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.

Brazil's governors take on Bolsonaro: We've previously written about the tensions between local and national governments over coronavirus response, but few places have had it as bad as Brazil. As COVID-19 infections surged in Brazil, the country's governors quickly mobilized – often with scarce resources – to enforce citywide lockdowns. Brazil's gangs have even risen to the occasion, enforcing strict curfews to limit the virus' spread in Rio de Janeiro. But Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has mocked the seriousness of the disease and urged states to loosen quarantines in order to get the economy up and running again. "Put the people to work," he said this week, "Preserve the elderly; preserve those who have health problems. But nothing more than that." In response, governors around the country – including some of his allies – issued a joint letter to the president, begging him to listen to health experts and help states contain the virus. The governor of Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic powerhouse, has even threatened to sue the federal government if Bolsonaro continues to undermine his efforts to combat the virus' spread.

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The major outbreaks of coronavirus in China, Europe, and the United States have garnered the most Western media attention in recent weeks. Yesterday, we went behind the headlines to see how Mexico and Russia are faring. Today, we'll look at three other potential hotspots where authorities and citizens are now contending with the worst global pandemic in a century.

Start with India. For weeks, coronavirus questions hovered above that other country with a billion-plus people, a famously chaotic democracy where the central government can't simply order a Chinese-scale public lockdown with confidence that it will be respected. It's a country where 90 percent of people work off the books— without a minimum wage, a pension, a strong national healthcare system, or a way to work from home.

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In the end, it took the coronavirus to break the year-long deadlock in Israeli politics. Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu will still face corruption charges, but he has yet another new lease on political life, as he and political rival Benny Gantz cut a deal yesterday: Bibi will continue as prime minister, with Gantz serving as Speaker of the Knesset, Israel's parliament. After 18 months, Gantz will take over as prime minister, but many doubt that will ever happen.

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With large parts of the American economy shuttered because of coronavirus-related lockdowns, the number of people filing jobless claims in the US last week exceeded 3.2 million, by far the highest number on record. Here's a look at the historical context. The surge in jobless claims, which may be an undercount, is sure to cause a spike in the unemployment rate (which tells you the percent of work-ready people who are looking for a job). At last reading in February, unemployment was at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent. Economists warn that it could reach 5.5 percent in the near term. Even that would be far lower than the jobless rates recorded during previous economic crises such as the Great Depression or the Great Recession. Have a look.