5 Stories to Watch Next Week Next steps with COVID-19 — States across the US continue to take very different approaches to reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. California and Illinois remain closed, but most states have begun easing their restrictions. Wisconsin began opening up on Thursday, and Iowa, Oregon, Virginia, and parts of New York did so on Friday. Florida’s two hardest-hit counties will be allowed to begin reopening on Monday. We’ll have to watch how these states fare next week and how reopening affects the number of infections and deaths. We’ll also have to watch growing protests across the country where demonstrators are calling for ending lockdowns. Lawmakers in Michigan canceled their legislative session on Thursday because demonstrators, some armed, gathered for a third time to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders. One reason for the protests is the devastating impact that the lockdowns have had on the American economy. Most recently, the Commerce Department reported Friday that retail spending plummeted by a record 16.4 percent in April. Pelosi’s $3 trillion bill — This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and her Democratic caucus announced a $3 trillion bill that had no input from Republicans. Democrats are advertising the bill as another stimulus to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus, but the bill contains a plethora of measures that have nothing to do with the virus or economics. Newt details some of these measures in his latest piece for the Inner Circle, from providing tax-paid funding for abortion to blocking voter identification laws. As of this writing, the House is set to vote on the package on Friday. It will be interesting to see next week what the latest developments are with this massive piece of legislation. Republicans are calling the bill a Democratic “wish list” that will never pass the Senate. But we’ll see what the fallout is. After all, as Newt says, Pelosi may have ulterior reasons for pushing this package. Pompeo urges Israel to stop Chinese deals — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel this week. A main part of his agenda was to express concerns about Israel’s trade relationship with China and to urge Jerusalem to avoid further Chinese involvement in the Israeli economy. The US views Chinese investment in Israel as a security threat, citing lack of transparency and China’s problematic trade practices, among other issues. According to some reports, Pompeo and other American officials told Israeli counterparts bluntly that they must not strengthen the Chinese Communist Party, even if that means nixing projects already planned. In response to Pompeo’s warnings, China castigated the US and appealed to its “Jewish friends” in Israel. Watch in the coming days to see if anything concrete — such as canceled projects — comes from Pompeo’s warning. Israel’s strong economic relationship with China has long been a headache for Washington. It remains unclear how much of that relationship will continue. Trump admin considers response to Iranian shipments to Venezuela — The US is weighing measures it could take to respond to Iran’s shipment of fuel to Venezuela, according to reports. A senior official in the Trump administration told Reuters that Washington has a “high degree of certainty” that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government is paying Iran tons of gold for the fuel. “It is not only unwelcome by the United States but it’s unwelcome by the region, and we’re looking at measures that can be taken,” the official added. The US has imposed tough economic sanctions on the oil sectors of both Iran and Venezuela, whose economies depend heavily on exporting oil. Venezuela, which is experiencing a severe economic crisis that has hurt its infrastructure, is in desperate need of gasoline. Watch next week for the US to impose further sanctions on the two countries — or potentially to take different steps meant to coerce Tehran and Caracas. US moves to cut off key supplies to Huawei — The Trump administration on Friday announced a new restriction on exports meant to cut off Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, from overseas manufacturers who supply semiconductors. The Wall Street Journal reports: “The restriction stops foreign semiconductor manufacturers whose operations use US software and technology from shipping products to Huawei without getting a license from US officials first. That new license authority could give the Commerce Department the ability to block the sale of semiconductors manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., for Huawei’s HiSilicon unit, which designs chips for the company.” The US says that Huawei is a tool of the Chinese government that can potentially infiltrate foreign networks and disrupt or gain sensitive information from them. Huawei and Beijing will no doubt be furious with the Trump administration’s move. Look for China’s angry response next week as tensions between the world’s two largest economies continue to rise.