William Barr

Nicolás Maduro, Emperor Naruhito, William Barr, Robert Mueller, Caster Semenya, Urban Meyer

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What I am watching today = May 1, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ Guaido’s high-risk gamble flops as Maduro keeps grip on military

✔️ The brain makes no distinction between a broken bone and an aching heart.

✔️ Mueller complained to Barr about memo on key findings

✔️ Milken Conference trades rainbows for clouds

✔️ Caster Semenya loses appeal against IAAF testosterone rules


Brigadoon Annapolis 2019 | Salon Dinner + Sailing

Starting Thursday, September 12 please make plans to attend Brigadoon Annapolis | Salon Dinner + Sailing

Dinner will be held at Flamant on Thursday, September 12 and a morning cruise of the Chesapeake Bay will take place on Friday, September 13.

Cost per ticket is $355.00.

Secure your spot - here.


Venezuelans clash as small group of troops Joins Maduro: WSJ reports, opposition leader Juan Guaidó, flanked by a small group of heavily armed troops outside a military base, called for Venezuelans to protest to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, setting up a potential armed struggle. 

NYT: Venezuelan opposition leader steps up pressure, but Maduro holds on

Venezuela's Guaido calls for 'largest march' in history
: Reuters reports, Venezuelans were expected to take to the streets for what opposition leader Juan Guaido pledged would be the 'largest march' in the country's history, a day after he called for the military to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido’s high-risk gamble flops as Maduro keeps grip on military: Bloomberg reports, it was a ploy that from its outset was a long shot.

WSJ - Editorial: High stakes in Caracas: Either democratic forces oust the regime, or Cuba cements its hold.

Arms binge: Defense spending in Turkey has surpassed the world’s top 15 arms purchasers, a reflection of the burden on the country’s strained finances after its foray into neighboring Syria, where it fought both Islamic State and US-backed Kurdish forces. Spending on NATO’s second-largest army rose 24 percent to $19 billion in 2018. Worldwide, military spending rose 2.6 percent last year to $1.82 trillion.

Kuwait on Wednesday inaugurated one of the world's longest causeways, linking the oil-rich Gulf state's capital to an uninhabited border region set to become a major free trade hub.

Crashed F-35A fighter jet located, US says: Nikkei reports, the F-35A stealth fighter that crashed off the coast of Japan has been found, and recovery efforts are underway, a U.S. Air Force commander said Monday. 

Japan’s new emperor accends to throne: WSJ reports, Japan welcomed Emperor Naruhito to the throne with dancing and fireworks at midnight—when the new emperor’s era, known as Reiwa, began.

Japan's new empress, Empress Masako, waves as she and Emperor Naruhito leave the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

Charles Parton: The true cost of signing up with Huawei: There is nothing hysterical in doubting the wisdom of intimate contact with the CCP.

The formidably resourced Huawei propaganda machine wants to convince you that “if you don’t trade with Huawei, you don’t trade with China.”

China needs others as much as others need China.

Dragons, disrupted: Foreign suspicion is hemming in China Inc’s global rise: The Economist reports, if China wants to see more of its companies succeed abroad, it should cut them slack at home.

China, US hold 'productive' trade talks in Beijing: Reuters reports, China and the United States held "productive" trade talks in Beijing on Wednesday and will continue discussions in Washington next week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, as the two try to end their trade war.

Next week China’s Vice Premier Liu He will come to Washington for further talks.

OTD: In 1707 the English and Scottish parliaments merged after acts were passed in each house.

FT: Cameron falls short of target for $1bn China fund

Office of former UK prime minister hopes first fundraising round will be concluded soon.

UK Conservatives steer clear of Brexit ahead of elections: WSJ reports, candidates focus on local issues in a bid to counter voter exhaustion and anger that threatens Prime Minister Theresa May and her ruling party.

Therese Raphael: Jeremy Corbyn is playing a strong hand well on Brexit: The Labour Party’s contortions on Brexit are sound political strategy. The big question is whether it all holds together until the next national election.

FT: Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in jail

WikiLeaks founder convicted for breaching bail in 2012 by hiding in the Ecuadorean embassy.

Sweden grants asylum to 2 Pussy Riot activists: DW reports, two members of the Russian protest group have won an appeal on their asylum claim in Sweden. The couple said they had received death threats and feared arrest if forced to return to Moscow.

Isabelle Mateos y Lago: Both sides would suffer in a renewed EU-US trade clash: Europeans should not be complacent about the effect of uncertainty on investment.


Rejection kills: The brain makes no distinction between a broken bone and an aching heart. That’s why social exclusion needs a health warning. http://bit.ly/2XVfJTi


@JamesMLindsay: #OnThisDay in 2011 Navy Seals raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the orchestrator of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. President Obama called it "a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people."

Mueller complained to Barr about memo on key findings: WP reports, a letter from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to Attorney General William P. Barr and a subsequent phone call reveal the degree to which the men disagreed as they handled the probe of the president.

Mueller objected to Barr’s summary of report on Russia: WSJ reports, special counsel Robert Mueller said in a letter to Attorney General William Barr that Barr’s letter to Congress summarizing his office’s investigation failed to fully capture the context and substance of their probe.

As Trumps sue to block subpoenas, Democrats ponder impeachment: NYT reports, House Democrats see President Trump’s latest provocations as a dangerous abuse of power. The efforts have revived internal debate over the ultimate weapon in their arsenal: impeachment.

Trade wars hurt American farmers: US farmers’ personal income fell by the most in three years during the the first quarter of 2019 — the latest harbinger of potential political trouble for Trump stemming from losses linked to trade wars.

Democrats, Trump agree to aim for $2 trillion infrastructure package: WSJ reports, Democratic congressional leaders said President Trump agreed to aim for a $2 trillion infrastructure package, though the sides didn’t discuss how it would be paid for. 

LAT: Beto O’Rourke travels California seeking direction and his old spark

@jonallendc: Biden’s shock-and-awe campaign to the top:

* Big money
* Huge poll boost
* Hits ping off him like video-game defenders
* Quick pivot on impeachment obscures gaps with liberals
* Except Bernie, rivals won’t attack him directly

Hartford Courant: Quinnipiac Poll shows Biden with huge lead among Democrats

Biden 38%
Warren 12%
Sanders 11%
Buttigieg 10%
Harris 8%
O'Rourke 5%


Stephen Gandel: The Milken Conference trades rainbows for clouds: Markets are up. Unemployment is down. Profits aren’t a disaster. So why are attendees so glum?

Server maker Super Micro to ditch "made-in-China" parts on spy fears: Nikkei reports, Super Micro Computer, the server maker at the heart of spy chip allegations last autumn, has told suppliers to move production out of China to address US customers' concerns about cyber espionage risks, according to industry sources familiar with the matter. Despite denying allegations that its Chinese-made motherboards had been implanted with malignant chips, US customers and especially government-related clients have asked Super Micro not to supply them with motherboards made in China because of security concerns, according to one company executive. 

Huawei plans world’s first 5G TV.

FT: Marriott takes aim at Airbnb with home rental service

World’s largest hotel operator opens a new front as industry grapples with online rivals.

Ford has borrowed anti-collision technology from its cars to build a supermarket trolley that children can't crash.

FT: Beyond Meat looks to raise up to $240m in upsized IPO

Plant-based meat substitute company could be worth $1.5bn after strong investor interest.

WeWork files for IPO.

FT: Ex-Google chief Schmidt steps down from Alphabet board

Board reshuffle comes after company issues disappointing earnings report.

Bloomberg: Ford partners with Amazon to enable package deliveries to trunks

ESPN Magazine to go web-only.

CBS embraces strategy of making shows for its rivals: WSJ reports, about a quarter of CBS-produced shows this year are for other platforms, from Netflix to Disney+.


K-Pop stardom lures Japanese youth to Korea despite diplomatic chill https://buff.ly/2vunMu3

Three tonnes of rubbish collected from Everest: AFP reports, a dedicated clean-up team sent to Mount Everest has collected three tonnes of garbage in its first two weeks, officials said Wednesday, in an ambitious plan to clean the world's highest rubbish dump.


Caster Semenya loses landmark legal case against IAAF over testosterone levels: Guardian reports, the South African 800m star Caster Semenya has lost her landmark legal case against athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, in a decision that will send shockwaves through sport. It means that the 800m Olympic champion will have to take medication to reduce her testosterone if she wants to run internationally at events between 400m and a mile. The surprise verdict, which was announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after three arbitators had spent more than two months deliberating over the complex and highly contentious case, came even though Cas agreed that the IAAF’s policy was “discriminatory” to athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) such as Semenya.

Caster Semenya loses appeal against IAAF testosterone rules: DW reports, champion sprinter Caster Semenya has lost her appeal against regulations limiting testosterone levels in certain women's athletic events. The judges found the rule "discriminatory" but also said limits were necessary.

Drone Racing League teams up with Lockheed Martin on autonomous drones.

Reggie Bush might recruit Urban Meyer to end his retirement, coach at USC: SI reports, Bush said he and former teammate Matt Leinart might try to recruit Urban Meyer to end his retirement and coach at USC if head coach Clay Helton struggles in 2019.

@Brett_McMurphy: Updated @CFBPlayoff title odds via @SuperBookUSA: 

Clemson 2-1
Bama 5-2
Georgia 7-1
OhioSt 10-1
Mich, OU 14-1
LSU, Texas 25-1
ND, Wash 30-1
UF, Oregon, Neb, A&M 40-1
Auburn 60-1
Wisconsin 80-1
FSU, Iowa, Miami, MissSt, PennSt, USC, Utah, WashSt 100-1
MichSt, OkSt, TCU, VT 200-1

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


Ghana, North Korea, Robot Delivery, William Barr, Uber, Champion, ‘Drake Curse’

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What I am watching today = April 19, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ Ghana is world's fastest growing economy

✔️ Carmakers eye the moon

✔️ AG Barr will hold a presser on the Mueller report at 9:30 am ET

✔️ Daimler invests $100m in battery start-up

✔️ How the ‘Drake curse’ became a thing in sports


Business Schools = Less Math and Management. More Policy and Politics.

With an endless news cycle, a continuous flow of global trade, protectionist laws, and committed geopolitical powers, global politics and global business is being shaped from many directions and far beyond a nation’s borders and a company’s boardroom. Decisions made in Beijing now affect events in Brussels which in turn compels policy in Ottawa and then again impacting Santiago.

The ability to manage this dynamic, globalized political environment, particularly at the intersection of public policy global business, coupled with an underlying cultural phenomenon rejecting the establishment, this new environment is more challenging for business leaders and global companies.

The pace involved in addressing global business challenges has increased as well as, with the scale of the problems expanding to an ever-growing globally diverse network of stakeholders. Disenfranchised and left-behind voters around the world have spoken and demanded a greater share of the profits. The traditional capitalist ideal of being responsible solely to shareholders in under threat and business going forward will involve numerous stakeholders, including governments, media, bloggers, consumers, non-governmental organizations, investors, employees, and citizens.

For future business leaders, simply put, there are a lot more people that will hold you accountable and want a say in the process. Having a genius marketing plan and solid accounting skills won’t be enough.

The time is now for MBA programs to recognize this challenging global public affairs environment. It is critical that classes utilize case studies that explore the nexus between multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, government officials, institutions, investors, and recent elections.

World-class business leaders will need to excel with a foundation of fundamental business management skills, but they must be equally deft at grasping the intersection of history, politics, geography, culture, and economics to manage this new global business paradigm.

MBA programs must prepare future business leaders with the hard and soft skills to understand and engage global problems, comprehend economic development challenges and opportunities, and connect how these issues spread in a globally interconnected marketplace all influencing and disrupting global politics and global business like never before.



The world's fastest growing economy is located in Africa: Ghana's economic strength is expected to soar in 2019. Many other African countries lag far behind, says the IMF report. http://bit.ly/2Va0AzO

The IMF talks of a growth rate of 8.8% in its World Economic Outlook, which would make Ghana the fastest growing economy in the world in 2019. Last year, the country's economy only grew by 5.6%, putting it in sixth position.

AP: NKorea says it tested new weapon, wants Pompeo out of talks

North Korea said Thursday that it had test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon,” its first such test in nearly half a year, and demanded that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations.

430,000: Japan's population is shrinking by the equivalent of a medium-sized city each year due to a rapidly declining birth rate. The native-born Japanese population fell by 430,000 in 2018, while 161,000 migrants entered the country, partially offsetting that loss.

China and Japan inch closer for insurance against Hurricane Trump: Nikkei reports, Asia's two biggest economies accelerate diplomacy but produce few results.

Trump stirs alarm that he may be giving China a new trade weapon: Bloomberg reports, details of the US commitments and how the enforcement mechanism will operate remain scant. But Mnuchin’s comments have caused plenty of raised eyebrows from legal scholars to the business community and Congress. If the US allows China reciprocal enforcement powers, it would make China “judge, jury and executioner as to whether we have honored our obligations,’’ said Daniel Price, who served as a senior economic adviser to President George W. Bush and is now at Rock Creek Global Advisors in Washington. “I don’t think the US business community is sufficiently alert to the risk of constantly being exposed to unilateral enforcement action by China.”

US firms no longer 'positive anchor' for Beijing ties: AmCham in China: Reuters reports, Frustrated US businesses can no longer be counted on as a “positive anchor” in US-China relations, a top US business lobby said on Wednesday, arguing any deal to end trade tensions must address structural problems in China’s economic system.

"The media is getting very excited about the fact that Chinese GDP data was somewhat stronger than expected. This data is presented with all the quality and accuracy we have come to expect from China. China's GDP is not necessarily very important to the global economy – it is the integration, not the size of an economy that gives it global importance." --- UBS' Paul Donovan

US and China set tentative timeline for new trade talks: WSJ reports, the US and China have tentatively scheduled meetings as they seek to close out a trade deal, with negotiators aiming for a signing ceremony as soon as late May.

State Department approves new deal with Taiwan for F-16 training, maintenance: UPI reports, the US State Department has approved a $500 million possible contract renewal for training of Taiwanese F-16 pilots and maintenance support. 

Army secretary reveals weapons wish list for war with China and Russia: Defense One reports, US Army leaders revealed Tuesday that they are briefing top military commanders about new weapons being built specifically for “high-intensity conflict” against China and Russia, in a new effort to assure that they could provide vital firepower for those potential battlefields of the future. 

Poland and US closing in on deal to build ‘Fort Trump,’ sources say: Bloomberg reports, Poland is nearing a deal with the US to establish an American military base in the former Communist bloc country, according to people familiar with the matter -- an outpost the Poles see as a deterrent to Russian aggression and that the Kremlin would likely consider a provocation. 

Trudeau challenged: Alberta became the third major Canadian province over the past year to elect a conservative-leaning government. The trend threatens to check Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party agenda as he prepares to face the electorate later this year, trailing in the polls.

US-Canada rift widens over training for 737 MAX pilots: WSJ reports, a rift between the US and Canada is growing over how to ensure the safety of Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX planes, as Ottawa’s focus on additional pilot training could lead to a delay in getting the jet back in the air.

Bogota the new city of spies: Geopolitical crises tend to create unexpected centers of refuge and espionage: West Berlin in the Cold War, Amman, Jordan in the buildup to the conflict in Iraq. Now a shift in the world’s attention to Venezuela — which has seen the departure of US diplomats and an influx of Russian military advisers — has made neighboring Colombia's capital, Bogota, a proxy battleground thronged with mercenaries, agents and clandestine operations.

FT: Moderate Conservatives eye challenge for party leadership

Amber Rudd says it is ‘entirely possible’ she could run as One Nation candidate.

Bloomberg: Brexit delay spurs UK frenzy for summer breaks in EU

Brexit: How it came to this: How the Irish backstop emerged as May's Brexit nemesis. Ireland was streets ahead of the UK when it came to planning for Britain’s exit. http://bit.ly/2Vc8gBF

The roots of the UK’s political and constitutional crisis spread far and wide: decades of anti-EU propaganda, a Tory party civil war, a reckless Cameron gamble, a dogged, blinkered successor, a divided Labour party. And with a starring role, the backstop.

Ted: Facebook's role in Brexit - and the threat to democracy: In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK's super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters -- and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election -- Cadwalladr calls out the "gods of Silicon Valley" for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past? Watch - here


Carmakers eye the moon: The next frontier for carmakers could be the moon. China’s BAIC Group is developing joint technology with the country’s Lunar Exploration Project for lunar exploration. Toyota is also teaming up with Japan’s space agency to build a lunar rover, expecting to put it on the moon by 2029. 

The coming obsolescence of animal meat: Companies are racing to develop real chicken, fish, and beef that don’t require killing animals. Here’s what’s standing in their way. http://bit.ly/2KLdxw7
HBR: Does higher education still prepare people for jobs?http://bit.ly/2KMlW2t

'More and more students are spending more and more money on higher education, and their main goal is largely pragmatic: to boost their employability and be a valuable contributor to the economy. Even if the value attached to a university degree is beneficial to those who obtain it, companies can help change the narrative by putting less weight on “higher education” as a measure of intellectual competence and job potential, and instead, approach hiring with more open-mindedness."

French supermarket tests robot delivery: Reuters reports, Casino’s Franprix chain will test the delivery robots on the streets of Paris’s 13th arrondissement for a year. In the French capital, where Amazon has been running its Amazon Prime Now express delivery service since 2016, the speedy and convenient delivery of food has become a battleground among retailers.


Mueller report will be lightly redacted, offering detailed look at Trump’s actions: WP reports, the report is said to show that the special counsel decided he could not come to a conclusion on obstruction because it was difficult to determine the president’s intent.

Mueller Report: Attorney General William Barr will hold a press briefing on the Mueller report at 9:30 am, with Congress expected to receive the report between 11:00 am and noon.

Enjoy the ride and plan accordingly.

The White House already knows some of the details of the report.

Pelosi, Schumer call for Mueller to testify ‘as soon as possible’: WP reports, the Democratic leaders criticized Attorney General William P. Barr for his handling of the special counsel’s report.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry is planning to leave the Trump administration.

In some US counties, more than 40 percent of all arrests are for marijuana possession.

FT: Sanders leads Democrats in fundraising for 2020 race

Contenders build up war chests to challenge Trump for US presidency.

2020 defense: Twenty-two House districts represented by freshman Democrats that Trump won in 2016 are emerging as key battlegrounds for both parties, as Republicans seek to regain ground in a presidential election year and Democrats try to extend the majority they won in 2018.


Daimler invests $100m in Californian battery start-up: FT reports, the German carmaker announces move for 10 per cent stake as part of electric vehicles push.

Uber nears investment deal for self-driving car unit: WSJ reports, $1 billion investment by group including SoftBank would value division at $7.25 billion.

Some drivers for Uber in DC found it ‘unsustainable,’ study finds: WP reports, the Georgetown University study conducted in 2016 found 33 percent of drivers fell into a “debt trap” working for the ride-hailing service, taking on debt to drive, and all of them lamented its “slippery” wage.

Champion - owned by HanesBrands — hit jackpot, as the teens have bestowed their favor upon it. Last year Champion booked $1.4 billion in sales, and the company hopes to dial those up to $2 billion by 2022. Male teens consider it a top-15 brand, and Champion is worn by 9 percent of upper income boys and 5 percent of girls

Everlane jumps into the $20 billion US sneaker market: Bloomberg reports, the startup famous for environmentally conscious clothing is going after planet-friendly sneaker heads.

FT: Blackstone to ditch partnership structure and become corporation


'It's an absurd profession': the world's most infamous bouncers tell all: Guardian reports, they have a fearsome reputation for excluding eager clubbers – but as a documentary about Berlin’s doormen is released, three of them explain why their policies are ‘all about tolerance.’

See the trailer for Berlin Bouncer - here

Caroline Bullock: Flexible working for parents is great. But child-free people need it, too: The office-bound 9-5 job is an anachronism. All workers, whatever their family status, need greater control over their lives. http://bit.ly/2KUp6Bk

Selfie seaths are an epidemic: Outside reports, a recent report found that 259 people died between 2011 and 2017 while stepping in front of the camera in often dangerous destinations. Our writer went deep on the psychology of selfies to figure out what's behind our obsession with capturing extreme risk-taking.

How Paris firefighters saved Notre Dame: Decisions to focus on belfries and to dial back water pressure were key to preserving structure and artwork. https://on.wsj.com/2VfRX77

The chaplain, the cathedral fire and the race to rescue Notre-Dame’s relics: By the time the Paris Fire Department’s chaplain made his way inside Notre-Dame, flames had already consumed most of the cathedral’s roof and its spire had smashed onto the nave. “I had two priorities: to save the crown of thorns and a statue of Jesus,” Father Fournier said. https://nyti.ms/2KOcLyu

"It was a task emergency workers had prepared for. Firefighters held exercises focused on saving its treasures."

Candice Carty-Williams: 'The swag is limitless': why Beyoncé's Beychella Homecoming film is so radical: The singer’s Coachella concert documentary reveals her intimate humanity, celebrates the culture that built her, ousts stereotypes and redefines blackness. 

See the trailer for Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé - here


Cracking his whip, musher Michael Inuarak keeps his dog team in line as he prepares to take part in the annual Nunavut Quest. CBC reports, for the past few weeks, the 22-year-old Inuarak has been preparing for the Quest — a gruelling, weeklong traditional dog sled race where competitors traverse an unforgiving sea of ice and tundra. This year, the race starts in Inuarak's hometown of Pond Inlet and ends more than 300 kilometres away in Arctic Bay. Running a dog team is about family and keeping the Inuit way of life strong, Inuarak said. "My happiest moment was dog sledding with two of my other brothers and my grandfather, all at the same time," he said. "That's what I always wanted to do — run my dogs with my family." http://bit.ly/2KIUsdX

Alliance of American Football files for bankruptcy: WSJ reports, the Alliance of American Football, a professional football league that suspended operations after less than two months of competition, has filed for bankruptcy.

How the ‘Drake curse’ became a thing in sports https://lat.ms/2L24Ldp

Champions League - Final Four:

Tottenham Hotspur 

Tottenham v Ajax: 30 April + 8 May
Barcelona v Liverpool: 1 + 7 May

Ajax (NED) | UEFA ranking: 20: They dethroned champions Real Madrid, and then stopped Cristiano Ronaldo in his tracks, so what else is left to fear?

Barcelona (ESP) | UEFA ranking: 2: Messi has never had to wait more than four years between European titles – why start now?

Liverpool (ENG) | UEFA ranking: 12: Last season's runners-up have lost none of their attacking edge, but now have added steel at the back.

Tottenham (ENG) | UEFA ranking: 18:  Having eliminated both Dortmund and Manchester City, this looks to be a side primed for knockout football.

How Pep Guardiola lost control of the Champions League: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola helped set new standards for what is possible in English soccer, but his squads have failed to get anywhere in Europe. https://on.wsj.com/2V1b5Wj

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.