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What We're Watching: Trump's motives, Hong Kong drama, big birthday surprise

What We're Watching: Trump's motives, Hong Kong drama, big birthday surprise

Trump's Added Motivation to Win – The US criminal code sets the federal statute of limitations on obstruction of justice at five years. That appears to mean that if Donald Trump wins reelection next November, he will have presidential immunity from prosecution until it's too late ever to indict him for alleged crimes detailed in the report from former special counsel Robert Mueller. Legal experts can weigh in on the possibility of an asterisk here, but it certainly looks like voters, those who back Trump and those who want him out, will be asked to weigh this factor as they go to the polls next year.

Hong Kong – The drama in the streets of Hong Kong has become even more frightening in recent days. This week, we saw thugs armed with clubs attacking defenseless protesters. After video surfaced of a pro-government lawmaker shaking hands with some of these suspected gang members, demonstrators trashed his office. That legislator then posted social media death threats against a pro-democracy political rival. Officials in Beijing have now explicitly warned that they can send Chinese army troops into Hong Kong, and protesters say they won't be intimidated and that demonstrations will continue. In short, the stakes in Hong Kong are rising, and the escalation of promises and threats continues.

Uganda – A 37 year-old Ugandan pop star, opposition lawmaker, and self-proclaimed "Ghetto President" named Bobi Wine announced this week that he will run for president in 2021 against Yoweri Museveni, the man who has held power in Uganda since Wine was four years old. The singer, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was arrested for treason last year, and he claims (credibly) that he was tortured while in custody. There's a lot that could go wrong here.

Alexander Kliment – Signal's own Alex Kliment is celebrating a big birthday today. We won't throw out a number, but let's call it the "gateway to early middle age." We're watching to see how Alex, creator of Puppet Regime, marks the occasion, because he's one of the funniest and most creative people in the universe, and because he's our friend. #SignalSalute

What We're Ignoring

French "perverts in the bushes" – We admit it…we only read the headline: "Perverts in bushes are ruining nude zone in Paris park, say naturists." We're ignoring this story because we just don't want to know any more about that.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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If former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson could give incoming Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas advice, what would it be? "Well, first I would say, 'Ali, I'm glad it's you, not me.'" His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: For the first time in twenty years extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on the podcast to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Does Cuba belong back on the US's State Sponsors of Terrorism list? The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board showed their support for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision on this issue in a recent opinion piece, "Cuba's Support for Terror." But in this edition of The Red Pen, Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analysts Risa Grais-Targow, Jeffrey Wright and Regina Argenzio argue that the WSJ's op-ed goes too far.

We are now just a few days away from the official end of Donald Trump's presidency, but the impacts of his latest moves in office will obviously last far beyond Joe Biden's inauguration. There's the deep structural political polarization, the ongoing investigations into the violence we saw at the Capitol, lord knows what happens over the next few days, there's also last-minute policy decisions here and abroad. And that's where we're taking our Red Pen this week, specifically US relations with Cuba.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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