Iran's Qassim Suleimani assassinated! Ian Bremmer discusses

Who was Qassem Soleimani and why did the US target him?

Well, he's the most important military leader in Iran. The architect of their proxy warfare and terrorist network across the region, which made him one of most important antagonists of the United States. He specifically was targeted because of his involvement in ordering attacks against an American base in Iraq, led to the injury of US soldiers and the killing of one US military contractor. The fact that he was killed is a major escalation in the confrontation between the US and Iran that has been going on really since the US withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal.


How will Iran respond and what does this mean for Trump?

Well, I mean, Iran has said that they're going to respond in kind, but in kind would mean that the Iranians were going to attack you know, Secretary of Defense Esper, or Pompeo, or Pence, and they're not going to do that because that that would basically lead to the end of the Iranian regime. They're aware of the power asymmetries and what the United States has done to Iran and what they would. They will need to escalate. And that escalation probably involves targets of American facilities inside Iraq. But the problem is that it also means that Iranian proxies who had been controlled by this guy, Soleimani, aren't anymore. And so, their level of autonomy which always mattered, will suddenly become greatest. The potential for accidents is really real. Look, I do not believe the US is today at war with Iran, but the potential for this to escalate in a meaningful way has, of course, gotten a lot higher. Final point here is I'd say Trump is not wagging the dog. If Trump had been looking for an excuse to go to war against Iran, he had ample numbers of them with the big drones that have been taken down, with the tankers that have been bombed and have been captured, and especially when they hit Saudi Arabia's major oil facility, took 50 percent of Saudi oil off the markets. But for Trump and his administration, attacking Americans and the US Embassy in Baghdad were red lines that led to this behavior, certainly created more deterrence, certainly created more understanding from Iran of what they can and can't do without the Americans responding. Hopefully that's a bit of a silver lining in what otherwise is a very dangerous environment in Middle East.

In a new episode of That Made All the Difference, Savita Subramanian, head of ESG Research, BofA Global Research, explains why ESG factors are critical to why some companies succeed and some fail.

"I think 10 years from now, we won't even call it 'environmental, social and governance,' or ESG investing. We won't call it sustainable. It'll just be part of investing," she says.

Link to the episode here.

This weekend, world leaders will open the COP26 climate summit, the UN's annual climate change conference, in Glasgow. Some insist this event is crucial to the multinational fight to limit the effects of climate change; others dismiss it as a circus that will feature politicos, protesters and celebrities competing for attention – one that's long on lofty promises and short on substance.

What's on the agenda?

Political leaders and negotiators from more than 120 countries will gather to talk about two big subjects. First, how to reduce the heat-trapping carbon emissions that scientists warn can inflict catastrophic damage on millions of people. This is where they'll offer their "nationally determined contributions," diplomatic jargon for their updated promises on their climate goals. Second, how to help poorer countries pay for adaptation to the climate damage that's already unavoidable.

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Less than a year after the world started putting COVID vaccines into people's arms, most regions have immunized at least half their populations, but Africa still lags behind. With industrialized nations hoarding jabs and the COVAX facility faltering, barely five percent of the African population is fully vaccinated.

Some enterprising South African scientists are now making a bold bid to change that, with an experiment that could benefit not only Africa's 54 nations and billion people, but the entire world: Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, a Cape Town-based startup, has developed a plan to reverse-engineer Moderna's mRNA shot and manufacture it for priority distribution on the continent.

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11: Hit by a massive new COVID wave, Moscow has issued an 11-day lockdown of schools, businesses, and all "non-essential" services. Russia is now one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, having recorded 400,000 deaths by some estimates. Russia's high rate of vaccine skepticism isn't helping.

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Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Has Russian behavior in cyber changed after President Biden and President Putin's meeting earlier this year?

Well, unfortunately, we see ongoing assertiveness and aggression from the Russian side, targeting the US government, but also US tech companies. And the fact that there is so little accountability probably keeps motivating. Shortly before the Russian elections, Apple and Google removed an app built by opposition parties, to help voters identify the best candidate to challenge Putin's party. The company sided pressure on their employees in Russia, but of course, the pressure on the Russian population is constant. And after these dramatic events, the silence from Western governments was deafening.

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No government today has the toolbox to tinker with Big Tech – that's why it's time to start thinking of the biggest tech companies as bona fide "digital nation states" with their own foreign relations, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World. Never has a small group of companies held such an expansive influence over humanity. And in this vast new digital territory, governments have little idea what to do.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Big Tech: Global sovereignty, unintended consequences

Right now, only one region of the world is reporting an increase in new daily COVID cases. Here's a hint: it's one of the places where vaccines are, for the most part, easiest to get.

It's Europe. According to the World Health Organization, the region last week notched a 7 percent uptick in new daily infections, the third week in a row that infections rose there.

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