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Serena Williams Wimbledon, Brainstorm Tech, Theresa May Trump: Broadsheet July 16th

July 16, 2018, 10:10 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Serena Williams is a champion for moms, powerful women take the stage at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech, and Theresa May scores a win that’s rare among world leaders. Have a momentous Monday!


Backfire in Britain. President Donald Trump took multiple jabs at Theresa May during his visit to the U.K. late last week. In an interview with the Sun newspaper, Trump criticized her approach to Brexit, saying she'd ignored his suggestion on how to get it done. At the same time, he endorsed her political opponent Boris Johnson, who had resigned just days earlier in protest of May's 'soft' Brexit plan, as a fine prime minister candidate.

The timing of his critique was especially awkward since the interview was published as May rolled out the red carpet for Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Blenheim Palace.

Initially, it appeared that Trump hit May while she was down (in the wake of Johnson's and Brexit Minister David Davis's resignations), but his words might in fact have the opposite effect.

Why? Because Trump is so incredibly unpopular in the U.K.; more than three-quarters of Brits hold an unfavorable view of him, hence the mass protests in London on Friday that included a blimp shaped like a baby Trump. Therefore, his criticism of May, as this Atlantic piece points out, could actually serve as a rallying cry in support of her. In fact, May's adversaries in the Labour party seemed to come to her defense. Labour MP Emily Thornberry, for instance, called the president's comments "rudeness upon rudeness" and urged May to stand up to him.

May's biggest boost may have come from the fact that, in response to the Sun interview, Trump did what he almost never does: apologize. At the Friday press conference, Trump told reporters: “When I saw her this morning, I said, ‘I want to apologize, because I said such good things about you,’” he said. “She said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s only the press.’ I thought that was very professional.”

Trump went on to praise May's toughness and smarts. “And I would much rather have her as my friend than my enemy, that I can tell you,” he said.

May still has a long way to go in terms of avoiding challenges to her leadership and navigating Britain through Brexit—just this morning, another former cabinet minister called for a second referendum to protest May's existing Brexit plan—but she did notch a win on Friday: Few world leaders can claim getting a notoriously bold president to rein in his bravado.


 Center stage. Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference gets underway in Apsen this afternoon. Appearing on the stage today will be the likes of Google's Ivy Ross, AMD CEO Lisa Su, and Grab's Hooi Ling Tan. The very first interview will be with new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who will no doubt have some tough questions to answer (see below). If you are unable to be there in person, be sure to tune in here, starting at 2 p.m. Mountain Time.

 #1 Mom. Serena Williams lost to Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final on Saturday. But in her defeat, the tennis star emerged as a different kind of champion, writes WaPo's Sally Jenkins—one forging ahead on behalf of working moms.  Washington Post

We're all ears. In this Q&A with the New York Times, TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot gets frank about being one of the few black executives in Silicon Valley. "I get discriminated against all the time. No one thinks I’m a CEO. I sit on a plane and tell somebody, 'Well, I run this company.' They’re like, 'What? You run a company?' And it’s like shocking. You could imagine someone else sitting in that seat where no one would be surprised."  New York Times

 Stuck in neutral. Uber hired Barney Harford late last year to fix some of its internal problems. But the new COO has instead become a source of them, raising questions about how much has really changed under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. For instance, Harford is the sponsor of an internal group "Women of Uber," but has reportedly made comments that employees consider insensitive toward women. At the same time Uber has lost some of its top female executives: Frances Frei, Uber’s senior vice president of leadership and strategy, returned to Harvard in February, and Uber's chief brand officer Bozoma Saint John left last month for Hollywood talent agency Endeavor. HR head Liane Hornsey stepped down last week after allegations she mishandled discrimination claims.    New York Times


 Having her back. #MeToo advocates have come to the defense of actress Asia Argento who's been attacked by online trolls following the death of boyfriend Anthony Bourdain. Argento's harassers are blaming her for his suicide and accusing her of using the movement to further her career. Rose McGowan, Terry Crews, Mira Sorvino and others published an open letter in the L.A. Times on Argento's behalf: "There has long been a traditional narrative of blaming, vilifying and martyring courageous women," it says. "We reject that narrative." The Cut

Crowning achievement. Queen Elizabeth II's teatime with President Donald Trump on Friday was just another day in the life of the world's longest-reigning monarch, who's now met 12 U.S. presidents—every one since Harry S. Truman, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson.  New York Times

Spacing out. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine had publicly endorsed Dr. Janet Kavandi, a former astronaut and respected leader of the one of the space agency's research centers, to serve as his deputy. But the White House said last week that the president will nominate James Morhard, a veteran Senate aide with no space technology experience, instead. Quartz

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Meet the comedian who’s using a podcast to find a sperm donor  Washington Post

Apple is helping bring education to girls in Brazil CNN

Lady Gaga is quietly working on a new beauty startup—and it already has Silicon Valley’s blessing and funding  Recode

Business coach Marie Forleo explains how she created her dream job and got hundreds of thousands of fans Business Insider


If we want progress, we just have to stop looking [at] whether what other women are doing is good or not.
—Spain's Ángela Ponce, who will be the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.