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Coronavirus Politics Daily: Refugees resettled, Moscow checks your digital code, measles set to surge

Coronavirus Politics Daily: Refugees resettled, Moscow checks your digital code, measles set to surge

Greece relocates migrant children: Amid growing concern over migrant populations' vulnerability to a coronavirus outbreak, Greece this week began transferring dozens of unaccompanied migrant children from crowded Greek refugee camps to dwellings elsewhere in the EU. Some have been sent to Luxembourg, while others are expected to go to Germany and Switzerland. Over 5,200 migrant children, many from war-torn Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, currently live in overcrowded camps on the Greek islands, where infectious disease is rife, and sanitation is extremely poor. Greece, which has long complained about bearing the brunt of migrants fleeing conflict in Africa and the Middle East, says it hopes to relocate some 1,600 unaccompanied migrants to other EU countries in the months ahead. About a dozen states, including Italy and Portugal, have said they are willing to absorb them. But with many EU countries now crippled by massive coronavirus outbreaks themselves, it remains to be seen whether they will follow through.

Moscow restrictions go back to the future: With COVID-19 cases continuing to climb in the Russian capital, the city government has unveiled a new system of digital permits that people must have in order to travel anywhere in the city by car or public transportation. Essential workers get 30-day passes, while others can get one-day passes for doctor's visits or other approved personal reasons. In a way this is a 21st century rehashing of the old Soviet system of propuski, which were required to travel between regions. Two things to consider here: first, when and under what circumstances does this system end? Unlimited physical freedom to travel is one of the fundamental perks of Vladimir Putin's neo-authoritarian system of governance. And second, as countries in Western Europe and the US discuss the prospect of widespread testing as a means to reopen economies, will we too have to develop a similar system of centralized data, permissions, and control?

Coronavirus gives a boost to measles: Disruption to global supply chains because of the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with national stay-at-home orders, have disrupted mass immunization programs that low and middle-income countries rely on to keep children inoculated from otherwise deadly diseases. The Measles and Rubella initiative said that, so far, 24 countries had suspended their immunization programs, warning that as many as 100 million children could now be at risk of contracting measles. Measles remains one of the world's most contagious diseases, and in the absence of a vaccination, can be lethal. (In 2018, the most recent year for which there's comprehensive global data, measles killed 142,300 people.) While parents in wealthier countries might get their kids vaccinated by the family doctor, in countries like Brazil, Cambodia, and Nigeria, where measles epidemics are rife, many take their children to a community center or marketplace where large-scale immunization drives take place. This is not possible under social distancing guidelines, and medical experts say it will be a huge challenge to stop the spread of coronavirus without creating conditions for an explosive resurgence of measles or other infectious diseases.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

Join us today, September 29th, at 11 am ET for a GZERO Town Hall livestream event, Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic, to learn about the latest in the global hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Watch here at 11am ET: https://www.gzeromedia.com/events/town-hall-ending-the-covid-19-pandemic-livestream/

Our panel will discuss where things really stand on vaccine development, the political and economic challenges of distribution, and what societies need to be focused on until vaccine arrives in large scale. This event is the second in a series presented by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group.

Apoorva Mandavilli, science & global health reporter for the New York Times, will moderate a conversation with:

  • Lynda Stuart, Deputy Director, Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director, Energy, Climate & Resources, Eurasia Group
  • Mark Suzman, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Gayle E. Smith, President & CEO, ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development

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On Tuesday night, you can finally watch Trump and Biden tangle on the debate stage. But you TOO can go head to head on debate night .. with your fellow US politics junkies.

Print out GZERO's handy debate BINGO cards and get ready to rumble. There are four different cards so that each player may have a unique board. Every time one of the candidates says one of these words or terms, X it on your card. First player to get five across wins. And if you really want to jazz it up, you can mark each of your words by taking a swig of your drink, or doing five burpees, or donating to your favorite charity or political candidate. Whatever gets you tipsy, in shape, or motivated, get the bingo cards here. It's fight night!

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The long-simmering conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a region called Nagorno-Karabakh erupted over the weekend, with more than 50 killed (so far) in the fiercest fighting in years. Will it escalate into an all-out war that threatens regional stability and drags in major outside players?

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Watch Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

A new war breaking out between Armenia and Azerbaijan, not a new conflict. They've been fighting over contested territory that used to be a part of the Azeri Soviet Socialist Republic. Nagorno-Karabakh was an autonomous region. It was taken by the Armenians. It's a mostly Armenian enclave in terms of population. It's been contested since that military fight. There's been ongoing negotiations. The Azeris a number of months ago tried some shelling. They got pasted. This time around, it's war and for a few reasons.

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