Wednesday, May 23

ByKevin Sheekey

Mike Bloomberg’s annual letter on philanthropy is out today along with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ annual report, detailing how we work to ensure better and longer lives for the greatest number of people around the world. In 2017 alone, Bloomberg Philanthropies invested $702 million in nearly 480 cities in more than 120 countries.

Mike has committed the vast majority of Bloomberg LP’s profits to support the work of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and in total, he has given $6 billion to efforts that transform lives every day.

In his annual letter, he writes: “Our work is driven by reliable data. And we follow it wherever it leads. We use it to identify problems and opportunities others have overlooked — and to target our resources, measure our success, and adjust our strategies.”

“For instance: We’re helping gather better data on global deaths, half of which go unrecorded. Without that data, governments don’t know where to focus their efforts to save and improve lives — and they have no way to measure whether those efforts are effective. Working with partners, we’ve helped 20 countries that are home to more than one billion people improve their health data, which will pinpoint causes of death and disease and the best ways to prevent them.” Read Mike’s full letter here and the full annual report here.

In the coming days, I’ll highlight some of the remarkable initiatives and accomplishments that are covered in the annual report.

In a global memo to Bloomberg LP employees today, Mike writes: “Your hard work helps change the world for better every day, not only by strengthening markets and serving our customers, but also by helping people around the world live longer and better lives.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies Annual Report

Cities have long been a major focus of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ work, and in 2017 the foundation launched the $200 million Bloomberg American Cities Initiative as the largest-ever philanthropic effort to give U.S. mayors and city halls necessary tools – including the capacity to use data more effectively.

Bloomberg today announced an additional $42 million investment in the What Works Cities program, the nation’s most comprehensive effort to enhance cities’ use of data and evidence. In its first three years, the program has helped 100 cities of all sizes use facts to better define problems and make progress in crucial areas such as health and safety, homelessness, and blight. Read more here.

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From READ <GO> on your Bloomberg terminal.

Progressive Women Score Big Wins in Southern Primaries (CNN)
Progressive women dominated a slate of Democratic primaries Tuesday, winning races in Kentucky, Texas and Georgia. The victories underscored some emerging realities of 2018’s primary season: Female candidates — of which Democrats have record numbers in House races — have fared well.

Stacey Abrams

Georgia Democratic candidate for Governor Stacey Abrams takes the stage to declare victory in the primary during an election night event on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. If elected, Abrams would become the first African American female governor in the nation. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)​

Breaking Media News: Comcast Confirms It May Top Disney’s Bid for Fox Entertainment (Bloomberg)
Comcast is lining up financing for an all-cash offer, a move that would escalate a bidding war already underway in Europe.

As Predicted: Harley-Davidson Took it’s Tax Cut, Closed a Factory, and Rewarded Shareholders (Vox)
The motorcycle maker in January told Kansas City workers it would close a plant there. Days later, it announced a nearly $700 million stock buyback plan.

Space News: How America Will Launch More Rockets, And Faster (Bloomberg)
Reusable vehicles? Check. Next up is blasting off on short notice. The U.S. government is holding a contest to see who does it best.

Video of the Day: Elon Musk’s SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket with Iridium, NASA Satellites (Bloomberg)

Headlines from around the world.

New York Post: NYC gas price hits $5/gallon; Costs surge ahead of Memorial Day

Bloomberg: Turkey Heads Toward a Currency Crisis as Lira Goes Into Freefall

The Japan Times: U.S. and North Korea engage in diplomatic dance amid shifting prospects for Singapore summit

Korea Times: South Korean reporters arrive in Wonsan, head to nuclear test site

The Independent (UK): Donald Trump’s controversial UK visit may be extended so he can play golf

Quote of the Day.

“Of course the Russian efforts affected the outcome. Surprising even themselves, they swung the election to a Trump win. To conclude otherwise stretches logic, common sense, and credulity to the breaking point. Less than eighty thousand votes in three key states swung the election. I have no doubt that more votes than that were influenced by this massive effort by the Russians.”

— Former Director of National Intelligence Chief James Clapper in his new book, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Live in Intelligence
Book review: Former Intelligence Chief’s Argument that Putin Did Indeed Sway the 2016 U.S. Election (Washington Post)

Best of late night.

On the U.S. Department of Justice Russia review:

“You know, we have passed certain milestones on Trump’s highway to American greatness. Sometimes you just have to pull the car over, get a breath of fresh air, maybe puke in the grass. Today is one such day, because the president of the United States has ordered the people investigating him to investigate their investigation of him.”
— Stephen Colbert

On North Korea:

“Trump wants the meeting to take place. He said if Kim Jong-un agrees to meet, he can guarantee Kim’s safety. Trump promises to test Kim’s food before he eats it, and keep testing it until it’s totally gone.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“I heard that White House aides have told Trump to switch out his cellphone on a monthly basis, but he says it’s too inconvenient. Trump said, ‘The only thing I switch out on a monthly basis is my staff.’”
— Jimmy Fallon

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

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