed they look as if they might fall over. But the heart of its strategy is simple: Floor staff should have near-total autonomy to decide what to sell.

The first target is Asia for Don Quijote, which sells everything from humidifiers to sex toys.


Walmart has unveiled a new “store of the future” and test grounds for emerging technologies, including AI-enabled cameras and interactive displays. The store, a working concept called the Intelligent Retail Lab — or “IRL” for short — operates out of a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, NY.

Amazon to roll out one-day shipping worldwide: FT reports, online retailer beats estimates as profits more than double in first quarter.

Starbucks plans to expand delivery service to 50 Chinese cities.

CULTURE

The new vacation perk: Celebrity encounters: WSJ reports, To let tourists come home with bragging rights, the travel industry and fundraisers are selling access to celebs, rockers, athletes and a whole host of boldfaced names.

Tim Harford: Always seek out novelty — even at home: The search for new experiences should not just be for our holidays. 


Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.

-Marc 

Shinzo Abe, Li Keqiang, Marshal Haftar, Emmanuel Macron, Bernie Sanders

MRD July.png

What I am watching today = April 8, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


TOP FIVE

✔️ Libya crisis: Fighting near Tripoli leaves 21 dead

✔️ Merkel to host May for Brexit talks

✔️ House Democratic campaign arm nears war with liberals over primary fights

✔️ Facebook, Google in crosshairs of new UK policy 

✔️ Bernie Sanders finds himself in a new role as front-runner

GLOBALIZATION

Japan's Abe to visit US, France on pre-G20 tour: AFP reports, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday plans to visit the United States, Canada and France this month before his country hosts the G20 later this year. The tour from April 22 to 29 will also include stops in Italy, Belgium and Slovakia, a foreign ministry official said.

Small US Marine presence in Taiwan could ruffle Chinese feathers: LAT reports, military personnel have staffed the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taiwan periodically since 2005, a U.S. government spokesperson said when announcing the opening date next month for a new compound.

China’s hard edge: The leader of Beijing’s Muslim crackdown gains influence: WSJ reports, Chen Quanguo, the official behind aggressive surveillance and social control in China’s restive Xinjiang region, is gaining prominence in Beijing, and his methods are spreading to other parts of the country.

China to relax residency curbs and boost infrastructure: Reuters reports, China will relax residency curbs in many of its smaller cities this year and increase infrastructure spending, the state planner said Monday, in a fresh push to boost the urban population and revive slowing economic growth. The National Development and Reform Commission said it aims to increase China’s urbanization rate by at least 1 percentage point by the end of this year.

EV subsidy cuts give Chinese automakers more reason to fret:Nikkei reports, larger-than-expected cuts to China's electric vehicle subsidies are set to hasten industry consolidation and help level the playing field for foreign competitors in the world's largest auto market.

World’s biggest inland port puts German rustbelt on China’s map: FT reports, Duisburg is the world’s largest inland port and one of Europe’s biggest transport and logistics hubs. It is also the western terminus of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s new Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative to finance and build infrastructure in more than 80 countries. “The Chinese see Duisburg and its port as their gateway to western Europe,” said Johannes Pflug, the city’s commissioner for China. “That has given it a whole new significance.”

China to 'further open' its doors to Europe, PM Li says ahead of summit: DW reports, China's Li Keqiang has attempted to quell European skepticism towards China's investment approach ahead of this week's EU-China summit. Some fear projects like the Belt and Road initiative aim to bind countries to China.

US companies accelerate lawsuits against China: Nikkei reports, A mounting string of allegations from the US paint a damning portrait of how China's advanced technology sector has rapidly grown due to corporate espionage.

Tesla, Apple, and GE among those who say secrets were stolen.

Clashes rage near Tripoli as UN ceasefire attempt fails: DW reports, at least 21 people have been killed since a Libyan general launched a blitzkrieg campaign to capture Tripoli. A United Nations attempt to secure a temporary cessation of hostilities came to no avail.

BBC: Libya crisis: Fighting near Tripoli leaves 21 dead

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for an immediate halt to the fighting and called for talks.

Despite calls for restraint, Marshal Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) is poised to seize control of Tripoli.


The Times: US military pulls out of Libya as rebels close in on Tripoli

Germany's AfD joins Italy's League innew populist coalition
: DW reports, the Alternative for Germany is forming a new alliance with Italy's League and other far-right parties after the European Parliament elections. They hope the coalition will shake up the European Union.

Salvini begins EU poll campaign with populists rally: FT reports, Italy’s League leader seeks to forge anti-migration coalition across Europe.

SNL: Theresa May (Kate McKinnon) dreams of a better life as Brexit looms on the horizon. http://bit.ly/2KhoMw3

Brexit Day is now four days away, unless or until (Michel Barnier) the EU agrees a further extension this week.

Peter Oborne: I was a strong Brexiteer. Now we must swallow our pride and think again http://bit.ly/2KeSGRl

"If we are to leave the European Union we want a sensible Brexit. There’s no chance of that just now."

"I did not foresee how one of the biggest arguments against Scottish independence – that Europe would not encourage the break-up of its member states by accepting an independent Scotland as a new member – would be lost after Brexit. I failed to understand how the EU is part of the glue which now holds us together in the United Kingdom."


Brexit-distracted Tories lose voter trust on core issues: poll: As the UK's Conservatives struggle to deliver Brexit, an exclusive poll for Politico suggests the party has lost the trust of voters on core issues. In swing seats across the country, the Tories are trailing Labour on the central issues people most care about, the new Politico-Hanbury tracker poll conducted in battleground constituencies has found. But despite the negative view of the party and its handling of Brexit, Theresa May is still seen as the stronger leader compared to her opposition counterpart Jeremy Corbyn. 

Push for Brexit deal heats up ahead of EU Summit: WSJ reports, EU leaders to weigh a request from May to further postpone Britain’s departure.

Germany's Merkel to host UK PM May for Brexit talks: DW reports, the British Prime Minister is set to ask for another extension to Brexit at an EU summit this week. Beforehand, May is scheduled to hold talks with the German chancellor before also meeting with France's Emmanuel Macron.

Emmanuel Macron ponders his de Gaulle moment with Brexit: FT reports, Britain is seeking to leave the EU at a time of its choosing, and once again finds its European destiny beholden to the calculations of a charismatic French leader — a president who sees de Gaulle as his role model. De Gaulle said No to the UK’s entry. Will French president Emmanuel Macron have a de Gaulle moment, say No to the UK leaving when it wants, and bundle the British out of the door?

France awaits results from Macron's 'Great National Debate': AFP reports, Over three months, France's "Great National Debate" has led to 10,000 local meetings, around two million online contributions and 100 hours of presidential talking. On Monday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe begins trying to make sense of it all. The debate was launched in January by President Emmanuel Macron as a response to protests by "yellow vest" demonstrators whose nation-wide revolt over living standards created the biggest crisis of his time in office.

By inviting voters to take part, Macron had twin objectives: anger could be channeled away from the streets and into town hall meetings, while he could soften his image by showing he was open to listening. 

DISRUPTION

Amazon is positioning Alexa, its artificial-intelligence assistant, to track consumers’ prescriptions and relay personal health information. 

POLITICS

Kirstjen Nielsen resigned as homeland security secretary.

House Democratic campaign arm nears war with liberals over primary fights: NYT reports, “We reject the DCCC’s attempt to hoard power, which will only serve to keep that talent pool — and Congress itself — disproportionately white and male,” María Urbina, the national political director for Indivisible, a progressive grass-roots group, said of the campaign committee. “Incumbents who engage fully with their constituents shouldn’t fear primaries and shouldn’t rely on the national institutions like the DCCC to suppress challenges before voters ever have a say.”

The federal government now directly owns more than 31% of the total US consumer debt via student loans.

Cory Booker (D-NJ) raised more than $5 million for his presidential election campaign in February and March and has more than $6.1 million in cash on hand.

Iowa Caucus = 310 days away

AP: Bernie Sanders finds himself in a new role as front-runner

"Less than two months into his second White House bid, no other declared candidate in the crowded Democratic field currently has amassed so many advantages: a $28 million war chest, a loyal and enthusiastic voter base and a set of clearly defined policy objectives."

WP: In Iowa, Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke change up their styles to win over skeptical voters

Can Kamala Harris win? The Atlantic reports, no other matchup would be as riveting—or as revealing—as Harris versus Trump. But first she has to get through the primaries.

COMMERCE

Nikkei: Huawei takes 5G fight to India and Pakistan

Region primed for $1.2 trillion tech bonanza over the next five years.

Huawei ban: The UK's GCHQ spy agency thinks Huawei's equipment should be banned from sensitive parts of the country such as Westminster in London—the nerve center of the British government and civil service. Why? The Chinese company's "shoddy" engineering practices.

Facebook is in talks to develop an underwater data cable that would encircle Africa, an effort aimed at driving down its bandwidth costs and making it easier for the social media giant to sign up more users.

Facebook, Google in crosshairs of new UK policy to control tech giants: WSJ reports, London’s proposal for new social-media regulator is one of the broadest yet in a larger movement by countries to assert control over tech giants.

UK unveils sweeping plan to penalize Facebook and Google for harmful online content: WP reports, the proposal marks a major new regulatory threat for an industry that’s long dodged responsibility for what its users say or share.

The crowd-sourced, social media swarm that is betting Tesla will crash and burn: LAT reports, Some use commercial databases to track Tesla-loaded ships from San Francisco to Europe and China. Some are experts at automotive leasing or convertible bonds. Some repost customer complaints about Tesla quality and service. One contributor, whose Twitter handle is TeslaCharts, assembles collected data to offer graphical representations of Tesla’s own reports and $TslaQ’s findings. And some do reconnaissance, posting photos and videos of Tesla storage lots, distribution centers, even the company’s Fremont assembly plant as seen from above.

Nissan Motor Co shareholders ousted Carlos Ghosn as a director on Monday, severing his last tie with the Japanese automaker he rescued from near-bankruptcy two decades ago and from which he is now accused of siphoning funds.

Jaguar Land Rover shuts its UK plants on Monday for five days over Brexit, adding to other shutdowns to leave at least half the country’s car production off-line in what could be a pivotal week for Britain’s divorce from the EU.

Grab to raise additional $2bn to accelerate Indonesia expansion: The mega funding comes as Grab rolls out an aggressive strategy to expand its bouquet of services, from transport to food delivery and payments, as it races Indonesia’s Go-Jek to become an app-for-everything in Southeast Asia, home to about 650 million people.

Japan Times: Nissan shareholders officially oust Carlos Ghosn, bringing 20-year relationship to an end

SPORT

Baylor wins NCAA Women's Basketball Championship.

NCAA Men's Basketball Championship - Line:

Texas Tech v Virginia -1.5

Virginia vs. Texas Tech: Ugliest national championship ever: WSJ reports, there will be a lot of defense. Probably more defense than you care for. And there won’t be many points—which is exactly how both Virginia and Texas Tech like it.


Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.

-Marc 

NAFTA, Communists, Shinzo Abe, Barbara Bush, Beyoncé, Manchester City

Marc Ross Daily_Forward.png

NAFTA, Communists, Shinzo Abe, Barbara Bush, Beyoncé, Manchester City

Marc Ross Daily
April 16, 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
https://goo.gl/bSQKwA

TOP FIVE

✔️ China’s Xi Jinping says he is opposed to lifelong rule

✔️ Shinzo Abe visits Trump at Mar-a-Lago this week

✔️ U.S. bans American cos from selling to China's ZTE

✔️ Beyoncé is bigger than Coachella

✔️ Manchester City clinches Premier League title

ROSS RANT

Go back to school

One of the best thought leader, low hanging fruit techniques is to get reconnected to your school - be it high school, college, or graduate. 

You need your schools.

Over the last few days, I have been down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina attending alumni weekend festivities for the Kenan-Flagler Business School. I was fortunate to be asked to speak with two marketing classes of current students on the intersection of the retail sector and public policy as well as lead a lecture on retail disruption for the alumni back on campus. You can see the decks here: retail politics and retail disruption.

Talking with students as they are about to embark on their careers is a fantastic opportunity. To answer their questions and share your experience I find to be a most wonderful exchange for all involved. Also, you need to be on your game as your audience has immediate access to the WWW to challenge your ideas in real-time, or worse, you are white noise as they tune you out, so they update their Pinterest pages.

Speaking with the alumni, be it 2017 MBA graduates not even 365 days out of college, or older students who departed the school in the 80s, 70s, and even 60s can't be beaten as a venue to present your ideas. This type of cross-generation audience fosters an exchange of experience and knowledge that is a challenge to replicate on a daily workday.

As you think about upping your thought leadership game as a means to improve your experience and knowledge, think about going back to school. Reach out to that alumni director, speak with a former teacher, or find conference taking place on campus.

The ability to share ideas, speak with students, engage alumni from decades past in a safe and friendly environment is a powerful tool that will help you expand your thought leader capabilities. 

GEOECONOMICS

NAFTA: Why the US car industry is trapped in Trump’s trade crossfire https://on.ft.com/2qAPaEW

China’s Communists rewrite the rules for foreign businesses:NYT reports, the party is strengthening its influence — often gaining direct decision-making power — over the international firms doing business in China. https://nyti.ms/2JHEZ9k

FT: China caught off guard by unpredictable Trump

Same.

China delays deal reviews as U.S. trade frictions build: WSJ reports, Qualcomm and Bain Capital are most at risk if the delays scuttle their respective deals. Putting off approvals of cross-border deals that could benefit U.S. firms is bound to further rattle policy makers in Washington as the two sides enter the next phase of high-stakes dance. “Merger reviews and decisions should be based on consistent, scientific, market-based calculations and never the politics of U.S.-China relations,” said Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the U.S.-China Business Council.

U.S. bans American companies from selling to China's ZTE: Reuters reports, the U.S. Department of Commerce is banning American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for seven years for violating the terms of a sanctions violation case.

FT: China’s Xi Jinping says he is opposed to lifelong rule

Asia’s reliance on
U.S. takes backseat to China: Bloomberg reports, Japan and China are holding their first high-level economic dialogue in almost eight years against a backdrop of trade threats from U.S. President Donald Trump. China has replaced the U.S. as the number one trading partner for most nations in Asia, even those that have military alliances with the U.S., like South Korea and Japan.

China and Japan hold first economic talks in eight years. 

LAT: Snubbed by Trump, Japanese leader returns for summitat Mar-a-Lago

Tokyo fears Trump could link security with trade at
summitwith Abe: Reuters reports, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could find his oft-touted close ties with Donald Trump sorely tested at a summit this week in which Tokyo fears the U.S. leader will to try to link vital security matters with touchy trade topics.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Trump at Mar-a-Lago on April 17-18.

Topics on the agenda:

Reconsidering TPP
Dealing with North Korea
Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs
Chinese influence


WP: Trump’s trade moves could send Germany into a recession, report warns

Air strikes on Syria will not change war’s trajectory
: FT reports, the US drew a red line, but its response runs the risk of being seen as weak.

Washington plans to impose new sanctions on Moscow today, punishing it for having helped the Syrian government use what are believed to be chemical weapons.

Friday's airstrikes, which hit three targets, were intended to keep the West from being dragged further into Syria’s seven-year war. 


AMERICAN POLITICS

Some Republicans see House Speaker race as an open field: WSJ reports, the race to succeed Paul Ryan as House speaker is an open field, some Republicans say, even as Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been hesitant to pose a direct challenge to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

A post-Trump GOP might emerge from a Ryan Underground: The immediate future, for both Trump and what is now his party, is bleak. But perhaps this upcoming time in the wilderness will enable the emergence of a new right-of-center Ryan Underground movement that helps Republicans reclaim their status as the party of ideas. LAT - Dan Schnur

NYT: Barbara Bush, seriously ill at 92, is stopping treatment

Supreme Court considers whether states should have powerto tax all online sales: WP reports, can states force retailers with a “virtual presence” to collect tax on sales?

Fintech in the US is stymied by old-fashioned regulatorshttps://on.ft.com/2HBL6vc

ENTERPRISE

WPP CEO Sorrell, contending with probe, decided to resign: WSJ reports, before stepping down, Martin Sorrell faced a choice: endure an investigation into an allegation of personal misconduct, or leave the advertising giant he founded, say people familiar with the board and Mr. Sorrell.

Volkswagen’s commercial-vehicles unit said it is considering a full takeover of Navistar.

MoviePass, the $9.95-a-month cinema subscription service, could shake up the film industry — if it survives long enough https://lat.ms/2vgxeEg

Silicon Valley venture capitalists prepare for an IPO wave: NYT reports, investors, bankers, and analysts said they expected a wave of initial public offerings to bring some of the most highly valued and recognizable start-ups to the public market over the next 18 to 24 months — and billions of dollars in returns to their executives and investors. The potential bonanza would follow years of waiting as a few dozen companies amassed valuations without precedent in the private market.

Google’s Facebook copycat moves leave it more exposed to privacy backlash: Bloomberg reports, Facebook took all the heat, but consumers are still skittish about the search giant when it comes to privacy.

Spanish luxury brands buoyed by high-end touristshttps://on.ft.com/2JQbFgP

Blackstone to embark on $4.6 billion corporate shopping spree in Japan.

Elon Musk worries that AI will create an “immortal dictator.”

Japanese convenience stores limber up in effort to spur growth https://on.ft.com/2HmPErR

TRENDS

Why glass milk bottle deliveries are back: As concern over plastic pollution rises, a pint-sized revolution is taking place on doorsteps across the UK. https://on.ft.com/2H27qB7

Nostalgia and ethos - two of the winning tactics for companies and brands to embrace in this new business environment.

Should female athletes sue the networks for equal coverage?http://bit.ly/2H75tze

How to take on ‘Big Sugar’ and win https://on.ft.com/2GZYD2C

CULTURE

RIP: R. Lee Ermey, 'Full Metal Jacket' sergeant, dies at 74

What was it like to live in Watergate? Before its name became a byword for corruption and criminality, "Watergate" meant luxury living for DC's elite. http://bit.ly/2IY08eg

How Beyoncé changed Coachella's temperature: LAT reports, the pop superstar's knockout performance signals the festival's larger effort to diversify its view.

Beyoncé is bigger than Coachella: Beyoncé set a new standard with her performance at the Coachella festival in California, according to the NYT pop music critic.

PODCAST

The Bob Lefsetz Podcast: Shirley Manson: She's the lead singer of Garbage, opens up about growing up in Scotland, religion, music, and sexuality, on this week's episode of The Bob Lefsetz Podcast.http://bit.ly/2vqZ8O7

SPORT

Manchester City clinches Premier League title.

AFP: Manchester City target Premier League dynasty

NFL draft: AP reports, Big D is about something other than Dallas. The NFL is bringing its Big D — the draft — to Jerry Jones’ palace. This draft, the first in a stadium, will pay homage in so many ways to the cliche that everything is bigger in Texas. Ever since the league decided to put the draft up for bids and move it around the country, the focus has been to make it grow even larger than the cottage industry it has become.

Most selections (12): Green Bay Packers
Dates: Apr 26, 2018 – Apr 28, 2018
First selection: Cleveland Browns