5 Stories to Watch Next Week There are simply too many developing stories to follow in the world. To make things easier, we narrowed them down to five that you should really watch next week: Nationwide protests, riots following George Floyd’s death — The killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and the subsequent protests and riots that it triggered nationwide dominated headlines this week. Demonstrators plan to take to the streets again this weekend. Some are calling on social media for one million protesters to gather in Washington, DC. We’ll have to watch next week whether the violent riots continue — with people looting businesses, burning buildings, and attacking others — or whether peaceful protests prevail. We’ll also need to watch whether more government officials, such as those in Minnesota and California, continue to implement new practices for police following Floyd’s death. US economy slowly improves as states reopen — America’s unemployment dropped to 13.3 percent in May, gaining 2.5 million jobs as states began easing their lockdowns as the coronavirus pandemic slowed. The unemployment rate was at 14.7 percent in April, and many economists predicted it would skyrocket above 20 percent. “This is definitely in the right direction and suggests the US economy may be faring better than some of those worst-case scenarios,” economist Lindsey Piegza of the financial firm Stifel Nicolaus & Co. told the Wall Street Journal. “But it remains to be seen if this is indicative of an ongoing positive trend or if this reflects the bare minimum of the labor force needed to reopen the economy.” About 30 million workers are still collecting unemployment benefits after losing their jobs during the pandemic. We’ll have to watch each week how well the economy recovers — and how that affects the stock market — but this latest jobs report is more positive than many people had expected. OPEC, Russia to discuss extending oil production cuts — Energy ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as Russia and other states are set to meet Saturday. They are expected to discuss a tentative plan orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto leader, and Russia, a major exporter of oil, to extend an agreement they reached in April to cut production by a combined 9.7 million barrels a day. Oil prices plummeted in April as Russia and Saudi Arabia waged a war over oil prices, with each flooding the market with surplus barrels. Prices have since increased, but exporters are wary of increasing output prematurely and triggering lower prices. It’s quite possible that nothing official will be decided on Saturday and discussions will be pushed into next week. Either way, we’ll see what comes of the meeting. Whatever is decided will have a major impact on American exporters, not to mention what Americans pay at the pump. Trump directs Pentagon to remove troops from Germany — President Trump has directed the Department of Defense to remove thousands of American soldiers from Germany by September, the Wall Street Journal first reported Friday. The move would reduce America’s presence by 9,500 troops from the 34,500 who are permanently assigned there. The president’s directive would also cap the number of American service members who are in Germany at any one time at a total of 25,000 soldiers. The Journal notes that the move comes “amid sharp strains in US relations with Germany, including over Germany’s level of military spending.” Since this decision was first reported Friday, we’ll need to follow it next week to see whether Berlin has any response and, more importantly, whether it looks like the US will follow through. Lawmakers in 8 countries form anti-China alliance — Senior lawmakers from eight democracies, including the US, have formed a new-cross legislative alliance to help counter the threats that, they say, China poses to global trade, security, and human rights. The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China launched Friday. Sens. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), former Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee member Miriam Lexmann, and prominent British Conservative lawmaker Iain Duncan Smith are all co-chairs of the group. “China, under the rule of Chinese Communist Party, represents a global challenge,” Rubio said in a video message on Twitter. The group said it aims to construct “appropriate and coordinated responses, and to help craft a proactive and strategic approach on issues related to the People’s Republic of China.” A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry seemed to respond to the new group at a news briefing on Friday. “We urge a small number of politicians to respect facts, respect the basic rules of international relations, abandon a Cold War mentality, stop interfering in domestic affairs and making political moves for selfish interests,” the spokesman said. Watch next week to see if Beijing responds in a harsher way and what the group may do in its first week in existence.