What We're Watching: US Government Shutdown Continues

Priyanka Gandhi – With elections due by May and Narendra Modi's BJP still the dominant force in Indian politics, the entrance onto the national political stage of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whose father, grandmother, and great-grandfather all served as Congress Party prime ministers, deserves attention. She's widely considered more charismatic than her older brother Rahul, the party's current leader. After upset wins for Congress in three recent state elections, does she have the political talent to bring her party back to the center of Indian politics?

US Federal Workers – The shutdown stalemate looks set to continue. As the US enters Day 35 of a partial government shutdown, we're watching how federal employees respond. With the approach of tax season, the Trump administration has ordered 30,000 employees of the Internal Revenue Service to work without pay. Will they? This question will be repeated across other federal agencies. Look for more stories about large numbers of federal employees who don't show up for work.

What We're Ignoring:

Your Job Frustrations You don't have to be a US federal employee to be fed up with a bad job situation, but there's no way you have it as bad as UK Prime Minister Theresa May does. Check out this "behind-the-scenes footage" from part of her day, from an ad created by a job search site.

Japanese otters Last year, the Japanese city of Susaki named a live otter with a large social media following to be its honorary tourism ambassador. The city also has a guy in an otter costume as its official mascot. But then a second guy in an otter costume began filming himself performing reckless stunts and committing apparent crimes, some of them a little creepy. Confusion ensued. We're ignoring this madness, because if we really started following it, we'd never get any work done.


How will our cities and lives change in the future? What about a structure with a roller skating rink above a swimming pool, made out of transparent solar panels that power the entire park? This was the innovation invented by Eni's young researchers based on Luminescent Solar Concentrators, developed through Eni's research.

Watch the latest episode of Funny Applications, Eni's video series that imagines new uses for technology.

For 30 years, citizens of Hong Kong have gathered in Victoria Park on the evening of June 4 to honor the peaceful protesters massacred in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on that date in 1989. It has been the only public Tiananmen commemoration permitted on Chinese soil.

This year, the park was surrounded by barricades to keep people out. The officially stated reason for the shut-down? Crowds spread coronavirus. (In this city of more than 7 million, COVID has so far killed four people.)

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In an interview with GZERO World host Ian Bremmer, Hong Kong lawmaker Dennis Kwok, an outspoken pro-democracy advocate, expresses his concerns that the current "draconian" laws China's leadership is forcing upon his city has expedited the end of the "one country, two systems" policy established in 1997.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Big news, of course, that former Secretary of Defense Mattis comes out with a public statement basically calling Trump's rule, his actions, unconstitutional and unfit for office, more divisive than any president he's ever seen.

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French protests over racial injustice: The George Floyd protests in the United States have sparked solidarity demonstrations around the world, with people flocking to US embassies in Berlin, London and elsewhere to express their outrage. But they have also inspired other countries to reexamine racial justice within their own societies. In France, where street demonstrations are practically a national pastime, thousands of people have gathered in support of the family of Adama Traoré, a 24-year old black man who died in police custody back in 2016. At least 20,000 Parisians demonstrated Wednesday, despite coronavirus bans on public gatherings. Protesters adopted similar language to the Floyd protests, demanding accountability for the officers who violently pinned down Traoré during a dispute over an identity check, leading to his death. Renewed focus on this case, which has become a potent symbol of police brutality in France, comes as coronavirus lockdowns have recently stoked tensions between the police and the mostly-minority residents of Paris' banlieues (low-income suburbs).

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