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Elections in Taiwan – President Tsai Ing-wen's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a stinging defeat in local elections over the weekend, losing crucial posts to the rival Kuomintang party, which favors closer ties with China. Ms. Tsai, who refuses to accept China's position that Taiwan and the mainland are part of the same country, now faces fresh questions about whether she can win re-election in 2020. No matter how you slice it, losses for the nationalistic DPP are a win for Beijing, which has ramped up pressure on the self-governing island since Ms. Tsai was elected: picking off Taiwan's remaining diplomatic partners and increasing its military drills near the island.

Doctors Back Across Borders Cuba is withdrawing 8,300 doctors from some of Brazil's poorest regions in response to the election of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil's president. Cuba has dispatched doctors to many countries with sympathetic leftist governments over the years, often in exchange for material support. No surprise that the right-wing Bolsonaro, who has criticized the Cuban government for keeping part of the doctors' salaries and demanded new conditions, would quickly clash with Havana. But beneath the high politics of ideology there is a more important issue here: how will hundreds of thousands of poor Brazilians who depend on those Cuban doctors get the care they need?


Closing the Open Society George Soros's Open Society Foundations (OSF) has announced it will pull out of Turkey. The only surprise here is that the organization, which promotes the expansion of civil society, was still in Turkey at all. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently accused Soros of trying to destroy the countries in which the OSF operates, and OSF remains under investigation in Turkey over its involvement in the Gezi Park riots that triggered nationwide anti-government protests in 2013.

Another Indian statue The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, population more than 200 million, has committed to build the world's tallest statue. This news comes just weeks after a nearly 600-foot tall statue of Indian founding father Sardar Patel went up in Gujarat. There is also a statue of medieval Indian ruler Shivaji under construction off the coast of Mumbai. Does India need the world's three tallest statues? Maybe there are better uses for the country's investment dollars.

A sector that's rapidly expanding, domotics - domus (home) plus robotics - are smart houses that manage temperature and lighting to minimize wasted electricity. For example, smart thermostats sense your presence and set the temperature according to your needs, saving 20% a year on heating bills. Watch this episode of Eni's Energy Shot series to learn how domotics save money and increase a home's value.

Even if the US, Europe, China, and India reduce carbon emissions at the rate they've promised, much climate damage has already been done. That shouldn't stop these and other countries from doing all they can to meet their net-zero emissions targets, but they also better start preparing for a world of people on the move.

Climate change will displace an unprecedented number of people in coming years, creating not just a series of humanitarian crises in many parts of the world, but lasting political, economic, and social upheaval as those of us who live on higher ground try to find a sustainable place for these climate refugees to live.

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Listen: In a wide-ranging interview with Ian Bremmer, Pulitzer Prize-winning climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert assesses the current state of the climate crisis and answers a simple question: how screwed are we? And as the climate continues to warm at a record pace, she unpacks some of the more extreme climate solutions that some increasingly desperate nations are starting to consider. Such measures may sound like stuff of science fiction (see: injecting sulfur particles into the atmosphere or shooting millions of tiny orbital mirrors into outer space) as times become more desperate, their appeal is growing. Can we fix the planet the same way we broke it?

China is making its neighbors nervous these days. Chinese fighter jets are screaming into Taiwan's airspace. Hundreds of armed Chinese "fishing boats" are plying the disputed waters of the South China Sea. And Beijing is slashing imports from some trading partners because of disputes over political issues.

To push back against this increasingly aggressive behavior, regional powers Japan, India, and Australia, together with the US, are boosting cooperation via a 17-year-old grouping called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or simply "The Quad." But how effectively can these four countries really work together to counter China? Eurasia Group's Peter Mumford discusses the Quad's future.

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Want to tackle climate change? If so you'll have to reach out to China, which is currently responsible for over a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions. Beijing will certainly take your call, as climate is a huge priority for President Xi Jinping.

Xi has promised that China will go "net zero" — meaning its carbon emissions will be offset by equal amounts of either natural or tech-driven carbon capture — by 2060. Is a decade later than most of the top 10 polluting countries fast enough for the rest of the world? It is for the Chinese, who want to help but have their own ideas about how.

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When will it be safe for the world's children to be vaccinated against COVID-19? The World Health Organization's chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, says that vaccines are being tested in children down to the age of six or even lower, and promises that data on children will be shared as soon as it's available. She also notes that there are not enough studies on transmission in schools, and the WHO has advised governments to prioritize schools "over other things like shopping malls or cinema halls or pubs." Dr. Swaminathan spoke with Ian Bremmer in an interview on GZERO World, airing on US public television stations starting April 9. Check local listings.

Watch the episode: Vaccine nationalism could prolong the pandemic

Over the past half century, climate change has had an immense impact on the farmers who produce the food we eat. A new study by Cornell University shows that global warming has knocked 21 percent off of global agriculture productivity growth since 1965, equivalent to seven years of normal growth if humans had not polluted the planet. But not all countries have been affected in the same say. Farmers in warmer parts of the world have been hit hard as conditions grow more arid, but sub-polar regions in Canada or Siberia are now actually better for agriculture because they are not as cold as they used to be. Here we take a look at how climate has affected farming productivity growth around the world.

On Tuesday, a major US intelligence report said the top threat to America right now is China. A day later, John Kerry, the Biden administration's "climate czar," got on a plane to... China.

Such is the drama of ties between the world's two largest economies these days.

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Can "the Quad" constrain China?