What We're Watching & What We're Ignoring

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING

Next Tuesday's Brexit vote – The Brexit mess looks set to get messier. Next Tuesday, Theresa May will likely lose a scheduled vote in the House of Commons on her Brexit plan.


Jeremy Corbyn continues to resist calls by some within his Labour Party to push for a new Brexit referendum. Instead, he wants a general election "at the earliest opportunity" to "break the [Brexit] deadlock."

Irrefutable proof of time travel – In 1958, CBS aired an episode of a Western TV show called "Trackdown" in which a conman tries to sell a town a "wall" to protect citizens from the fake threat of a meteor shower. "I am the only one, just me," the fraudster assures the gullible crowd. The con man's name? Trump. Love the president or hate him, it's hard to take your eyes off this clip, which has so far stood up to fact-checking.

WHAT WE'RE IGNORING

Robo-soldiers – Engineers are now building robots that can perform many of the physical tasks associated with military infantry. We're ignoring this story because, really, what could go wrong?

Narendra Modi waves – A few speakers at the annual Indian Science Congress made international headlines this week with comments that suggest politics and ideology might be clouding their scientific judgment. Among our favorite claims from the podium: stem cell research was discovered in India thousands of years ago, a demon king from a Hindu religious epic owned 24 types of aircraft, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were both wrong about gravitation, and gravitational waves should be renamed "Narendra Modi Waves." Less fanciful Indian scientists have denounced these comments as an embarrassment to their country.

The world is at a turning point. Help shape our future by taking this one-minute survey from the United Nations. To mark its 75th anniversary, the UN is capturing people's priorities for the future, and crowdsourcing solutions to global challenges. The results will shape the UN's work to recover better from COVID-19, and ensure its plans reflect the views of the global public. Take the survey here.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday. To understand what that means for the country's politics and public health policy, GZERO sat down with Christopher Garman, top Brazil expert at our parent company, Eurasia Group. The exchange has been lightly edited for clarity and concision.

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The Trump administration sent shockwaves through universities this week when it announced that international students in the US could be forced to return to their home countries if courses are not held in classrooms this fall. Around 1 million foreign students are now in limbo as they wait for institutions to formalize plans for the upcoming semester. But it's not only foreign students themselves who stand to lose out: International students infuse cash into American universities and contributed around $41 billion to the US economy in the 2018-19 academic year. So, where do most of these foreign students come from? We take a look here.

For years, the Philippines has struggled with domestic terrorism. Last Friday, Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a sweeping new anti-terror bill that has the opposition on edge, as the tough-talking president gears up to make broader constitutional changes. Here's a look at what the law does, and what it means for the country less than two years away from the next presidential election.

The legislation grants authorities broad powers to prosecute domestic terrorism, including arrests without a warrant and up to 24 days detention without charges. It also carries harsh penalties for those convicted of terror-related offenses, with a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. Simply threatening to commit an act of terror on social media can now be punished with 12 years behind bars.

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16,000: Amid a deepening economic crisis in Lebanon that has wiped out people's savings and cratered the value of the currency, more than 16,000 people have joined a new Facebook group that enables people to secure staple goods and food through barter.

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