Watching/Ignoring

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

The Tunisian Gravedigger  Chamseddine Marzoug walks the beaches of Zarzis, Tunisia looking for the bodies of those who drowned while trying to reach Europe by boat. When he finds a corpse, he lays it in a body bag and takes it to a nearby hospital for examination. Once a report is filed, he washes the body and takes it to a graveyard dedicated to the unknown dead. He then buries the bodies in graves he has dug himself. In the process, he treats these unfortunate men, women, and children with a care and dignity they may never have known in life.


Cortlandt Street Station  After 17 years, New York’s Cortlandt Streetsubway station, nearly destroyed by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, has officially reopened. It’s disorienting to see a shiny, clean station anywhere in New York City, but those who work on Wall Street are glad to finally have it back.

WHAT WE’RE IGNORING

Russian alibis – Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, accused by British authorities of the poisoning attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March, told the Russian state-run RT channel they were in the UK as tourists when the Skripals were poisoned with a rare nerve agent sprayed on Skripal’s front door. The two men say they are sports nutrition salesmen who visited Salisbury only to see the famously tall spire atop its cathedral. British officials say the two men work for Russian military intelligence and that police have surveillance footage of the two men near Skripal’s home.

Russian threats – Viktor Zolotov is fighting mad. This former bodyguard to Vladimir Putin posted a challenge on YouTube in response to what he says are false corruption charges levelled against him by Kremlin gadfly and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny. “Nobody has ever given you the spanking you deserve, so hard that you felt it in your liver,” warned Zolotov. “I simply challenge you to a duel… I promise in several minutes to make a nice juicy steak out of you.” Colorful threats, but the Petrov/Boshirov interviews were more entertaining.

Meet Zoe Marshall, grandmother, fishmonger, and thriving business owner.

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When Zoe Marshall decided to switch careers in her forties and become a fishmonger, she was scared. After leaving her job of 23 years, Zoe was forced to pivot in order to keep her family's home. Despite challenges, she forged ahead, opening Sea-Licious. Accepting Visa payments in her fishmonger shop, this access to commerce helps Zoe provide convenience to her customers and confidence in their transactions. Though she's one of the only women in the fish market each morning, her business and its place in the local community are flourishing with Visa's help.

Learn more about Zoe and her story.

In the lead-up to this year's COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, much of the attention has been focused on last summer's wildfires across the US and Europe, and more recently skyrocketing European energy prices. But what about Asia, the world's biggest and most populated region, which also has the highest share of global carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming? Asia has unique climate risks but also many opportunities for solutions, and whatever happens at COP26, Asian countries led by China and India are primed to lead the world in the struggle to make the planet greener before it's too late. In a live discussion moderated by Shari Friedman, Eurasia Group's Managing Director of Climate and Sustainability, global experts discussed these and other topics during the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit sponsored by Suntory.

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We're just days away from COP26, the landmark global climate conference that's been dubbed the last chance to get the climate crisis in check. In the lead-up to the event in Glasgow, dozens of countries have released new ambitions to reduce their future carbon footprints. For years, climate activists and experts have called on governments to introduce carbon pricing schemes – either through taxes or emissions-trading schemes. So who's heeded the warning? We take a look at the top ten carbon emitters' share of global emissions and details about their respective national carbon pricing schemes.

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Do cryptocurrencies make it harder to enforce foreign policy sanctions?

Well, that is exactly what the Biden administration worries about. As part of growing concerns of whether unregulated currencies undermine a whole host of policies, sanctions and foreign or trade policy should be a priority area. And just like others who wish to evade tracing of their wealth or transactions, the very states or their sanctioned entities should be assumed to resort to all options to evade restrictions while continuing to do business. So having cryptocurrencies undermining the ability to enforce strategic goals logically raises eyebrows in Washington.

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Back in August, when the Taliban took over, we asked whether anyone in the international community would recognize them. Now it looks like things are heading that way.

This week, the Kremlin hosted a summit with the Taliban that was attended by China, India and Pakistan, as well as all five Central Asian Republics.

The domestically-focused US, however, wasn't there. The US continues to maintain that the Taliban can't be trusted. But does it matter? In 2021 does a Taliban-led government even need American recognition to function and thrive?

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For Kevin Rudd, former Australian PM and now CEO of the Asia Society, the science on climate change is pretty much done, so the only unresolved issues are tech and — more importantly — lack of political leadership. He can't think of a single national political leader who can fill the role, and says the only way to get political action on climate is to mobilize public opinion.

Rudd joined for the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory. Watch here and register here to watch part two Friday 10/22 at 8 am ET.

Taking place on October 21 and 22, the Sustainability Leaders Summit will go beyond preexisting narratives and debate priorities for governments and industries ahead of COP26. Placing the spotlight on Asia's role in the global sustainability agenda, the event will address whether Asian countries and companies can achieve shared sustainability goals, and what is needed to help get them there. The summit will be co-hosted by Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings, and Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. We will address three key questions: How can Asian countries, with the help of the private sector, achieve shared Sustainability Goals? Why does this matter? And what are the policy changes needed to bring it about?

Attendance is free and open to the public. Register to attend.

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The minutiae of supply chains makes for boring dinner table talk, but it's increasingly becoming a hot topic of conversation now that packages are taking much longer to arrive in the consumer-oriented US, while prices of goods soar.

With the issue unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, right-wing media have dubbed President Biden the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, conjuring images of sad Christmas trees surrounded by distraught children whose holiday gifts are stuck somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

It hasn't been a good run for Uncle Joe in recent months. What issues are tripping him up?

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