What We're Watching

India's Election Tourism – Your Signal authors are always on the lookout for vacations that combine relaxation with opportunities to nerd out on global politics and, man, have we found one: "Election Tourism India" has a five-week-long offering that combines standard sightseeing with the chance to attend colorful local political rallies across the country and meet-and-greet events with candidates for India's parliament. More than 3,500 people from outside India have already signed up, and we're going to find this hard to resist.

Golan blowback – In an unusual show of agreement between bitter regional rivals, the largest Gulf Arab states and Iran all condemned the US decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a section of Syrian territory that Israel has occupied since 1967. We're watching to see if this makes it harder to get regional buy-in on any new Middle East Peace Plan. Wait, there's a new Middle East Peace plan? Yes, allegedly Jared Kushner has recently been putting the final touches on his magnum opus. But any solution will require support from Saudi Arabia and other regional Arab powers that can't, for domestic political reasons, accept legitimizing further Israeli occupation of Arab land

What We're Ignoring

Russians quoting non-existent Chinese proverbs – When a reporter asked Vladimir Putin's seasoned spokesman Dmitry Peskov about the end of the Mueller investigation at a press conference in Moscow this week, Peskov replied, "I would like to quote the words of a Chinese philosopher who said, 'It is very hard to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if it is not there,'" Good zinger, Dmitry Sergeyevich, but it seems that the proverb is . . . not actually from China.

"Techno-dystopian" Eurovision contestants – An Icelandic band called Hatari (or "Haters" in English) won the Nordic country's national Eurovision contest, securing a spot in the pan-European televised song contest and kitsch-fest which half your Signal authors love, and Alex hates. (Willis thinks Eurovision is a precursor of End Times.) The band, which takes the stage in sadomasochism garb, describes its music as "techno-dystopian"and roars that "hate will prevail... and Europe's heart impale. Burn off its web of lies." Lead singer Matthías Tryggva hailed the victory as bringing the band "one step nearer to our plan, to destroy capitalism." We like techno-dystopian BDSM metal as much as anyone, but we're ignoring Hatari, because Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails got there first.


How will our cities and lives change in the future? What about a structure with a roller skating rink above a swimming pool, made out of transparent solar panels that power the entire park? This was the innovation invented by Eni's young researchers based on Luminescent Solar Concentrators, developed through Eni's research.

Watch the latest episode of Funny Applications, Eni's video series that imagines new uses for technology.

For 30 years, citizens of Hong Kong have gathered in Victoria Park on the evening of June 4 to honor the peaceful protesters massacred in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on that date in 1989. It has been the only public Tiananmen commemoration permitted on Chinese soil.

This year, the park was surrounded by barricades to keep people out. The officially stated reason for the shut-down? Crowds spread coronavirus. (In this city of more than 7 million, COVID has so far killed four people.)

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In an interview with GZERO World host Ian Bremmer, Hong Kong lawmaker Dennis Kwok, an outspoken pro-democracy advocate, expresses his concerns that the current "draconian" laws China's leadership is forcing upon his city has expedited the end of the "one country, two systems" policy established in 1997.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Big news, of course, that former Secretary of Defense Mattis comes out with a public statement basically calling Trump's rule, his actions, unconstitutional and unfit for office, more divisive than any president he's ever seen.

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French protests over racial injustice: The George Floyd protests in the United States have sparked solidarity demonstrations around the world, with people flocking to US embassies in Berlin, London and elsewhere to express their outrage. But they have also inspired other countries to reexamine racial justice within their own societies. In France, where street demonstrations are practically a national pastime, thousands of people have gathered in support of the family of Adama Traoré, a 24-year old black man who died in police custody back in 2016. At least 20,000 Parisians demonstrated Wednesday, despite coronavirus bans on public gatherings. Protesters adopted similar language to the Floyd protests, demanding accountability for the officers who violently pinned down Traoré during a dispute over an identity check, leading to his death. Renewed focus on this case, which has become a potent symbol of police brutality in France, comes as coronavirus lockdowns have recently stoked tensions between the police and the mostly-minority residents of Paris' banlieues (low-income suburbs).

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