Jupiter Visits the Sun

Jupiter Visits the Sun

French President Emmanuel Macron isn’t exactly Donald Trump’s type, to say the least. Macron is a “globalist” who sees himself fighting for the future of liberal democracy, while Trump is a hero to precisely the illiberal politicians and nationalists Macron detests. Where Macron embraces high culture and history, Trump is a creature of cable TV and the eternal present. Macron married a woman a quarter of a century older than him, Trump’s age gap with Melania runs in the other direction.


Yet in many ways Trump and Macron, who arrived yesterday for the first state visit granted by the Trump White House, are on the same wavelength. They’re both businessmen who rode anti-establishment waves to the presidency. They both hate politics as usual but share a love of pomp and parades. In their affect(ion)s there’s the sense of the mutual admiration you find in the tussle of two alpha dogs.

Will that understanding yield concrete results for either? For Trump, a decent photo-op with the rare friendly European head of state is probably a win — particularly ahead of a brief, and likely chillier, visit from German Chancellor Angela Merkel later this week.

But for Macron, the stakes are higher. His economic reforms have left him unpopular at home. His ambitious vision for a more powerful EU has provoked skepticism across the continent.

Close ties with Trump, who is deeply disliked in much of Europe, are a big gamble, and now he’s got to show that he can convince the US president to do three big things for Europe: keep the US in the Iran deal, leave American troops in Syria to keep ISIS at bay, and grant the EU permanent exemptions from new steel and aluminum tariffs.

If Macron can’t bring home something on at least one of those areas, the man who came to office promising a Jupiterian presidency will look like he’s gotten burnt by the sun. He wouldn’t be the first.

"I knew that history was my life's calling."

On Bank of America's That Made All the Difference podcast, Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch shares his journey and present-day work creating exhibits that inspire visitors to help our country live up to its ideals.

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

What is going on in Bosnia with Bosnian Serbs boycotting all major institutions?

Well, it's a reaction against a decision that was taken by the outgoing high representative during his very last days, after 12 years of having done very little in this respect, to have a law banning any denial of Srebrenica and other genocides. But this issue goes to very many other aspects of the Bosnian situation. So, it has created a political crisis that will be somewhat difficult to resolve.

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It's easy to judge the Pompeiians for building a city on the foothills of a volcano, but are we really any smarter today? If you live along the San Andreas fault in San Francisco or Los Angeles, geologists are pretty confident you're going to experience a magnitude 8 (or larger) earthquake in the next 25 years—that's about the same size as the 1906 San Francisco quake that killed an estimated 3,000 people and destroyed nearly 30,000 buildings. Or if you're one of the 9.6 million residents of Jakarta, Indonesia, you might have noticed that parts of the ground are sinking by as much as ten inches a year, with about 40 percent of the city now below sea level.

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Viktor Orbán, Hungary's far-right populist prime minister, likes to shock people. It's part of his political appeal. Orbán has proudly proclaimed that he is an "illiberal" leader" creating a frenzy in Brussels because Hungary is a member of the European Union.

It's been over a decade since the 58-year old whom some have dubbed "the Trump before Trump" became prime minister. In that time he has, critics say, hollowed out Hungary's governing institutions and eroded the state's democratic characteristics.

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Why do (most) world leaders drink together? It can get them to agree on stuff they wouldn't while sober. Booze "helps people get cooperation off the ground, especially in situations where cooperation is challenging," says University of British Colombia professor Edward Slingerland. Alcohol, he explains, allows you to "see commonalities rather than just pursuing your own interest," which may put teetotaler politicians — like Donald Trump — at a disadvantage. Watch his interview on the next episode of GZERO World. Check local listings to watch on US public television.

In countries with access to COVID vaccines, the main challenge now is to convince those hesitant about the jab to roll up their sleeves, and this has become even more urgent given the spread of the more contagious delta variant. So, where are there more vaccine skeptics, and how do they compare to total COVID deaths per million in each nation? We take a look at a group of large economies where jabs are available, yet (in some cases) not everyone wants one.

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

QR codes are everywhere. Are they also tracking my personal data?

Well, a QR code is like a complex barcode that may be on a printed ad or product package for you to scan and access more information. For example, to look at a menu without health risk or for two-factor verification of a bank payment. And now also as an integral part of covid and vaccine registration. QR codes can lead to tracking metadata or personal data. And when your phone scans and takes you to a website, certainly the tracking starts there. Now, one big trap is that people may not distinguish one kind of use of QR codes from another and that they cannot be aware of the risks of sharing their data.

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Now that the Tokyo Olympics are finally underway, your Signal crew will be bringing you some intriguing, uplifting, and quirky bits of color from a Games like no other…

Today we've got— the best freakout celebrations!

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