Trump's Troubles In 2019

Trump's Troubles In 2019

Donald Trump enters 2019 locked in political combat. He says he won't sign a bill that reopens and funds the federal government unless Congress apportions enough money to build a "wall" to halt illegal immigration across the US border with Mexico. New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a simple message: "Forget it."


She's confident this is a fight the Democrats can't lose.

The president has plenty at stake. Influential voices in conservative media warn they'll abandon him if he backs down on the wall. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said this week that "If he gives in now, that's the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president. That's probably the end of his presidency." That's overstated, but it highlights the high political stakes in the fight over border funding.

Trump has other problems. With the opening of the new Congress yesterday, Democrats now have the subpoena power that comes with their majority in the House of Representatives. They can now add to the pressures Trump already faces from ongoing investigations of his campaign, his White House, his businesses, his associates, and his family.

His biggest challenge may come from the political calculations of fellow Republicans. The midterm election losses, reemergence of Pelosi, and fevered speculation about the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's widely expected report could lead Republicans to distance themselves from the president, diminishing the size of his political base.

Trump's biggest opportunity? Early this year, we'll see a dozen or more Democrats announce their candidacy for president in 2020. To distinguish themselves from rivals, they'll attack the president and announce policy proposals that shift their party to the left, reminding conservatives—lawmakers and voters—why they continue to support a president who sometimes appalls them.

That's President Trump's best chance to enter 2020 as a formidable candidate for re-election.

"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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