What We’re Watching: Chinese Karaoke and May vs. May

Patriotic Chinese Karaoke – In response to Trump's tariff war, China's leaders have tried for months to keep things civil. No need to fuel a fire they might not be able to contain by directing state-run media to broadcast insults and threats toward Washington. Their approach now appears to be changing. Last week, Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily promoted the following slogan on social media: "Talks, sure! Fight to the finish! Bully us, think again!" Last Friday, a singable Chinese propaganda song turned up on mobile messenger WeChat. Its message—"Feel bitter hatred for the enemy… If the perpetrator wants to fight, we'll beat him out of his wits"—has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. There's even a music video that goes with it. Looks like the Chinese may be digging in for a long fight.

What Comes After May? - The news this morning is that UK Prime Minister Theresa May could not survive the month of May. Repeated failure to win a majority in the House of Commons for her Brexit plan has finally done her in, and she announced this morning that she'll step down on June 7. Who has the charisma and grit to take on this seemingly impossible job? And who will succeed her? Here's one idea. #TimeForLarry

What We're Ignoring: Mini-Trump and North Korean Insults

The Next Donald Trump – In the past few days, we've learned that the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, has secured a book deal and may be mulling a run for mayor of New York. Your Friday author is convinced he's readying a future run for president. Who has the audacity, charisma, mastery of the rally, and media manipulation skills to become the next Donald Trump? We're pretty sure it's NOT Donald Trump Jr.

North Korean Insults – In response to an unflattering reference to Kim Jong-un during a recent campaign speech, North Korea's official news agency says Joe Biden is a "snob bereft of elementary quality as human being" who is "self-praising himself as being the most popular presidential candidate." Biden's candidacy, according to the North Koreans, "is enough to make a cat laugh." We're not betting on Biden quite yet, but this just feels gratuitous, even by North Korean News Agency standards. (Remember when Kim Jong-Un took on William Shakespeare?)

This time last year, world health experts were speculating about why Africa appeared to have escaped the worst of the global pandemic. Younger populations? Natural immunity created by exposure to past viruses? Something else?

They can stop wondering. Africa is now in the grip of a COVID emergency.

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Listen: Stanford historian Niall Ferguson joins Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast to talk about the geopolitics of disaster. Throughout human history we seem to be unable to adequately prepare for catastrophes (natural or human-caused) before they strike. Why is that? And as we emerge from the greatest calamity of our lifetimes in the COVID-19 pandemic and look to the plethora of crises that climate change has and will cause, what can we do to lessen the blow?

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred two Republican members from serving on the Jan. 6 commission. What's going on?

Well, the Jan. 6 commission was designed to be a bipartisan commission, taking input from members from Democrats and Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had the opportunity to make recommendations but the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, could always veto those recommendations. In this case, she did, saying no to two members, Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, both of whom are strongly aligned with President Trump and who voted against certifying the election results in 2020. The Republicans for the most part see the Jan. 6 commission as an opportunity to score political points against them, and the Democrats say this is going to be a fair, non-biased, and nonpartisan investigation into what happened on Jan. 6, starting with a hearing next week with some of the police officers who were involved in the battle with the protesters inside the Capitol.

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In his New York Times op-ed, David Brooks says the US is facing an identity crisis — protecting liberal and progressive values at home while doing little to stop autocrats elsewhere. But has the US really abandoned its values abroad just because it's withdrawing from Afghanistan? Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to argue that the US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff.

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When the Tokyo Olympics begin on Friday, Japan watchers will be following more than just the performance of Japan's star athletes, including tennis star Naomi Osaka. They will also be tracking the political fortunes of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is taking a big gamble by staging the event — amid a raging pandemic — in the face of strong and longstanding opposition from the Japanese public. What are the stakes for Suga, particularly with elections on the horizon? Eurasia Group senior analyst Ali Wyne explains.

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YouTube pulls Bolsonaro's rants: Google-owned YouTube pulled down a series of videos on the channel of Brazil's populist President Jair Bolsonaro, accusing him of spreading misinformation about the pandemic. YouTube removed more than a dozen clips for touting quack cures for coronavirus or claiming, in defiance of scientific experts, that masks don't reduce COVID transmissions. Last year, Twitter and Facebook also removed some content from Bolsonaro's feeds for similar reasons. But critics say that YouTube's move is too little too late, because Bolsonaro has been spreading misinformation about COVID since the pandemic began. Many Brazilians hold him personally responsible for the country's abysmal pandemic response, which has led to almost 550,000 deaths, the second worst toll in the world. Will YouTube's move change Bolsonaro's message? His weekly address to the nation, where he converses not only with government ministers but also various conspiracy theorists and loons, is broadcast on YouTube. Surely he doesn't want to risk losing that — or does he?

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Boycotts! Bans! Protests! Drugs! Think you've got gold medal knowledge about politics at the Olympics? Test what you know with this special Tokyo Olympics Quiz. And to stay current on all the latest political stories at the Games and around the world, subscribe here to Signal, our daily newsletter. Now, without further ado, the first question is...

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