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.