🇨🇳 Tomorrow in downtown D.C.: Please join me at 8 a.m. for an Axios News Shapers breakfast event exploring China, tariffs and trade.
Everywhere he looks, President Trump can see flashing warnings that his re-election is in serious peril, a week ahead of his official campaign launch next Tuesday in Orlando:
Why it matters: Trump should be crushing it. Unemployment is at a near-historic low. The economy is growing. Peace and prosperity abound. But his numbers are sagging.
The warning signs:
The other side ... A Trump ally familiar with the campaign's strategy said: "Trump has always under-polled. Until it's actually a binary contest, though, these polls really don't matter."
Be smart: Trump is betting polls will swing when it's a choice between him and someone he can lampoon as a dumb socialist.
The bottom line: The 2018 elections were a wake-up call for Trump. Democrats had record turnout; his Midwest presidency-makers of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania reverted to their Democratic form; and conservative states, including Texas, showed the demographic dangers for the GOP.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Facing a widely predicted onslaught of fake political videos going into the 2020 election, social media companies will either keep the videos at bay or allow them to flood the internet, Axios emerging tech reporter Kaveh Waddell writes.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have relied on their existing rules against things like nonconsensual porn and election manipulation — if a fake video falls into those categories, it's gone.
Coffee is trading below $1 a pound, less than half the value it fetched five years ago, because of a flood of beans from leading producer Brazil and its weakening real currency, Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin writes.
Wait! What? "Many growers around the world are having to abandon their farms or turn to illicit crops such as coca," the Financial Times reports (subscription). "This, in turn, is casting doubt over the future sustainability of supplies — and could, ultimately, prove costly for consumers."
Be smart: The WashPost points out that coffee's downturn is adding to the historic flow of migrants, struggling on farms in Central America, to the U.S.
A Guatemalan migrant recently released from federal detention held this envelope as he waited inside a bus depot in McAllen, Texas, yesterday.
Birthright, the nonprofit that has sent 700,000 young Jews on all-expenses paid trips "to bolster a distinct Jewish identity and forge an emotional connection to Israel," has seen its trips become a focal point for protests, writes the N.Y. Times' Farah Stockman.
A generational divide ... "Just 6 percent of American Jews over the age of 50 believe that the United States gives Israel too much support ... But that view is held by 25 percent of Jews aged 18 to 29, the cohort that goes on Birthright trips."
Departing the White House yesterday for Iowa, President Trump was asked about unannounced parts of his agreement with Mexico that held off tariffs.
The Washington Post was able to reconstruct three paragraphs from two photos of the page that Trump brandished, and found little new.
"As U.S. startups reject their money, Chinese venture-capital firms in U.S. are dialing back investments, structuring deals to avoid regulators or shutting down," writes the Wall Street Journal's Rolfe Winkler (subscription).
"Hong Kong police fired tear gas and high-pressure water hoses against protesters who had massed outside government headquarters Wednesday in opposition to a proposed extradition bill." (AP)
Out this week from former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who began at the Pentagon as a physicist and served presidents of both parties ... "Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon" (Dutton):
A chapter called "The Troops Deserve the Truth" has a lesson for leaders of all kinds:
War has to be spoken about bluntly, especially when leaders are talking with members of families who has sacrificed everything for their country. ...
At every important moment of the wars during my time as SecDef, I gave a speech explaining to the troops what they were doing and why it was important. ...
I wanted them to have a clear notion of what their mission was in my own words ...
Kraft says it's repackaging its classic ranch dressing as "Salad Frosting" — in a squeezable tube — pitching the product as an "innocent, smart lie" to help parents get kids to eat healthier.
Yes, but: Two tablespoons of Kraft's ranch has just about the same number of calories, double the fat, and four times more sodium than the same amount of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting, according to CNN.
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