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Not Exactly a Fresh Face in Malaysia

Not Exactly a Fresh Face in Malaysia

It’s not often that you look to a 92-year old former strongman as the best hope for positive political change in a corrupted system, but that’s exactly what’s happening right now in Malaysia.


As the country heads for general elections tomorrow, the popular former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was born when Calvin Coolidge was the US president, is leading the opposition against the current prime minister, Najib Razak, who is fighting to hold onto power amid a massive corruption scandal and flagging popular support.

Mahathir, as a reminder, ruled Malaysia from 1981 until 2003 with a strong hand — jailing opponents, cracking down on the press, and railing against the West. He oversaw an economic miracle in the country, and he famously defied the IMF in 1998, imposing capital controls rather than accepting austerity measures during the Asian financial crisis — the IMF later admitted that he’d gotten it right.

Now after several years out of the political limelight, he is partnering with people he once jailed, taking on a man who was once his protégé, and seeking to knock his old party out of power for the first time since Malaysia’s independence.

Most observers think Najib will squeak out a victory — lavish spending, nationalist rhetoric, and jerrymandering will all help. But Mahathir is set to give him a stiff challenge. We’ll wait for the results on Thursday morning. Irrespective of the outcome, Malaysians seeking a new generation of leaders may still have to wait a bit longer than that.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

The long-simmering conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a region called Nagorno-Karabakh erupted over the weekend, with more than 50 killed (so far) in the fiercest fighting in years. Will it escalate into an all-out war that threatens regional stability and drags in major outside players?

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On Tuesday night, you can finally watch Trump and Biden tangle on the debate stage. But you TOO can go head to head on debate night .. with your fellow US politics junkies.

Print out GZERO's handy debate BINGO cards and get ready to rumble. There are four different cards so that each player may have a unique board. Every time one of the candidates says one of these words or terms, X it on your card. First player to get five across wins. And if you really want to jazz it up, you can mark each of your words by taking a swig of your drink, or doing five burpees, or donating to your favorite charity or political candidate. Whatever gets you tipsy, in shape, or motivated, get the bingo cards here. It's fight night!

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Watch Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

A new war breaking out between Armenia and Azerbaijan, not a new conflict. They've been fighting over contested territory that used to be a part of the Azeri Soviet Socialist Republic. Nagorno-Karabakh was an autonomous region. It was taken by the Armenians. It's a mostly Armenian enclave in terms of population. It's been contested since that military fight. There's been ongoing negotiations. The Azeris a number of months ago tried some shelling. They got pasted. This time around, it's war and for a few reasons.

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Join us tomorrow, September 29th, at 11 am ET for a GZERO Town Hall livestream event, Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic, to learn about the latest in the global hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Watch here at 11am ET: https://www.gzeromedia.com/events/town-hall-ending-the-covid-19-pandemic-livestream/

Our panel will discuss where things really stand on vaccine development, the political and economic challenges of distribution, and what societies need to be focused on until vaccine arrives in large scale. This event is the second in a series presented by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group.

Apoorva Mandavilli, science & global health reporter for the New York Times, will moderate a conversation with:

  • Lynda Stuart, Deputy Director, Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director, Energy, Climate & Resources, Eurasia Group
  • Mark Suzman, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Gayle E. Smith, President & CEO, ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development

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