Thursday, January 3

ByKevin Sheekey

Billion-Dollar Gifts by Bezos and Bloomberg Top List of Biggest Donations in 2018 (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
It was a healthy year for big gifts in 2018, with two donations hitting or exceeding the $1 billion mark. Those gifts came from two of America’s wealthiest entrepreneurs — Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and Michael Bloomberg, who founded his financial-news business, Bloomberg L.P. Both gifts sought to benefit people in need.

Bezos’s and Bloomberg’s billion-dollar gifts were followed by a $375 million donation from Bloomberg through his Bloomberg Philanthropies for two new programs, American Talent Initiative and CollegePoint, established to improve education by preparing U.S. students to enter college or the work force.

New U.S. Congress:
Nancy Pelosi, Icon of Female Power, Will Reclaim Role as Speaker and Seal a Place in History (New York Times)
Pelosi’s Ascent to Kick Off New Era of Confrontation With Trump (Bloomberg)
Trump Sees Leverage Dwindle as Shutdown Pushes Toward Third Week (Bloomberg)

2020 Watch: The Six Benefits of a Big Democratic Primary Field (Washington Post OpEd – Jennifer Rubin)

Economy Watch:
U.S. Jobless Claims Hit Four-Week High Amid Federal Shutdown (Bloomberg)
Trump Took Credit for Stock Market Records. Does He Deserve Blame for the Plunge? (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Apple Cuts Outlook as Chinese Slowdown Hits iPhone Demand (Bloomberg)
Read CEO Tim Cook’s letter to investors here.

See Also: Trump’s Trade War Advantage Slips as Apple Cites China Slowdown (Bloomberg)

“We Did Not Come To Play”: Politics’ New Power Players Are Ready For a Fight (Vanity Fair)
Wall Street can hardly contain its excitement over a potential President Bloomberg. “Oh, I’d vote for Michael in a heartbeat,” said Christopher Whalen, the founder of Whalen Global Advisors. “Can’t think of anybody else I’d rather see win frankly,” added a senior banker. Bloomberg, the thinking goes, could give Trump a run for his money among moderate Republicans—enough to win the popular vote, and perhaps the Electoral College.

Soaring Growth in Canada: Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric is driving young talent to Canada (Bloomberg)
There are now 570,000 international students in Canada, a 60 percent jump from three years ago. The surge is helping power the biggest increase in international immigration in more than a century — the country took in 425,000 people in the last year, boosting population growth to a three-decade high.

Space News: China lands first probe on the far side of the moon (Axios)


Best of late night.

On Trump misspelling the word “border” in a tweet. The president wrote: “Anytime you hear a Democrat saying that you can have good Boarder Security without a Wall, write them off as just another politician following the party line.”

“Come on — I can understand how you could misspell ‘Melania,’ but the wall is the actual love of your life!”
— Seth Meyers

“How’s this for an idea: If you can’t spell it, you can’t have it.”
— James Corden

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