Morning Report: August 9, 2017

The Fire and The Fury

Resolved to disarm North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, President Donald Trump warned North Korea against making any more threats to the U.S., saying in a brief news conference the country “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

The president’s comments reflect deep concerns over North Korea progress with its nuclear-weapons program, and the North’s provocative statements that seemed to reject negotiations over curbing that program.

Within hours of the president’s comments, North Korea made its most specific threat against the US yet, saying it was considering firing missiles at Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, and making the U.S. “the first to experience the might of the strategic weapons of the DPRK.”

The tough rhetoric from both sides impacted the asian markets and could have an effect on Wall Street today.

Election Reformers Gather in Colorado

In a story from IVN Contributor Lynn Marie Morski, a number of leaders from several election reform groups met in Denver, Colorado, at “Unrig the System,” an event aimed at educating the state’s residents on how to effect change in their own backyard.

“The event was put on by Centrist ProjectRepresent.Us, and IVN’s co-sponsor, the Independent Voter Project, with funding through a grant from the Bridge Alliance.”

Chad Peace from the Independent Voter Project spoke about ways to get independent voters engaged in the election process and the need for open primaries and other means of preventing the disenfranchisement of those who choose not to join a political party.”

“Centrist Project’s Nick Troiano spoke about Colorado being ripe for independent candidates to enter office, and how just a few independents in the legislature could act as a swing vote coalition in governments like Colorado’s which is very evenly divided between the two major parties.”

Read more here.

Workplace Diversity: It’s Worth a Google

In a story that’s turned Silicon Valley upside down, Google fired an employee after he posted a 10-page internal memo blasting the web company’s diversity policies.

Engineer James Damore wrote, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” In it he argues that “personality differences” between men and women — like a woman having a lower tolerance for stress — help explain why there were fewer women in engineering and leadership roles at the company. He said efforts by the company to reach equal representation of women in technology and leadership were “unfair, divisive, and bad for business.”

Damore confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “exploring legal remedies.”

The dust up is the latest in a string of incidents concerning gender bias and diversity in the tech sector.

  • Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick lost his job in June amid scandals over sexual harassment, discrimination, and an aggressive culture.
  • And Ellen Pao’s gender-discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2015 also brought the issue to light

Danielle Brown, Google’s new vice president for diversity, integrity and governance, in a statement to staff noted, “We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.”