Podcast: America’s Meat Supply Crisis with Tom Vilsack

With just a few companies controlling the vast majority of beef, pork and poultry processing in the US, the nation's meat supply chain was already vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of the system and threatens to disrupt the entire industry, from farmers to processing plants to grocery store shelves.


This week, GZERO World with Ian Bremmer explores two sides of America's current food crisis: Infections and supply chain disruption that have shuttered plants, and growing food insecurity caused by soaring unemployment. Food banks are reporting a 70% increase in demand from communities while farmers are forced to dump milk or let animal products go to waste.

Our guest, Tom Vilsack, knows both sides of the story from experience. As former Governor of Iowa, farming and agriculture were key areas of policy and politics. Later, as President Obama's Sec. of Agriculture, he was tasked with managing the national issues of food supply and demand. Now, as a board member of Feeding America, he sees firsthand the need for more aid to working families who can't make ends meet in this pandemic.

The goal of Eni's High Performance Computing is to perfect and industrialize low carbon energy technologies developed in collaboration with research centers. Eni's efforts are helping to generate energy from waves and guarantee access to energy in remote areas thanks to light-weight and flexible organic photovoltaic panels


Watch Eni's new docuseries on HPC5

Facing the biggest economic crisis in the EU's history, the European Commission's president, Ursula von der Leyen, pulled out all the stops this week, unveiling an unprecedented plan to boost the union's post-coronavirus recovery.

The plan: The EU would go to international capital markets to raise 750 billion euros ($830 billion). 500 billion of that would be given to member states as grants to fund economic recovery over the next seven years; the remainder would be issued as loans to be paid back to Brussels. The EU would pay back its bondholders for the full 750 billion plus interest by 2058, in part by raising new EU-wide taxes on tech companies and emissions.

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"A lot of people are going to die until we solve the political situation," one Brazilian medical expert said recently when asked about the deteriorating public health situation in that country. For months, Brazil has been one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, steered by a President who has repeatedly dismissed the severity of the virus and rejected calls to implement a national social distancing policy. To date, two Brazilian health ministers have either resigned or been fired for pushing back against President Jair Bolsonaro's denialism. Meanwhile, Brazil has emerged as a global epicenter of COVID-19, with almost 27,000 deaths, though health experts believe the real toll is way higher. Here's a look at Brazil's surging daily death toll since it first recorded more than 10 deaths in one day back in March.

Watch GZERO World as host Ian Bremmer talks to acclaimed foreign policy expert Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of "The World: A Brief Introduction." Haass explains that while the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of life as we know it, the major issues confronting geopolitics in the 21st Century already existed.

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62: Southeast Asia is one of the world's largest sources of plastic waste, and Thailand is a big culprit. Before the pandemic, Thailand tried to address the problem by banning single use plastics, but that's fallen apart fast: in April, Thailand recorded a 62 percent increase in plastic use, due largely to increased food deliveries as coronavirus-related lockdowns keep people at home.
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