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What We're Watching & What We're Ignoring

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING

US nuclear tech for Saudis? A new report from a congressional oversight committee charges that senior White House officials have pushed a plan to share nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia over the objections of key national security advisors. Any such deal with the Saudis appears to violate US law. On the surface, this is just one more front in the widening and intensifying battle between the White House and Democratic lawmakers, but proliferation experts warn that sharing this tech with the Saudis could create a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Israeli elections Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu's road to reelection just got a bit tougher. Former army chief Benny Gantz and centrist TV reporter-turned-politician Yair Lapid formed an alliance this week to challenge Bibi's Likud-led alliance in national elections set for April 9. Gantz and Lapid say they'll rotate as prime minister if they win. Netanyahu, meanwhile, has partnered with the far-right Jewish Home party and the extremist Jewish Power party to boost his electoral strength. In the background, the Israeli attorney general is considering whether to accept a police recommendation to indict Netanyahu on fraud and bribery charges.



Gifts fit for a prince – During his visit to Pakistan this week, a group of local lawmakers presented Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with a gold-plated submachine gun and a portrait of himself. #CharmOffensive

WHAT WE'RE IGNORING

The Very Latest in Fake News – Meet Xin Xiaomeng, which we believe is the world's first AI news anchor. China's state news outlet Xinhua has announced it has partnered with search engine company Sogou to create this "product." Xin will make its debut early next month. Because the world needs less human accountability in its journalism.

The Oscars – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be handing out trophies this Sunday. But for the best in film from the past year, skip the red carpet and TV blah blah blah and head straight for a movie theatre near you. Your Friday author humbly submits two films for your consideration: Alfonso Cuarón's Roma (surpasses the considerable hype) and Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters (a rare gem). Both are films about unconventional families, and both are brilliant and beautiful. Or you can revisit some of the great work of recently departed master actors Albert Finney and Bruno Ganz.

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

"If [the election] is very close and it ends up in the courts, that kind of protracted situation I think will lead many Americans to believe that it was an unfair election." Rick Hasen, election law expert and author of Election Meltdown, lays out some of the worst-case scenarios for Election Day, ranging from unprecedented voter suppression to dirty tricks by foreign actors. The conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. The episode begins airing nationally in the US on public television this Friday, October 30. Check local listings.

Joe Biden has vowed to radically change the US' approach to foreign policy and international diplomacy should he win next week's election.

But a lot has happened in four years under Donald Trump that could impede Biden's ability to simply return to the status quo ante. How different would US foreign policy really be under a Biden presidency? What will the two-term former vice president likely be able to change, and what's bound to remain the same, at least for now?

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On Wednesday, November 4 at 11a EST, we're gathering a panel to discuss "What Just Happened" with the US election. GZERO Media's Ian Bremmer, Tony Maciulis and Alex Kliment will be joined by The Washington Post's Karen Attiah and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber. Watch live at: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive.

Decision 2020: What Just Happened? Wednesday, November 4, 11a EST/8a PST

Panelists:

Bookmark this link to watch live: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive

Add to your calendar:

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Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on a special US election edition of US Politics In 60 Seconds:

So, we're about five days out from the election right now.

And the story of this week has been the remarkably steady polling lead for Joe Biden that he's had for months now. The other big story is the turnout, massive amounts of turnout. 100% of the 2016 vote already cast in Texas. 60% nationwide votes already cast. We are headed for record shattering turnout, could be around 155 million Americans voting.

On election night, what are we watching for?

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