What We're Watching: The Mueller Report, Strife in Sudan
The Mueller Report – On Thursday, the US Department of Justice is expected to release a redacted version of the nearly 400-page report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Much of the media will focus on what the report says about any contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election, as well as any efforts by the President to obstruct the investigation. But we'll be watching to learn more detail on all the ways Russia tried to influence the last election and what can be done to prevent Moscow, or anyone else, from doing the same in 2020.
Strife in Sudan – Amid surging popular protests, Sudan's military ousted President Omar Bashir last week after 30 years in power and set up a "military council" to run the country for two years. When that didn't placate the streets, the defense minister who led the coup stepped down too. A protest spokesman says demonstrators want a fully civilian government and the prosecution of many former officials. We'll be watching to see whether the army keeps its cool. More importantly, senior military officials in Algeria and Venezuela are watching to see what happens when ousting a strongman isn't enough to quiet angry crowds.
What We're Ignoring: Underwater Meetings, Ukraine's non-Debate
Seychelles Underwater Cabinet Meeting – The President of the Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago, delivered a speech last weekend on the importance of protecting the world's seas. The broadcast earned international attention because the president, Danny Faure, delivered it from a submersible vehicle 400 feet beneath the surface of the sea. No one can ignore Faure's message on behalf of the world's oceans. But we're ignoring the stunt itself because in 2009 the government of the Maldives held an entire cabinet meeting underwater.Ukraine's presidential debate – On Sunday, Ukraine's embattled President Petro Poroshenko held a debate against an empty podium after his opponent, the comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, skipped the event. Zelenskiy has now agreed to debate Poroshenko on Friday at Kiev's Olympic Stadium. The spectacle might be fun to watch, but we're ignoring the debate itself, because if Ukrainian voters cared about the finer points of policy right now, Zelenskiy (who plays a president on TV) wouldn't have made the runoff—much less find himself the odds-on favorite to be elected president this Sunday.