Fighting On All Fronts: Trump's In The Ring

“The American people elected a fighter,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders once said. Granted that was in defense of a Presidential tweet about a facelift, but Trump’s style is nothing if not confident and confrontational. It’s hard to think of a modern president who has (mostly by choice) had to fight on so many fronts, with such a low approval rating, and just one year of government experience.


Here’s a partial list of Trump’s biggest upcoming throwdowns:

Trade: Uncertain renegotiations of NAFTA and the free trade deal with South Korea are underway, while tensions with China are set to grow as Trump takes a harder line on Beijing’s trade practices and tries to shrink the trade deficit.

Geopolitics: Rocket Man and the Mullahs — killer band name, also two of the most serious foreign policy challenges in store for Trump this year. North Korea won’t budge on its nukes (see above), and Washington’s bid to roll back Iranian influence in the Middle East and potentially revise the Iran deal would have been main events even before Trump egged on anti-regime protests in the country last week.

Domestic: Whatever Bob Mueller manages to find (or not) on Trump will likely come to light this year, and don’t forget that Trump’s low approval rating could put his Congressional majority at risk in the November midterm elections. Bonus round: the fissures within the GOP that we wrote about a few weeks ago have gotten even more intriguing with the political defenestration of Sloppy Steve Bannon.

Scientists, engineers and technologists are turning to nature in search of solutions to climate change. Biomimicry is now being applied in the energy sector, medicine, architecture, communications, transport and agriculture in a bid to make human life on this planet more sustainable and limit the impacts of global warming. New inventions have been inspired by humpback whales, kingfishers and mosquitoes.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

The drumbeat for regulating artificial intelligence (AI) is growing louder. Earlier this week, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google's parent company, Alphabet, became the latest high-profile Silicon Valley figure to call for governments to put guardrails around technologies that use huge amounts of (sometimes personal) data to teach computers how to identify faces, make decisions about mortgage applications, and myriad other tasks that previously relied on human brainpower.

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January 27 marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi extermination camp. But even as some 40 heads of state gathered in Jerusalem this week to commemorate the six million Jews who were killed, a recent Pew survey revealed that many American adults don't know basic facts about the ethnic cleansing of Europe's Jews during the Second World War. Fewer than half of those polled knew how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and close to a third didn't know when it actually happened. Here's a look at some of the numbers.

1: The Greek parliament has elected a woman president for the first time since the country's independence some 200 years ago. A political outsider, Katerina Sakellaropoulou is a high court judge with no known party affiliation. "Our country enters the third decade of the 21st century with more optimism," Greece's prime minister said.

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A quarantine in China– Local authorities have locked down the city of Wuhan, the source of the outbreak of a new and potentially deadly respiratory virus that, as of Thursday morning, had infected more than 540 people in at least six countries. Other nearby cities were also hit by travel restrictions. Rail and air traffic out of Wuhan has been halted. Public transportation is shut, and local officials are urging everyone to stay put unless they have a special need to travel. Wuhan is a city of 11 million people, many of whom were about to travel for the Chinese New Year. We're watching to see whether these extraordinary measures help stem the outbreak, but also to see how the people affected respond to the clampdown.

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