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Coronavirus response in Brazil and Mexico

How are Brazil and Mexico responding to coronavirus compared to other countries?

They're abysmal. Look at Brazil and Mexico, and President Trump looks like a model of statesmanship in comparison. In both cases, you have leaders that are saying this isn't a crisis. It shouldn't be taken so seriously. Don't do shutdowns. And in the case of Mexico, they're still pushing austerity. What a disaster. They're really going to suffer. They have nowhere near the kind of resilience or cash on hand that say the Americans, the Europeans, the Japanese do. It's really, really sad.


Will the response to coronavirus lead to more invasive surveillance by governments?

Absolutely. In some cases, that will lead to a bigger power grab of would be authoritarian leaning governments that are actually democracies. Viktor Orbán, for example, in Hungary, a much greater expansion of direct control over his country that Europeans that aren't distracted with coronavirus themselves, aren't going to do anything to punish him in response. That's where we are. But over the course of the next year, in order to get people back to work, you're going to see much more surveillance of individuals, much more data that will be required, available for governments, for corporations. Look at what they're doing, not just in China, but also South Korea and Singapore, where if you were a suspected positive, you're got an app on your phone or a box, a little box that you're carrying, and it says exactly where you've been. Lets you know if you can or can't go into a building. Makes that available to other people.That's probably coming soon to a theater near you. Americans won't be happy about it. They won't be comfortable with it. But getting the economy going again will be seen as the top priority.

Is the threat of coronavirus in China over?

It's getting close to being over at least as long as they don't have further outbreaks from external sources. They are not releasing data on asymptomatic cases. They're tracking it. They're collecting it. But they're not releasing it. Which implies they don't want us to know. It's problematic for scientists internationally who need that information to understand the trajectory of explosion and diminution of cases in China. We'd much rather if they give us that information. It's pretty clear that they are not covering up at this point significant outbreaks. The people themselves would be getting that information out. It would be very hard for China to do it and they'd be taking a lot of risks domestically.

The new cases they're getting are almost all coming from outside the country and they are under government mandated and supervised quarantine. The numbers of people traveling in China right now is de minimis. Given the nature of the authoritarian state and the extraordinary control they have over their borders, I would say the coronavirus is close to being over right now in China. Always capable to see a new outbreak because the science doesn't yet know as much as they would like to, especially about asymptomatic transmission and how long you might be contagious when it's in your body.

Also, potential mutations from coronavirus, which we're just starting to see the beginning of, though most of those have been less lethal, less fatal. But, potentially more transmissible as they've been popping up. That means their economy should be able to really fully restart by the beginning of May, though, of course, restart with a lot less consumer demand, both in the United States and around the world. And in China itself.

So we are seeing the upside of authoritarian regimes that are technologically empowered. I posted on Twitter the other day a short video on from Nanjing, China, about 12 minutes long, that shows just how the Chinese government was able to respond to coronavirus. Across society. Inside taxi cabs. In places of work. In public transport. Around infrastructure. It's humbling. It's obviously chilling in terms of the surveillance society. And it also is something that clearly the Americans, the Europeans could not possibly do in our societies. So, as quickly as we were able to contain coronavirus in China, it is hard to imagine that you could have an outcome like that in any other real major economy in the world.

The Hindu Kush Himalayan region, stretching for more than 2,000 miles, is home to the world's highest mountains. The mountain range is also home to the world's third-largest concentration of snow and ice, earning it the moniker the third pole; only the North and South Poles contain more. The glaciers of the Hindu Kush Himalayas are the main source of fresh water for around two billion people living in the region. However, by the end of this century, two-thirds of that snow and ice could be lost because of climate change. A network of data scientists and environmentalists around the world, and on the ground in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, are working to understand the extent of glacial melting in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, its effects and what can be done to minimize its impact. To read more visit Microsoft on the Issues.

When Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned Tuesday — plunging the country into chaos as it faces once-in-a-generation public health and economic crises — he became the fourteenth Italian to vacate the prime ministership in three decades. (For contrast, Germany has only had three chancellors since 1982, and France has had five presidents.)

But Conte, who had no previous political experience until he was tapped for the top job in 2018, is not so much throwing in the towel as he is taking a massive gamble that President Sergio Mattarella will again appoint him to head Conte's third coalition government in less than three years.

The recent dysfunction is unique even within the context of instability-prone Italian politics. How did Italy get here, and what might come next?

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Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics on this week's World In (More Than) 60 Seconds:

What did you think of Xi Jinping's speech at the virtual World Economic Forum?

Well, his last speech at the real World Economic Forum in Davos, I remember being there four years ago, and given that Trump had just been elected, Xi Jinping gives this big, "We want to stand up and be leaders while the Americans are doing America first." And generally speaking, was probably the most important speech of the week. People liked it. This is a pretty different environment, not so much because Trump has gone, but rather because support and belief in Xi Jinping is pretty low. I will say one thing that was generally well responded to was the call not to enter into a new Cold War. Anybody in the business community generally supports that. There's so much integration and interdependence between the US and the Chinese economies that when Xi Jinping says, "We need to find ways to continue to work together," I mean, this is the pro-globalization audience he's speaking to. They generally agree. But otherwise, the message fell pretty flat. So, the idea that China is going to be globally useful on issues of leadership, especially when it comes to anything that might threaten Beijing's sovereignty, they check global norms at the door. And a few examples of that, when Xi called for support for the rules-based international order, that's in obvious contrast with China's violation of the one country, two systems framework in Hong Kong. And they said, "Well, that's a domestic issue." Well, actually that's not what your agreement was with the British handover. And just because you're more powerful doesn't mean that norm doesn't matter anymore.

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Over the weekend, some 40,000 people in Moscow and thousands more across Russia braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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Angry farmers take Indian fort: In a major and violent escalation of ongoing protests over new agriculture laws, thousands of Indian farmers broke through police barricades and stormed the historic Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday. At least one protester died in the chaos, while the government shut down internet service in parts of the capital. Farmers and the government are still deadlocked over the new laws, which liberalize agriculture markets in ways that farmers fear will undercut their livelihoods. The government has offered to suspend implementation for 18 months, but the farmers unions are pushing for a complete repeal. Given that some 60 percent of India's population works in agriculture, the standoff has become a major political test for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling BJP party.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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