FOOTBALL’S FUTURE: THE OTHER WORLD CUP

In your Wednesday edition, Alex Kliment wrote about the World Cup and its political significance. That’s not the whole story. On the outskirts of London last week, the non-profit Confederation of Independent Football Associations and British bookmaker Paddy Power sponsored an alternative football eventfor territories and peoples whose sovereignty is not internationally recognized. The first version of this competition (2014) appeared in Sweden and the second (2016) in Abkhazia, a region that declared independence from Georgia in 1999.


Here we see the sporting rivalries of tomorrow: Iraqi Kurdistan vs Tibet, the Serbs of Hungary vs the Koreans of Japan, Greenland vs. Matabeleland, Abkhazia vs Panjab (the 2016 final), Karpatalya, a Hungarian-speaking minority in Western Ukraine, vs. Northern Cyprus (this year’s final), and the Ukrainian separatists of Donetsk vs the American and Canadian separatists of Cascadia.

The passion and fun are real, and the controversy is minimal. For now.

It was inevitable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make India's elections a referendum on Narendra Modi, and now that the vast majority of 600 million votes cast have been counted, it's clear he made the right call.

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Among the 23 men and women now seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Donald Trump in next year's election, the frontrunner, at least for now, has spent half a century in politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden, first elected to the US Senate in 1972, is the very epitome of the American political establishment.

Yet, the dominant political trend in many democracies today is public rejection of traditional candidates and parties of the center-right and center-left in favor of new movements, voices, and messages. Consider the evidence from some recent elections:

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It's Friday, and Signal readers deserve at least one entirely upbeat news story.

José Obdulio Gaviria, a Colombian senator for the rightwing Democratic Center party, is an outspoken opponent of government attempts to make peace with the FARC rebel group after 50 years of conflict.

On his way into a meeting earlier this week, Gaviria collapsed. It was later reported that he had fainted as a result of low blood pressure probably caused by complications following recent open heart surgery.

A political rival, Senator Julian Gallo, quickly came to his rescue and revived him using resuscitation skills he learned as—irony alert—a FARC guerrilla. CPR applied by Gallo helped Gaviria regain consciousness, before another senator, who is also professional doctor, took over. Gaviria was taken to hospital and appears to have recovered.

Because some things will always be more important than politics.