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Johnson attends a news conference during a NATO summit in Madrid.

REUTERS/Yves Herman

What We're Watching: Bombshell UK news, China-Philippines ties, Chilean constitution draft, G20 meeting

Britain’s bombshell resignations

The hits keep coming for the scandal-plagued administration of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. On Tuesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, both of them heavyweights in the Conservative Party, quit Johnson's government. The trigger came in the wake of MP Chris Pincher’s resignation last week. Pincher stepped down amid new allegations of sexual misconduct. But the party controversy has erupted over the PM’s decision to appoint Pincher as deputy chief whip in the first place. He denied being aware of earlier sexual misconduct allegations against Pincher. Those stemmed from Johnson’s tenure as foreign secretary, when Pincher served under him. The PM was forced to acknowledge this week that he had been briefed on the matter. On Tuesday, Johnson admitted that appointing Pincher had been a mistake. Johnson survived an embarrassing vote of no confidence on June 6 following revelations that he participated in social gatherings that violated COVID lockdown rules and failed to come clean with parliament. But the Pincher scandal and these bombshell resignations now have Johnson’s political career on life support.

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Marcos attends a news conference at his headquarters in Manila.

REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

What We're Watching: Marcos inauguration, Indian religious tensions, risotto shortage

Will Marcos 2.0 be kind to the Philippine media?

Weeks after winning the election in a landslide, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (aka Bongbong, or more recently BBM) will be inaugurated on Thursday as president of the Philippines. He has a lot on his plate, including uniting — as he promised repeatedly during the campaign — a country deeply divided over the legacy of his father, the late dictator. One issue that'll surely pop up soon is how he'll handle the media, which was heavily censored under the elder Marcos’ martial law. On Tuesday, the Philippine SEC ordered the shutdown of Rappler, the news site run by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa, a vocal critic of outgoing strongman President Rodrigo Duterte. BBM will also face pressure to return a broadcast franchise to ABS-CBN, the country's biggest network, which Duterte canceled in early 2020 (and Marcos' dad also took off the air entirely in the 1980s). Supporters say Marcos 2.0 wants to kick off his presidency with a charm offensive to appease his enemies, but he may have more of a problem with his most powerful friend. Overturning two of Duterte's most controversial decisions would not go down well with the famously pugnacious outgoing leader — whose feisty daughter is … Marcos’s VP.

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Marcos Jr. Wins in Philippines: No Huge Changes in Governance Expected | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s win, corruption and kleptocracy in the Philippines

With Marcos Jr. about to win the presidency, how will his leadership change the Philippines? Sri Lanka's prime minister resigned. Will its president be next? Is Sinn Féin's victory a sign that a united Ireland is closer? Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

With Marcos Jr. about to win the presidency, how will his leadership change the Philippines?

Well, it was a big win, almost 30 points over his opponent, and the first time we've seen an absolute majority in Philippines history for the presidency. Not huge changes expected in governance. Let's keep in mind that the vice president is actually the daughter of President Duterte, who's just leaving power. The president and the vice presidents here are actually... Those elections are held separately, and so you can have different parties that actually win, and frequently do, which is sort of an unusual twist to the Philippines. Pro-foreign direct investment, generally pro-markets, a little bit more of a US and Western tilt as opposed to Duterte, whose military really was skeptical of China, but he personally was more engaged with Beijing. The big question is what's the cabinet going to look like, how independent, how technocratic, or is there going to be a lot of corruption, a lot of kleptocracy? Keeping in mind that Bongbong, the new president, is the son of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, who were drummed out for an extraordinary abuse of power in the Philippines before. So what everyone's going to be watching.

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Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers a speech during a campaign rally.

REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

How will Marcos 2.0 rule the Philippines?

The Marcoses are back in power in the Philippines.

What seemed unthinkable just months ago became reality on Monday. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator, is on the cusp of winning the presidential election by a landslide. What's more, he's the first candidate to get more than 50% of the vote in the single-round race since his family was chased out of power in 1986.

This decisive triumph is the culmination of a decades-long quest by the most famous and polarizing dynasty in modern Philippine politics to restore its legacy and return to Malacañang Palace. But will Marcos govern like his autocrat dad or deliver on his vague promise of "unity" to appease Filipinos with bitter memories of his father’s iron-fisted rule and kleptocracy?

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What We're Watching: Filipinos vote, Taliban vs Afghan women

Is the Philippines ready for Marcos 2.0?

Filipinos go to the polls Monday to vote in perhaps the most consequential and polarizing presidential election in recent memory. The clear frontrunner is Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the late dictator. Marcos is leading the polls by a 30-point margin over Vice President Leni Robredo, who has campaigned on a message of good governance to contrast with the kleptocracy associated with the 21-year rule of the senior Marcos. Despite her long odds, Robredo supporters hope that their candidate's late surge in popularity and possibly lower-than-expected turnout could turn the tide in their favor. Marcos, meanwhile, is confident of a victory that'll return his family to Malacañang Palace 36 years after his dad and shoe-loving mom Imelda were chased out of power and into exile in Hawaii. His election would be yet another triumph for political dynasties, which have tightened their long-held grip on Philippine politics in recent years (Marcos' running mate for VP is none other than the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte). Though his victory seems inevitable, will Marcos' many critics accept the result?

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Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers a speech during a campaign rally.

REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

Dynasty + disinformation = Philippine democracy

The Philippine presidential election is a week away, and two uncomfortable characteristics of modern democracy in the country — dynasty and disinformation — are expected to shape the result.

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A woman holds a placard during a protest following the vice presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, for the 2022 national elections, at the Commission of Human Rights, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, November 14, 2021.

REUTERS/Lisa Marie David/File Photo

Philippine presidential election: “All in the family”

Philippine elections have always been, Filipinos will candidly admit, a bit of a circus. Come campaign season, politicians fan out across the country, showing off their best tricks to lure voters into giving them their support.

So, what does it take to get elected president? Not coherent programs to cut widespread poverty and rampant corruption. Everyone knows those promises will surely not be kept.

The holy grail of Philippine politics is name recognition. Yet it's not enough to simply be famous. The golden ticket is to belong to a well-known political family.

Even better, join forces with another powerful dynasty — which is exactly what the two biggest names in Philippine politics today have done to win the May 2022 presidential election.

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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R) speaks next to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during talks at a hotel in Beijing August 19, 2011.

REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool

What We’re Watching: Biden-Xi on Zoom, Cuban protest, Duterte family drama, Qaddafi junior for prez, Steele Dossier skewered

US-China virtual summit. Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will meet face-to-face (virtually) on Monday for the first time since Biden became US president last January. The two have a lot to discuss: trade wars, the 2022 Beijing Olympics — which Biden won't attend, but probably won't boycott — and how to deliver on the joint US-China pledge on climate made at COP26. But the elephant in the Zoom room is Taiwan, an ultra-sensitive issue for China. Xi is seething at the Biden administration's recent public support for the self-governing island, which the Chinese regard as part of their own territory. The Americans insist they are simply doing what they've always done since 1979 — pledging to help Taiwan defend itself. Can Biden and Xi navigate these issues in a calm, cool way? It may help that the two leaders have known each other for more than a decade, when they were both VPs. With US-China relations getting chillier by the day, the stakes are high.

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