GZERO Media logo

What We're Watching

India's Election Tourism – Your Signal authors are always on the lookout for vacations that combine relaxation with opportunities to nerd out on global politics and, man, have we found one: "Election Tourism India" has a five-week-long offering that combines standard sightseeing with the chance to attend colorful local political rallies across the country and meet-and-greet events with candidates for India's parliament. More than 3,500 people from outside India have already signed up, and we're going to find this hard to resist.

Golan blowback – In an unusual show of agreement between bitter regional rivals, the largest Gulf Arab states and Iran all condemned the US decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a section of Syrian territory that Israel has occupied since 1967. We're watching to see if this makes it harder to get regional buy-in on any new Middle East Peace Plan. Wait, there's a new Middle East Peace plan? Yes, allegedly Jared Kushner has recently been putting the final touches on his magnum opus. But any solution will require support from Saudi Arabia and other regional Arab powers that can't, for domestic political reasons, accept legitimizing further Israeli occupation of Arab land

What We're Ignoring

Russians quoting non-existent Chinese proverbs – When a reporter asked Vladimir Putin's seasoned spokesman Dmitry Peskov about the end of the Mueller investigation at a press conference in Moscow this week, Peskov replied, "I would like to quote the words of a Chinese philosopher who said, 'It is very hard to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if it is not there,'" Good zinger, Dmitry Sergeyevich, but it seems that the proverb is . . . not actually from China.

"Techno-dystopian" Eurovision contestants – An Icelandic band called Hatari (or "Haters" in English) won the Nordic country's national Eurovision contest, securing a spot in the pan-European televised song contest and kitsch-fest which half your Signal authors love, and Alex hates. (Willis thinks Eurovision is a precursor of End Times.) The band, which takes the stage in sadomasochism garb, describes its music as "techno-dystopian"and roars that "hate will prevail... and Europe's heart impale. Burn off its web of lies." Lead singer Matthías Tryggva hailed the victory as bringing the band "one step nearer to our plan, to destroy capitalism." We like techno-dystopian BDSM metal as much as anyone, but we're ignoring Hatari, because Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails got there first.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

Over the weekend, some 40,000 Russians braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

More Show less

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

More Show less

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Russian opposition leader Navalny in jail. Hundreds of thousands demonstrating across the country in Russia over well over 100 cities, well over 3000 arrested. And Putin responding by saying that this video that was put out that showed what Navalny said was Putin's palace that costs well over a billion dollars to create and Putin, I got to say, usually he doesn't respond to this stuff very quickly. Looked a little defensive, said didn't really watch it, saw some of it, but it definitely wasn't owned by him or owned by his relatives.

More Show less

Even as vaccines roll out around the world, COVID-19 is continuing to spread like wildfire in many places, dashing hopes of a return to normal life any time soon. Some countries, like Israel and the UK for instance, have been praised for their inoculation drives, while still recording a high number of new cases. It's clear that while inoculations are cause for hope, the pace of rollouts cannot keep up with the fast-moving virus. Here's a look at the countries that have vaccinated the largest percentages of their populations so far – and a snapshot of their daily COVID caseloads (7-day rolling average) in recent weeks.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal