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On Tuesday, Mexican Marines, along with state and federal police, surrounded the municipal police headquarters in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco, charged into the building, disarmed hundreds of local police officers, and arrested two police commanders on murder charges.

The operation marked yet another bid by the administration of outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto to tackle one of Mexico’s toughest crime problems: The complicity of local police in organized crime.

The background: Mexico’s epidemic of violent crime is getting worse. The number of homicides, which will likely top last year’s 31,000 murders, rose 17 percent in just the first eight months of this year.

Part of the crime wave can be blamed on the ability of drug gangs and other crime organizations to coopt and corrupt local cops. In many rural areas, gangs are better armed than the police, and the ultimatums they give those officers are easy to understand: “Accept cash and help us or we’ll murder you and your family.”

Pena Nieto has tried to overcome this problem by sending better-paid, better-armed federal police to root out criminal gangs where possible. The raid in Acapulco, a city with one of the world’s highest murder rates, demonstrates that even in large cities, federal forces can’t trust local police.

The politics: On December 1, Mexico will have a new president. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won a sizeable election victory in July on promises of dramatic political change, but his security plan was the vaguest part of his platform. His best-known pledges on that front are economic development projects designed to address the “root causes” of crime, a controversial amnesty program, and a plan to legalize some drugs.

He’s also likely to stick with Pena Nieto’s strategy of sending in troops to police the police.

The bottom line: Violent crime will be the toughest problem Mexico’s new president will face, and no matter how popular he is today, opinion polls suggest voters will hold him accountable for results.

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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