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Key Issues


70+ votes for immigration reform?  “I think it is doable,” Sen. John McCain says.  (Politico)

Judiciary to start piece-by-piece approach to immigration reform.  The first two pieces will establish a guest-worker program in agriculture and create an employment verification system.  (The Hill)

House Seeks Step-by-Step Immigration Plan Senators Oppose.  The Republican-led House plans to rewrite U.S. immigration law through a step-by-step process of individual bills, an approach that sponsors of a comprehensive Senate measure say won’t work.  (Bloomberg)

Senate immigration markup begins May 9.  Patrick Leahy says any amendments will be made public on the committee’s website beforehand.  (Politico Pro)

House conservatives to pursue their own agenda on immigration laws.  Some lawmakers warned it could derail a comprehensive overhaul that President Obama is urging.  (Washington Post)

A Tech Worker Shortage? Think Again.  One of the basic premises behind the push for immigration reform has been absolutely shattered.  (CNBC)

Asian lawmakers fear changes to visa program would keep families apart.  Asian-American lawmakers and advocates are troubled by changes to family-sponsored visas in the Senate’s immigration bill.  (The Hill)

Fair Trade Electronics: Chinese workers abused despite audits by US firms.  Will US companies take action against their sub-contractors?  (ZDNet)


U.K. Has Unwinnable Battle on Tax Avoidance, Panel Says.  The U.K. government is fighting an unwinnable battle against tax avoidance, lawmakers warned, as they called for greater transparency from companies and more resources to police compliance.  (Bloomberg)

Senate advances bill to tax Internet sales.  The Senate moved closer Thursday to passing a bill to tax purchases made over the Internet. But a final vote in the Senate was delayed until senators return from a weeklong vacation.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Internet sales tax? Why it's such an awful idea.  Charging consumers more is not going to help our weak economy. Even brick-and-mortars won't win.  (ZDNet)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Senate Deals Blow To CISPA.  The Senate will not vote on a cybersecurity bill that passed the House earlier this month, according to two Senate staffers, dealing a blow to a measure that sparked opposition from privacy advocates and the White House.  (Huffington Post)

Senate committee advances bill to prevent warantless email searches.  Bipartisan group seeks update to Electronic Communications Privacy Act over concerns of misuse by law enforcement.  (The Guardian)

Facebook: Audit finds privacy practices sufficient.  Facebook says that an independent audit found its privacy practices sufficient during a six-month assessment period that followed a settlement with federal regulators.  (Boston Globe)

Global Trade

WTO set for Latin American boss, Brazil and Mexico vie for job.  The next head of the World Trade Organization will be either Mexico's Herminio Blanco or Brazil's Roberto Azevedo, guaranteeing a Latin American nation will hold the top job at the global trade body for the first time.  (Reuters)

Confusing web page says Thailand is TPP member.  A misleading web page promoting the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations indicates that Thailand is participating, when in fact Bangkok is staying away from the TPP at this point.  (Bangkok Post)

Congress given 90 days to OK Japan TPP entry.  The United States government has notified Congress of its intent to include Japan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said, meaning Japan could enter as early as July. (Japan Times)

Japan to craft growth strategy, fiscal plan before G8.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed his cabinet to compile the government's growth strategy and long-term fiscal reform plan before the Group of 8 summit in mid-June, the top government spokesman said on Friday.  (Reuters)


Court backs Microsoft over Motorola patents in Xbox.  Judge determines Motorola is entitled to $1.8 million in royalty rates for patents used in Xbox -- not the $4 billion it had sought.  (CNET)

2 Googles: 1 for Europe and 1 for everyone else.  European regulators say Google may be abusing dominance of search industry.  (Washington Post)

EU Seeks Feedback on Google Concessions.  EU regulators have given Google's competitors and other interested parties one month to respond to the search engine's proposals to address concerns that it is abusing its dominance in Internet search practices.  (WSJ)

Obama nominates antitrust expert Shelanski as new regulatory czar.  President Barack Obama said on Thursday he would pick Howard Shelanski, an antitrust expert, as his new regulatory czar, a powerful White House position charged with reviewing regulations proposed by government departments.  (Reuters)

Businesses Take a Wary Approach to Disclosures Using Social Media.  About a dozen companies are taking advantage of the S.E.C.’s new rules that allow the use of social media to disclose financial information, though others are still skeptical.  (NYT)


Verizon Price Gap: $30 Billion.  Verizon is eager to buy Vodafone out of their massive mobile-phone joint venture—but it will have to get over a $30 billion hurdle.  (WSJ)


The Future of Wearable Technology.  Google Glass — the glasses with a computer, Internet and camera built in — is only the latest version of wearable technology. Off Book, a Web video series from PBS, explorers the future, from "smart" fabrics in clothing to devices that help measure your sleep patterns.  (NPR)

Looking at Facebook’s Friend and Relationship Status Through Big Data.  Wolfram Alpha, a computational search engine, released a slew of fascinating data about Facebook users, including the age of friends, relationship status, and how these change based on age and geographical locations.  (NYT)

Environment & Sustainability

Carbon tax on the table in the Senate.  Taxing carbon and some other excellent ideas that have been under-appreciated in Washington are now officially on the table in the Senate Finance Committee.  (Washington Post)

Tech Business

Android notebooks? Yep, Intel says, and they'll only cost $200.  Dadi Perlmutter, Intel's chief product officer, also tells CNET that devices running Intel's mainstream Core line of processors could sell for as low as $399 to $499.  (CNET)

His Service Nearly Complete, Yahoo Chairman Steps Down.  Alfred J. Amoroso, the chairman of Yahoo, who said he would serve in the position for a year when he took the job last May, is keeping his word.  (AP)

Samsung takes more smartphone market share from Apple.  Samsung Electronics Co Ltd grabbed more smartphone market share from archrival Apple Inc in the latest quarter, with sales of its phones jumping to account for one third of the global market.  (Reuters)

Samsung Reports 42 Percent Jump in Profit.  The South Korean electronics giant reported its sixth straight quarter of profit growth as it increased its assault on Apple’s iPhone.  (NYT)

EA announces more layoffs, said to be hundreds of workers.  While going through an organizational restructure, the gaming company says it had to make "difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations."  (CNET)

Amazon's success formula: move bits instead of boxes. Inc appears to have figured out the secret to being more profitable: sell less physical stuff.  (Reuters)

ZTE eyes network, smartphone growth to stay profitable.  ZTE Corp, China's second largest telecoms gear maker in revenue terms, expects an increase in smartphone sales and an expansion in 4G networks to keep it in profit this year after posting its first-ever annual loss in 2012.  (Reuters)

ITI Member News

Apple developer conference sells out in just two minutes.  It took only two minutes for app developers to buy every last $1,600 ticket to Apple's annual conference when they went on sale Thursday morning.  (LA Times)

Dell's PC Speech Has Investors Cheering.  Michael Dell this week accomplished a rare feat in the era of the smartphone: He drew applause after a speech on the future of personal computers.  Dell spoke at the annual meeting of Silver Lake Management LLC, which joined with him to take private the PC maker he founded in 1984, according to attendees who declined to be identified because the event was private.  (Bloomberg)

Alcatel Loses Cash, Plans to Change.  Alcatel-Lucent's chief executive plans to overhaul the telecommunications-gear maker's strategy by early summer, as the company burned through more than half a billion euros of cash in the first quarter and posted its fourth-consecutive quarterly loss.  (WSJ)

Sony Raises Full-Year Profit View.  Sony doubled its profit outlook for the fiscal year ended in March, after selling assets and benefiting from a weaker yen. The Japanese electronics company expects its first annual profit in five years.  (WSJ)

IBM warns it may have to cut 1,200 jobs in France within two years.  IBM has detailed its predictions for its French business over the coming years, with the tech giant expecting to have to reduce its local workforce by more than 14 percent.  (ZDNet)

Today on the Hill

House:  The House convenes at 10 a.m. ET.  Members are expected to vote on legislation to authorize sales of helium from the U.S. helium reserve – a move that ITI supports.  In addition, House members are expected to pass a bill that would reverse air traffic controller furloughs.

Senate:  The Senate convenes at 11:30 a.m. ET for a pro forma session.

Looking ahead, the House and Senate are not in session next week.

1600 Penn.

There are three public events on President Obama’s Friday schedule.

At 11:20 a.m. ET, the president will deliver remarks at the Planned Parenthood Gala at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. 

At 1:55 p.m., President Obama will host His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House.  The leaders are expected to discuss Jordan’s political and economic reforms, the crisis in Syria, and additional regional issues of mutual concern. 

At 3 p.m., President Obama will meet with U.S. business leaders with a significant presence in Mexico and Central America in advance of his trip to the region next week.  Expected attendees include:

  • John Bilbrey, CEO, Hershey
  • Franklin Chang-Díaz, Founder and President, Ad Astra Rocket Company
  • Andrés Gluski, President and CEO, AES Corporation
  • Robert A. McDonald, CEO, Procter & Gamble
  • Manuel Medina-Mora, Citi Co-President, Chairman, Banamex
  • Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank
  • J. Miles Reiter, Chairman and CEO, Driscoll’s
  • Mark Snell, President, Sempra Energy
  • David Starling, President and CEO, Kansas City Southern
  • Patricia Woertz, President and CEO, Archer Daniels Midland