What we are watching: An election do-over in Turkey, and al-Sisi's latest power grab

Istanbul's mayoral election rerun – In recent local elections, Turkish President Recep Erdogan's ruling AKP party narrowly lost the mayoralty of Istanbul for the first time in more than two decades. Erdogan, who started his career as mayor of Istanbul, was not happy. Yesterday, the AKP cried "do over!" submitting a formal request to re-run the election. The first go-round was decided by less than 15,000 votes in a city of 15 million, but it's a risky strategy for the AKP – there's no guarantee that a fresh election will return a better result, and it might just serve up a worse one.

Al-Sisi's plans to hang out for a while – Egypt's autocratic President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has opened the way to stay in office for another eleven years. The country's rubber stamp parliament has approved constitutional amendments that extend the presidential term and expand executive control over the judiciary. We're watching the upcoming popular referendum on the changes, but only to see how comically high the YES vote is in a country where the president rang up 97 percent in the last election. That said, note: holding on to power forever is a great plan until it isn't, as al-Sisi's recently deposed neighbors in Algeria and Sudan can attest.

What we are ignoring: Another Trump-Kim summit, and Cantonese opera

The clamor for a new US-North Korea summit – Speculation about a new meeting between President Trump and his North Korean counterpart is growing after North Korean state media reported last week that Kim Jong-un was open to another tete-a-tete, provided the US came with the "right attitude." Over the weekend, Mr. Trump said a third summit to discuss denuclearization and the removal of US sanctions "would be good." We're ignoring this, because it's not clear if anything material has changed since the two sides walked out of the last round of talks in February, and if Kim is waiting for President Trump to change his attitude, he's going to be waiting a long time.

"Trump on Show" – A three-and-a-half-hour Cantonese opera that premiered in Hong Kong last weekend featured a drunken Richard Nixon, a clone of Chairman Mao, and a young Donald Trump in search of his long-lost twin brother, all set to the tones of traditional Chinese stringed instruments. Your US-based Signal crew is intrigued by this attempt to revitalize the 500-year-old traditional art form, but we missed the show's sold-out four-day run. From what we've been able to piece together from social media, it sounded pretty epic.

This time last year, world health experts were speculating about why Africa appeared to have escaped the worst of the global pandemic. Younger populations? Natural immunity created by exposure to past viruses? Something else?

They can stop wondering. Africa is now in the grip of a COVID emergency.

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Listen: Stanford historian Niall Ferguson joins Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast to talk about the geopolitics of disaster. Throughout human history we seem to be unable to adequately prepare for catastrophes (natural or human-caused) before they strike. Why is that? And as we emerge from the greatest calamity of our lifetimes in the COVID-19 pandemic and look to the plethora of crises that climate change has and will cause, what can we do to lessen the blow?

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred two Republican members from serving on the Jan. 6 commission. What's going on?

Well, the Jan. 6 commission was designed to be a bipartisan commission, taking input from members from Democrats and Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had the opportunity to make recommendations but the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, could always veto those recommendations. In this case, she did, saying no to two members, Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, both of whom are strongly aligned with President Trump and who voted against certifying the election results in 2020. The Republicans for the most part see the Jan. 6 commission as an opportunity to score political points against them, and the Democrats say this is going to be a fair, non-biased, and nonpartisan investigation into what happened on Jan. 6, starting with a hearing next week with some of the police officers who were involved in the battle with the protesters inside the Capitol.

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In his New York Times op-ed, David Brooks says the US is facing an identity crisis — protecting liberal and progressive values at home while doing little to stop autocrats elsewhere. But has the US really abandoned its values abroad just because it's withdrawing from Afghanistan? Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to argue that the US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff.

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When the Tokyo Olympics begin on Friday, Japan watchers will be following more than just the performance of Japan's star athletes, including tennis star Naomi Osaka. They will also be tracking the political fortunes of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is taking a big gamble by staging the event — amid a raging pandemic — in the face of strong and longstanding opposition from the Japanese public. What are the stakes for Suga, particularly with elections on the horizon? Eurasia Group senior analyst Ali Wyne explains.

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YouTube pulls Bolsonaro's rants: Google-owned YouTube pulled down a series of videos on the channel of Brazil's populist President Jair Bolsonaro, accusing him of spreading misinformation about the pandemic. YouTube removed more than a dozen clips for touting quack cures for coronavirus or claiming, in defiance of scientific experts, that masks don't reduce COVID transmissions. Last year, Twitter and Facebook also removed some content from Bolsonaro's feeds for similar reasons. But critics say that YouTube's move is too little too late, because Bolsonaro has been spreading misinformation about COVID since the pandemic began. Many Brazilians hold him personally responsible for the country's abysmal pandemic response, which has led to almost 550,000 deaths, the second worst toll in the world. Will YouTube's move change Bolsonaro's message? His weekly address to the nation, where he converses not only with government ministers but also various conspiracy theorists and loons, is broadcast on YouTube. Surely he doesn't want to risk losing that — or does he?

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Boycotts! Bans! Protests! Drugs! Think you've got gold medal knowledge about politics at the Olympics? Test what you know with this special Tokyo Olympics Quiz. And to stay current on all the latest political stories at the Games and around the world, subscribe here to Signal, our daily newsletter. Now, without further ado, the first question is...

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