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Bipartisan action against Russia? Pros & cons of DC statehood

Jon Lieber, managing director for the United States at Eurasia Group, provides his perspective on US politics:

How likely is bipartisan action against Russia in light of Taliban bounty reports?

I think it's probably unlikely. One of the challenges here is that there's some conflict of the intelligence and anything that touches on the issue of President Trump and Russia is extremely toxic for him. Republicans have so far been tolerant of that and willing to stop any new sanctions coming. I think unless the political situation or the allegations get much worse or more obvious, that stalemate probably remains.

What are the strongest and least political arguments for and against D.C. Statehood?

Well, on the one hand, you've got 700,000 people living in D.C. who lack any true, complete representation in Congress, and on the other hand, the founders specifically envisioned there would be a federal district that was sort of a neutral ground for the other States to get together and work out their issues. Possible compromise might be receding the District back to Maryland where residents could then get representation, but then you wouldn't get the two new senators that Democrats are likely to get should D.C. Become a state. So we'll see what happens on that next year.

What are the June job numbers mean for the odds of a phase four stimulus?

The June job numbers were very good, 4.8 million new jobs, 11.1% unemployment, not good by any historical standards, but given where we've been the last few months, pretty great. Probably this means there's a little less urgency in Congress to get a phase four bill done quickly, but members still want to get something done. State and local governments still need money, and the unemployment insurance that's expiring is likely to be extended. So look for a bill to get done by the first week of August.

More than 30.5 million COVID shots have now been administered globally, raising hopes that the light at the end of the tunnel is very much within reach.

The US has vaccinated almost 3 percent of its total population, while the UK is nearing a solid 5 percent inoculation rate. In Israel, which has been hailed as a vaccine success story, almost 23 percent of people have already received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

Yet, while advanced economies are making plans for a post-COVID recovery and future, many refugees, as well as displaced, undocumented, and stateless people around the world remain ineligible for inoculations and vulnerable to the coronavirus.

We take a look at three case studies where powerless populations are being left in the lurch.

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As the world's richest nations struggle will vaccine rollout, a more daunting question looms: When will the world's poorest nations get the COVID-19 vaccine? Of course, some vaccines have already reached the developing world, but World Bank President David Malpass says it may not be until the second half of 2021, or even well into 2022, that distribution becomes widespread. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of an upcoming episode of GZERO World, airing on public television nationwide beginning this Friday, January 15th. Check local listings.

When will we return to a pre-pandemic normal by achieving COVID-19 herd immunity? Well, that depends where you live. While a host of wealthy nations that stockpiled vaccines and have already started rolling them out are planning for a post-COVID recovery in the near-term, the bulk of middle-income states will have to wait many months until the vaccine is rolled out to large swaths of the population. Most developing nations, meanwhile, as well as countries that will only get drugs through the global COVAX facility, may still be living with the coronavirus for three more years, according to predictions by The Economist Intelligence Unit. We compare when the pandemic is likely to end in different groups of countries, based on their access to vaccines and rollout plans.

The US House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach President Trump a second time. The outcome was a bit different this time because 10 House Republicans (of 211 total) voted in favor.

But there's a far more consequential difference between this impeachment and the one early last year. This time, there's a genuine possibility that when the article is sent to the Senate, two thirds of senators will vote to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors. That would be a first in American history.

The outcome hinges on one man: Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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