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Ian Bremmer: Global leadership power shift

The old US led order is gone. It relied on alignment around the world.

The UK has left the European Union. The EU faces existential questions on whether the Union will be in place in 3 years, given extraordinary need for redistribution - how that can function in the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes? Euro skeptic; anti-establishment sentiment across Europe - feel more like individual states, less like a coordinated union, weakens the trans-Atlantic relationship.


Russia in decline, even before oil prices went negative. Russia's badly managed economy is smaller than Canada. Putin's popularity diminishing, handling coronavirus badly. He blames the United States. Some was mismanagement and kleptocracy in Russia. Some is the US not helping the Russians after the Soviet Union collapse; expanding NATO up to their borders and the Europeans expanding the EU.

Energy, pipeline diplomacy from the US, to get the Caspian and the Caucasus away from Russia, benefit American companies. What about Russia? They're angry, working to undermine the transatlantic relationship, democracy in the US. Their interventions playing on American divisions, Europe. That continues, with weaker institutions, more people angry believing institutions are rigged.

China: Mistaken assumption by the West that, as China becomes wealthier, they integrate into Western institutions, "responsible stakeholdership". From China's perspective, that was American exceptionalism. "You want us to act like a rich country, even though we're not, want us to play by the rules of the institutions that you created, even though we're authoritarian and state capitalist, why would we do that?" Instead, you see Xi Jinping consolidating power. Feeling more vulnerable internationally and domestically; strengthening state capitalism, strategic control, alignment of key industries with the Chinese government. Building international architecture that competes with the West. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Chinese Development Bank, One Belt One Road.

Alignment with a US led global order has structurally changed, has been incrementally over decades; it's speeding up. Trump presidency exacerbated it; it was coming anyway. The economic hit exacerbates divisions, undermines belief in the authority and example that the American exceptionalism had historically benefited from - even less likely that the United States could return to it.

Biden is an internationalist, would want the US to return to the Paris climate accord, supports a consolidated Europe, even though Europe is falling apart and there's more anti-European sentiment. United States support is eroding.

One, domestic opposition to being the world's policeman or architect of global trade - policies have not benefited many Americans. After wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq on the back of poor, disenfranchised Americans. Why support more policies like that? Why support more free trade? The top 10% has done well, the top 0.1% has done incredibly well? The average American since '76 got squat. 15% unemployment, could be 20% in the next month. Support for US internationalism, I don't think you see it.

NATO is not aligned towards dealing with China, but China is the principal concern. Would the US support NATO as much as 10, 20, 30 years ago? Not really. The Middle East? When Americans needed oil from the Middle East, real issue. How much support for Saudis and Gulf states when the US is the largest producer in the world? Do Americans want to be more cooperative, spend more money, send more troops?

Technology firms are big winners. That's how the economy's working right now. Those companies are overwhelmingly American.

I love what the Statue of Liberty stands for. But if we increasingly don't need labor in the United States, automating, have 15% unemployment, don't support immigration as much. American interest in leading a multilateral global order is down, irrespective of who we vote for.

A different global order where the Americans remain most powerful, but the nature of the institutions, participation, values, standards have to be more collaborative, cooperative. We have to build them quickly, because the challenges - also climate change and others, are deeply global. So, the response has to be more than just American, too.

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.

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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GZERO Media, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group, today hosted its second virtual town hall on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its distribution.

The panel was moderated by New York Times science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli and featured Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Lynda Stuart; Eurasia Group's Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director of Energy, Climate & Resources; Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman; and Gayle E. Smith, the president & CEO of ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Watch the full video above.

Mexico reckons with abortion rights: Scores of people joined protests in Mexico's capital on Monday, demanding the legalization of abortion in the majority Roman Catholic country. The demonstrations coincided with International Safe Abortion Day, which aims to ensure women around the world have access to safe sexual and reproductive health services. In Mexico, which has a female population of at least 65 million, the procedure is banned outside Mexico City and the southern state of Oaxaca (which moved to legalize the procedure last year), though it's legal in instances of rape. More than half of all pregnancies in Mexico are estimated to be unintended, leading many women to seek (botched) illegal abortions that often lead to complications requiring serious medical care. Protesters clashed with police — with some women even hurling Molotov cocktails — as confrontations became increasingly heated throughout the day. Many attendees were clad in green scarfs, which have become the symbol of the pro-choice movement in parts of Latin America in recent years. Some analysts say that the recent death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a women's right icon, has put renewed global focus on abortion rights — and women's rights more broadly.

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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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