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A BRIDGE OF LOVE: ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA​

A BRIDGE OF LOVE: ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA​

On Sunday, the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea built a bridge of love across a long-disputed border. That’s not us getting mushy in the mid-summer heat – that’s a direct quote from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has agreed with his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki to finally settle a late-1990s conflict that killed 80,000 people, displaced half a million more, and fueled destabilizing proxy fights between the countries elsewhere in East Africa ever since.


The peace is largely the initiative of the youthful Mr. Abiy – a former intelligence officer who, since taking power earlier this spring, has made waves by relaxing political controls, pledging economic reforms, and promising a more inclusive government. Peace with Eritrea would free up economic resources and open up greater avenues for development, not least by enabling landlocked Ethiopia to regain access to the Red Sea via Eritrean ports.

For Eritrea, peace offers a chance to emerge from the ruthless militarization and economic isolation that have made it one of the world’s most repressive regimes, driving hundreds of thousands of its people northward to Europe in search of better opportunities in recent years.

To be sure, plenty of challenges remain – for one thing, Ethiopian troops still need to leave border areas that they have occupied in contravention of UN findings, and thorny questions of territorial and population exchanges also remain. It’s also unclear whether Eritrea’s Afwerki can ease tensions without losing control over a system that has been shaped by more than two decades of war-footing.

But in a world where borders and walls are the thing these days, a bridge of love isn’t a bridge too far, is it?

The role of the public library has evolved over time. As we move online at an even faster rate, knowledge, entertainment and opportunities for education and employment are found on the internet. Those living in well-connected, affluent places may have come to take internet access for granted. But there is a digital divide in the U.S. that has left people at a disadvantage – particularly since the arrival of COVID-19.

Finding ways to overcome that divide in a sustainable, community-led way could help bring the benefits of the internet to those who need it most. One solution is to use technologies such as TV white space to facilitate wireless broadband – as Microsoft's Airband Initiative is doing. To read more about Microsoft's work with public libraries, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Who does Vladimir Putin want to win the US election? Given the Kremlin's well-documented efforts to sway the 2016 vote in Donald Trump's favor, it's certainly a fair question. And while there's no solid evidence that Russian interference had any decisive effect on the outcome four years ago, the Trump administration itself says the Kremlin — and others — are now trying to mess with the election again.

So let's put you in Vladimir Putin's size 9 shoes as you weigh up Donald Trump vs Joe Biden while refreshing your own personal PyatTridsatVosem (FiveThirtyEight) up there in the Kremlin.

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"The 'American exceptionalism' that I grew up with, the 'American exceptionalism' of the Cold War…I do think has outlived its usefulness." Those words coming from Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former top State Department official under President Obama, indicate how much the world has changed in the past few decades. Her conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: How a "President Biden" could reshape US foreign policy

Less than a week out from Election Day, 66 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and many of those are people who are voting "early" for the first time because of the pandemic. In fact, the early vote total alone this year is already equal to nearly half of all ballots cast in the 2016 general election, suggesting that 2020 turnout could reach historic levels. Most important, however, is how things are playing out in key battleground states where the outcome of the US election will be determined. In Texas, for instance, a huge surge in early voting by Democrats this year has raised the possibility that a state which has been won by Republican candidates since 1976 could now be up for grabs. Here we take a look at early voting in battleground states in 2020 as compared to 2016.

In a national referendum on Sunday, Chileans overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new constitution. But, why are people in this oasis of political stability and steady economic growth in South America willing to undo the bedrock of the system that has allowed Chile to prosper for so long?

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