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.
<p>In short, we <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/whos-joe-biden-going-to-visit-first" target="_self">wrote</a> yesterday about what other countries want from America. Today, we look at what they should fear from the US… or at least from its polarized domestic politics. Solutions to many of today's global problems demand long-term commitments. As other governments plan, they want to know what to expect from the United States. They want to know what return they can expect on their own investments. They want to have confidence that Washington will prove a reliable partner.</p><p><strong>Transfers of power in Washington aren't new, but deep fundamental disagreements over US leadership are.</strong> Democrats and Republicans have alternated presidential power in the US for 160 years, but Donald Trump challenged an eight-decade consensus on the basics of America's role in the world on a scale we haven't seen in living memory. Joe Biden is now president, and he's got the pen to prove it, but his need to resort to executive orders reminds us of how little cooperation he can expect from <a href="https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/does-biden-really-think-republicans-will-work-with-him-and-could-he-be-right/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Congress</a>, where his party holds the narrowest of majorities. </p><p>More to the point, remember that Trump won more than 74 million votes in the 2020 election. The best measure of the narrowness of defeat is not the popular vote margin of seven million but the <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/12/02/940689086/narrow-wins-in-these-key-states-powered-biden-to-the-presidency" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">44,000 votes</a> that separated Biden from Trump in three crucial states. Trump himself may not return to the White House, but the defiant go-it-alone foreign policy he branded as "America First" has inspired tens of millions of Americans and may well return. Perhaps in 2024. </p><p><strong>So, if you lead another government, are you ready to bet on sustainable US commitments</strong> to protect Asian allies from dominance by China, contain Iran's nuclear ambitions, help manage humanitarian emergencies, take consequential action to defend human rights, honor the terms of trade agreements, reduce carbon emissions, lend to COVID-devastated economies, or invest in the future of NATO? </p><p>As former German ambassador to the US <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HMiGZYN__M" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Wolfgang Ischinger</a> recently told GZERO Media, Europeans leaders better be asking themselves this question: "Do we want to make our lives, our future, dependent on what … 50,000, or 60 or 80,000 voters in Georgia or Arizona may wish to do four years from now?" </p><strong>Bottom line:</strong> How, world leaders rightly wonder, can they have confidence that today's US commitments are sound long-term bets? That's a big problem not only for the United States — but for its allies and potential partners.
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January 25, 2021
10: Violent protests against new coronavirus restrictions have erupted in at least 10 regions in the Netherlands, which recently imposed the country's first nationwide curfew since World War Two. Protesters clashed with police and looted stores — and police say that a far-right anti-immigrant group has taken advantage of the discontent to exacerbate tensions.
<p><strong>1: </strong>Estonia's parliament has approved the nomination of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas of the centre-right Reform party, making her the country's <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-estonia-government/kallas-becomes-estonias-first-female-pm-far-right-out-of-government-idUSKBN29U212" target="_blank">first-ever </a>female head of government. Kallas takes the reins after Estonia's government was recently thrown into chaos amid a corruption scandal and will now oversee the country's post-COVID recovery.<br/></p><p><strong>40: </strong>Despite rolling out the most successful vaccine drive in the world, Israel's vaccination rate cannot keep pace with the spread of disease as Israelis continue to <a href="https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-police-crack-down-on-ultra-orthodox-neighborhood-locals-say-excessively-1.9474354" target="_blank">flout</a> social distancing rules. The country will now close its airport to all international travel for at least a week to try and stop the spread of new COVID variants, with the British strain now accounting for around <a href="https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-to-close-ben-gurion-airport-to-all-arrivals-amid-mutation-fears/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">40 percent</a> of all new infections in the country.</p><p><strong>79: </strong>After a tumultuous few years under the Trump presidency, Germans are feeling good about Joe Biden: <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2021/01/19/british-french-and-german-publics-give-biden-high-marks-after-u-s-election/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">79 percent</a> of them say they have confidence in Biden's approach to global affairs, compared to just 10 percent who said the same about <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/09/15/us-image-plummets-internationally-as-most-say-country-has-handled-coronavirus-badly/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">President Trump</a> last fall.<br/></p>
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One result of the law enforcement crackdown on pro-Trump Capitol rioters following the events of January 6 is that many right-wing extremists have left public social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter for encrypted apps like Telegram and Signal. But renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher isn't all that concerned. "The white supremacist stuff, it's like mold. They thrived in the light, actually." Now that these groups no longer have such public platforms, their recruiting power, Swisher argues, will be greatly diminished. Plus, she points out, they were already on those encrypted apps to begin with. Swisher's conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.
Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no doubt 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 GZERO World.
gzero world ian bremmer kara swisher big tech TECHNOLOGY SECTOR tech cold war social media facebook twitter GOOGLE apple section 230 INTERNET biden administration joe biden us capitol riots right-wing extremists online extremists trump followers trump twitter ban parler us political divide internet bill of rights digital privacy