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What We're Watching

Bolsonaro's Coup Commemoration Day – Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain, generated considerable controversy this week by ordering commemoration of the day in March 1964 when Brazil's army moved to seize power from President João Goulart and established a dictatorship that lasted until 1985. Bolsonaro insists the takeover was not a "coup" and has said it's a shame more leftists weren't killed during the period of military rule. We'll be watching to see if "Coup Commemoration Day" is as over-the-top cool as Carnival. And we're betting it's not.

Our Girls Freed – In Burundi, three schoolgirls arrested two weeks ago faced up to five years in prison for insulting President Pierre Nkurunziza by doodling on photos of him printed in their school textbooks. To protest these charges, social media users then created their own extravagantly altered versions of Nkurunziza's photo with the hashtag #FreeOurGirls. Score another victory for political satire, because the girls have reportedly been freed.

What We're Ignoring

The Modi Movie – Critics of Narendra Modi say that a new film, which is billed as the Indian prime minister's life story, is little more than propaganda meant to boost Modi and his party ahead of national elections in April and May. Check out the poster, which depicts a pious Mr. Modi surrounded by adorable smiling children wearing the national colors with the tagline "patriotism is my strength." We don't know whether this film violates India's election laws, as some are insisting, but we're ignoring it, because it looks like a crappy movie.

The Female Spacesuit Shortage – NASA, the US space agency, had to cancel plans this week for the first all-female spacewalk because the agency doesn't have two spacesuits small enough to fit the two women chosen for the big event. The walk will go forward, but one of the women has been replaced by a man. President John Kennedy once said, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." Here's hoping it will soon be less hard for NASA to find outfits for two female astronauts at a time.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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For the first time in twenty years, extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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