Which world leaders are out-of-office this holiday season?

As anyone who's sent an email in the past, say, five days knows, 'tis the season for those mechanically polite "out-of-office" bounce-back emails. World leaders deserve time off too, so here's a look at the automatic replies that we got from a few of them...


Vladimir Putin – Hello, I'm currently out celebrating the 20th anniversary of the day I took control of Russia. Let's be serious though: I will never truly be "out of office." For non-urgent requests, contact Dmitry Medvedev. He's still Prime Minister. No, seriously. For urgent requests, you'll have to wait until I'm back in town.

Evo Morales – Gracias por su correo. Following a coup, I am now "out of office." For the moment, you can reach me in Mexico. For urgent requests, please contact my MAS party, which is planning to field some candidates who are not me in the upcoming election.

Donald Trump – Hello LOSERS, thank you. I am right now looking VERY STRONGLY at a nine iron. The RADICAL LEFT do-nothing Democrats may want me "out of office" but THEY will not SUCCEED. Sad!

Nicolas Maduro – Hola, it's actually me writing here. A year ago, some of you were sure you'd be getting an out of office reply from me before long. As it turns out, I'm still very much in office. My generals and I are looking forward to a prospero año nuevo indeed.

Kim Jong-un – Thanks for your note, you deranged and bloodthirsty foolish swine. I am currently out at a Workers Party offsite and I may follow that up with a missile-building exercise, but you will hear from me soon. If this is Xi or Putin, you know how to reach me lol.

Angela Merkel – Vielen dank für Ihre Nachricht. I have been in office for so long now I'm not even sure what being Out of Office will be like, but that could happen as soon as this year. Hopefully someone will take care of Europe -- I did my best. In the meantime you can reach me at angieunbound @ Muttimail dot com.

Mark Zuckerberg – Hi, I read your email before you even sent it. I'm not "in office" in the political sense, but I have more power than most people who are. Try to regulate me. Just. You. Try.

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.

As the coronavirus pandemic has plunged much of the world economy into turmoil, you've probably heard a lot about what might happen to "supply chains," the vast networks of manufacturing and shipping that help create and deliver all those plastic toys, iPhones, cars, pills, pants, yogurt, and N95 face-masks you've been waiting on.

The future of global supply chains is an especially important question for China, the world's manufacturing powerhouse. Some countries and companies now worry about relying too much on any single supplier for consumer and medical goods, let alone one where the government hid the first evidence of what became a global pandemic and sometimes enforces trade and investment rules in seemingly arbitrary ways. The US-China trade war — and the vulnerabilities it reveals for manufacturers — certainly don't help.

More Show less

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Got through the Fourth of July. Pretty rough one for 2020 here in the United States. Still in the thick of it as we see caseload exploding in the United States. But really, the virus is all about developing markets right now. Poor countries around the world very soon, with the exception of the US and the UK, all of the top 10 countries around the world in terms of coronavirus caseload will be poorer countries. Let's keep in mind, these are countries that test a lot less, which means the actual numbers, in the United States the experts are saying probable likelihood of total cases is about 10x what we've actually seen in the US, in emerging markets and most of them, it's more like between 20 and 100. In other words, this is really where the virus now is.

More Show less

Many countries around the world — mostly democracies in the Americas, Asia, and Europe — have condemned China's recent move to implement a draconian new security law for Hong Kong that in effect ends the autonomy granted to the territory when it reverted from British control to Chinese rule in 1997. However, last week 52 countries expressed support for China's decision at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Most of these countries either owe China a lot of money or are relatively authoritarian regimes themselves — but not all of them. Here's a look at the China-debt exposure and freedom rankings of the countries that took Beijing's side on the new Hong Kong law.

0: The trial in the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi opened in a Turkish court on Friday, but 0 of the 20 Saudi agents accused of the gruesome murder were actually in the courtroom. Saudi Arabia says its own closed-door trial over the slaying was sufficient, and has so far refused to extradite the suspects to Turkey, where Khashoggi was killed.

More Show less