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This Year in Quotes

This Year in Quotes

“You are free to kill the idiots.”

– Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose violent anti-drug campaign has led to thousands of civilian deaths, giving police their marching orders.


“He’s not my bride, and I’m not his bride or groom.”

– Russian President Vladimir Putin rejects talk of a special relationship with President Trump.

“We are fighting against a European Union that wants to squash us, that wants to eat us all in the same sauce.”

– Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who lost France’s presidential election to upstart Emmanuel Macron. #NoSoupForYou

“I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job… My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.”

– U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson found himself at odds with the president throughout 2017, often to the detriment of key diplomatic objectives.

“Everyone already thought Medvedev was pathetic and pointless, but it turns out he’s pathetic, pointless and a billionaire.”

— Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, whose anti-corruption campaign brought out record numbers to protest this year. Navalny has been disqualified from running for president in 2018 against Putin.

“If they ask me what my final wish is, I would say the person who caused all this suffering and oppressed thousands of innocents, I want to spit in his face”

– Exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen — who the Turkish government accuses of masterminding the 2016 failed coup attempt — on the country’s descent into authoritarianism.

“What’s the requirement of my job? I don’t have to be very clever. I don’t have to know that much. I just do have to be calm.”

- British Brexit Secretary David Davis

“If you have been paid to boo me, boo, go ahead… I don’t care, I am powerful.”

- First Lady of Zimbabwe Grace Mugabe. Six days later, the military took over the country, ending her husband’s 37-year reign.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a remarkable series of executive orders. Boom! The US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord. Bang! The United States rejoins the World Health Organization. Pow! No more ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries. Biden's press secretary reminded reporters later in the day that all these orders merely begin complex processes that take time, but the impact is still dramatic.

If you lead a country allied with the US, or you're simply hoping for some specific commitment or clear and credible statement of purpose from the US government, you might feel a little dizzy today. The sight of an American president (Barack Obama) signing his name, of the next president (Donald Trump) erasing that name from the same legislation/bill, and then the following president (Biden) signing it back into law again will raise deep concerns over the long-term reliability of the world's still-most-powerful nation.

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"There needs to be a dramatic and deep reduction in the amount of debt on the poorest countries. That's clear." As the world's poorest nations struggle to recover from a devastating pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass argues that freeing them of much of their debt will be key. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no qualms about saying that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on our podcast.

Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (more than) 60 Seconds:

Biden's first scheduled call with a world leader will be with Canada's Justin Trudeau. What's going on with the Keystone Pipeline?

Well, Biden said that that's it. Executive order, one of the first is that he will stop any construction or development of the Keystone Pipeline. This is of course an oil pipeline that would allow further oil sands oil to come to the United States. The infrastructure is significantly overstretched, it's led to backlogs, inefficiency, accidents, all the rest, but it also facilitates more energy development and keeps prices comparatively down if you get it done. So, there are lots of reasons why the energy sector in Canada wants it. Having said all of that, Trudeau, even though he's been a supporter of Keystone XL, let's keep in mind that he did not win support in Alberta, which is where the big energy patch in Canada is located. This is a real problem for the government of Alberta, Canada is a very decentralized federal government, even more so than the United States. The premier of Alberta is immensely unhappy with Biden right now, they've taken a $1.5 billion equity stake in the project. I expect there will actually be litigation against the United States by the government of Alberta. But Trudeau is quite happy with Biden, his relationship was Trump was always walking on eggshells. The USMCA in negotiations ultimately successful but were very challenging for the Canadians, so too with the way Trump engaged in relations on China. All of this, the fact that Trump left the nuclear agreement with Iran, the Paris Climate Accords, WHO, all of that is stuff that Trudeau strongly opposed. He's going to be much more comfortable with this relationship. He's delighted that the first call from Biden is to him. And it certainly creates a level of normalcy in the US-Canada relationship that is very much appreciated by our neighbors to the North.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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