What We're Watching & What We're Ignoring
Ukraine and Russia – In October, the Orthodox Christian Church patriarch in Istanbul announced he would recognize a new Ukrainian church that's independent of Russia. This news has triggered intense debate within the Ukrainian church and angered the Kremlin.
Tomorrow, Ukrainian religious leaders are set to hold a "unification assembly" to establish the new church and choose its leader. Watch for provocations, even confrontation, in coming days between Russia and Ukraine in breakaway regions of Ukraine and in the Black Sea.
A "Cyber-attack" on China – Despite encouraging signs of compromise in the US-China trade war, we're watching for a possible US escalation against suspected Chinese hacking after revelations of a massive Beijing-sponsored infiltration of the US hotel chain Marriott. In coming days, the US may claim China has violated the cyber-espionage agreement Chinese President Xi Jinping made with former president Barack Obama. That might lead to an indictment of hackers accused of working for Chinese security services, a significant escalation in the broader US-China standoff over cyber-security.
WHAT WE'RE IGNORING
Russian Robots – During its coverage of a technology forum held each year to celebrate "future intellectual leaders of Russia," a Russian state television channel praised the highly modern design of "Robot Boris," which demonstrated a few interesting dance moves in front of a live audience and bragged that it "knows mathematics well." Turns out "Robot Boris" was a guy in a robot suit.
Chicken logs – On Thursday, US fast-food chain KFC announced the grand unveiling of the "KFC 11 Herbs and Spices firelog." Light this thing up, and it smells like fried chicken. Reaction in our office ranged from "Where can I get one?" to "That's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard." Your Friday author considers this "firelog" an affront to human dignity, but I'm ignoring this debate because my time is better spent watching for fake robots and trying to figure out Brexit.