President Donald Trump is seen with General Joseph Dunford, the top US military officer, and Mark T. Esper, acting defence secretary, during the “Salute to America” rally in Washington, 4 July 2019. Photo: White House/Andrea Hanks
British MEP compares Brexit to “the peasantry” rebelling “against the feudal barons”. Plus: German carmakers strike R&D deal and some cool cocktails. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Military showcased in Trump’s July 4th event
Donald Trump presided over a military-themed Independence Day rally, which including flyovers of military aircraft and a display of tanks. In his 47 minute speech, Trump praised the US armed forces and promised “very soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars”. Critics accused Trump of politicising what had traditionally been a non-partisan holiday. Sources: BBC, Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, The Guardian and Reuters.
Tanker headed for Syria detained by UK
British forces seized an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar suspected of carrying oil from Iran to Syria, in violation of EU and US sanctions. Tehran called it “illegal and unacceptable” and summoned the UK ambassador. Sources: BBC, Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, The Guardian and Reuters.
BMW & Daimler to cooperate on self-driving research
The German carmakers BMW and Daimler formed a strategic partnership to develop automated driving technologies. Sources: CNBC, Reuters and Techcrunch.
Economic slowdown leaving mark on German labour market
The number of Germans in short-time working schemes has risen sharply over the past year. Sources: Deutsche Welle and Reuters.
Redundancies at Woodford expected
Woodford Investment Management plans to cut staff following an exodus of investors and suspension of its flagship fund. Sources: BBC, Citywire and Telegraph.
Amazon’s taxes enter US presidential campaign
Several Democratic party candidates for US president have questioned Amazon’s US tax bill, reported The Verge. Although details are private, the news site said that Amazon’s 2018 US tax liability “was negative $129 million, a net tax benefit for the company, levied against $11 billion in profits.” Amazon stated: “We pay every penny we owe in corporate taxes including $2.6 billion over the past three years”.
Who will replace Lagarde at IMF?
The race to succeed Christine Lagarde as head of the IMF is on. Among the top contenders are Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, and Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO, according to the Financial Times. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, head of Singapore’s central bank, and Mohamed El-Erian, former CEO of the asset manager Pimco, are also on the shortlist, said the New York Times. The Guardian panned the chances of George Osbourne, a former British chancellor.
Saturday 6 July, 10:30am:Korogocho Run and charity football match for teens. Tuesday 9 July, 6:30pm: The Delano Live “Lëtz get Quizzical” game show in Clausen (deadline to enter for free tickets is today at 2pm). Wednesday 10 July, 8pm: Canadian punk group Metz play Rotondes (deadline to enter for free tickets is today at 3pm).
Here are 5 science & technology stories you may have missed
Research & development: A small number of Silicon Valley technologists and investors want to reverse engineer UFOs, whether or not they’re real, according to Vice. Archaeology: In her book “Archaeology from Space”, reviewed by Nature, Sarah Parcak describes how satellite imagery has transformed archeology. Automation: A study estimated that “each new industrial robot wipes out 1.6 manufacturing jobs” but that “productivity benefits from automation should boost growth, meaning as many jobs are created as lost”, according to the BBC. IT infrastructure: Drawn by lower cooling costs, data centre construction is booming in Iceland, but the country is facing its upper limits of producing green energy and undersea internet connections, per MIT Technology Review. Efficiencies: A study (by a software vendor) suggests that staff in hot desk offices spend two weeks a year looking for a place to work, per The Register.
Refreshing cocktail tips
GQ has “The drinks bartenders serve when it’s way too hot out”.