Monday, October 21

ByKevin Sheekey

Vaping-Related Lung Injury Cases Near 1,500, With 33 Deaths (Wall Street Journal)

Juul Suspends Online Sales of Some Flavored E-Cigarettes – Mint and Menthol Still Available (New York Times)

Michael Bloomberg was unimpressed by Juul’s announcement: “Juul knows that nearly two-thirds of high school students who use e-cigarettes now use mint or menthol flavors, which is driving Juul’s bottom line,” said Bloomberg, who has been funding a $160 million campaign to lower youth vaping.

Mike added that Juul’s announcement “is both too little and too late.” Read his statement here.


Brexit – 13 Days Away.


Turkey-Syria Update.

Outfoxing the Deal Master: Trump’s Haphazard Syria Deal Leaves Erdogan With Long-Sought Win (Bloomberg)

Ten days after President Donald Trump created the biggest foreign policy crisis of his tenure, precipitously pulling U.S. troops out of Syria and exposing allies to attack, he secured a temporary deal that handed Turkey’s president a victory he’d been seeking for years.

The terms look a lot like what Erdogan himself had proposed the day before, as Bloomberg’s Balance of Power newsletter explains.

Namely that Kurdish militants — who have been key allies for the U.S. in the fight against Islamic State — withdraw from a safe zone that Ankara wants to create in Syria. The U.S. says no further sanctions will be imposed on Turkey. And existing penalties will be removed if a permanent cease-fire takes hold.


Impeachment watch.

Analysis of the Day: Trump’s Shout It Out Loud Strategy (Axios AM – Mike Allen)

The Trump administration is testing a novel strategy for dealing with controversy and possible illegalities: Pretend you have nothing to hide by blurting it out loud.

Why it matters: President Trump and his aides and allies seem to think that by being unapologetic and admitting things that would have touched off blazing scandals just a few years ago, they can move the goalposts of what’s acceptable to Republicans and the public.

Peggy Noonan: The Impeachment Needle May Soon Move (Wall Street Journal)

Trump Organization ‘Honored’ to Host G-7 Summit at Trump Doral Resort in Miami (Washington Post)

Trump’s Doral resort — set among office parks near Miami International Airport — has been in sharp decline in recent years, according to the Trump Organization’s own records. Its net operating income fell 69 percent from 2015 to 2017; a Trump Organization representative testified last year that the reason was Trump’s damaged brand. It also recently had a bedbug infestation.

The G-7 deal also appears to signal the collapse of promises made by the president and Eric Trump, his son and the day-to-day leader of Trump’s businesses, at the start of the Trump presidency — when they pledged to create separation between the president’s private business and his new public office.

At his Mar-a-Lago Club, for instance, the government paid Trump’s company $546 per night for each staffer staying in the club’s guest rooms and $1,000 for a single night of drinking by White House aides at one of Mar-a-Lago’s bars.


Financial News.

Number of China Bond Defaults Touches Last Year’s Record (Bloomberg)

The rise in defaults come in the wake of a slowing domestic economy and policymakers’ growing acceptance that over-leveraged enterprises should be allowed to fail.

Boom: China’s Sneakerheads Chase 6,600% Returns Flipping Air Jordans (Bloomberg)

One of the hottest commodities in China right now is a pair of sneakers: The SoleFly x Air Jordan 1 in black patent leather rocketed in value by 6,600% to a high of 75,999 yuan ($10,730) on the online marketplace Nice after its release in December.


Al Smith Dinner.

James Mattis Savors Being ‘Meryl Streep’ of Generals (Bloomberg)

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis flipped an insult from his former boss on its head Thursday night, saying that having President Donald Trump call him “overrated” put him on the level of perennial Oscar nominee Meryl Streep, who Trump once labelled as “overrated.

“I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals,” Mattis said at the Al Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York, the annual fundraiser frequented by politicians on all sides of the aisle. “And frankly, that sounds pretty good to me. You do have to admit that between me and Meryl, at least we’ve had some victories.”


NYC Parks Today.

Mike Bloomberg Honored at Hudson River Park Gala for Transforming NYC Waterfront (Hudson River Park)

Flashback to 2013: New York City’s Parks Grow with Private Funds (Wall Street Journal)

New York City has seen the greatest expansion of new parks since the 1930s, thanks largely to an aggressive push by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The High Line, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Governors Island and the Hudson River Park all came to life under Mr. Bloomberg, with the idea that they would be self-sustaining instead of dependent on a steady influx of city cash. Some may stand for generations as testaments to that effort.


Best of Late Night.

On the U.S. saying Turkey had agreed to a cease-fire on the border with Syria and President Trump saying it was a “great day for civilization”:

“Yes, civilization is very happy. Centuries from now, historians will look back at the greatest achievements of all time: the development of democracy, the invention of electricity and the time Trump negotiated a really short cease-fire in a war he basically started.”
–Trevor Noah

On President Trump selecting his Doral golf resort in Miami, Florida for the 2020 meeting of the G7:

“Although the G-7 summit happens in June — there’s a good chance he might not be president anymore by then. Wouldn’t that be — [interrupted by applause] By the way, wouldn’t that be — this would be the greatest scenario: Trump has to watch President Pence chatting it up with the world leaders while he guzzles Diet Cokes in the clubhouse.”
–Jimmy Kimmel

“It really seems like there’s nothing Trump wouldn’t do to profit off the presidency. Like, I bet you he’s going to be outside his own impeachment trial just scalping tickets.”
–Trevor Noah

For more best of late night from the New York Times, click here.