July 11, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
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Sir Kim Darroch, UK Navy, Hayabusa2, " Social Media Summit", Electric Mini Cooper, Home Runs
✔️ Will Boris Johnson’s bluster over a no-deal Brexit collide with reality?
✔️ Family dinner is now a battle over carbohydrates
✔️ Chernobyl nuclear site to become 'official tourist attraction
✔️ Trump to take executive action on 2020 Census
✔️ Bentley’s car of the future is so luxurious, It’s self-chauffeured
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A specially strained relationship: The Economist reports, Britain humbled after Donald Trump pushes out its ambassador. The Brexiteers’ promise of Global Britain looks forlorn.
Sir Kim Darroch: UK Ambassador planned to cling on but TV debate proved final straw.
It is hardly surprising Britain’s ambassador in Washington, called Trump’s administration “dysfunctional”: The Economist reports, but the leak of his secret cables delivered a shock nonetheless. Boris Johnson, debating with Jeremy Hunt over who will become the next prime minister, refused to promise to keep Sir Kim in his job. Unable to operate effectively in such circumstances, Sir Kim quit. Britain must now face some hard truths. Someone in its foreign service is violating diplomatic secrecy, presumably for political advantage. And tricky dealings elsewhere—on China and Iran, for example—have not been made easier by souring relations with its best heavyweight friends, Europe and America. Brexiteers promised Britons they would “take back control”. What they now control is an increasingly isolated and embarrassed country.
The Times: May told to keep out of talks on new US ambassador
Gerard Baker: Our ambassadors should be more partisan: Now that Brexit has blown apart the myth of civil service neutrality we should look to the American diplomatic model.
Will Boris Johnson’s bluster over a no-deal Brexit collide with reality? The frontrunner to be UK prime minister is determined to leave the EU even without a deal on October 31. But his promise could come back to haunt him. https://on.ft.com/2NXgFq2
UK Navy thwarts Iranian attempt to block BP tanker: WSJ reports, a British warship trained its guns on three Iranian vessels that tried to block the passage of a U.K.-flagged oil tanker through the Persian Gulf, a confrontation that comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
FT: UK warship stops Iranian attempt to ‘impede’ BP tanker
British government says three boats tried to block journey in Strait of Hormuz.
Reuters: French industry posts biggest monthly output jump since late 2016
Macron’s plan to get French youth onto the factory floor: Bloomberg reports, French Fab ambassadors are touring the country to inspire young people to work in industrial jobs.
Américains de la taxe numérique, traiter avec elle: France’s legislature gave final approval to a new tax on large tech companies, shrugging off the threat posed by a new U.S. trade probe into whether the measure discriminates against American firms.
France passes law taxing internet giants: DW reports, the French Senate endorsed the so-called GAFA act which would target Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and other major tech companies with a 3% percent tax. It's the first time a major nation has passed such a bill.
US to investigate French plan for tax on tech companies: FT reports, move by Trump administration comes as officials consider imposing retaliatory tariffs.
Bloomberg: Italy’s population will halve by 2100 without immigration
Italy's European Trump: Buzzfeed News obtained what it calls a recording of a close aide of Matteo Salvini, Italy’s right-wing deputy prime minister, discussing covert financial support worth millions from Russians purportedly close to the Kremlin—illegal under Italian law. The Russians called Salvini the “European Trump”. It is unclear whether the money said to have been discussed ever came.
Chernobyl nuclear site to become 'official tourist attraction': BBC reports, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on Wednesday that set out plans for new walking trails and enhanced mobile phone reception. "Chernobyl has been a negative part of Ukraine's brand," Zelensky said. "The time has come to change this." A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station exploded in April 1986.
Don't worry, Brigadoon Chernobyl is in the works.
Tony Barber: Europe must learn to expect the unexpected: Increasing political fragmentation makes coherent EU policymaking even harder.
Saudi Arabia is planning this year to loosen restrictions on women’s ability to travel without a male guardian’s permission.
Xi makes waves in South China Sea ahead of summer conclave: Nikkei reports, a 'missile test' around time of G-20 shows posturing to elders going to Beidaihe.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen: She arrives in the US today for a two-night stopover in New York. The Economist reports, strong support for Taiwan in Congress and among some Trump aides explains why Tsai is this month spending an unusual four nights in America, either side of visits to small Caribbean nations that recognise Taiwan diplomatically—and why the Pentagon this week announced $2bn in arms sales to Taiwan, to deter Chinese attacks.
Richard Heydarian: China's maritime aggression should strengthen US-Philippine alliance: Washington must stand up for Manila, despite Duterte's overtures to Beijing.
Venezuela: The Economist reports, since Monday, representatives of Nicolás Maduro’s regime have been in secret talks with a delegation from the Venezuelan opposition in Barbados. They are attempting to find a solution to the political deadlock that has gripped the country for the last six months. The talks, which are mediated by Norway, are likely to be dominated by questions over the timing and framing of new presidential elections: namely whether President Maduro, widely accused of having rigged last year’s poll, would stand down in advance of any vote
@kaylatausche: SCOOP: White House plans to send #USMCA to Congress after Sept. 1, setting up vote on the deal before the end of the calendar year, per a senior admin official and senior GOP aide.
Family dinner is now a battle over carbohydrates: WSJ reports, in some homes, dinner has become a nightly tussle over carb preferences, as the popularity of low-carb eating combines with a surge of new carb-alternative products.
High-tech devices for the factory floor: NYT reports, companies like Microsoft see a multibillion-dollar opportunity to get more personal technology to workers who don’t sit behind a desk.
The trillion-dollar taboo: why it’s time to stop ignoring mental health at work: Workplace stress is costing businesses and claiming lives, so why do so many employees feel unsafe asking for help? https://on.ft.com/2NOlIcn
Mental Wellness + Performance is a discussion topic for Brigadoon Sundance 2020.
Hayabusa2: An unmanned Japanese probe, successfully landed on a distant asteroid. The explorer will collect samples and search for minerals on Ryugu, which is some 300m kilometers from Earth. It is the second time it has touched down on the giant rock, but the first time any mission has tried to collect material from below the surface of an asteroid.
Space Exploration is a discussion topic for Brigadoon Sundance 2020.
White House pushes Congress to strike budget deal amid risk of fiscal pileup: WP reports, the Trump administration was jolted by a recent report that found the Treasury Department was running out of cash much faster than expected. Action now awaits as the House speaker tends to a Democratic caucus fractured by a border vote.
Trump to take executive action on 2020 Census, citizenship: Bloomberg reports, it's the latest sign he may not be dissuaded after being rebuffed by the Supreme Court.
Fed’s Powell faces Senators after rate cut signal: WSJ reports, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify before the Senate Banking Committee after signaling to a House panel that the central bank is ready to cut interest rates later this month.
The Federal Reserve confirmed its intention to cut rates this month. The strong June payrolls report hasn't swayed the FOMC.
By appearing to buckle to Trump on rates, is the Fed chief creating problems down the road? LAT reports, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said downside risks to the economy remain with trade wars softening business investment and weak inflation.
Trump’s ‘Social Media Summit’: All the president’s memes: NYT reports, Trump is assembling a group of his most ardent online supporters for a meeting at the White House. The gathering illuminates the rising influence of digital platforms within the political establishment.
"Conspiracy theorists, far-right agitators head to White House with social media in their sights”: NBC’s Ben Collins and Monica Alba reports, “Conspiracy theorist Bill Mitchell, an online radio host and frequent guest on Infowars who has promoted the Qanon conspiracy theory, has tweeted that he will attend the event. Tim Pool, a YouTube personality who has pushed the false conspiracy theory that former [DNC] staffer Seth Rich leaked hacked emails to WikiLeaks, also plans to attend the event.”
The White House schedule lists the "Presidential Social Media Summit" as closed to press.
This is the most Team Trump comms tactic ever.
US prepares to arrest thousands of immigrant family members: NYT reports, the government plans to begin nationwide raids Sunday, moving forward with an operation backed by President Trump, officials said. The threat of deportation rattled immigrant communities, prompted backlash from politicians and stoked divisions in the Department of Homeland Security.
AFP: Major shuffle at NASA in rush to meet Trump's moon deadline
New book details how Republican leaders learned to stop worrying and love Trump: WP reports, the book depicts how many Republicans who once criticized Trump quickly changed their tune after his election.
Biden to outline foreign-policy plan: WSJ reports, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will lay out his foreign-policy vision in a Thursday speech in which he will vow to hold a summit of the world’s leading democracies during his first year in office.
The speech comes after several rocky weeks for Biden, whose advantage in polls has narrowed.
Joe Biden released a video detailing what he sees as the Trump Doctrine. Video here = http://bit.ly/32htAGx
100% this is a huge vulnerability for Team Trump = no foreign policy success and frankly only more challenges.
Reuters: Biden campaign trail speech to assail Trump's foreign policies
Reuters: Risks aside, Trump's team sees China trade stance as strength in 2020
"no deadline has been set for the process to conclude, leaving the possibility of a protracted negotiation that lasts well into next year and Trump’s re-election fight."
WP: Trump team fears new face on China trade team signals tougher stance
Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, regarded by some White House officials as a hard-liner, joins the Chinese team.
Tom Steyer’s bets on private prisons and coal mining could spell trouble in 2020: LAT reports, his history of running a hedge fund that invested in private prisons and coal mining could hurt the Democrat in his run for president.
Ah, yeah, we got a problem here.
Brigadoon Annapolis 2019 | Salon Dinner + Sailing
Topic: Thought Leader Mindset
Sailing: Liberte, The Schooner
More details + tickets - here.
Lady Gaga is entering the beauty market with Haus Laboratories, which will be the first major beauty brand to be exclusively launched on Amazon.
Amazon plans to spend $700 million to retrain a third of its US workforce.
Reckitt to pay $1.4bn in US opioid penalty settlement: FT reports, deal over addiction treatment marketing is largest fine so far in painkiller epidemic.
European startups navigate long, winding road to self-driving future: Reuters reports, far from the sunny, wide streets of Phoenix, where Waymo’s self-driving taxis ply their trade, a handful of European startups are developing driverless cars to navigate the clogged, chaotic, rain-swept roads of European cities.
Reuters: Fed chief calls for Facebook to halt Libra project until concerns addressed
BMW takes on VW and Tesla with a $36,400 Electric Mini Cooper.
Bentley’s car of the future is so luxurious, It’s self-chauffeured.
VW + Ford: The Economist reports, when the members of Volkswagen’s supervisory board meet today, they will mostly focus on the future of the German carmaker’s co-operation with Ford. The two giants agreed in January on a joint production of pickup trucks. Herbert Diess, the boss of VW, now wants to work more closely with the American firm making electric cars. The plan is for Ford to pay a fee to get access to VW’s modular platform for its battery-powered autos, which cost billions to develop. Ford announced last month that it would develop electric vehicles for Europe, but kept schtum about using the VW platform. Mr Diess will also update board members on his talks with Ford about the development of autonomous cars. The German carmaker recently ended its tie-up with Aurora, an American startup, and might invest in Argo AI, Ford’s autonomous affiliate. Such a partnership would rival General Motors’ big autonomous cars unit.
Final VW Beetle drives off Mexico factory floor: DW reports, Mexican Volkswagen staff have bid farewell to their last "New Beetle," the design that in 1997 succeeded the curvy small family car first made famous in postwar Germany.
OTD: In 1969 David Bowie released the single Space Oddity in the UK. The opening track from his second studio album was Bowie’s first to chart in the UK.
Man survives plunge over Niagara Falls waterfall: BBC reports, Niagara Falls Park Police say a man was "swept over" a waterfall, but survived the drop of roughly 188ft (57 metres) into the raging river below. The man "was observed to climb over retaining wall" around 04:00 (09:00 GMT) on Tuesday before falling over the cliff, police said on Twitter. After searching beneath the falls, police found the man "sitting on rocks" with non-life threatening injuries. The man, who police have not identified, was taken to hospital.
AFP: Federer, Nadal braced for Wimbledon epic
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal battle for a place in the Wimbledon final on Friday, 11 years after they mesmerized Centre Court in a Grand Slam championship match widely regarded as the greatest ever played.
Baseball has a home run crisis: WSJ reports, an epidemic of homers has led to longer games with less action. Now fans are pushing back.
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.
Marc A. Ross is an advisor and connector working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics. Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and thought leaders make better connections and better communications.