What we are watching: Power in Sudan, Racial Tensions in Israel, Troubles in Turkey

What we are watching: Power in Sudan, Racial Tensions in Israel, Troubles in Turkey

The fate of Sudan's power-sharing deal — Sudanese opposition protesters have reached a power-sharing agreement with the military under which the two sides will create a "sovereign council" to be headed by the military for 21 months, followed by 18 months of civilian leadership ahead of fresh elections. In addition, the two sides have pledged a full investigation of the military's deadly crackdown on protesters in June. It remains to be seen whether that's truly possible, given that the killings were carried out by forces loyal to General Mohamed Hamdan, currently the most powerful figure in Sudan. In addition, the protesters seem to have made a big concession by allowing the military to run the council first — but in the end, they have the problem that all civilian popular revolutions must face: you need men with guns to run a state — who will they be?

Racial and generational tensions in Israel — Last week, an off-duty cop killed an unarmed Ethiopian Jewish teenager under unclear circumstances, prompting riots and protests among Israel's small, marginalized community of Ethiopian Jews. The back story is that tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in the 1980s, escaping famine and political repression at home. But while that first generation of immigrants remained stoic in the face of what its leaders describe as discrimination and racism, their children are much more willing to confront these issues head on, opening another fault line in Israel's increasingly polarized society.

Erdogan's Troubles — Troubles for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have only deepened since his man lost the Istanbul mayor's election…twice. Early Saturday morning, Erdogan fired central bank governor Murat Cetinkaya because he refused to lower interest rates in order to give Erdogan's political standing a boost with a short-term surge of economic growth. The move in the wee hours on a weekend was evidently meant to give investors time to digest the news before they reacted. But when markets opened Monday, the Turkish lira dropped like a stone, further devaluing the money that Turks carry in their pockets. Later on Monday, Erdogan suffered a second blow as former Turkish deputy prime minister Ali Babacan announced his resignation from Erdogan's Justice and Development Party over "deep differences" with the party's direction. He's now expected to form a rival party with former president Abdullah Gul.

A new politics in Greece — What challenges await the center-right New Democracy party after it rang up a resounding victory in Sunday's election? Check out Leon Levy's take here, and our interview with incoming prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakos here. "If there's a bigger lesson for the world to take away from Greek elections this Sunday," Leon writes, "it's this: even populist movements run out of steam."

What we are ignoring:

Russia's explanation of a deadly sub mishap – Last week, 14 Russian sailors perished in a fire aboard a submarine that Moscow says was carrying out a survey of the sea floor. Russian President Vladimir Putin later revealed the sub was nuclear powered and, although the reactor is reportedly safe, an anonymous military official was quoted in the local press saying that the valiant efforts of the crew had saved the ship and "averted a catastrophe of planetary scale." Our sympathies are with the dead and their families, but there's no way we're buying the official line that this secretive, high-tech sub was innocently exploring the ocean depths for science.

Microsoft announced earlier this year the launch of a new United Nations representation office to deepen their support for the UN's mission and work. Many of the big challenges facing society can only be addressed effectively through multi-stakeholder action. Whether it's public health, environmental sustainability, cybersecurity, terrorist content online or the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, Microsoft has found that progress requires two elements - international cooperation among governments and inclusive initiatives that bring in civil society and private sector organizations to collaborate on solutions. Microsoft provided an update on their mission, activities for the 75th UN General Assembly, and the team. To read the announcement from Microsoft's Vice President of UN Affairs, John Frank, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

News broke across the United States on Friday evening that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died, ending her long and distinguished career as a jurist. Tributes poured in quickly from men and women on both sides of the political spectrum. But just as quickly, her death has sharply raised the stakes for the upcoming US elections for president and the Senate, as well as the longer-term ideological balance of the nation's top court.

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In this extended version of Ian Bremmer's conversation with UN Secretary-General António Guterres for GZERO World, the two discuss a wide range of geopolitical issues and how they've been exacerbated by the pandemic. Guterres shares his views on the urgent need for global climate action, equitable distribution of vaccine once approved, and Europe's emerging role as an example of successful intergovernmental cooperation. Guterres also lays out his vision for a more "inclusive" multilateralism, one that involves deeper partnerships between organizations like the UN and World Health Organization with multinational corporations and private stakeholders.

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on the biggest development in US politics this week:

So, the scriptwriters for 2020 have thrown as a real curveball, introducing the most explosive element in US politics, just six weeks before the election. The tragic death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will be remembered as a trailblazing jurist, but also a reliably liberal vote on a court that was divided along ideological lines with a five-four conservative majority. This has the potential to upend the presidential election. And likely will motivate turnout on both sides. But also, importantly for president, Trump could remind some Romney voting ex-Republicans who were leaning towards Biden why they were Republicans in the first place. Which means that it has the potential to push some persuadable voters back towards the president.

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(Some) Thais fed up with royals: In their largest show of force to date, around 18,000 young Thai activists took to the streets of Bangkok on Saturday to rally against the government and demand sweeping changes to the country's powerful monarchy. The protesters installed a gold plaque declaring that Thailand belongs to the Thai people, not the king — a brazen act of defiance in a country where many view the sovereign as a god and offenses against the royal family are punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Activists also got the royal guards to accept a letter addressed to King Vajiralongkorn with their proposed reforms. We're watching to see if the Thai government — made up mostly of the same generals who took over in a 2014 coup and then stage-managed last year's election to stay in power — continues to exercise restraint against the activists. So far, some protest leaders have been detained but they are growing bolder in their defiance of the military and the royal family, the two institutions that have dominated Thai politics for decades. Prime Minister and former army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha is in a tough spot: many young and liberal Thais will hate him if he cracks down hard on the peaceful protesters, but not doing so would make him look weak in the eyes of his power base of older, more conservative Thais who still venerate the monarchy and are fine with the military calling the shots in politics.

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