☕ Good Thursday morning. It's Day 34 of the government shutdown.
⚡Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn resigned last night as he fights financial misconduct charges in Japan: A celebrated career atop the French carmaker ends in a Tokyo jail. (Bloomberg)
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The storylines dominating climate change news are usually doom and gloom, but corporate America sees some new ways to integrate a warmer world into its business models, Axios' Amy Harder writes.
"Many of those that filed reports with CDP said they believe climate change can bolster demand for their products," Bloomberg's Christopher Flavelle reports:
Axios health care editor Sam Baker rummaged through the reports and found that climate change could be big business for pharma:
These financial benefits are, of course, anomalies — most impact will be dire. Axios' Ben Geman points out that companies like Coca-Cola, which worries about water shortages, have long realized the risks to their operations.
Why it matters, from Axios science editor Andrew Freedman: Polling indicates Americans are already recognizing the impacts of global warming in their own backyards, and the CDP disclosures make me think about what might happen once we start to factor climate change into our spending decisions.
What Amy is watching ... The companies' reports show expected climate-change expenses that could become so big and detrimental that they provoke a real sea change in corporate America: More companies turning to governments, and lobbying for policies reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Vanity Fair's Hive last night posted one of the juiciest dishes in the sumptuous buffet that is "Team of Vipers" — the memoir by former White House aide Cliff Sims, which is out Tuesday but is already the subject of much West Wing gossip.
Sims was called to her upstairs West Wing office to discuss a response:
I assumed this was because she feared Trump would believe the charges ... I had not brought my work laptop upstairs with me when she called, so Kellyanne pointed over to her personal MacBook sitting on the conference table on the other side of the room. “Just use that and type something up for me,” she said.
I sat down and started slowly pecking out a statement. ... I was also getting distracted by the nonstop stream of iMessages popping up on the screen. At that point, personal phones had not yet been banned in the West Wing, so Kellyanne was sitting at her desk texting away. And since her iMessage account was tied to both her phone and her laptop, ... I could inadvertently see every conversation she was having.
Over the course of 20 minutes or so, she was having simultaneous conversations with no fewer than a half-dozen reporters, most of them from outlets the White House frequently trashed for publishing “fake news.”
Journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Politico, and Bloomberg were all popping up on the screen. ... As I sat there trying to type, she bashed Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, and Sean Spicer, all by name.
("The real leakers, past and present, get much more positive press than I do. While it’s rare, I prefer to knife people from the front, so they see it coming," Conway said in a statement shortly after publication.) ...
She also recounted private conversations she’d had with the president, during which, at least in her telling, she’d convinced him to see things her way, which she said was a challenge when you’re dealing with someone so unpredictable and unrestrained. She wasn’t totally trashing the president, ... but she definitely wasn’t painting him in the most favorable light. She was talking about him like a child she had to set straight. ...
I was supposed to be writing a statement, defending her against accusations that she had done almost exactly what I was watching her do that very moment.
Update ... Vanity Fair reported that Conway's statement was drafted in consultation with her husband, George Conway. But he tweeted: "I never saw this statement, let alone helped draft it."
At 11:12 p.m., President Trump conceded to Speaker Pelosi's refusal to host the State of the Union in the House chamber as scheduled on Tuesday, tweeting:
🖊️ Trump had said in a letter to Pelosi earlier in the day: "It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!"
Three aviation unions — the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the Air Line Pilots Association and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA — warned that "the entire system" could "break" because of the shutdown, writes Axios' Zach Basu.
The media industry's current round of cuts and consolidation is accelerating. Sizable layoffs at BuzzFeed, Gannett and Verizon Media were announced Wednesday, totaling over 1,000 jobs cut, writes Axios' Sara Fischer.
Why it matters: If the headlines signal anything, it's that the news media will continue to struggle to find a sustainable business model in an advertising and attention ecosystem dominated by tech companies like Google, Facebook and Netflix.
The Business Roundtable, made up of CEOs of the nation's top companies, warns in a national innovation agenda out later today that the U.S. focus on R&D is lagging, and other countries are gaining ground.
The report says the U.S. government "has grown complacent — resting on legacy achievements while underinvesting in the drivers and enablers needed to build on these achievements in the future."
The bottom line: "The United States cannot remain a global leader in innovation unless its policy and regulatory infrastructure is responsive."
"The early days of the Democratic primary campaign are highlighting the party's diversity," AP's Juana Summers, Elana Schor and Julie Pace point out:
Pete Buttigieg, 37 — the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who jumped in yesterday — would be the first openly gay presidential nominee of a major party.
Imagine a helicopter and a small prop plane had a baby: That's what Boeing's autonomous "passenger air vehicle" looks like, Axios AI reporter Kaveh Waddell writes.
The Ebola outbreak simmering in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is worsening in some ways, despite major successes in combating the illness in some parts of the country, writes Axios science editor Andrew Freedman.
Why it matters: The ongoing outbreak is the second-worst on record worldwide. A top official with the World Health Organization — which along with several nongovernmental organizations has been at the vanguard of the Ebola fight — said last week that it will likely continue for another six months.
Photos: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images
"The son of James Gandolfini has been cast as the young Tony Soprano in the planned 'Sopranos' prequel, 'The Many Saints of Newark,'" per the AP.