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Bob Woodward's Trump tapes & the 2020 election; no COVID relief

Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares his perspective on US politics:

The Atlantic revelations about Trump's derogatory military remarks didn't seem to have that much of an impact with regular voters. Will Bob Woodward's new book also be a dud?

You know, the president has endured an astonishing number of body blows that would probably be fatal for any mere mortal. But what's unique about this current round of revelations is that there are tapes. I can expect those tapes, which go right at the president's greatest weakness, which is his handling of the coronavirus, to be played ad nauseum by the Biden campaign from now until the election.

How close is the US to a new stimulus package and why was the $1T recently proposed a fraction of what was originally offered?

Well, the stimulus package is looking pretty dead. Both sides seem pretty content with their position and not doing anything. And when neither side feels urgency to compromise, neither side is going to compromise. What's really surprising about this is the president. And if the opposition parties offer you the chance to send out $1200.00 checks to every household three weeks before an election, you'd think the president would want to say yes. But he's obviously not feeling enough urgency to agree to the Democrats other demands. And so nothing is probably going to happen.

With a thousand suspected cases of double voting in Georgia, are Trump's warning of voter tampering warranted?

No. There's very little evidence of vote tampering in the United States. What there is a lot of evidence for is poor election administration. And what the president's comments are doing is creating confusion and encouraging voters to do things they really shouldn't, like vote twice. This is going to be a huge issue this fall with a surge in absentee ballots. Absentee ballots have a higher rejection rate than in-person mailing. So it could be the case that the person who wins this election is not the person who's got the most turnout, but the person whose voters are best at following complicated instructions on their ballots.

Wales, early 19th century: During breaks from his law studies, William Robert Grove indulges in his passion for science to become an inventor. On his honeymoon in Europe, he learns about the new energy source everyone's talking about: electricity. After learning that electricity allows water to be broken down into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen, his intuition leads him to an idea that ends up making him a pioneer of sustainable energy production.

Watch the story of William Robert Grove in Eni's MINDS series, where we travel through time seeking scientists.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and as we head into the weekend, a Quick Take on, well, the first bombing campaign of the new Biden administration. You kind of knew it was going to happen. Against some Iranian-backed militias in Syria, looks like a couple of dozen, perhaps more killed, and some militia-connected military facilities destroyed. I think there are a few ways to look at this, maybe three different lenses.

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Listen: The country's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, joins Ian Bremmer to talk vaccines, school re-openings, and when—and how—the pandemic could finally come end. He was last on GZERO World just weeks before the pandemic hit in the fall of 2019 and he described at the time what kept him up at night: a "pandemic-like respiratory illness." This time, he talks about how closely that nightmare scenario foreshadowed the COVID-19 pandemic. He also offers some guidance about what public health measures vaccinated Americans should continue to take in the coming months (hint: masks stay on).

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Afghanistan frustrated nineteenth-century British imperialists for 40 years, and ejected the Soviet army in 1989 after a bloody decade there. And though American and NATO forces ousted the Taliban government in 2001 over its support for al-Qaeda, there's no good reason for confidence that nearly 20 years of occupation have brought lasting results for security and development across the country.

But… could China succeed where other outsiders have failed – and without a costly and risky military presence? Is the promise of lucrative trade and investment enough to ensure a power-sharing deal among Afghanistan's warring factions?

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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Stockholm on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Is there a military coup ongoing in Armenia?

Well, it isn't a military coup as of yet, but it's not far from it either. This is the turmoil that is resulting from the war with Azerbaijan, which Armenia took a large death loss. What happened was that the head of the armed forces asked for the prime minister to resign. That was not quite a coup, but not very far from it. Now, the prime minister sacked the head of the armed forces, there's considerable uncertainty. Watch the space.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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Biden strikes Syria. Now what?

Quick Take