Mitch McConnell's calendar considerations

After a months-long investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine's president into investigating his political rivals in order to boost his reelection prospects in 2020, House Democrats brought two articles of impeachment against him, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Click here for our GZERO guide to what comes next.

In the meantime, imagine for a moment that you are now Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader and senior member of Donald Trump's Republican Party. You've got big choices to make.


Once the House has impeached President Trump, you'll be the person who sets the timing of a Senate trial. And as it happens, this is the first impeachment trial in American history that will take place in an election year. That presents you with a unique opportunity.

If you wanted to, you could create real trouble for the Democratic Party's presidential candidates by scheduling the trial right before (and maybe during) those crucial first election contests.

Here's how.

The first Democratic nominating contest, the Iowa caucus, is set for February 3. The second, the New Hampshire primary, will take place on February 11.

Four of the major candidates for president—Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, and Cory Booker—are senators who would have to be present in Washington during the impeachment trial. You can make political mischief by scheduling the trial to keep them off the campaign trail at a crucial moment.

Should you do it?

Polls suggest that President Trump's toughest Democratic opponent would be Joe Biden, who is not a senator and would be free to campaign wherever and whenever he wants. Biden leads in national polls, but is currently polling outside the top three in both Iowa and New Hampshire. No Democrat since the birth of the modern primary system in 1976 has won the party's presidential nomination without winning one of those first two states.

That is to say: if you make mischief for Democratic senators running for president by keeping them away from voters, you may rescue the campaign of the one Democrat that polls say is most likely to beat President Trump.

Your calendar is open, Senator McConnell – what would you like to do?

The world is at a turning point. Help shape our future by taking this one-minute survey from the United Nations. To mark its 75th anniversary, the UN is capturing people's priorities for the future, and crowdsourcing solutions to global challenges. The results will shape the UN's work to recover better from COVID-19, and ensure its plans reflect the views of the global public. Take the survey here.

As the coronavirus pandemic has plunged much of the world economy into turmoil, you've probably heard a lot about what might happen to "supply chains," the vast networks of manufacturing and shipping that help create and deliver all those plastic toys, iPhones, cars, pills, pants, yogurt, and N95 face-masks you've been waiting on.

The future of global supply chains is an especially important question for China, the world's manufacturing powerhouse. Some countries and companies now worry about relying too much on any single supplier for consumer and medical goods, let alone one where the government hid the first evidence of what became a global pandemic and sometimes enforces trade and investment rules in seemingly arbitrary ways. The US-China trade war — and the vulnerabilities it reveals for manufacturers — certainly don't help.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Got through the Fourth of July. Pretty rough one for 2020 here in the United States. Still in the thick of it as we see caseload exploding in the United States. But really, the virus is all about developing markets right now. Poor countries around the world very soon, with the exception of the US and the UK, all of the top 10 countries around the world in terms of coronavirus caseload will be poorer countries. Let's keep in mind, these are countries that test a lot less, which means the actual numbers, in the United States the experts are saying probable likelihood of total cases is about 10x what we've actually seen in the US, in emerging markets and most of them, it's more like between 20 and 100. In other words, this is really where the virus now is.

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Many countries around the world — mostly democracies in the Americas, Asia, and Europe — have condemned China's recent move to implement a draconian new security law for Hong Kong that in effect ends the autonomy granted to the territory when it reverted from British control to Chinese rule in 1997. However, last week 52 countries expressed support for China's decision at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Most of these countries either owe China a lot of money or are relatively authoritarian regimes themselves — but not all of them. Here's a look at the China-debt exposure and freedom rankings of the countries that took Beijing's side on the new Hong Kong law.

0: The trial in the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi opened in a Turkish court on Friday, but 0 of the 20 Saudi agents accused of the gruesome murder were actually in the courtroom. Saudi Arabia says its own closed-door trial over the slaying was sufficient, and has so far refused to extradite the suspects to Turkey, where Khashoggi was killed.

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