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Photo of the Week: Taking Atoll

Photo of the Week: Taking Atoll

Over the past two weeks, the following things have happened on, near, or because of Woody Island (pictured above), a controversial Chinese military outpost in the South China Sea:


  • China landed nuclear-capable long-range bombers on an airstrip on the island.
  • The US disinvited China from a major international naval exercise in Hawaii, citing missile installations elsewhere in the region and the bomber landings as factors in rising tensions.
  • A US destroyer and guided missile cruiser steamed within a few nautical miles of shore, prompting sharp objections from Beijing.

Normally, this wouldn’t be all that remarkable. China’s military ambitions in the South China Sea are well known, and strategic tit-for-tat is commonplace. But the latest ratcheting up of military activity and rhetoric comes at a time when the US and China are engaged in delicate negotiations on other key issues like US-China trade and North Korea.

Stuff happens–particularly when there is heavy hardware operating at close quarters. And we live in a complex and interconnected world, where a miscalculation or accident in one arena can have knock-on effects elsewhere. Rising tensions in the South China Sea add another layer of complexity to what was already a volatile mix of competing national interests.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

For the first time in twenty years, extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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