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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?

NOISE

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.

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.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

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In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

UNGA Livestream