Good morning from New York. Let’s take a brief timeout from global chaos.
Yesterday, Cities of Service announced 10 finalists for the Inaugural Engaged Cities Award. Founded and funded by Mike Bloomberg in 2009, Cities of Service now operates as a coalition of more than 235 cities representing 55 million people in 45 states, and another 10 million people in the U.K. The awards are a new effort to elevate cities that are working to creatively tap the wisdom, talents, and energy of local communities to solve public problems.
Local action can indeed solve global problems. This is a real bright spot today and we need it more than ever.
Finalist cities include Bologna, Italy; Boston, Massachussetts; Fort Collins, Colorado; Hamm, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Huntinton, West Virginia; Mexico City, Mexico; San Jose, California; Santiago de Cali, Colombia; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Click here to see the creative ways these cities are solving problems for their citizens.
Trump’s Troubles Now Center on Confidant Cohen (Bloomberg Balance of Power)
One of Donald Trump’s closest allies has emerged as the linchpin of the president’s legal and political troubles. Attorney Michael Cohen has, by all accounts, spent years putting out fires for Trump — and Trump’s opponents hope those efforts are now coming back to burn them both
U.S.-China trade tensions flare: China slapped temporary anti-dumping duties of 178.6% on U.S. sorghum imports starting tomorrow, affecting trade worth almost $1 billion a year. Beijing vowed to protect its businesses after phonemaker ZTE was banned from buying U.S. technology. China offered some concessions, including removing foreign car ownership limits, a win for Tesla and VW. (Bloomberg Daybreak)
Abe’s Trump Visit Today: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate today hoping another round of golf with the U.S. president can ease new strains over North Korea and trade. But Abe has even bigger problems back home, where a flurry of scandals have prompted protests and made him less popular than Trump, Isabel Reynolds reports. Even a former mentor is predicting Abe’s five-year run as leader might not last. Japan Wonders if Abe Can Bounce Back Again After Scandals Pile Up (Bloomberg Balance of Power)
Russia Steps Up Hacking, Spurring U.S.-U.K. Warning on Risk (Bloomberg)
At the same time: Trump Scraps New Sanctions Against Russia, Overruling Advisers (New York Times)
Tech Scoop: Apple Is Planning to Launch News Subscription Service (Bloomberg)
Everytown Lays Out Gun-Control Principles for Investors (New York Times)
As more financial firms move to pressure gun makers and sellers into self-regulation, the advocacy group (founded and backed by Mike Bloomberg) plans to ask them to press for more policy positions and operational changes. Among them: Requiring background checks for all gun sales; more funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; having gun makers require sellers to adopt a code of conduct; and adopting smart-gun tech.
Headlines from around the world.
Financial Times: China’s Xi Jinping Says He Is Opposed to Life-Long Rule
Bloomberg: Two Koreas Discuss Official End to 68-Year War, Report Says
Japan Times: Trade war would threaten global growth, Japan and China agree in first economic talks since 2010
Times of India: India wins elections to key UN subsidiary bodies
The Independent (UK): Emmanual Macron says Europe is in a “civil war” and is “fascinated with the illiberal” in landmark EU speech
Best of late night.
“Trump’s approval ratings are the lowest in the history of polls, which go all the way back to Harry Truman, but his legal bills, on the other hand, are skyrocketing. More than one out of every $5 donated by supporters to his re-election campaign this year went to attorney’s fees. Twenty percent of the money, spent on lawyers! The other 80 percent was split pretty evenly between self-tanner and chicken nuggets.”
— Jimmy Kimmel
On former FBI Director James Comey’s new book ‘A Higher Loyalty’ and his comparisons of Donald Trump to a mafia boss:
“I’m sorry, Trump just doesn’t seem tough enough to be a mob boss. ‘Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes, but I sleep with the Filet-O-Fishes.’”
— Stephen Colbert
“You see, now that’s funny, but that doesn’t sound like an impartial lawman. That sounds like a guy who got fired from White Castle talking trash about his old boss — that’s what it sounds like. It’s like, ‘Man, that dude smelled like onions before he got to work!’”
— Trevor Noah
On yesterday’s hearings in New York on the recent raid on Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s office, home and hotel room:
“Yeah, it turns out Michael Cohen’s secret client was Sean Hannity, which I’m sorry, is not a good look. You know right now Sean Hannity is probably on the phone with his wife like, ‘Hey honey, it’s so weird how I use the guy who pays off mistresses to get me out of that parking ticket.’”
— Trevor Noah
“Pro tip for the president. When your lawyer needs a lawyer, you need a lawyer.”
— Stephen Colbert