What We’re Watching: Drug Rap for a Russian Journalist

Russians Defend a Reporter: Last week, the prominent investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was arrested on drug charges that he and his editors say were fabricated by authorities in retaliation for his reporting on graft in Moscow. But after hundreds of fellow journalists and Muscovites turned up to protest and several large dailies expressed solidarity with Golunov – who was evidently beaten by police during his detention – he was released to house arrest awaiting trial. We're watching to see if Golunov's case galvanizes any broader public support in one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work. A recent survey showed that a fifth of Russians would participate in political protests. That percentage, though small, has nearly tripled in just two years.


Car Wash Hosed by New Revelations? Over the past several years, Brazil's Lava Jato (Car Wash) anti-corruption probe has put hundreds of politicians and business leaders in jail, but no imprisonment was more controversial than that of leftist former president Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva. His conviction disqualified him from running in last year's election right as he was leading in the polls. On Sunday, The Intercept published leaked chats that suggest inappropriate coordination between the judge who oversaw the trials—he's now justice minister—and the prosecutors gathering evidence, particularly in the Lula case. These revelations support Lula's claim that his conviction was politically motivated, but we're watching to see if they lead to a broader delegitimization of an investigation often lauded as a new model for rule of law in Latin America.

The "New Normal" for Ebola: The World Health Organization warns that the world has entered "a new phase" in which big outbreaks of deadly diseases like Ebola have become a "new normal." The announcement comes as the Democratic Republic of Congo faces the second largest outbreak ever of the Ebola virus—and just three years after the largest was brought to an end. So far, 2,025 cases of Ebola have killed 1,357 people in the DRC. Between 2014 and 2016, 28,616 cases killed 11,310 people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

What We're Ignoring - A Tree Dies in DC

Oak Tree, We Hardly Knew Ye: In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron brought an oak sapling to plant on the White House lawn during a state visit to the United States. The tree, he said, would be "a reminder … of these ties that bind us" and the "tenacity of the friendship" between the United States and France. But the French daily Le Monde reported last week that the young tree is now dead. Evidently it did not survive being dug up and quarantined against the spread of non-native diseases and invasive insects. We're ignoring the (way-too) obvious political metaphors here.

Civil rights activist Janet Murguía joins the 'That Made All the Difference' podcast to discuss her upbringing as the daughter of immigrant parents and how that experience informs her life's work advocating for Hispanic-Latino civil rights and battling systemic inequality.

Listen now.

It's the decision that could kickstart intra-Afghan dialogue, and pave the way to ending the US occupation in Afghanistan after 20 bloody years.

On Sunday, after days of deliberations that involved thousands of Afghan delegates packing into one tent (what's COVID again), President Ashraf Ghani agreed to release hundreds of Taliban prisoners from government jails. The move opens the way to intra-Afghan dialogue under a deal that the US brokered directly with the Taliban earlier this year.

The Trump administration has touted this development as a major step towards peace, but after nearly two decades of war, the relevant players are still miles apart when it comes to laying out a common vision for the conflict-ridden country. What do they all want?

More Show less

Just days after an explosion tore through the heart of Beirut, journalist and born-and-raised resident Kim Ghattas describes where she was when the blast happened - and what she actually thinks was the cause. This episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer begins airing Friday, August 14 on US public television. Check local listings.

"Go ahead, take it," President Putin says to you.

"Take what?" you ask.

"This Covid vaccine," he continues, turning a small syringe over in his hands. "It's safe. Trust me. We… tested it on my daughter."

Would you do it? Russian President Vladimir Putin is betting that a lot of people will say yes. On Tuesday he announced that Russia has become the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine, and that mass vaccinations will begin there in October.

More Show less

20.4: The UK economy is now officially in a recession for the first time in 11 years, after British economic growth plunged by 20.4 percent quarter-on-quarter from April to June 2020. The quarterly decline — attributed to the economic crisis fueled by the coronavirus pandemic ­— is double that of the US and second only to Spain's in Europe.

More Show less