What we're watching: Argentina back to the future?

Argentina's "Back to the Future" Vote – In 2015, Argentines chose a radically different direction for their country. By electing the pro-business Mauricio Macri as president, they rejected more than a decade of left-wing Peronist populism in favor of an experiment with economic reforms to open the economy. When they head back to the polls this Sunday for the first round of the next presidential election, it looks like they'll render a stark verdict: it hasn't worked. The "dream" that Macri promised has become a nightmare, because his economic reforms inflicted enough pain to provoke popular backlash, but without reassuring investors that the government was committed to long-term change. The Peronist party, led by Alberto Fernandez with former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his running mate, is the clear favorite to win, perhaps without a second-round runoff. We're watching to see how Argentines understand their past and how they want to move toward the future.


Kurds Without Guns – Think of the Kurds now retreating from northeast Syria as part of the recent US-Turkey and Turkey-Russia deals, and you'll probably picture men with guns. But more than 176,000 civilians, nearly 80,000 of them children, have been forced from their homes in that region, according to the UN. It's not clear where these people will go. In their place, Turkey's government says it will dispatch large numbers of Syrian Arab refugees who are now living in camps inside Turkey. In short, Turkey is remaking the ethnic balance inside the borders of another country as part of a deal with Washington.

Baby Shark: The Protest Remix – A woman driving through Beirut with her 15 month-old son in the passenger seat finds her vehicle surrounded by dozens of shouting protesters. The child becomes frightened. To reassure the thoroughly befuddled toddler, protesters begin dancing and singing "Baby Shark" a hit children's tune that's been watched close to 4 billion times on YouTube. We're watching (and rewatching) this video of the incident, because we're almost as amused and bewildered as the kid.

What We're Ignoring:

Les Expos sont là! - It took more than half a century, but the Montreal Expos have finally advanced to baseball's biggest stage, the World Series! The pride of Quebec and their mascot Youppi! have taken the first two games in this best-of-seven series from the Houston Astros. It's a....wait, what? Ah...It appears the Expos left Montreal in 2004 to become the Washington Nationals. So, ya know, never mind.

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron said that NATO was experiencing "brain death," citing a lack of coordination and America's fickleness under Donald Trump as reasons to doubt the alliance's commitment to mutual defense. NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – was formed in the wake of World War II as a counterweight against Soviet dominance in Europe and beyond. Its cornerstone is that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all. But disagreement about burden sharing has gained increasing salience in recent years. In 2014, the bloc agreed that each member state would increase their own defense spending to 2% of their respective GDP over the next decade. But so far, only seven of 29 members have forked out the money. Here's a look at who pays what.

In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 200 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least eight Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

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More Brexit shenanigans: Britons this week saw Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson endorse Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in upcoming elections. As a special bonus, they got to see Corbyn return the favo(u)r with a formal endorsement of Johnson. Most viewers in the UK will have understood immediately that these are the latest example of "deep fakes," digitally manipulated video images. The more important Brexit story this week is a pledge by Nigel Farage that his Brexit Party will not run candidates in areas held by the Conservatives in upcoming national elections. That's a boost for Johnson, because it frees his party from having to compete for support from pro-Brexit voters in those constituencies.

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80: More than 80 percent of the electronic voting systems currently used in the US are made by just three companies, according to a new report which warns that they are regulated less effectively than "colored pencils."

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