Watching and Ignoring

Something to Watch:

Boats doing U-Turns in the middle of the ocean — If you think the twists and turns of the US-China trade threats/tensions/truces are confusing, try being the captain of a cargo ship plying a route between the two countries. Last month, a vessel carrying sorghum from the US to China did not one, but two U-turns on the high seas in response to shifting signals on agriculture tariffs between Beijing and Washington. You can trace the trails of trade uncertainty on maps monitored by Bloomberg here.


Something to Ignore:

Italy’s new prime minister — Italy’s Five Star Movement and Lega finally agreed on a compromise candidate to lead the first all-populist government in Western Europe: Giuseppe Conte, a law professor with no previous government experience. He’ll be at best a referee and at worst a figurehead in a government where the real decisions (and divergences) lie with Five Star’s leader Luigi Di Maio and Lega’s Matteo Salvini. Remember, both parties made promises — Lega wants tax cuts, Five Star wants universal income — that would blow up Italy’s budget and call into question the country’s ability to remain in the Eurozone.

The goal of Eni's High Performance Computing is to perfect and industrialize low carbon energy technologies developed in collaboration with research centers. Eni's efforts are helping to generate energy from waves and guarantee access to energy in remote areas thanks to light-weight and flexible organic photovoltaic panels


Watch Eni's new docuseries on HPC5

Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, explains the feud between Trump and Twitter and weighs in on Elon Musk's ambitious space plans:

What is happening between Trump and Twitter?

A lot. Twitter decided it had to fact check the president because the president said something that wasn't entirely true, and perhaps was false, about voting. Twitter cares a lot about lies about voting. So, they fact check Trump. Trump got really mad, said he's going to get rid of some of the laws that protect Twitter from liability when people say bad things on their platform. That started war number one.

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Trump promised a statement about China. Today's announcement was not about China. Most significant was about the World Health Organization, which is a distraction for Trump because it's weaker. They're reliant on the US, have no ability to hit back. But announcing they're pulling all funding and pulling out of the World Health Organization, the international governmental organization tasked with responding to pandemics, in the middle of a pandemic, is one of the stupidest foreign policy decisions that President Trump could make.

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The world's worst health crisis in a hundred years might not seem like the best time for the World Health Organization's biggest financial supporter to threaten to pull the plug on its operations, but that's where we are. On Friday afternoon, President Trump announced that the US is withdrawing entirely from the Organization.

The move comes ten days after the White House sent a withering four-page letter to the organization's Director General which accused the organization of ignoring early warnings about the virus' spread and bowing to Chinese efforts to downplay its severity. The letter closed with a threat to withdraw within 30 days unless the WHO shaped up to better serve "American interests." In the end, the Administration had patience only for 10 days after all.

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