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Not everyone celebrates the US holiday of Thanksgiving, but we've all got something to be grateful for in this awful year, right? So as Americans gather around the table — or the Zoom — to give thanks on Thursday, here's what a few world leaders are grateful for at the moment.
<p><strong>Donald Trump, US President</strong><br/></p><p>Very strongly grateful that although my legal appeals are MELTING faster than my attorney's <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/19/style/rudy-giuliani-hair.html" target="_blank">hair dye</a>, tens of millions of people still believe my claims of election fraud. That will be very useful to me in my next reality TV project — stay tuned! BIG RATINGS!</p><p><strong>Vladimir Putin, President of Russia</strong></p><p>I'm grateful that although Trump lost, he has done more to delegitimize American democracy and institutions in the past four years — four weeks even! — than I could manage in a lifetime. Separately, I think Turkey is highly overrated. </p><p><strong>Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany</strong></p><p>Unfortunately there is not (yet) a German word for "the feeling when you are thankful that although you are retiring next year after 15 years of running Germany you are at least reasonably happy that the transatlantic relationship, troubled as it is, might be on an upswing now that Biden won."</p><p><strong>The Coronavirus, Pandemic-in-Chief</strong></p><p>Not psyched about all this vaccine news, but "it is what it is," as they say. At the very least I'm thankful that it could still take years to distribute globally. Now, let's sit down to dinner shall we? Come a little closer, can't <em>quite </em>hear what you are saying ...</p><p><strong>Xi Jinping, President of China</strong></p><p>Thankful to have shared 2020 with my dear friend Donald. If it weren't for him, our COVID coverup, Hong Kong crackdown, Xinjiang repression, and all those faulty PPE products we shipped to Europe would have made <em>me</em> the world's most hated person.</p><p><strong>Kamala Harris, VP-elect of the US</strong></p><p>Thankful for the chance to put on these Converse All-Stars and <a href="https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/a34480931/kamala-harris-on-why-she-loves-her-chuck-taylor-sneakers/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">walk all over</a> the haters for the next four years. </p><p><strong>Abiy Ahmed, PM of Ethiopia</strong></p><p>Thankful that the Nobel Committee gave me that peace prize two years before I <a href="https://apnews.com/article/diplomacy-abiy-ahmed-ethiopia-united-nations-kenya-ff8b216af0ba28d022c1cddbd1a7b7da" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">threatened</a> earlier this week to kill civilians in my <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/ethiopia-at-war-with-itself" target="_self">deepening conflict</a> with Tigray rebels. </p><p><strong>Boris Johnson, PM of the UK</strong> </p><p>Well it's been a bloody awful year. Brexit, then Covid. Then more COVID — and now COVID and Brexit at the same time. And 2021 doesn't look much better with that <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/brexit-and-biden" target="_self">sleepy Irish bloke</a> in the White House. At the very least I'm grateful that Americans are <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/11/netflix-the-crown-prince-harry" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">obsessed</a> with The Crown. </p><p><strong>Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil</strong></p><p>I'm grateful that no matter how outrageously I behave, 30 percent of Brazilians will <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/did-bolsonaro-go-from-bust-to-boom" target="_self">always have my back</a>. Is that enough to win again in 2022? We'll see.</p><p><strong>Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey</strong></p><p>Ha ha, very funny. President of "Turkey" has to comment, eh? No! By the way, Vladimir, I saw that comment above — you<em> better </em>have been talking about the bird, which is legitimately bland and overrated, like Russia. </p><p><strong>Narendra Modi, PM of India</strong></p><p>Thankful that we will probably start getting those H1B visas back again. But if Biden <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/us-election-seen-from-india-trump-was-willing-to-break-china" target="_self">goes wobbly on China</a> we will NOT be happy. By the way, agree with Recep on the turkey — why don't you, like, put some decent spices on that?</p><p><strong>Benjamin Netanyahu, PM of Israel</strong></p><p>Just a word of gratitude for the <em>carte blanche</em> that Trump gave me these past four years — on settlements, on Palestine, on the Golan Heights, on Jerusalem — because let me tell you, without him in the White House, things are about to get a <em>lot </em><a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/us-election/" target="_self">harder for me</a>. </p><p><strong>Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran</strong></p><p>Great Satan is Great Satan, no matter how you slice that turkey, but we are pretty thankful that Joe Biden won. At least there is a chance to <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/us-election-seen-from-iran-a-rare-window-of-opportunity" target="_self">revive the Iran deal </a>and get rid of some of these sanctions. Still, Death to America! Death!</p><p><strong>Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus</strong></p><p>Thankful to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro for showing me the way: despite months of protests, sanctions, and general global hate over my blatant theft of the election in August, my security services are sticking with me and I'm not going anywhere.</p>
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November 28, 2020
Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:
With the transition of power formally beginning now, what can we expect between now and inauguration day?
Well, there's a couple of important deadlines between now and Inauguration Day. The first is the December 14th meeting of the Electoral College, which will make the state certifications official and will make Joe Biden officially president-elect in the eyes of the US government. Another really important date is going to be January 5th, which is when Georgia has its runoff for the two Senate seats that will determine majority control in the Senate. If the Republicans win one of those seats, they'll maintain their majority, although very slim. If the Democrats win both of the seats, they'll have a 50/50 Senate with Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote and slightly more ability to enact Joe Biden's agenda next year. Also, between now and Inauguration Day, we're going to see Joe Biden announce his cabinet and senior staff. Most of whom will probably get confirmed fairly easily early, earlier ... Excuse me, later in January or early in February. And of course, we're going to see what President Trump is going to do next. I think that it's still a little bit up in the air what his post-presidency plans are. He has yet to concede the election. So, anything is possible from him, including a lot of new executive orders that could try to box Biden in and limit his options when it comes to economic policy, foreign policy, and social policy.
What can we expect out of the Biden administration's first 100 days?
Well, the biggest priority of the Biden administration first is going to be to confirm all of their cabinet appointees, and that should be pretty easy at the cabinet head level for the most part, even with a Republican controlled Senate. It's going to be a little more difficult once you get below the cabinet head, because then you're going to start to see some more ideological tests and some more policy concerns be flushed out by Republicans in the Senate. The second thing you're going to see is Biden start to undo as much of the Trump legacy as he can, and his primary vehicle for doing this is going to be executive orders, which is a lot of what president Trump used in order to enact policy. Expect Biden to reenter the Paris Climate Accord on day one and expect him to start undoing things like Trump's immigration orders and perhaps reversing some of his decisions on trade. Yet to be determined is if Congress is going to have fully funded the government for the entire year in December in the lame-duck session, and if they haven't, Biden's going to have to work out a deal probably in March or so to do that.
November 27, 2020
Joe Biden is well known as the kind of guy who will talk your ear off, whether you're a head of state or an Average Joe on the campaign trail. But Evan Osnos, New Yorker staff writer and author of "Joe Biden: The Life, The Run and What Matters Now," thinks that reputation may be outdated. "Here he is in his eighth decade when a lot of people are, frankly, in more of a broadcasting mode than a listening mode, he's actually become a more attentive listener." Despite one of the longest political careers in modern American history, there remains more to Joe Biden than may meet the eye. Osnos spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.
Watch the GZERO World episode: What you still may not know about Joe
November 26, 2020
Joe Biden has had one of the longest political careers in American history, but his most important act is yet to come. Can decades of experience in Washington prepare him to lead the most divided America since the end of the Civil War?
Watch the GZERO World episode: What you still may not know about Joe