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Watching and Ignoring

Since there won’t be a Friday edition this week, Willis has kindly submitted this guide for your attentions over the next seven days…

Watch the G7 summit — We don’t often spend time on these talk-shop, photo-op summits, but this one could be interesting, if only because every single member has a bone to pick with Donald Trump. EU leaders, Canada, and Japan — America’s closest allies-all face US tariffs. Will anyone smile at the group photo?

Watch North Korea — News from inside the DPRK, the world’s most secretive state, hints at possible divisions of opinion over talks with the US. Three senior military officials were removed from their posts this week, according to US officials.

Ignore new calls for Catalan independence — Hoping to profit from political turmoil in Madrid, imprisoned Catalan independence leader Jordi Sànchez called on the Spanish government this week to drop its commitment to “the indisputable unity of the homeland.” Last week, Mariano Rajoy lost power to the Socialist Party’s Pedro Sánchez, who must now lead a minority government. But that doesn’t move us closer to Catalan independence. Only a commitment from Madrid to recognize a Catalan independence referendum can do that. That’s not on the agenda.

Ignore Venezuela’s protester release — Venezuela’s government has released dozens of opposition politicians and activists in recent days. This is not a political breakthrough because there is no common ground between President Nicolas Maduro and those who would force him from power. It’s more likely a bid to ease pressure on the government following a disputed election than a genuine gesture of conciliation or a sign that the regime is buckling under pressure. Those released are not allowed to use social media or travel abroad.

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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You've watched Indian Matchmaking... We bring you the Hindu Nationalist Matchmaker where we help find love for the 70 year old virgin - Narendra Modi!

"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.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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