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1968

1968

Next Wednesday will mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s murder in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s the first of several coming dates that remind us of the shocks of ’68, a landmark historical moment when the rush of momentous events spun people and governments off their feet.


It was an extraordinarily tumultuous year for the United States.

  • In January, North Korea captured a US surveillance ship, igniting a confrontation that that lasted nearly a year.
  • A week later, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched the Tet offensive, the Vietnam War’s pivotal moment and a dramatic demonstration of the limits of a superpower’s power.
  • In March, President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek re-election.
  • In April, King was assassinated, and dozens of US cities faced the so-called Holy Week Uprising, the most intense moment of social unrest in the US since the Civil War.
  • In June, leading presidential candidate Robert Kennedy was murdered in Los Angeles.
  • In August, the Democratic Party’s National Convention descended into violent chaos in Chicago.
  • In November, Richard Nixon was elected president.

Of course, 1968 saw upheaval far beyond the United States.

Should this reminder of past turmoil give us comfort that the world is now a safer place? After all, US politics is now wildly dysfunctional, but it isn’t plagued with murder. Xi Jinping has amassed tremendous power, but China has changed, and the risk of Cultural Revolution chaos is not what it was. The Czech Republic and Poland have their problems, but now they’re democracies. Russia is governed by Cold Warriors, but it lacks Soviet military power and ideological influence. Ireland’s border creates headaches for Brexit negotiators, but Catholics and Protestants are not at war.

Or… does the unclear international balance of power, widening gaps between haves and have-nots within rich and poor countries, and the inability of governments to keep pace with the human implications of technological change mean that today’s troubles have only just begun?

President and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc Morial, comes to 'That Made All the Difference' podcast to discuss his time as mayor of New Orleans, today's challenges, and what it will take to build a more just, equitable and inclusive society.

Listen now.

Though celebrations will surely be more subdued this year, many Germans will still gather (virtually) on October 3 to celebrate thirty years since reunification.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall — and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union — Germany reunited in a process whereby the much wealthier West absorbed the East, with the aim of expanding individual freedoms and economic equality to all Germans.

But thirty years later, this project has — to a large extent — been difficult to pull off. The economic and quality of life gap is shrinking, but lingering inequality continues to impact both German society and politics.

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GZERO Media, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group, today hosted its second virtual town hall on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its distribution.

The panel was moderated by New York Times science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli and featured Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Lynda Stuart; Eurasia Group's Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director of Energy, Climate & Resources; Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman; and Gayle E. Smith, the president & CEO of ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Watch the full video above.

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Donald Trump's presidency has irked a lot of people around the world. And in fairness, that's no surprise. He was elected in part to blow up long-standing assumptions about how international politics, trade, and diplomatic relations are supposed to work.

But while he has correctly identified some big challenges — adapting NATO to the 21st century, managing a more assertive China, or ending America's endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — his impulsive style, along with his restrictions on trade and immigration, have alienated many world leaders. Global polls show that favorable views of the US have plummeted to all-time lows in many countries, particularly among traditional American allies in Europe.

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Watch: Tolu Olubunmi in conversation with Dr. Samira Asma from the World Health Organization on how they are advancing health data innovation in the age of COVID-19.

This content is brought to you by our 2020 UN General Assembly partner, Microsoft.

Watch UN Innovation Room conversations weekly on Thursdays at 9 am EDT: https://www.gzeromedia.com/unga/livestream/

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