AMLO AND OTHERS: PEOPLE ARE MAD ABOUT DIFFERENT THINGS

If ever there was a mandate for change, this was it. In the Mexican presidential election on Sunday, left-wing nationalist Andrés Manuel López Obrador rang up both the largest vote tally and widest margin of victory in his country’s democratic history. He also appears to have led his Morena party to control over both houses of Congress, upending nearly a century of rule by establishment parties. (Final results will be out by Wednesday.)


Willis has already shed some light for you on López Obrador’s background and intentions. But how does the triumph of AMLO, as Mexico’s next president is known, fit into the larger narrative of anti-establishment backlashes that have rippled across Europe and the Americas in recent years?

Here’s one thing to consider: Whereas the populist forces in Europe focus on borders, migration, and national identity, Latin America’s mad-as-hell voters have different concerns: corruption, crime, and inequality. In part that’s because the major shock to European politics in recent years was external, the migrant crisis that peaked in 2015–2016, whereas in Latin America it was internal: the emergence of a new middle class during the boom years of the 2000s that has come to expect cleaner government, more equitable economic opportunities, and better living standards. Corruption scandals, botched reforms, and rising crime have all decimated support for establishment politicians in Latin America, opening the way for charismatic critics of those in power.

Here’s another: This is the first time that the current anti-establishment wave has brought firebrand nationalists to power in two countries that are at odds with each other. Sure, the Trumps and Dutertes and Orbans and Salvinis of the world all seem to admire each other’s style, but they do so from afar.

When AMLO takes office, he’ll have to contend with a US president who has repeatedly insulted Mexicans and thrown bombs into migration, border security, and trade relations — three issues that are critical for Mexico’s economy.

In the hours after AMLO’s victory, he and Trump exchanged positive messages, but relationships with Trump can sour awfully fast. If, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have seen a new wave of populists and firebrand nationalists confront elites at home and abroad — we will now get a look across the Rio Grande at what it’s like when two of these men confront each other.

We're used to seeing electric, gas and wood-burning ovens, but can you imagine baking pizza in a solar-powered oven? That technology was invented in the latest episode of Funny Applications, where Eni's budding researchers imagine new uses for technology.

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It looks like China's leadership has finally had enough of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.

In a speech on Thursday to the national people's congress, a symbolic confab of the country's ruling elite, Premier Li Keqiang announced a new national security law that would outlaw secessionist activity and criminalize foreign influence in Hong Kong. The measure, an explicit response to recent pro-democracy protests there, would also permit mainland China's security agencies to operate openly in the city.

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Indonesia becomes an epicenter: Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country, is now considered an epicenter of the pandemic, after it suffered its biggest daily surge in cases Thursday with over 900 new infections. The country of 260 million has the largest outbreak in Southeast Asia, recording about 20,000 cases and 1,300 deaths, though a recent study suggested that as few as 2 percent of the country's coronavirus infections may have been reported. When pressed on why Indonesia is experiencing a surge in cases while the curve appears to be flattening in neighboring countries, Indonesian health authorities blamed the public's flouting of social distancing guidelines. But critics say the government has sent wishy-washy messages on how to stop the disease's spread, as demonstrated by the fact that only four of Indonesia's 34 provinces have applied widespread social-distancing restrictions. Meanwhile, as the country's 225 million Muslims prepare to celebrate the end of Ramadan this weekend, popular markets have been overwhelmed by shoppers buying food and clothing, with little guidance or enforcement of large-scale social distancing measures. Indonesia's public health system is grossly underfunded, and experts warn that given the shortage of hospital beds, medical equipment and staff, the situation could deteriorate fast in the coming weeks.

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This is not the 2020 that Vladimir Putin had in mind.

As the year started, Russia's president was crafting plans for changes to the constitution that would permit him to stay in power for (at least) another 16 years. A rubber stamp public referendum was to be held in April. Then, in May, he was to welcome foreign leaders to Moscow for a grand celebration (parades, concerts, fireworks, and a reviewing stand atop Lenin's Mausoleum) marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union's triumph over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War.

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Have you ever read a major op-ed and thought to yourself, "no! no! no! That's just not right!" Us too. This week, Ian Bremmer is joined by analysts Kelsey Broderick and Jeffrey Wright to take the Red Pen to former World Bank president Robert B. Zoellick's Wall Street Journal op-ed.

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