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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.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

If former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson could give incoming Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas advice, what would it be? "Well, first I would say, 'Ali, I'm glad it's you, not me.'" His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: For the first time in twenty years extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on the podcast to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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