Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn?

Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn?

Promising "a new golden age," Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom's new prime minister, has only just taken his seat at 10 Downing Street, and already it looks possible that the UK is on a path toward early elections, a Labour Party-led government, and maybe even another Brexit referendum.

How might all that happen? To answer that questions, we must answer these questions…


What is Boris Johnson's Brexit strategy? The new PM hopes to succeed where now-former PM Theresa May failed—by persuading European negotiators to make him a new Brexit offer that can win a majority in the House of Commons.

To accomplish this, Johnson hopes to persuade Europe that he's much more serious than May about leaving the EU without an agreement on the future of the UK-EU relationship – a so-called "no deal" Brexit. At the same time, he wants to balance that credible threat with a charm offensive designed to get a favorable deal.

Is that strategy likely to work? Probably not. Johnson has the same problem that brought down Theresa May: his party is deeply divided on Brexit. Some members want to avoid a no-deal Brexit at all costs for fear it would inflict long-lasting damage on the UK's economy and international standing. Others insist the new government must honor its commitment to deliver Brexit for the majority who voted for it, by whatever means necessary.

For now, most within his party are content to give Johnson a chance. But it won't be long before he must choose which path to follow. When he does, he'll alienate large numbers of Tories on one side or the other.

European negotiators know all this. That's why there is little reason for them to offer the Brexit concessions that Johnson is hoping for.

Why are early national elections becoming more likely? There are two paths toward an early election, and both are credible. First, once he's confident that Conservative Party divisions give him the needed votes, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn could call for a vote of no-confidence in Johnson's government.

If the measure passes, Johnson would have 14 days to win back the confidence of parliament. If he fails, we could have a new PM from within the Conservative Party, but it's much more likely that national elections would be held.

The second path would entail Johnson calling early elections himself because he thinks the specter of a Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn can help him use a new vote to win a bigger majority, strengthening his bargaining power with Europe. Johnson appears to have ample confidence in his own political skills and might prefer the role of flamboyant campaigner to that of Brexit negotiator haggling with Brussels.

How would new elections shape up? Johnson might be forced into an alliance of convenience with Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party, while disgust with the Conservative Party's failure to sort out the Brexit mess might well send enough votes toward Labour to allow them to form a government that includes a voting agreement with Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists. (The Lib Dems said this week they won't support a Labour-led pact, but election results might change their minds.)

The bottom line: Jeremy Corbyn himself has never been an EU fan. But his party wants a revote, and he's had to agree to support one. That's why, if there are fresh elections and Corbyn becomes prime minister, a second Brexit referendum, with all the political and social turmoil it would surely create, becomes much more likely.

Demography is destiny. That ominous-sounding pronouncement, credited to French philosopher Auguste Comte, is today taken to mean that a nation's fate depends on the youthfulness of its population. For a poor country to become rich, it needs lots of young people ready to work, to support those too old or too young to work, and to pay taxes. This is called the "demographic dividend."

That's an important part of China's success story. Over the past 40 years, more than one billion people have emerged from poverty in China. Waves of young people surged from the countryside into cities to work in factories. The state invested in education, and wages helped young workers, and then their children, go to school. The state also began a drive to develop the technologies of the future, by any means necessary. In China, once dirt-poor, hundreds of millions have created a middle class.

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Get insights on the latest news about emerging trends in cyberspace from Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford University's Cyber Policy Center and former European Parliamentarian:

This week we talk about one of my favorite topics, regulation. Laws are often framed as a barrier to innovation and not always recognized as a key enabler of freedoms and the protection of rights. But what's more is that regulation is a process, and one that can have tons of different outcomes. So, being in favor or against regulation doesn't mean anything. Except that those who oppose any changes are apparently benefiting from the status quo.

Is the world at a tipping point when it comes to regulating big tech?

And I would say absolutely. The outsized power of big tech is recognized more broadly because the harms are so blatantly clear. Harms to democracy, public health, but also to fairness in the economy are all related to the outsized power of unaccountable and under-regulated big tech. Now, what's significant is that this debate has finally hit home in the United States after it was already recognized as a problem in many other parts of the world.

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Do we spend too much time thinking about our own carbon footprints and not enough time thinking about bigger factors? Climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert acknowledges it's necessary for individuals to make changes in the way they live, but that isn't the number one priority.

"What would you do to try to move this battleship in a new direction? It requires public policy levers. And it requires … some pretty serious legislation." Ian Bremmer spoke with Kolbert, an award-winning journalist and author and staff writer at The New Yorker, on a new episode of GZERO World, airing on US public television.

Watch the episode: Can We Fix the Planet the Same Way We Broke It?

Not everyone thinks that President Biden's decision to pull all US troops out of Afghanistan by 9/11/21 is a good idea. Conservative Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL), a combat-decorated Green Beret with multiple tours in Afghanistan, thinks that the US still needs to maintain a small presence in the country to avoid incurring "massive risks." In a spirited discussion with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, Waltz, who served as counterterrorism advisor in the George W. Bush administration, argues, "The next 9/11, the next Pulse Night Club, which is right on the edge of my congressional district, the next San Bernardino, that's now on Biden's watch. He owns it with this decision." Their conversation is featured in the upcoming episode of GZERO World, which airs on US public television starting Friday, April 23. Check local listings.

Vaccines are the best hope to end the COVID-19 pandemic. But rich countries are hogging most of the doses, with more than 83 percent of shots administered to date having gone to residents in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Most poor countries will have to wait years to achieve widespread vaccination, according to one study.

To address this inequity some stakeholders are pushing hard for waivers to intellectual-property (IP) rights through World Trade Organization trade rules so that manufacturers in poorer countries can make their own vaccines locally. India and South Africa have been leading the charge, which would essentially mean that deep-pocketed pharma companies like New York-based Pfizer, for instance, would have to hand over the keys to the kingdom, allowing local companies in New Delhi and Johannesberg to make generic versions of their vaccines.

Unsurprisingly, the debate has gotten fiery, with passionate arguments emerging both for and against.

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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

What are the Russians up to against Ukraine?

We simply don't know, except the fact that they're concentrating a huge amount of military forces. And you don't do that for nothing or for fun. They are there for a purpose, to have pressure or to undertake limited to larger operations. We simply don't know. And when Putin delivered his State of the Union speech the other day, he didn't say a thing about this. They are now talking about withdrawing the forces. But let's wait and see. They have talked about withdrawing forces from Syria for a long time, but we haven't seen that as of yet.

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Australia rips up Belt & Road deal: Australia cancelled two 2018 deals signed between Victoria, Australia's wealthiest state, and the Chinese government, that committed the two sides to working together on initiatives under China's Belt and Road infrastructure development program. Foreign Minister Marise Payne said that the agreements "were adverse to our foreign relations." Similar deals between Victoria and institutions in Iran and Syria were also abandoned by the Australian government this week, under a 2020 law that allows Canberra to nullify international agreements struck at local and state level. (Australian universities say the "foreign veto bill" amounts to "significant overreach.") Meanwhile, Beijing hit back, calling the move "unreasonable and provocative," and accusing Canberra of further stoking divisions after a series of escalatory moves by both sides that have seen China-Australia relations deteriorate to their worst point in decades. Chinese investment in Australia dropped by 62 percent last year, a massive blow for Australia's export-reliant economy.

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