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.

The world is at a turning point. Help shape our future by taking this one-minute survey from the United Nations. To mark its 75th anniversary, the UN is capturing people's priorities for the future, and crowdsourcing solutions to global challenges. The results will shape the UN's work to recover better from COVID-19, and ensure its plans reflect the views of the global public. Take the survey here.

As the coronavirus pandemic has plunged much of the world economy into turmoil, you've probably heard a lot about what might happen to "supply chains," the vast networks of manufacturing and shipping that help create and deliver all those plastic toys, iPhones, cars, pills, pants, yogurt, and N95 face-masks you've been waiting on.

The future of global supply chains is an especially important question for China, the world's manufacturing powerhouse. Some countries and companies now worry about relying too much on any single supplier for consumer and medical goods, let alone one where the government hid the first evidence of what became a global pandemic and sometimes enforces trade and investment rules in seemingly arbitrary ways. The US-China trade war — and the vulnerabilities it reveals for manufacturers — certainly don't help.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Got through the Fourth of July. Pretty rough one for 2020 here in the United States. Still in the thick of it as we see caseload exploding in the United States. But really, the virus is all about developing markets right now. Poor countries around the world very soon, with the exception of the US and the UK, all of the top 10 countries around the world in terms of coronavirus caseload will be poorer countries. Let's keep in mind, these are countries that test a lot less, which means the actual numbers, in the United States the experts are saying probable likelihood of total cases is about 10x what we've actually seen in the US, in emerging markets and most of them, it's more like between 20 and 100. In other words, this is really where the virus now is.

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Many countries around the world — mostly democracies in the Americas, Asia, and Europe — have condemned China's recent move to implement a draconian new security law for Hong Kong that in effect ends the autonomy granted to the territory when it reverted from British control to Chinese rule in 1997. However, last week 52 countries expressed support for China's decision at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Most of these countries either owe China a lot of money or are relatively authoritarian regimes themselves — but not all of them. Here's a look at the China-debt exposure and freedom rankings of the countries that took Beijing's side on the new Hong Kong law.

0: The trial in the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi opened in a Turkish court on Friday, but 0 of the 20 Saudi agents accused of the gruesome murder were actually in the courtroom. Saudi Arabia says its own closed-door trial over the slaying was sufficient, and has so far refused to extradite the suspects to Turkey, where Khashoggi was killed.

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