What we're watching

Curiosity about Kamala – So many Democrats have announced plans to run against Donald Trump in 2020 that their party will hold debates in pairs on back-to-back nights to ensure everyone gets time to talk. There's no obvious frontrunner yet, but new data on recent Google searches reveals intense interest in California Senator Kamala Harris.

"Unsustainable Architecture" – The 6,000 workers who occupy the building that houses the Netherlands' foreign ministry and other government offices have been warned not to dance in the staff restaurant, install heavy cabinets in offices, or even stack too much photocopy paper in any one place for fear that suspect construction materials might lead the building's floors to collapse. Ironically, this building won an award for "sustainability" not long after it opened in 2017. We're watching with great interest to see how workers react, because your Signal team would never give up the notoriously raucous lunch-hour polka break that we enjoy here at GZERO Media headquarters.

What we're ignoring

Admonishing Erdogan – New Zealand's government is not happy that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces important local elections on March 31, has tried to win votes for his party by showing the Christchurch mosque terrorist's own live-streamed video of the attack. We'll ignore any possibility this story will doing anything other than make angry people angrier, because Erdogan's response so far has been to criticize the governments of Australia and New Zealand for sending troops to fight Ottoman Turks during World War I.

Russian California – A Russian official reportedly told a state-run news agency this week that he thinks his government should ask the United States to "return" California to Russia, presumably because groups of Russians settled near Sonoma County during the early 19th century. The move would certainly provide a nice boost for Russia's economy—California's GDP ($2.7 trillion) is nearly twice as large as Russia's ($1.5 trillion). We doubt, however, that this idea will catch on with Californians.

Signal Salute

Ichiro — Signal hails one of the world's great athletes and a beloved icon on both sides of the Pacific. After many successful years with the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro Suzuki completed his remarkable baseball career yesterday, fittingly, to the cheers of both Japanese and American fans in the Tokyo Dome. #FirstBallotHallOfFame


The world is at a turning point. Help shape our future by taking this one-minute survey from the United Nations. To mark its 75th anniversary, the UN is capturing people's priorities for the future, and crowdsourcing solutions to global challenges. The results will shape the UN's work to recover better from COVID-19, and ensure its plans reflect the views of the global public. Take the survey here.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday. To understand what that means for the country's politics and public health policy, GZERO sat down with Christopher Garman, top Brazil expert at our parent company, Eurasia Group. The exchange has been lightly edited for clarity and concision.

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The Trump administration sent shockwaves through universities this week when it announced that international students in the US could be forced to return to their home countries if courses are not held in classrooms this fall. Around 1 million foreign students are now in limbo as they wait for institutions to formalize plans for the upcoming semester. But it's not only foreign students themselves who stand to lose out: International students infuse cash into American universities and contributed around $41 billion to the US economy in the 2018-19 academic year. So, where do most of these foreign students come from? We take a look here.

For years, the Philippines has struggled with domestic terrorism. Last Friday, Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a sweeping new anti-terror bill that has the opposition on edge, as the tough-talking president gears up to make broader constitutional changes. Here's a look at what the law does, and what it means for the country less than two years away from the next presidential election.

The legislation grants authorities broad powers to prosecute domestic terrorism, including arrests without a warrant and up to 24 days detention without charges. It also carries harsh penalties for those convicted of terror-related offenses, with a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. Simply threatening to commit an act of terror on social media can now be punished with 12 years behind bars.

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16,000: Amid a deepening economic crisis in Lebanon that has wiped out people's savings and cratered the value of the currency, more than 16,000 people have joined a new Facebook group that enables people to secure staple goods and food through barter.

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