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.

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.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

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In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

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