🕶️ Happy Friday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,195 words ... 4 minutes.
Sources close to President Trump tell Axios' Jonathan Swan that the White House is in a China bind:
This has less to do with trade than it does with national security, according to senior administration officials and sources briefed on the president’s thinking:
Trump had been resisting chastising Chinese President Xi Jinping over his human rights abuses and his treatment of Hong Kong protesters. But he’s inched further toward criticizing the Chinese than he normally would in recent days.
When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper visited Australia earlier this month, they delivered an unequivocal message to senior Australian officials: The U.S. plans to forcefully push back against China’s destabilizing behavior in the Asia-Pacific.
The bottom line: So if not a China trade deal, what then is left to juice Trump’s economy and stave off recession?
How it's playing ... WashPost lead story: "Shadow falls over Trump’s economy."
House Democrats, stymied by President Trump's resistance and a long path in court, "appear increasingly unlikely" to get his tax returns before the 2020 election, per the WashPost:
Why it matters: Key Democrats "say that if they are going to impeach the president, they have to do so before the end of the year."
"[T]he popular and intellectual backlash against shareholder value is already altering corporate decision-making," The Economist writes.
The Economist calls for a "really enlightened kind of capitalism":
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson gets comfortable with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace in Paris yesterday.
Several companies and investors around the globe are pouring billions of dollars into a new wave of news aggregation apps that they hope will steer news traffic away from the tech giants, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
News Corp, the news holding company founded by Rupert Murdoch, is developing a news aggregation service called Knewz.
By the numbers: In the U.S., Google Search and Facebook collectively drive over 70% of referral traffic, according to traffic analytics company Parse.ly.
What's new: European officials have drawn up an aggressive plan to counter U.S.-based tech giants, Politico Europe reports.
His spirited search for solutions, rather than conflict, made his crowning achievement, the General Data Protection Regulation, both possible and durable. ...
We will all benefit from his work for many years to come. And I believe the cornerstone he laid will prove a sure foundation for one of humanity’s greatest projects.
The numbers may be ugly for a first-term president facing re-election in 14 months, but they are remarkably consistent: President Trump's approval rating has never dipped below 32% or risen above 42% in AP-NORC polls since he took office. (AP)
Why it matters: "[T]he Sanders plan’s eye-popping price tag is several times bigger than those of his leading opponents," per the N.Y. Times.
Stacey Abrams and Monica are among the guests on tomorrow's premiere of "Black Women OWN the Conversation," a new four-part series from the Oprah Winfrey Network and OZY (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET on OWN).
Qantas is testing what would be the world’s longest flight: 19 hours in the air, Hannah Sampson reports on the WashPost's new travel site, By The Way:
"Singapore Airlines operates the current world’s longest flight, between Singapore and Newark, ... [which can take] up to 18 hours and 45 minutes."
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