A PIVOTAL BREXIT PIVOT

It took just 24 hours for two key members of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet to call it quits. But as Gabe is here to explain, the resignations of Brexit Secretary David Davis, the UK’s head Brexit negotiator, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, have forced an important confrontation over the UK’s future that’s been years in the making.


How we got here. Last week, Prime Minister May took a decisive step—securing the approval of her preferred Brexit plan, which aims to maintain fairly close trading relations with the EU (at least when it comes to goods), at an emergency cabinet summit. Davis and Johnson, who view the plan as a direct repudiation of their preferred hardline Brexit policy, tenured their resignations in short order.

What comes next? Disgruntled members of May’s Tory Party will likely present a motion of no confidence against her government in parliament sometime in the coming days. The real test is whether these rebels can amass the 159 votes needed to pass such a motion and topple the prime minister.

Path one: If the vote fails, May will have succeeded in fending off the hardliners within her own party and be well positioned to deliver her preferred Brexit policy. Rebellious Tories would then be forced to either accept May’s position or risk forming an unnatural alliance with pro-Brexit members of the opposition Labor Party.

Path two: If the motion succeeds, it would trigger an internal race within the Tory Party to succeed May that could last for months. Any successor to May would almost certainly support a Brexit policy that places the UK much further from the EU than May would like—raising serious questions about the country’s economic future.

Why it matters: The coming days represent a fork in the road for Prime Minister Theresa May—one that will determine the future of both Brexit and Britain. By the end of the week, we will have a much clearer picture of where all three are heading.   ​

Ferrera Erbognone, a small town in the northern Italian province of Pavia, is home to one of the most cutting-edge computing centers in the world: Eni's Green Data Center. All of the geophysical and seismic prospecting data Eni produces from all over the world ends up here. Now, the Green Data Center is welcoming a new supercomputing system: HPC5, an advanced version of the already powerful HPC4. Due to be completed by early 2020, HPC5 will triple the Green Data Center's computing power, from 18.6 to 52 petaflops, equivalent to 52 million billion mathematical operations per second.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

A few days ago, the New York Times published a bombshell report on the Chinese government's systematic oppression of Muslims in Western China. The story was about many things: human rights, geopolitics, Chinese society – but it was also about technology: Beijing's repression in Xinjiang province is powered in part by facial recognition, big data, and other advanced technologies.

It's a concrete example of a broader trend in global politics: technology is a double-edged sword with sharp political consequences. Artificial intelligence, for example, can help develop new medicines but it can also support surveillance states. Social media helps nourish democracy movements and entertains us with cat memes, but it also feeds ISIS and 4Chan.

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Increasingly violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong have dealt a major blow to the city's once booming economy. Tourism – an economic lifeline in that city – has dropped, and retailers are suffering from a sharp decline in sales. Now, six months since the unrest began, Hong Kong has recorded its first recession in a decade, meaning its economy has contracted for two consecutive quarters. Here's a look at how Hong Kong's quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) growth has fared during the past two years.

Tehran's Next Move: "We don't want an Islamic Republic, we don't want it," was the chant heard among some protesters in Tehran over the weekend after the government announced a 50 percent fuel price hike meant to fund broader support for the country's poor. Under crippling US sanctions, the country's economy has plummeted, unleashing a "tsunami" of unemployment. What started Friday as nationwide economic protests took on a political coloring, as protestors in some cities tore up the flag and chanted "down with [Supreme Leader] Khamenei!". The unrest seems to be related, at least indirectly, to widespread demonstrations against Tehran-backed regimes in Iraq and Lebanon as well. Economically-motivated protests erupt in Iran every few years, but they tend to subside within weeks under harsh government crackdowns. So far, the authorities have shut down the internet to prevent protestors from using social media to organize rallies. But Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps has warned of more "decisive action" if the unrest continues.

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