What We're Watching: Peru deports, Jakarta sinks

Deportations in Peru – Peru's immigration police deported 40 Venezuelan refugees this week that they said either had criminal records or were living in the country illegally. We are watching this because it's the first mass deportation of Venezuelans we've heard of since their country fell into crisis several years ago, prompting an exodus of some 3 million people. Peru alone hosts more than 700,000 Venezuelan refugees, most of whom arrived in the past year. So far Latin America has mostly avoided the kind of social and political disruptions that large-scale refugee flows have caused in Europe. Is that starting to change?

A new Indonesian capital – Indonesia has announced an ambitious project to move the country's capital away from Jakarta, which is famously traffic-choked, polluted, and steadily sinking into the sea. Relocation of the capital has been discussed for decades, but we are watching to see if it really happens this time and, if it does, whether President Joko Widodo can realize this project without corrupt bureaucrats and builders making it impossibly expensive. Massive construction projects and endemic corruption generally go together like peas in a pod (see "Odebrecht").

What We're Ignoring: Modi's Mangos, Fishy Russian Whales

Modi's Mangos – Journalists have a tough time getting to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but a Bollywood film star recently pinned him down for an hour-long interview about his personal life, tastes, and approaches to eating mangos, reports the FT. We are ignoring this in part because we like South American mangos better than India's famous Alphonsos (don't @ us), but mainly because we think voters' choices in the largest election in history should be determined by the issues rather than by Bollywood hagiographies or interviews of Mr. Modi.

Russian whale spies – Espionage experts claim that a white whale that approached a Norwegian fishing boat this week wearing a harness fitted with a GoPro camera holder and a label sourcing it to St. Petersburg is a Russian navy-trained spy. We're not impressed by this Bourne Beluga. Somebody sent secret squirrels into Iran in 2007. And the US Navy has trained dolphins to spot underwater mines for decades. We know everyone is on the lookout for Russians these days, but this doesn't cut it.

America's internet giants are being pulled into political fights right and left these days. Speech – what can be said, and who can say it – is increasingly at the center of those controversies. Consider these two stories from opposite sides of the world:

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Italy's prime minister resigns – Giuseppe Conte, the caretaker prime minister appointed to mediate an uneasy governing alliance between Italy's anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the right-wing Lega party, resigned on Tuesday. Rather than wait for a no-confidence vote triggered by the rightwing Lega Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Conte stepped down on his own terms. Salvini, who's popularity has been rising, had hoped that by triggering snap elections he could get himself appointed prime minister, will now have to wait for Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, to decide what comes next. While Lega and smaller right-wing allies want a new vote, center and left-wing parties are apparently working to see if they can form a majority coalition – perhaps including 5Star -- that would allow Mattarella to appoint a new government without fresh elections. We're watching to see how the dust settles in Europe's third-biggest economy.

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300: The US tested a new medium-range cruise missile on Sunday that flew more than 300 miles. This marks the first time the US has tested a weapon that would have violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a Cold War era pact that was officially abandoned three weeks ago, sparking fears of a new global arms race.

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