Binyamin Netanyahu, CBD, Theresa May, Eric Swalwell, Stephen A. Smith

MRD July.png

What I am watching today = April 9, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ US moves to impose tariffs on $11 billion of EU goods

✔️ China’s next naval target is the internet’s underwater cables

✔️ Stephen Miller's influence rising amid changes at DHS

✔️ Grab vs Go-Jek

✔️ Madonna to perform at Eurovision in Tel Aviv


Israel election: Binyamin Netanyahu on course for fifth term.

US moves to impose tariffs on $11 billion of EU goods: WSJ reports, the Trump administration moved toward imposing tariffs on about $11 billion in imports from the European Union, saying the move was justified by the bloc’s subsidies for European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

FT: US weighs $11bn in tariffs against EU over Airbus aid

Move would represent significant escalation of transatlantic trade tensions.

US plans $11bn tariffs on European aircraft, wine and cheese: The Times reports, the United States is planning $11 billion of tariffs on goods from the European Union — including aircraft, aircraft parts, motorcycles, cheese and wine — to counter the harm that it claims has been caused to Boeing by its subsidies for Airbus. The US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, said that the case had been in litigation at the World Trade Organisation for 14 years and that “the time has come for action.”

Reuters: Potential US auto tariffs would hurt Germany, Japan, Korea: Moody's

“Auto trade restrictions would cause a broader hit to business and consumer confidence globally in an already slowing global economy,” Moody’s Associate Managing Director Elena Duggar wrote.

The EU and China rescue a plan to present united front to Trump: Bloomberg reports, the European Union and China managed to agree on a joint statement for Tuesday’s summit in Brussels, papering over divisions on trade in a bid to present a common front to U.S. President Donald Trump, EU officials said. Diplomats reached an eleventh-hour accord on a draft communique after China made concessions on wording about industrial subsidies that removed a European veto threat, said one of the officials, who asked not to be identified by name. EU Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang are due to attend the gathering in the Belgian capital.

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.

Lionel Laurent: Trump's trade spat with China squeezes Europe: Brussels needs to strike an awkward balance to defend its own interests as protectionist bullets fly.

Chinese woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago had cache of electronics: WSJ reports, a Chinese woman arrested for entering President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago without authorization had $8,000 in U.S. and Chinese currency and a cache of electronic devices in her room, a prosecutor said.

China uses its clout to deflect criticism of Muslim camps: NYT reports, in the Muslim world, and in Washington and Europe, Beijing’s economic power deters action over criticism that it has detained members of ethnic minorities.

Pacific islands: A new arena of rivalry between China and the US: Beijing is making its presence felt in a region that the US navy considers strategically vital.

"The region’s vast maritime expanses have long been controlled by the US Navy, whose base in Guam is central to its ability to project power in the western Pacific. China, however, is now making its presence felt. Beijing is attracting countries with promises to boost their development, but which might also enrich local politicians and raise fears of new colonial-style domination. In western capitals, China’s Pacific push has raised concerns that Beijing has military designs on the region."

GPS data reveal secretive Chinese research vessels crossing Pacific (video): The FT's Kathrin Hille examines the Chinese oceanographic research vessels appearing between the Philippines and Hawaii based on data from and explains how Beijing is expanding its maritime influence in the Pacific.

James Stavridis: China’s next naval target is the internet’s underwater cables: Worried about Huawei’s 5G? Wait till it gets into the game for 95 percent of all data and voice traffic.

China wants to ban bitcoin mining: Reuters, China’s state planner wants to eliminate bitcoin mining in the country, according to a draft list of industrial activities the agency is seeking to stop in a sign of growing government pressure on the cryptocurrency sector.

Joseph Nye: Does China have feet of clay? No one knows what China’s future holds, and there is a long history of faulty predictions of systemic collapse or stagnation. Neither outcome is likely, though the country is facing several challenges that are far more serious than many observers seem to think.

Asia's worst aging fears begin to come true: Nikkei reports, policymakers in South Korea, China, and Japan stare into demographic abyss.

EU demands ‘real plan’ from May for Brexit delay: FT reports, Europe ministers indicate willingness to postpone British exit at Luxembourg meeting.

May offered one last chance to save Brexit deal: The Times, Theresa May will have one last opportunity to pass her deal according to Europe’s chief negotiator as she heads to Paris and Berlin for talks. Michel Barnier said this morning that the EU is willing to give the UK a final opportunity to pass her deal so long as Mrs May indicates a way forward at tomorrow evening’s emergency summit. 

UK PM Theresa May travels to Europe with Brexit extension plea: DW reports, Theresa May is meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and then with French President Emmanuel Macron to try and convince them to give her more time for Brexit. The UK Parliament has overridden her political power at home.

Robert Shrimsley: Conservatives will pay a heavy price for weaponizing Brexit: Letting hardliners frame the debate has exposed the UK to division and humiliation.

Rachel Sylvester: Broken Britain will turn to radical parties: While Farage is trying to exploit this political impasse, the ground is even more fertile for Remainers of Change UK.

Sarah O'Connor: Britain’s fragile seaside towns lay bare a dysfunctional economy: We export problems to the places least able to cope, then expect them to be resilient.


Walmart is rolling out the robots: WSJ reports, retailer to expand use of machines to scan shelves and scrub floors as it seeks to keep labor costs down.

Droids > Drones

In New York, confusion reigns in the emerging CBD edibles business: Reuters reports, the New York City crackdown highlights the inconsistencies that have emerged in federal, state and local rules governing CBD, bewildering the small but growing number of businesses selling edibles in New York and other states.


The Hill: Stephen Miller's influence rising amid changes at DHS

Trump aide Stephen Miller ‘going to clean house’ as immigration policy hardens: LAT reports, the president has vowed to take an even 'tougher' approach on immigration and border security policy with help of Miller.

Trump’s DHS purge floors Republicans: Politico reports, even GOP allies of the president are distressed by the chaos unleashed on federal immigration policy.

Ross Douthat: Trump’s immigration crisis: Behind the flailing lies a potential disaster for immigration hawks.

"For every conservative faction, supporting Trump was a gamble — do you reach for short-term victory, even though his incompetence and unfitness might cost you in the long run? The danger for immigration hawks is that the long run has already arrived."

Politico: ‘I would have preferred not to have been ejected like an Austin Powers villain’

From Nielsen to Mattis to Mooch, an optics-obsessed president narrates exits.

Kirstjen Nielsen got a 21-word tweet. Linda McMahon got a 13-minute lovefest.

Trump often blindsides his own aides, announcing major departures on his own timeline.

Biden leans into Obama identification: The Hill reports, former Vice President Joe Biden is labeling himself an “Obama-Biden Democrat” as he seeks to straddle a line to appeal to centrists and progressives in the Democratic Party. Biden’s strategy is intended to strengthen his appeal to white working-class men — who largely fled the Democratic Party in support of President Trump in 2016 — while keeping him relevant with an Obama coalition of women, minority and younger voters.

Biden support stays solid in early states: Politico reports, party leaders don’t expect lasting damage from the controversy over physical touching. But they want the former veep to stop joking about it.

Eric Swalwell (D-CA) announces a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign. The Representative is a long-shot a fourh tier candidate.

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) raised about $5 million since starting the Democratic presidential campaign earlier this year.

Midwest mayor gives Democrats hopes for White House: FT reports, Pete Buttigieg’s centrist policies, and personal history have boosted presidential ambitions.

Dems 2020 Candidates: Declared candidates + Exploratory committees:

Tier 1:

Kamala Harris (D)
Bernie Sanders (D)
Beto O'Rourke (D)

Tier 2:

John Hickenlooper (D)
Elizabeth Warren (D)
Amy Klobuchar (D)

Tier 3: 

Julian Castro (D)
Pete Buttigieg (D)
Cory Booker (D)

Tier 4:

Jay Inslee (D)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
John Delaney (D)
Tulsi Gabbard (D)
Andrew Yang (D)
Marianne Williamson (D)
Tim Ryan (D)
Eric Swalwell (D)
Wayne Messam (D) 


Audi’s new campaign tries to debunk electric vehicle misperceptions: AdAge reports, Audi and other big automakers are trying to take a bite out of Tesla's EV dominance.

Amazon's next move: Become a shipping and logistics provider for retailers, competing directly with third-party shipping companies.

In Amazon’s home city, some see an economic godsend, others a self-serving behemoth: WP reports, the online giant’s mixed reputation in Seattle offers a glimpse of what the Washington, D.C., region can expect when its new headquarters open there.

Grab vs Go-Jek: Duel of digital 'decacorns' escalates in Indonesia: Nikkei reports, $10bn ride-hailers' battle for food orders and e-payments threatens to leave both bruised.


Working by Robert Caro — how to get to the root of political power: A collection of work from the Lyndon Johnson biographer about how he works and what drives him.

Madonna to perform at Eurovision in Tel Aviv for million-dollar fee: DW reports, Madonna will put on a guest performance at the final of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Israel. The US pop superstar is reportedly getting paid $1.5 million for the gig.


Basic beginnings to global exposure: Formula One reaches 1000 races: AFP reports, From the first race at a converted World War II airbase in rural England to this weekend's 1,000th grand prix at the $240 million international circuit in Shanghai, Formula One has come a long way since it all began in 1950. Silverstone held the first race 69 years ago and the British Grand Prix has remained, with the Italian GP, the only ever-present races on the calendar. In 70 seasons, Formula One has visited 32 countries across five continents and a street circuit in Vietnam will be the newest addition next year. Formula One's organization was bought for $8 billion in 2017 by US media giant Liberty Media and is now listed on Wall Street -- a long way from the early days when tire and oil companies supplied their products for free in return for having their logos on drivers' overalls.

How Stephen A. Smith went from visionary pundit to ESPN's $10m hot-take machine: Guardian reports, the broadcaster’s shouter-in-chief is about to become the richest man in sports media after nearly washing out chasing a vision that was ahead of its time.

Champions League - Quarterfinals:

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City @ 3:00 pm ET
Liverpool v Porto @ 3:00 pm ET

Ajax v Juventus - Wednesday @ 3:00 pm ET
Barcelona v Manchester United - Wednesday @ 3:00 pm ET

The first legs will be played on 9 and 10 April, and the second legs will be played on 16 and 17 April 2019.

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


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

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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


✔️ 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


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.

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

"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. 


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


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.


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


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.


Who is in?

Brigadoon Remote.png

Think of four days where you can work remotely at a country estate.

Spend the day as you want.

Work on your book.

Plot future ideas.




Read by a fire.

Go for a hike in the woods.

And finish the day with gourmet evening dinners with fellow participants where the topic of conversation is business development, entrepreneurship, performance, and creativity.

Who is in?

Julian Assange, Donald Tusk, NATO, Plastic, Alcohol, Juventus

MRD July.png

What I am watching today = April 5, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ Has Russia infiltrated the German Parliament?

✔️ UK’s May requests further Brexit delay

✔️ Vast majority of Canadians are concerned about plastic waste

✔️ Adm. Bill Moran: It’s time to make data strategic for our Navy

✔️ Juventus poised to win eighth straight Serie A title


BBC: Has Russia infiltrated the German Parliament?

Must watch = BBC's Newsnight on how Russia supports confusion and chaos in the West via elections.

China also employs similar entrepreneurial spycraft tactics - think the recent Mar a Lago operation.

Julian Assange to be kicked out of Ecuadorian embassy: WikiLeaks: DW reports, WikiLeaks said its founder will be expelled from Ecuador's London embassy within "hours to days." The non-profit said the INA papers scandal, which has implicated Ecuador's president, was the pretext for the expulsion.

Days to Brexit (current) deadline: 7

The EU increasingly sees a long Brexit delay as the most likely outcome of an emergency leaders’ summit next week, even though it’s neither side’s preference.

UK’s May requests further Brexit delay: WSJ reports, the British government requested an additional delay to Brexit until June 30 to buy more time to get a divorce deal through parliament, as the EU debated its own timetable for the UK’s departure.

FT: May seeks to delay Brexit until end of June

The request comes as Donald Tusk offers to postpone UK departure by up to 1 year.

On the quiet, UK prepares for 'zombie' European polls: AFP reports, the prospect of Britain holding European elections would have been unthinkable just weeks ago but with the Brexit timetable now uncertain, the country is reluctantly planning for a possible campaign. Village halls and schools across the country are being booked as polling centers, and orders placed with specialist stationers for tens of millions of ballots in case the May 23 vote goes ahead.

Britain to take part in European Parliament elections, signaling a significant delay to Brexit: WP reports, the move satisfies a key demand from the European Union, which has said Britain cannot remain in the bloc beyond May 22 if it did not hold the elections.

French benefit: France is already reaping some Brexit benefits, with the number of British investment projects on French soil rising 33 percent in 2018.

France hosts wary G7 in shadow of Trump snub, Brexit and yellow vests: Reuters reports, France offered a wary welcome to foreign ministers from the Group of Seven on Friday for a meeting overshadowed by a snub from Donald Trump’s U.S. administration, a meltdown in Britain over Brexit and months of anti-government protests at home.

Miami Herald: Feds are investigating possible Chinese spying at Mar-a-Lago and Cindy Yang, sources say

"The consulate and China’s Embassy in Washington, DC, did not respond to questions about who Zhang is and whether she works for China’s government."

Trump says US-China trade deal close, but no summit plans yet: WSJ reports, Trump says ‘this is an epic deal, historic—if it happens,’ but Trade Representative Lighthizer says major issues remain.

NYT: ‘Epic’ China trade deal near completion, Trump says, but haggling continues

EPIC = Hilarious

Bloomberg: China hails 'new consensus’ on trade as Trump talks up unfinished deal

US and China delay possible trade deal: FT reports, Trump says an agreement will be reached within 4 weeks as toughest issues resolved.

Reuters: Biotech crops among sticking points in US-China trade deal: sources

Think bioTECH.

"There seem to be two main sticking points holding up completion of the deal. One, China wants the Trump administration to immediately lift tariffs on Chinese-made products, while the Trump team wants to see China taking steps to demonstrate good faith before it relieves the pressure. Two, the two sides can't agree on a mechanism by which US officials can verify that China is keeping its new promises over time." -- Signal, GZERO Media

A victory for Trump: Companies are rethinking China: Keith Bradsher at the NYT reports, the trade war between the United States and China is nearing a possible truce. But global companies are nevertheless moving to reduce their dependence on Chinese factories to make goods.

Jenny Leonard: Don’t count on US-China trade relations warming up anytime soon: Despite positive messages from both sides, hopes are fading that they can find mutually beneficial policies.

EU-China summit preparations stumble over trade, human rights: Reuters, tensions over trade, investments and minority rights may prevent China and the EU from agreeing a joint declaration at a summit next week, four diplomats in Brussels said on Friday, sapping a European push for greater access to Chinese markets.

Peter Martin and Alan Crawford: China’s influence digs deep into Europe’s political landscape: China has an array of advocates of all political persuasions across Europe.

First it was money. Then it was food and electricity. Now, Venezuelans are struggling to find water. WP reports, for millions of people in this oil-rich nation, the breakdown of basic services has reduced life to a daily struggle to secure fundamental needs — and as shortages spread, many say, it’s getting harder.

US to Europe on NATO: Washington is more than Donald Trump: DW reports, NATO's unresolved long-term issues won't go away. But on its 70th anniversary event in the US capital, the trans-Atlantic alliance at least received the timely affirmation that broader Washington is behind it.


Wrapped in plastic is not fantastic, Canadians say: CBC reports, the vast majority of Canadians are concerned about plastic waste, believe individuals and businesses have a responsibility to reduce it and feel strongly that not enough is being done by government to address the issue, a new poll suggests

"Right now, just 11 percent of plastic used in Canada is recycled. The polling suggests that about three-quarters of Canadians accept that it's their responsibility to reduce plastic, but less than half said they knew of places they could shop for products with little plastic packaging."

Google scraps ethics council for artificial intelligence: FT reports, Google's AI ethics board has bitten the dust just one week after its formation. It was a chaotic few days, with thousands of Googlers and others decrying its inclusion of drone company chief Dyen Gibbens and Kay Coles James, head of the right-wing Heritage Foundation. One of the key AI ethics problems is to do with algorithmic bias, and James is an opponent of LGBTQ rights, so people thought she was a pretty terrible fit for the role. One board member resigned and others squirmed, and eventually, Google pulled the plug.

Bloomberg: Americans drank less alcohol in 2018 for the third straight year

1. Americans are drinking less.

2. When they do drink, it's higher-end stuff.

3. And they want to try something lower-cal (but refreshing).

Average price of brand-name drugs more than 18 times higher than generics: A new report on changes in generic drug pricing from AARP’s Public Policy Institute finds that brand-name drugs in 2017 were, on average, more than 18 times the price of their generic counterparts. The average annual cost for a generic drug taken regularly was $365, but the price for the brand-name equivalent was close to $6,800. 


Potentially damaging information in Mueller report starts political fight: WP reports, Attorney General William P. Barr is facing more pressure to release the full report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III amid revelations that members of the Russia probe team are frustrated with the limited information that Barr has released so far.

Trump intends to nominate former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve’s board.

Today: Trump goes to California to see a newly built section of the wall along the border with Mexico.

Where Rudy Giuliani’s money comes from: Bloomberg reports, while he represents the president for free, he travels the world consulting, giving speeches, and building his brand.

Adm. Bill Moran: It’s time to make data strategic for our Navy: Our military is in a high-stakes race to harness the power of data, a revolution that may make previous leaps in military technology — think radar, nuclear power, or space — seem trifling in comparison. To fully seize these opportunities before our adversaries do, we need to look less at the technologies we covet and more in the mirror about our own data structures and culture. 


The Blitzscaling basics: In their new book, Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh explain why it often makes sense to prioritize growth over efficiency.

LAX expansion plans call for a new terminal east of Sepulveda Boulevard: LAT reports, the new and expanded terminals should open before Los Angeles hosts the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, Los Angeles World Airports spokesman Heath Montgomery said. More precise timing and a cost estimate will be determined during a future environmental analysis, he said.

Matthew A. Winkler: Los Angeles is having a loud economic boom: From home values to share prices, its expansion is outpacing big-city peers under a business-friendly Democratic mayor.

The US average home price hit a record high of $300K (that's thanks to a surge in houses above $750K).

AFP: Facebook to block foreign ads for Australia election

European Commission finds German automakers illegally colluded on emissions technology
: DW reports, German car giants VW, Daimler, and BMW colluded to restrict the development of technology to clean emissions from passenger cars, the European Commission said in preliminary findings from its antitrust probe.

Snap announced a new ad-supported gaming platform at its Partner Summit, following recent moves into the market by other tech companies. However, the company's business model - called Snap Games - stands in contrast to Apple's, which will be based on a subscription.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's annual letter to shareholders muses on cybersecurity, capitalism, and recessions.

Elon Musk visited court after ignoring an SEC order for Tesla lawyers to screen his tweets pre-tweet (the judge gave him 2 weeks to agree to a settlement with the SEC).

Lenny Rachitsky: What seven years at Airbnb taught me about building a company

Amazon reportedly working on Alexa earbuds to take on Apple’s AirPods.


Passport control: A record 93 million US citizens traveled outside the country in 2018.

Hemp clothing is happening, and no, it won’t get you high: WSJ reports, once sullied by its associations with seedy drug culture, the irreproachable hemp plant is gaining ground in summer fabrics that rival wrinkly linen.

At Cosmopolitan Magazine, data is the new sex: NYT reports, Jessica Pels, the editor, is trying to save the magazine from the jaws of Instagram.

Robert A. Caro on the means and ends of power.


Is Canada a city-state of Toronto? Canada's population spread:


Final Four Odds:

Texas Tech v Michigan State -2.5

Auburn v Virginia -5.5

Doc's Morning Line: Move the 3-point line back in college basketball, NCAA Tournament

From a loyal reader in Cincinnati, Ohio. Go Blue!

Bloomberg: Nike nabs Naomi Osaka from Adidas in surprise endorsement deal

Tottenham Hotspur scores football’s biggest profit: FT reports, Tottenham Hotspur has reported the largest annual profit of any football club in history, providing a welcome financial boost as the English Premier League side settles into a new stadium that cost more than £1bn to construct. Pre-tax profits in the year to June 30 2018, were £138.9m, up from £51.7m a year earlier and beating the previous record of £125m made by Liverpool last season. The north London team achieved £380.7m in revenues over the twelve months, a period that covers last season, up from £309.7m a year earlier.

Juventus poised to win eighth straight Serie A title in record time.

Plans to keep smaller clubs out of Champions League: It is believed that The European Club Association (ECA) will push UEFA to make 'radical' changes to the competition after 2024. ECA want to revamp the format of the competition, which is now eight groups of four teams, to four groups of eight teams. That would mean 14 group games would be played instead of six for each team, which will include a promotion and relegation system. The 24 teams who qualify from these groups would automatically qualify for the next season's competition, meaning other clubs would have to fight for the remaining eight spots. There are also fears that UEFA will bow to the demands of their biggest clubs, including staging matches on weekends.

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.