From Olympic Games to War Games?

That 13-year-old kid shredded Vivaldi like a young Korean Yngwie. Ivanka was the smartest person and clapped for everyone. The Olympic torch took off for Tokyo and — despite the sporting rapprochement between North and South that happened at the Winter Games — we’re now back to the acute geopolitical crisis surrounding North Korea’s nuclear program.


Despite the Olympian goodwill, the basic parameters of the standoff haven’t changed since the Opening Ceremony. North Korea wants a nuclear weapon that can hit the continental US. Washington wants to strip North Korea of its nuclear capacity altogether. Kim Jong-un seems unfazed — nuclear weapons are an existential matter for him. The Chinese are annoyed with Kim, but still unwilling to push him to the brink of collapse just to stop him for the Americans. And so it’s deadlock.

But two things are likely to inflame tensions further in the coming months. First, the regularly-scheduled joint US and South Korean military drills, which were postponed in order to avoid piquing Pyongyang during the Olympic games, are likely to go ahead. Second, seeing that the thaw with Seoul appears not to have warmed hearts in Washington, Kim Jong-un is almost certain to test another big missile before long.

The big question here is whether he’ll attempt his own triple-axel move: a horizontal missile test across the Pacific coupled with an atmospheric test of a bomb. Doing that might be beyond the pale even for Kim — but then again, the pale’s been steadily moving out for a while now…

How much material do we use to send a package? Too much. Does recycling help? Yes – but not really. Packaging material often accumulates as waste, contributing to its own "polluting weight." To solve our packaging dilemma, Finland came up with RePack: a "circular" solution for the reuse of material.

Learn more about RePack in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

Anyone with a pulse and a smartphone probably knows by now that the US-China rivalry is heating up these days, and fast. (If you know anyone who doesn't, get them a Signal subscription.)

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A steady increase of violence in the Sahel region of Africa over the past eight years has imposed fear and hardship on millions of the people who live there. It has also pushed the governments of Sahel countries to work together to fight terrorists.

The region's troubles have also captured the attention of European leaders, who worry that if instability there continues, it could generate a movement of migrants that might well dwarf the EU refugee crisis of 2015-2016.

But is Europe helping to make things better?

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Ian Bremmer's QuickTake:

It's Monday, coronavirus still going on. Plenty to talk about.

I mean, I guess the biggest news in the United States is the fact that we still don't have any stimulus going forward. I mean, now, keep in mind, this is on the back of an exceptionally strong initial US economic response, over 10% of GDP, ensuring relief for small businesses, for big corporations, and most importantly, for everyday American citizens, many of whom, large double digit numbers, lost their jobs, a lot of whom lost them permanently but didn't have to worry, at least in the near term, because they were getting cash from the government. Is that going to continue?

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Lebanon's government resigns: Lebanon's government resigned on Monday over last week's twin explosions at Beirut's port, which killed at least 160 people and shattered much of the city's downtown areas. After promising a thorough investigation into why dangerous explosives were stored at the port so close to civilian areas, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said he would step down in solidarity with the people." The people in question are furious. Thousands of Lebanese have taken to the streets in recent days demanding "revolution" and the resignation of a political class whose corruption and mismanagement had plunged the country into economic ruin even before last week's blasts. The international community, meanwhile, held a conference on Sunday and pledged $300 million in humanitarian aid to rebuild battered Beirut, with aid distribution to be coordinated by the UN. But the attendees, which included US President Donald Trump, the European Union, and the Gulf Arab states, said that the funds would not be released until the Lebanese government reforms its bloated, inefficient, and corrupt public sector. So far, Beirut's power brokers have resisted change. As rage on the streets intensifies — with angry protesters swarming the city center and setting public property and government buildings ablaze even after cabinet members resigned — it remains unclear who will run Lebanon going forward and guide the country's rebuilding process.

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