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North Pole servers hacked!

North Pole servers hacked!

Bad news, Christmas fans: Santa has been hacked! Your GZERO correspondents were just settling down for a long winter's nap when we stumbled on this trove of stolen emails from the servers of the SNC (Saint Nicholas Cooperative.) Here's what the world leaders you know, love, and loath are asking for this Christmas:


Xi Jinping – Mr. Santa, I am told you have lists. Lists of those who follow rules and those who do not. If you want continued access to the factories of the People's Republic (which, of course, produce far more cheaply than your elves), we require you to share this data with us. Also, as I see you are in the surveillance market, perhaps we may offer you enhanced tools that can help to make your nice and naughty lists much, much more… detailed.

Donald Trump – Kringle, you have problems. The naughty list is getting longer and longer, and you do not have enough lumps of coal. We are looking very strongly at this, and I can help. There will be tremendous, tremendous coal for you. I want you to do me a favor though. What do you have on, say, Buttigieg? That punk has been naughty at some point. I want to know about that.

The Democratic National Committee – Nick! We'd actually like to know about your returns policy. You see, we thought Donald Trump's candidacy back in 2016 was the greatest gift imaginable for us. Just let us know where we can drop him off.

Vladimir Putin – Let's see… Ukraine… Syria… US elections. Being naughty seems to have paid off quite handsomely over the past few years. I have nothing to request of you.

Nicolas Maduro – Estimado Papa Noel! Juan Guaido's fizzled insurgency is pretty much all I could have asked for this year – gracias! But if you're still feeling generous, please leave my top generals a nice bottle of rum, top up their offshore bank accounts, and tell them it was from me.

Scotland Greetings, Saint Nick! This year, we're in the market for a big, beautiful wall along our southern border.

Emmanuel Macron – Cher Santa, I would like very much to catch a train, any working train, out of town.

Benjamin Netanyahu – I know, I know. But US evangelicals love me so much I'm hoping you'll read this anyway. This Christmas/Hanukkah, I'd love a strong margin of victory in my Likud party's upcoming leadership contest, and if you're feeling extra generous, a win in next year's elections: Did I mention that I'm allergic to courtrooms?

Mark Zuckerberg – Nick, just following up: you got the naughty/nice data on all 2.4 billion of our users in time, yes? Pls confirm.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a remarkable series of executive orders. Boom! The US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord. Bang! The United States rejoins the World Health Organization. Pow! No more ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries. Biden's press secretary reminded reporters later in the day that all these orders merely begin complex processes that take time, but the impact is still dramatic.

If you lead a country allied with the US, or you're simply hoping for some specific commitment or clear and credible statement of purpose from the US government, you might feel a little dizzy today. The sight of an American president (Barack Obama) signing his name, of the next president (Donald Trump) erasing that name from the same legislation/bill, and then the following president (Biden) signing it back into law again will raise deep concerns over the long-term reliability of the world's still-most-powerful nation.

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"There needs to be a dramatic and deep reduction in the amount of debt on the poorest countries. That's clear." As the world's poorest nations struggle to recover from a devastating pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass argues that freeing them of much of their debt will be key. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no qualms about saying that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on our podcast.

Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (more than) 60 Seconds:

Biden's first scheduled call with a world leader will be with Canada's Justin Trudeau. What's going on with the Keystone Pipeline?

Well, Biden said that that's it. Executive order, one of the first is that he will stop any construction or development of the Keystone Pipeline. This is of course an oil pipeline that would allow further oil sands oil to come to the United States. The infrastructure is significantly overstretched, it's led to backlogs, inefficiency, accidents, all the rest, but it also facilitates more energy development and keeps prices comparatively down if you get it done. So, there are lots of reasons why the energy sector in Canada wants it. Having said all of that, Trudeau, even though he's been a supporter of Keystone XL, let's keep in mind that he did not win support in Alberta, which is where the big energy patch in Canada is located. This is a real problem for the government of Alberta, Canada is a very decentralized federal government, even more so than the United States. The premier of Alberta is immensely unhappy with Biden right now, they've taken a $1.5 billion equity stake in the project. I expect there will actually be litigation against the United States by the government of Alberta. But Trudeau is quite happy with Biden, his relationship was Trump was always walking on eggshells. The USMCA in negotiations ultimately successful but were very challenging for the Canadians, so too with the way Trump engaged in relations on China. All of this, the fact that Trump left the nuclear agreement with Iran, the Paris Climate Accords, WHO, all of that is stuff that Trudeau strongly opposed. He's going to be much more comfortable with this relationship. He's delighted that the first call from Biden is to him. And it certainly creates a level of normalcy in the US-Canada relationship that is very much appreciated by our neighbors to the North.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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