Dec 12, 2018

Axios PM

D.C. readers: Please join Axios managing editor Kim Hart tomorrow at 8 a.m. for a breakfast conversation on AI.

  • P.S. Axios science editor Andrew Freedman will also be hosting a conversation tomorrow at 6 p.m. to talk about hope in the era of climate change.
1 big thing: May lives another day

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios


The Brexiteer vote of no confidence in Theresa May failed today, leaving the Conservative Party and U.K. in limbo as to what happens next.

Why it matters: Brexit's March 29 deadline remains unchanged, and the weakened prime minister still needs to get Parliament on board, or get the Europeans to agree on changes.

What they're saying:

  • FT: "May was forced to tell MPs she would not lead the Tories into the next election, while the confidence vote brought into the public glare the scale of the enmity now felt in her party."
  • The London Times: "The margin was far less than Downing Street had hoped for and looks certain to create more political uncertainty."
  • The BBC: "[T]he margin of victory is a 'real blow' to the PM's authority."
  • The Telegraph's Europe editor: "EU diplomats continue to look on with a mixture of pity, frustration and despair as British democracy wrestles with the many-headed Hydra that is Brexit, and the hard choices it poses."

What's next: May gave brief remarks from Downing Street after the vote, saying she was "pleased" with the result and ready to “get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people.”

  • "She is now expected to travel to a summit in Brussels on Thursday to continue trying to persuade EU leaders to change the deal — they have previously said it can not be renegotiated." [BBC]
Bonus: Chart du jour
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Data: FactSet; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

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2. What you missed
  1. Michael Cohen has been sentenced in a New York federal court to 3 years in prison. Go deeper.
  2. Uber has picked Morgan Stanley to lead its IPO, per Bloomberg. That's a pretty big upset, given that Goldman Sachs was considered a shoo-in for the role before last year's Uber management shakeup.
  3. The Chinese government is reportedly preparing to replace its "Made in China 2025" plan with a new program that would allow for more participation by foreign companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  4. Al Gore: Technology capturing CO2 emissions is "nonsense." Go deeper.
  5. Julián Castro is forming an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020. He will make his final decision about running on Jan. 12. Go deeper.
3. 1 swamp thing

Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

D.C.'s booming population is combining with (relatively) milder winters to spark a rat boomlet, the AP reports.

  • “Rats adapt to everything. They can be like geniuses,” D.C. Health Department veteran Andre Pittman said.
  • "Orkin ranks Washington as America’s fourth 'Rattiest City,' based on the number of new service calls per year. That’s up one spot from the previous year and just behind Los Angeles and New York; Chicago has been ranked No. 1 for four consecutive years."
  • "This isn’t even Washington’s first war on rats. Former Mayor Anthony Williams referenced rat problems in his inauguration speech in 1999. Back in 1967, a rat gnawing on power station wires knocked out electricity for about a third of Washington for nearly an hour."

Burrow in.