LEFTOVERS: KEEP IT OR TOSS IT

After the feast is over there's always a heap of leftovers – but which to keep and which to toss? That's our lens for this week's edition of “watching and ignoring.


"WHAT WE'RE KEEPING: Dog days in China – The rapid growth of China's middle class has led to a huge increase in dog ownership, but dog care etiquette hasn't quite kept pace. Uncurbed and unleashed dogs have led to disturbances and even fights in some cities. To address the problem, the metropolis of Hangzhou (population 9.4 million) has imposed a toothy set of regulations: no dog walking between 7am and 7pm, confiscation or death for unlicensed dogs, and stiff fines for owners who let their pups off the leash. Several dozen spirited larger breeds of dog have been banned altogether, including, we note, the Tibetan mastiff.Brexit on Ice – Amid growing prospects that the UK will crash out of the European Union next March without any new trade agreements in place, cold storage space in the country is nearing peak capacity. Why? Food producers and supermarkets are worried that a "no-deal Brexit" could interrupt their international supply chains for everything from butter to potatoes to peas, so they are stocking up ahead of time. The pharmaceutical industry has warned it doesn't have sufficient cold storage for medicines either. Can May reach a deal that gets Brexit out of the cold?WHAT WE'RE TOSSING OUT:Viktor Yanukovych's tennis elbow… and back and knee – The former president of Ukraine, who was ousted in the 2014 Maidan uprising and later fled to Russia, was scheduled to testify yesterday, via Skype, to a Ukrainian court about his role in the episode. He is on trial in absentia for treason. But at the last minute his lawyer pulled the plug on it: Mr. Yanukovych, he said, had suffered severe injuries to his back and knee on a Moscow tennis court and would have to reschedule. Thought bubble: Was he playing tennis while falling out of a window?Darting with an F – A foul feud broke out this weekend between two pro dart players who accused each other of farting during the Grand Slam of Darts in the UK. After losing badly to former world champ Gary Anderson of Scotland, Dutchman Wesley Harms said he'd been distracted by Anderson's flatulence. Anderson, for his part, not only denied the allegation but claimed that Harmswas the wily windbreaker of the evening. All we're saying is, with so many sharp objects around, it's a good things these guys aren't Russian poets.

Walmart aspires to become a regenerative company – helping to renew people and planet through our business. We are committed to working towards zero emissions across our global operations by 2040. So far, more than 36% of our global electricity is powered through renewable sources. And through Project Gigaton, we have partnered with suppliers to avoid over 416 million metric tons of CO2e since 2017. Read more about our commitment to the planet in our 2021 ESG report.

This time last year, world health experts were speculating about why Africa appeared to have escaped the worst of the global pandemic. Younger populations? Natural immunity created by exposure to past viruses? Something else?

They can stop wondering. Africa is now in the grip of a COVID emergency.

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"We've been dealing with pandemics from the earliest recorded history. Thucydides writes about a pandemic in the history of the Peloponnesian War. So the last thing 2020 was, was unprecedented," Stanford historian Niall Ferguson told Ian Bremmer on GZERO World. Ferguson, whose new book, "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe," believes that the world should have been better prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic based on the numerous health crises of the 20th century, from the 1918 Spanish flu to influenza and HIV/AIDS. He provides perspective on how the COVID crisis stacks up compared to other pandemics throughout history.

Watch the episode: Predictable disaster and the surprising history of shocks

COVID-19 was a global catastrophe that blindsided the world's wealthiest nations, and it's far from over. But as disasters go, it was hardly unprecedented. Humanity has a long history of failing to prepare for the worst, from volcanic eruptions to earthquakes to famines to shipwrecks to airplane crashes to financial depressions. But how do we get better at preventing such calamities from happening, and how many seemingly unavoidable "natural" disasters are actually caused by humans? On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer talks about all that and more with Stanford historian Niall Ferguson, who is just out with the perfect book for the topic, "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe." Plus, a look at how one young Ugandan activist was literally cropped out of the global climate fight.

Listen: Stanford historian Niall Ferguson joins Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast to talk about the geopolitics of disaster. Throughout human history we seem to be unable to adequately prepare for catastrophes (natural or human-caused) before they strike. Why is that? And as we emerge from the greatest calamity of our lifetimes in the COVID-19 pandemic and look to the plethora of crises that climate change has and will cause, what can we do to lessen the blow?

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred two Republican members from serving on the Jan. 6 commission. What's going on?

Well, the Jan. 6 commission was designed to be a bipartisan commission, taking input from members from Democrats and Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had the opportunity to make recommendations but the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, could always veto those recommendations. In this case, she did, saying no to two members, Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, both of whom are strongly aligned with President Trump and who voted against certifying the election results in 2020. The Republicans for the most part see the Jan. 6 commission as an opportunity to score political points against them, and the Democrats say this is going to be a fair, non-biased, and nonpartisan investigation into what happened on Jan. 6, starting with a hearing next week with some of the police officers who were involved in the battle with the protesters inside the Capitol.

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In his New York Times op-ed, David Brooks says the US is facing an identity crisis — protecting liberal and progressive values at home while doing little to stop autocrats elsewhere. But has the US really abandoned its values abroad just because it's withdrawing from Afghanistan? Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to argue that the US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff.

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When the Tokyo Olympics begin on Friday, Japan watchers will be following more than just the performance of Japan's star athletes, including tennis star Naomi Osaka. They will also be tracking the political fortunes of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is taking a big gamble by staging the event — amid a raging pandemic — in the face of strong and longstanding opposition from the Japanese public. What are the stakes for Suga, particularly with elections on the horizon? Eurasia Group senior analyst Ali Wyne explains.

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