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The Coronavirus Kings

Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, and Vladimir Putin gather via Zoom for a meeting of the Pandemic Presidents. But who's the top Corona King of them all? #PUPPETREGIME

What We're Watching: Brazilian ultras reject Bolsonaro, Syrian election "shocker", US baseball is back

The torcidas turn on Bolsonaro: Brazil's football fans, particularly the organized ultras popularly known as the torcidas, are famous around the world for the passion, intensity, insanity, and joy with which they celebrate their country's brand of the beautiful game. Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, is widely known for the aggressive patriotism, hyper-masculinity, and man-of-the-people image he works to project. That's why some outside Brazil might assume that Brazil's hardcore football fans are major supporters of Bolsonaro, but that assumption ignores the fault lines particular to Brazil's political and sporting culture. In fact, ultras from some rival teams have joined forces in recent days to denounce Bolsonaro's approach to both crime (too heavy) and COVID-19 (too light). In part, this is because many Brazilian ultras are working-class supporters of the leftist Workers Party, the party that Bolsonaro bitterly opposed and then defeated in the last election. Many more low-income ultras live in favelas in Brazil's major cities, which have been especially hard-hit by the coronavirus.

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I Take Responsibility: World Leaders Edition

Perhaps you've seen some of the celebrity "I Take Responsibility" videos that have gone viral recently. Well, now some of our world leaders, including Trump, MBS, Putin and Bolsonaro, have jumped in on the act too, with their own twist.

Bolsonaro is an incompetent populist, not planning a military coup

The Financial Times says Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a threat to his country's democracy. Not so fast. In this episode of The Red Pen — where we do our best to keep op-eds honest — Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Chris Garman and Filipe Carvalho poke holes in the FT's argument.

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Is Bolsonaro going bust?

Less than two years ago, Brazilians elected a controversial and untested political outsider as president.

Some voted for former army captain Jair Bolsonaro because they saw him as their best shot to break up a corrupt political class. Others took a shine to his far-right culture warrior comments about homosexuals, women, and minorities. And many who disliked his social views still voted for him as the best candidate to push through much-needed economic reforms.

Since taking power, the combative Bolsonaro, lacking a strong political party of his own, has run up against the country's establishment political forces. He's tangled with progressives over his tough crime policies, and with environmentalists over relaxing protections for the Amazon. He's constantly clashed with dogged journalists, whom he and his supporters dismiss as "fake news," or worse.

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