The Great Game Comes to Greenland

Your Friday author is no Greenland expert, but I know its capital is called Nuuk, and I’ve learned there are local airports in the towns of Ilulissat and Qaqortoq. I also know most of its territory is covered by ice, it’s not nearly as big as it appears on maps (it’s slightly larger than Saudi Arabia), and it’s home to just 56,000 people. And, yes, there is a geopolitical angle here.


Greenland has self-rule, but formally remains part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Some in Greenland want full independence, but the country needs Denmark’s cash.

China, as you may have heard, also has cash, and it wants access to the Arctic’s potentially vast reserves of oil, gas, metals, and minerals. China is also interested in new sea lanes created by melting ice, for reasons both commercial and strategic.

Greenland has access to the Arctic, but it needs infrastructure. It has no roads connecting the country’s 17 towns and just one international airport. China, as you may have heard, likes to invest in construction of infrastructure in other countries.

As international competition for Arctic resources heats up, lot of governments — particularly Arctic Council members the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and (especially) Denmark — are watching closely to see what Greenland’s government does next.


How will our cities and lives change in the future? What about a structure with a roller skating rink above a swimming pool, made out of transparent solar panels that power the entire park? This was the innovation invented by Eni's young researchers based on Luminescent Solar Concentrators, developed through Eni's research.

Watch the latest episode of Funny Applications, Eni's video series that imagines new uses for technology.

For 30 years, citizens of Hong Kong have gathered in Victoria Park on the evening of June 4 to honor the peaceful protesters massacred in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on that date in 1989. It has been the only public Tiananmen commemoration permitted on Chinese soil.

This year, the park was surrounded by barricades to keep people out. The officially stated reason for the shut-down? Crowds spread coronavirus. (In this city of more than 7 million, COVID has so far killed four people.)

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In an interview with GZERO World host Ian Bremmer, Hong Kong lawmaker Dennis Kwok, an outspoken pro-democracy advocate, expresses his concerns that the current "draconian" laws China's leadership is forcing upon his city has expedited the end of the "one country, two systems" policy established in 1997.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Big news, of course, that former Secretary of Defense Mattis comes out with a public statement basically calling Trump's rule, his actions, unconstitutional and unfit for office, more divisive than any president he's ever seen.

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French protests over racial injustice: The George Floyd protests in the United States have sparked solidarity demonstrations around the world, with people flocking to US embassies in Berlin, London and elsewhere to express their outrage. But they have also inspired other countries to reexamine racial justice within their own societies. In France, where street demonstrations are practically a national pastime, thousands of people have gathered in support of the family of Adama Traoré, a 24-year old black man who died in police custody back in 2016. At least 20,000 Parisians demonstrated Wednesday, despite coronavirus bans on public gatherings. Protesters adopted similar language to the Floyd protests, demanding accountability for the officers who violently pinned down Traoré during a dispute over an identity check, leading to his death. Renewed focus on this case, which has become a potent symbol of police brutality in France, comes as coronavirus lockdowns have recently stoked tensions between the police and the mostly-minority residents of Paris' banlieues (low-income suburbs).

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