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A Big Brazilian Shakeup

A Big Brazilian Shakeup

Brazil’s topsy-turvy presidential race just got even wilder as nationally-renowned former Supreme Court President Joaquim Barbosa is set to throw his hat in the ring.


Barbosa’s personal story is as compelling as they come. Born into poverty, his first job in a courtroom was as a janitor. But he rose to become Brazil’s first black supreme court justice, achieving fame by overseeing the massive corruption trial that ensnared the government of former-president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. (The Car Wash corruption scandal that would bring down Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff, would come later.)

In a mad-as-hell election cycle defined above all by frustration with the status quo, Barbosa will have broad appeal as a blunt-spoken anti-corruption crusader untainted by electoral politics.

What’s more, his progressive social views and humble origins will help him poach votes from current front-runner, Lula, who may in any case be behind bars before the voting even begins.

Importantly, in a country where more than half the population identifies as black or mixed race, a strongly competitive black candidate would mark a political and social watershed. If he wins, he’d be the country’s first black president.

Still, it’s a long way from here to election day in October. Brazilian party politics are brutal business, and Barbosa’s inexperience may sink him before then. But for now, his entry could mark an extraordinary turning point in one of this year’s most pivotal elections.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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For the first time in twenty years, extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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