Dating and debates, music festivals and dance classes, work and education – an increasing amount of our social interactions now take place online. With this shift to virtual venues, ensuring kindness and respect in everyday interactions and encounters is more important than ever.
The digital space has become a fundamental part of the national and international conversation, and has also, at times, become a breeding ground for bullying, trolling and hate speech. There is a clear need for more "digital good" to ensure that online encounters have a constructive impact on everyone involved. To learn more about digital good and what it means, visit Microsoft on the Issues.
As the global vaccination race heats up, the most populous country in the world is trying to do three very hard things at once.
India, grappling with the second highest confirmed COVID caseload in the world, recently embarked on what it called "the world's largest" coronavirus vaccination campaign, seeking to inoculate a sizable swath of its 1.4 billion people.
That alone would be a herculean challenge, but India is also making hundreds of millions of jabs as part of the global COVAX initiative to inoculate low-income countries. And as if those two things weren't enough, Delhi also wants to win hearts and minds by doling out millions more shots directly to other countries in its neighborhood.
<p>How will India pull off such a gargantuan task? It's still early days, but tough tradeoffs are already emerging fast. </p><p><strong>Domestic mistrust. </strong>When India launched its COVID vaccination campaign in January, many were hopeful. The country had both the capacity to mass-produce (India makes about 60 percent of all vaccines globally) and the <a href="https://scroll.in/article/975675/covid-19-can-india-adapt-its-child-immunisation-infrastructure-to-vaccinate-the-whole-population" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">logistical infrastructure</a> already in place to inoculate hundreds of millions of children against measles or tuberculosis annually. </p><p>But six weeks in, barely 1 percent of Indians have gotten their shots. Technical <a href="https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/covid-19-technical-glitch-hits-round-2-of-vaccination-drive/articleshow/80946735.cms" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">glitches</a> are one reason. But another issue is widespread skepticism. Only 40 percent of Indians <a href="https://www.localcircles.com/a/press/page/vaccine-hesitancy-survey-india#.YD6nbpNKhBw" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">say</a> they want to be vaccinated, according to the pollster Local Circles. A <a href="https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/experts-flag-lack-of-transparency/article33495964.ece" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">fishy</a> approvals process for India's own locally-developed vaccine contributed to that. Earlier this week Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-india-vaccine/modi-takes-home-grown-vaccine-as-india-widens-immunisation-drive-idUSKCN2AT15Q" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">took the jab</a> in a photo-op bid to boost public confidence. </p><p>But there's also a basic supply constraint which is forcing India's government to balance competing priorities.</p><p><strong>Made in India vs India First. </strong>Global prospects for ending the pandemic depend heavily on India, which has <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/20/india-pharmacy-of-the-world-starts-exporting-covid-vaccines" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">committed</a> to producing hundreds of millions of vaccines for Oxford/AstraZeneca, under the local name Covishield. But balancing that global demand against Indians' needs is proving tough.</p><p>Delhi has already <a href="https://apnews.com/article/ap-top-news-global-trade-immunizations-india-coronavirus-pandemic-c0c881c0f07166e8fd494e078171a7cc" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">warned</a> once that it would delay COVAX commitments until it had inoculated a critical mass of its own population. And although it walked that back a bit, two weeks ago the Serum Institute of India — the main <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/the-covax-state-of-play" target="_self">COVAX</a> supplier — <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/what-were-watching-status-of-covid-in-the-us-china-wants-a-reset-indian-vax-makers-under-pressure" target="_self">hinted</a> it was under pressure to prioritize India's "huge needs." </p><p><strong>One of those needs is vaccine "friendship." </strong>Prime Minister Modi calls his strategy "Vaccine <a href="https://www.news18.com/news/india/covid-diplomacy-how-indias-vaccine-maitri-jabs-have-put-china-on-the-ropes-3339179.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">maitri</a>," a Sanskrit word with Buddhist overtones that means friendship, goodwill, or kindness. Modi wants the world to see India as a <a href="https://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/pm-narendra-modi-replies-to-former-england-cricketer-kevin-pietersen-says-we-believe-that-the-world-is-our-family-101612414023965.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">benevolent power</a>, using its vaccine manufacturing capacity to help countries in need.</p><p>Indeed, Delhi is set to ship shots to several nations in South Asia and beyond, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/india-vaccine-diplomacy/2021/01/21/0d5f0494-5b49-11eb-a849-6f9423a75ffd_story.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">often for free</a>. But Delhi's largesse has a geopolitical coloring too: India is sending jabs to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-17/india-seeks-to-mend-bangladesh-ties-with-vaccine-diplomacy" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bangladesh</a>, for example, as part of a strategy to mend ties with Dhaka after the fallout of India's controversial 2019 citizenship laws, which stoked tensions with the majority-Muslim country. Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, no Indian-made jabs are headed for the 200 million people of long-time adversary Pakistan.</p><p><strong>China is part of the story too.</strong> India's main rival for Asian supremacy is waging its own <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/58ca570e-38ee-404f-90f5-57c21c458058" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">complicated campaign</a> of vaccine diplomacy, sending millions of vaccines to <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/vaccine-diplomacy-china-in-the-global-south" target="_self">countries across the developing world</a>. Delhi wants to counter that, but is focusing closer to home: India is supplying millions of doses of Covishield to neighboring <a href="https://thehill.com/opinion/international/536307-indias-covid-diplomacy-trying-to-wean-neighbors-off-china" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Nepal</a>, where China's growing influence has been eroding India's sway in recent years, <a href="https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lanka-receives-500000-doses-of-covid-19-vaccines-from-india/article33933291.ece" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">and to Sri Lanka</a>, which is increasingly in play in the Asian rivalry between Beijing and Delhi. </p><p><strong>Bottom line:</strong> India has chosen to do three very difficult and somewhat conflicting things. Succeeding at any one of them alone would be an impressive step in the longer fight to end the pandemic. But can Delhi manage more than that?</p>
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Millions of people leave their home countries each year, fleeing conflict or violence, seeking better work opportunities, or simply to be closer to family. What proportion of those people are women? In many of the countries that are home to the largest migrant populations, a majority, in fact. While many women leave home for the same reasons as men (social instability or economic opportunity) gender-based violence or persecution often play a special role in women's decisions to pick up stakes and move. Here's a look at the gender breakdown of some of the world's largest migrant populations.
March 01, 2021
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele is an unusual politician. The 39-year old political outsider boasts of his political triumphs on TikTok, dons a suave casual uniform (backwards-facing cap; leather jacket; tieless ), and refuses to abide by Supreme Court rulings.
Bukele also enjoys one of the world's highest approval ratings, and that's what helped his New Ideas party clinch a decisive victory in legislative elections on February 28, securing a close to two-third's supermajority (75 percent of the vote had been counted at the time of this writing).
His triumph will resonate far beyond the borders of El Salvador, Central America's smallest country, home to 6.5 million people. Now that Bukele has consolidated power in a big way, here are a few key developments to keep an eye on.
<p><strong>Anti-establishment fervor isn't disappearing. </strong>The recent election demonstrates that Salvadorians are buying what Bukele is selling even if he doesn't always deliver on his promises.</p><p>In 2019, Bukele came to power <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/04/el-salvador-anti-corruption-candidate-nayib-bukele-wins-presidential-election" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">pledging</a> to root out corruption, break the monopoly of the two parties that have run the country since the end of the civil war in 1992, and rid the country of violent gangs (El Salvador has one of the world's <a href="https://www.crisisgroup.org/latin-america-caribbean/central-america/el-salvador/64-el-salvadors-politics-perpetual-violence" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">highest crime rates</a>). Despite a dip early in the pandemic, crime has risen at various stages since — though Bukele has harshly <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/has-el-salvador-solved-its-crime-problem" target="_self">cracked down</a> on gang violence. Meanwhile, investigations <a href="https://www.elfaro.net/en/202009/el_salvador/24796/Series-of-Corruption-Allegations-Stains-El-Salvador%E2%80%99s-Promise-%E2%80%94-What-Political-Impact-Will-It-Have.htm" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">reveal</a> that Bukele's administration has been mired in its own corruption scandals. Still, a majority of Salvadorians (roughly 90 percent) see Bukele as preferable to a corrupt political establishment that has long lined its own pockets while <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/elsalvador/overview#:~:text=The%20country%20had%20recently%20registered,to%2029%20percent%20in%202017." rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">poverty</a> plagues around 30 percent of the population. People simply want change.</p><p><strong>And this trend isn't unique to El Salvador either.</strong> In nearby Mexico, populist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, also has <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/gzero-world-clips/why-mexicos-amlo-is-still-so-popular-despite-rampant-violence" target="_self">failed to make good </a>on some reform pledges that brought him to power in 2018. Still, <a href="https://www.as-coa.org/articles/approval-tracker-mexicos-president-amlo" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">polls</a> show that Mexicans are overwhelmingly rooting for AMLO — a rugged self-described "man of the people" — in upcoming midterm elections, over a self-enriching political class that they feel has left them behind.</p><p>Like in Mexico, there are concerns about El Salvador's authoritarian drift. Last year, Bukele <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/02/10/804407503/troops-occupy-el-salvadors-legislature-to-back-president-s-crime-package" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">sent troops</a> into the parliament to demand the legislative body approve his security package. "Bukele's style of governing is bullying," said <a href="https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/behind-nayib-bukeles-shocking-turn/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Carlos Dada</a>, founder of the newsite El Faro.</p><p>And now that Bukele has a supermajority, analysts warn that he can go even further, claiming a mandate to pack the Supreme Court, reconfigure the attorney general's office, and could even push for a new constitution, scrapping provisions that would cap his current presidency at one-term (consecutive terms are banned). Critics are worried that in placing his allies in control of all levers of government, Bukele can now effectively undermine all judicial and legislative independence.</p><p><strong>Why does this matter beyond El Salvador? </strong>Political instability in El Salvador breeds regional insecurity and more migration.</p><p>People from the so-called "Northern Triangle'' of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have for years constituted the largest share of migrants stopped at the southwestern US border. If an increasingly-authoritarian Bukele is unable to make good on his promises and improve Salvadorians' lives (New Ideas' success is so far rooted in Bukele's own self-styled image rather than a fixed political ideology) this could result in thousands fleeing in search of a better life in the United States, just as President Biden is trying to diplomatically tweak US foreign policy towards Latin America. The Biden administration recently <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-centralamerica/biden-administration-suspends-trump-asylum-deals-with-el-salvador-guatemala-honduras-idUSKBN2A702Q" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">axed</a> the Trump administration's third country resettlement program (also known as the Remain in Mexico<a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/02/12/us-remain-mexico-program-harming-children" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"> program</a>), while still towing a <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-mexico/border-closed-to-irregular-migration-blinken-says-in-mexico-meeting-idUSKBN2AQ245" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">tough line </a>on what it calls "irregular migration." This complicates things for Biden who needs to work with the Salvadorians to manage the immigration issue, but who also<a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/biden-officials-turn-down-unannounced-visit-el-salvador-pres-nayib-n1257160" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"> can't be seen t</a>o be playing nice with norm-breaking Bukele after putting human rights and democracy at the heart of US foreign policy.</p><p>For Mexico, meanwhile, the stakes are also extremely high. The spillover effects of drug trafficking and gang violence in El Salvador create insecurity and havoc in Mexico (and <a href="https://www.npr.org/2011/06/01/136829224/el-salvador-fears-ties-between-cartels-street-gangs" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">vice versa</a>). This dynamic intensified under the Trump administration's <a href="https://apnews.com/article/aclu-doj-zero-tolerance-policy-failure-b8e6e0a189f5752697335f51d57b1628" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">zero tolerance policy, </a>when Mexico City experienced a surge in asylum applications from El Salvador. (Consider that in 2019, Mexico <a href="https://www.niskanencenter.org/recent-events-in-mexican-migration-policy/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">received</a> around 80,000 asylum applications because many Central Americans did not want to risk being rejected at the US border and being sent back to their home countries.)</p><p><strong>Looking ahead. </strong>The very online Bukele represents a new brand of politician sweeping parts of Latin America — and the globe. But in the year 2021, what happens in El Salvador very much does <em>not</em> stay in El Salvador. Mexico, the United States, and many others, are watching.</p>
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Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (a little over) 60 Seconds:
The Biden administration announced its first sanctions. How will it affect US-Russia relations?
Not very much. About as bad as they were under the Trump administration, even though Trump personally wanted to be aligned with Putin, the administration was not. This is the same approach on sanctions as we've seen from the European Union, they could go a lot harder. It's not sector level. It's not major state enterprises. It's a few Russian officials that were involved in the chemical program for Russia. And at the end of the day, the Russians are annoyed, but they're not going to hit back. That's that. Okay.
<p><strong>Myanmar's protests are getting more violent. Will it get worse and how will end?</strong></p><p>It's hard to imagine it not getting worse. I mean, now you see dozens getting killed in one day. The fact is that Aung San Suu Kyi would be allowed back in government eventually, probably, if that meant that the military still was able to control the elections. I can't see her being willing to do that and provide the legitimacy. And so, as a consequence, you kind of have a standoff where they can push the elections earlier, but it's going to be unfree and unfair. And that means that Myanmar is going to still be run by the military. And the Chinese government is more than happy with that. You are starting to see some other governments in the region trying to act as conduits for discussion to see if a compromise can be worked out because clearly the violence is troubling. Hard to see it happening. So again, this is going to get uglier before it gets better.</p><p><strong>What's the story with former French President Nicholas Sarkozy going to jail?</strong></p><p>Well, he has a three-year sentence, two of which has been suspended, but one is going to be house arrest. First time you've seen that from a former French president, and for corruption for influence peddling. And so, that's a pretty big precedent in France. We've already seen it, of course in Italy with Berlusconi. Big question is, do we see it in the United States? People will be talking about that, no question.</p>
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