What We Are Watching & What We Are Ignoring


DR Congo Election results – When results of Sunday's presidential election are announced, Joseph Kabila's 17-year rule will come to an end. This is supposed to be the strife-torn country's first-ever orderly transfer of power. Maybe. But there are charges of voting irregularity and reports that opposition TV and radio stations have been pushed off the air.

China and Taiwan China's President Xi Jinping warned during a tough speech this week that "reunification" of China and Taiwan is inevitable and that China reserves the right to ensure that happens by any means necessary. There's no imminent risk of war here, but Xi is making clear that China will exert heavy pressure to get the outcome it wants in Taiwan's presidential election next year. There's also still a risk that Trump increases tensions by trying to use US support for Taiwan as a bargaining chip in the broader US-China conflict.


The Khashoggi trial As part of efforts to shift blame for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi away from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, 11 Saudis are now on trial for the killing. We're ignoring this story, because show trials don't have surprise endings.

The Search for Napoleon's Gold Russian historian Viacheslav Ryzhkov says Napoleon's retreating army buried tons of stolen Russian treasure under a lake near Russia's border with Belarus in 1812. After painstaking research and careful consideration, we think Ryzhkov is full of crap. If he finds any gold, we'll write an update.

The 10-year challenge might actually be an attempt to improve facial recognition technology.

It's Tech in 60 Seconds with Nicholas Thompson!

And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft Today in Technology.

"Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." So said Winston Churchill in November 1947, a time when Soviet Communism was beginning to offer the world a new alternative.

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My high school history teacher Dr. Cohen once told me, as we shuffled through the school cafeteria, that computers would one day make socialism viable. Given that the Soviet collapse had already happened, and that Super Nintendo still seemed vastly more magical than anything you could put on your desk, this seemed far-fetched.

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Syria ISIS attack A suicide bombing in Syria claimed by ISIS killed 14 people including four Americans this week. Two questions we'll be watching: Will this attack impact the pace of President Trump's ordered withdrawal of US troops from Syria, and is the bombing part of a broader ISIS strategy to launch a wave of new attacks as US troops depart?

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