Morning Briefing

On the Shoulders of Internet Giants

At last night’s press conference in Paris, US President Donald Trump read an unusually diplomatic and clever speech, word-for-word, off a sheet of paper. Trump spoke of the common roots of French and American citizens, emphasizing that if it weren’t for the support of the French army, Americans could never have claimed independence from the the Brits. He also spoke of respecting the complexities of world. The disarming message is that an articulate and historically conscious foreign policy apparatus is behind the US president. Trump could best serve his country – and the world – if he would stop denouncing it and started respecting it.

While Trump dined in the Eiffel Tower, his eldest son was busy battling a media tsunami back home. Donald Jr.’s disclosure, per Tweet, of an email chain on a meeting with a Kremlin-backed lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, is widely considered to have been an epically boneheaded move. But while the media are condemning junior, dad has still found praise for his namesake: “He is a high-quality son.”

Is Daimler guilty of manipulating diesel engines? Rumors have been around for months. When VW’s Dieselgate scandal broke in 2015, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said: “As a principle, we follow legal guidelines and have never attempted any manipulations of our automobiles.” German federal prosecutors aren’t buying it and are now busy searching for evidence of wrongdoing. Daimler’s board members, of course, are innocent until proven guilty.

Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos are among the leaders of a new world power that stretches from California’s Silicon Valley up the West Coast to Seattle. The area is home to the wealthiest companies in the world, led by Apple with a market value of more than $751 billion. On its heels are Google parent company Alphabet ($643 billion), Microsoft ($536 billion), Amazon ($467 billion) und Facebook ($440 billion). We look at what German companies can learn from the US tech giants.

Twenty years ago, the Economist famously described Germany as “the sick man of Europe.” Today, the influential publication warns of the damage that powerful German exporters inflict on the world economy in its cover story “The German Problem.”  Ironically, Germany took the magazine’s previous advice about fixing its economy seriously. For that we had expected a pat on the back, not a kick in the butt!

Picture of the Day

Airplanes leave a trail in the colors of the French flag over the Champs Elysées in celebration of Bastille Day. Source: dpa/Markus Schreiber
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