Toyota, Intel and Ericsson in a self-driving consortium - Axios
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Toyota, Intel and Ericsson in a self-driving consortium

Lexus autonomous prototype (Toyota Research Institute)

Toyota and Intel — in a tense race to own what they see as a gigantic future self-driving industry — have announced yet another new international consortium in order to beat their rivals to the perceived prize.

The new group — which also includes Swiss telecoms company Ericsson and Japanese auto parts maker Denso — seeks to standardize a system to handle an extraordinary expected leap in data created by self-driving vehicles and services like realtime mapping apps, and stored in the cloud.

In a statement yesterday, Toyota forecast that the volume of data to be transmitted between vehicles and the cloud will grow by 10,000 times over the next eight years — to 10 exabytes per month, equal to 10 billion gigabytes.

Why it matters: The announcement is yet another sign of a frenzy around an uncertain yet broadly accepted forecast: that the world's roads will soon be zooming with autonomously driven vehicles. It is a given that light autonomous vehicles — able to stay in freeway lanes, warn of impending accidents, and park themselves — will be here soon. What is not knowable is when fully autonomous cars will be here — in five years, or more like two decades or longer. Until they are, such partnerships may be premature.

Who's ahead now: Among chipmakers, Nvidia is far ahead of anyone; its platform seems to be the go-to technology for all the carmakers in the race. In terms of car companies, Tesla and GM have seized the lead commercially, with Google right there in terms of research. But Apple, Microsoft and every carmaker on the planet are furiously competing, too, and no one can be sure who will dominate self-driving in the end.

Hence the partnerships. The consortium is just the latest move for:

  • Intel, which, attempting to remake itself as a powerhouse in autonomous driving technology, has spent $15.3 billion to buy self-driving sensor-maker Mobileye, said on Aug. 9 that it will put 100 test self-driving cars on the road over the next year or so; and
  • Toyota, which began a big push into autonomous vehicles last year. It began sprinkling $25 million grants around U.S. universities like MIT, Stanford and the University of Michigan, and spent $1 billion on a research institute with campuses in the invention hotbeds of Silicon Valley and Cambridge, Massachusetts. In March, Toyota's institute announced its first self-driving prototype vehicle (pictured above). And two months later, it announced a partnership with MIT and five companies to develop blockchain technology for self-driving cars.
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Brazil antitrust agency challenges AT&T-Time Warner deal

AP

Brazil's antitrust authority said the merger of AT&T and Time Warner should not be allowed to go through unless the companies agree to changes, such divesting certain assets, to prevent the combined company from hurting competition.

Why it matters: Brazil is one of the remaining countries (along with the U.S.) that needs to sign off on the $85 billion deal, which has gotten regulatory authority from 16 countries. While it's hard to know how the recommendation will impact the U.S. review, it will likely be noticed by the Department of Justice since critics of the deal have drawn parallels in the U.S. market.

"I think this will harden any existing concerns DOJ has about the deal," said Gene Kimmelman, former DOJ official who is now CEO of Public Knowledge, an opponent of the merger.

Specifics: "The new company would also have the capacity and incentives to take various forms of discrimination against its competitors in both markets, which could weaken the competitive environment." the Brazilian antitrust authority, known as CADE, said in a statement Tuesday, according to a translation by the FT.

  • CADE also said the proposed deal would allow Time Warner to gain access to sensitive information from all its competitors through Sky (one of Brazil's biggest operators, of which AT&T owns a 93% stake, according to Bloomberg).
  • And AT&T would have access to conditions negotiated by its rivals through Time Warner (one of Brazil's largest pay-TV programmers), "significantly harming businesses and consumers in the pay-TV segment."

In the U.S. A coalition of public interest and consumer groups made a similar argument in a letter to the DOJ last month:

"As both a major programmer and a major distributor, it would be able to use information from both sides of the negotiating table to give itself better deals than its rivals can obtain—it would necessarily know, for instance, what its programming rivals are charging for their content, and what its distribution rivals are paying."

AT&T disagrees: AT&T says the deal benefits consumers and will help provide competition to the likes of Google and Amazon. "AT&T and Time Warner will work with Cade to clarify any issues they may have to promptly reach a final resolution on the matter," the company said in a statement to Bloomberg.

What's next: In Brazil, a decision is expected in November, although that deadline could slip up to 90 days. In the U.S., authorities are reportedly pretty far along in the review and are discussing conditions with the companies, according to WSJ, indicating that the deal is on the path to approval. AT&T still expects the deal to close by the end of the year.

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Top Arizona Republicans won't attend Trump's rally

J. Scott Applewhite and Ross D. Franklin / AP

Top Arizona Republicans won't be attending Trump's first rally since Charlottesville tonight, VICE News reports. The expected absences: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (though he greeted Trump upon his arrival), Arizona's state Republican party Chair Jonathan Lines, Sen. Jeff Flake, who's been one of Trump's most vocal critics recently, and Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters:

  • Arizona swung for Trump in the presidential election, so presumably Republicans would be there for him.
  • But this comes at a time when Republicans aren't willing to back Trump in the fallout after Charlottesville.
  • Brian Stelter reports Shep Smith couldn't get a single Republican to defend Trump on Fox News, MSNBC's Chuck Todd tried all 52 Republican senators, and none would come on the show, and CNN's Kate Bolduan said only one out of 55 Republicans said yes.
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Breitbart emails leaked, editor vows to do Bannon's "dirty work"

Breitbart EIC Alex Marlow, via YouTube / Real Time with Bill Maher

Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow, as well as other top editors at Breitbart, told an email prankster acting as Steve Bannon that they "would do Bannon's 'dirty work' against White House aides," according to CNN.

Why it matters: This is the third high-profile prank in the past two months.

  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry thought he was speaking with the Ukraine prime minister, discussing "geopolitically sensitive topics [like] cyberattacks, potential pipelines for Russian gas and the Paris climate accord," per Politico.
  • Then-White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci got into an email altercation with who he believed to be Reince Priebus after he was fired.
  • Alex Marlow told the prankster over email he could have Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump "out by the end of the year." The same prankster contacted Breitbart senior editor Joel Pollak, in which Pollak gave him his phone number to talk further about Jared and Ivanka.
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Trump and McConnell reportedly haven't spoken in weeks

Evan Vucci / AP; Alex Brandon / AP

A new report in the New York Times revealed that President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell haven't spoken in weeks — and McConnell has been telling people behind the scenes that Trump is "unwilling to learn the basics of governing" as his administration approaches the point of no return.

  • The flash point: The Senate's failure to pass health care reform led to a "profane shouting match" of a phone call between McConnell and Trump. It also alienated other GOP senators, as West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito was refused a seat on Air Force One after refusing to commit to a repeal vote.
  • Why it matters: The GOP's hope for achieving meaningful reform —involving health care, taxes, or infrastructure — rests on Trump keeping an open line of communication with congressional leaders. The more that he poisons that well, the more he risks kneecapping his own agenda.
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10 protests scheduled for Trump's Phoenix rally

President Trump is hosting a campaign-style Make America Great Again rally in Phoenix tonight, where he will address some of his most enthusiastic supporters. But there will also be various protestors and anti-Trump groups outside of the convention center ahead of tonight's event.

Why it matters: From Charlottesville to Boston, the past two weeks have put the tense protests between white nationalists, free speech advocates and anti-racism counter protesters on full display. Tonight is an opportunity to address Trump country in a way that was successful for him throughout the campaign, and a way that he clearly enjoys given the number of campaign-style rallies he has hosted since winning the election. But the trove of counter protesters expected tonight will serve as a reminder to Trump and the country that tensions have not been resolved and may be getting worse.

Protest Trump Downtown Phoenix

  • Why they're organizing: "White supremacist leader Donald Trump is coming back to Phoenix ... It will be his first public rally since his hate-filled rants...aligning himself with the Neo-nazis of Charlottesville. Come stand up for decency, equality, and good. Stand up for your children and the goodness in their hearts. Stand in solidarity with the brave people in Charlottesville. Stand up against bigotry, hate, white supremacy, Nazis, Islamophobia, transphobia, xenophobia."
  • How many are attending: Approx. 4,100

White Supremacy Will Not Be Pardoned

  • Why they're organizing: "Trump will be in Arizona and we want to send a very clear message that we will not pardon white supremacy the way he has done so with#Charlottesville and now with Joe #Arpaio. ... Show up and tell him he is not welcome and that we will never pardon white supremacist!"
  • How many are attending: Approx. 2,800

Never Again: Jews and Allies Against Hate Rally

  • Why they're organizing: "In the hours before the Trump rally in Phoenix, we will make clear that we will not accept the false equivalency between neo-Nazis and peaceful protestors who oppose hate. We will not stand by as Nazism makes a resurgence in America."
  • How many are attending: Approx. 271

Unity Vigil & March

  • Why they're organizing: "President Donald Trump and Gov. Doug Ducey have made it clear that they are on the side of hate and bigotry this week. ... to denounce his hateful rhetoric at 8:00pm and will march from the Phoenix Convention Center to the Arizona State Capitol to rally against Confederate monuments that Gov.Ducey wont remove at 8:30!"
  • How many are attending: Approx. 844

Anti-fascist anarchists

  • Why they're organizing: "We will converge, in the spirit of solidarity and hostility to the current order, and as a physical body ready to act in self-defense and mutual protection of each other from cops, fascists, and liberal/radical 'peace police.'"
  • How many are attending: N/A

Cosplayers Rally Against Hate

  • Why they're organizing: "With Trump visiting next Tuesday, I want to help drown out the hate groups that will make an appearance by showing up to the rally in cosplay. If you also plan to show up by yourself or with a group in costume, thank you! Goals: Protest peacefully; Empower people with positive imagery; Keep the energy up, nothing beats Captain American standing on your side against Nazis!"
  • How many are attending: Approx. 59

Love Activists: Healing Hearts & Minds

  • Why they're organizing: "This is a solidarity event for targeted communities and families with children that want to do something on this historic day but don't want to be in the middle of the action. We honor those who are willing and able to show up on the front lines and equally honor those with a lot more to lose - such as people of color, the undocumented, DACA recipients, DREAMERS, other minority groups, and those who feel negative emotions so deeply."
  • How many are attending: Approx. 77

Indivisible Surprise: Trump Rally - Purple for Heather

  • Why they're organizing: "Tell Trump that Heather's positive intentions were in no way equivalent to those of the racists and bigots present at the rally in Charlottesville.Let him know that what Heather wanted, what the 1000 people at Heather's memorial service wanted, and what YOU want is EQUALITY."
  • How many are attending: Approx. 28

Bikers for Trump Rally Call To Action

  • Why they're organizing: "There have been plans for Charlottesville sympathizers to protest. We need our bikers to show up and keep people safe. ... If there are people outside waiting to get in I don't want anyone to harrass them. Protesters have a right to protest, but they don't have a right to threaten or intimidate. That is why we need to be there."
  • How many are attending: Approx. 92

Maricopa County Young Republicans Trump Takes AZ

  • Why they're organizing: "Join President Donald J. Trump for a rally in Phoenix, AZ"
  • How many are attending: Approx. 42

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Tillerson: "Pakistan must adopt a different approach"

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after speaking at the State Department (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Following Trump's Afghanistan speech, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Tuesday that Pakistan will play an important role in initiating the negotiation process between the U.S. and Afghanistan's Taliban, but noted that the country must first "adopt a different approach" to easing tension in the region.

"There's been an erosion in trust because we have witnessed terrorist organizations being given safe haven inside of Pakistan to plan and carry out attacks against U.S. servicemen, U.S. officials, disrupting peace efforts inside of Afghanistan," said Tillerson. "Pakistan must adopt a different approach, and we are ready to work with them to help them protect themselves against these terrorist organizations ... We are going to be conditioning our support for Pakistan and our relationship with them on them delivering results in this area."

More highlights:

  • Tillerson said it's up to the Afghanistan people to decide how to govern themselves, but as long as they don't offer a refuge to terrorists.
  • Message to the Taliban: "You will not win a battlefield victory. We may not win one, but neither will you."
  • Tillerson said North Korea's recent "restraint" in missile testing since the adoption of the U.N. Security Council resolution has "perhaps" created a pathway for potential dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.
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Nikki Haley's "personal conversation" with Trump

President Donald Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at Trump's National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told CNN today that she had a "personal conversation" with President Trump about how he handled the fallout from Charlottesville, per Politico.

"Well, I had a personal conversation with the president about Charlottesville, and I will leave it at that," Haley said on CNN. "But I will tell you that there is no room for hate in this country. I know the pain that hate can cause, and we need to isolate haters, and we need to make sure that they know there is no place for them."

On "Good Morning America," Haley brought up her conversation with Trump again, adding that her message was "taken very well." As for whether Trump believes he was in the wrong with his response? "The president clarified so that no one can question that he's opposed to bigotry and hate in this country," said Haley.

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Chelsea Clinton wants Barron Trump to have a "private" life

AP

Chelsea Clinton defended fellow first child, Barron Trump, on Twitter Monday after a Daily Caller reporter criticized the 11-year-old for his casual attire.

  • The critique: "The youngest Trump doesn't have any responsibilities as the president's son, but the least he could do is dress the part when he steps out in public," entertainment reporter Ford Springer wrote in the Daily Caller.
  • Clinton's kickback: "It's high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves" she tweeted, linking to the story.
  • Why it matters: Clinton, who has otherwise been known to rail against Trump and his administration on social media, has come to Barron's defense on several occasions. Twice she's tweeted that Barron deserves the right and the privacy to be a kid.
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Former Uber exec will be H&R Block's next CEO

Photo courtesy of H&R

Jeff Jones, the former Target CMO who spent just six months at Uber as its president of ride-sharing, will be H&R Block's next CEO, starting in October, the company said today.

  • Despite the enthusiasm around Jones' hiring last year, his departure was less positive. He left amid a flurry of controversies bubbling at Uber, including allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination within the company, and shortly after it announced plans to hire a COO.
  • Jones on his departure: "It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride sharing business."

Jones is not the only Uber executive to leave the company in the last six months. Others include its head of finance, head of its AI labs, its head of product and growth, its PR chief, and several employees from its self-driving car teams — including Marakby's boss, former head of Google Maps Brian McClendon.

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Republicans lost faith in Congress faster than in Trump

A new poll for Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, posted on Twitter by Tony Fabrizio, Trump's pollster during the 2016 presidential campaign, reveals they are losing faith in Congress faster than they are in Trump.

One potential factor: the Republican-controlled Senate fell a vote shy in late July of passing a bill that would have repealed elements of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have promised for years to repeal the ACA if given control.

Data: Fabrizio Lee, June and August 2017 Survey of GOP Leaning Voters Nationally; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios