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Speaking of that Trump-Kim summit, an interesting thing has happened in North Korea: The propaganda boys have gone soft. No more talk of drowning dotards in a sea of fire. On ubiquitous street corner posters, storm clouds and bayonets are now out; blue skies and white doves are in. Newspapers that once presented the United States as monstrous now describe it as a more-or-less normal country.

Yet, state propaganda is not the only, or even the most important, source of news for ordinary North Koreans. Most recent available data (2012) shows that 71 percent of North Koreans say “word of mouth” is an important source of information. Just 38 percent said the same for state television. Other major sources of information inside North Korea include smuggled DVDs and South Korean radio. The probable result is that, confused as the rest of us are about what to expect next, North Koreans must be especially confused.

North Korea’s government, meanwhile, may still be hedging its bets on the future of peace negotiations. 38 North, part of Washington’s Stimson Center, reports that satellite photos show North Korea is making visible improvements to the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. Images show several new buildings, fresh work on a cooling water reservoir, and an apparently active radiochemical laboratory.

It’s too early to know whether North Korea is playing a cynical double game or just “hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.” In either case, North Korea’s people will be the last to know.

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.

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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62: In a referendum over the weekend, nearly 62 percent of Swiss voters said they wanted to preserve freedom of movement between the European Union and Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU. The right-wing Swiss People's Party had proposed imposing migration quotas at the border, saying that the current frontier is basically a... (okay, they didn't actually say it's a "Swiss cheese" but still).

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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on the Navalny poisoning on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Can Europe get to the bottom of Russian opposition leader Navalny's poisoning? And if so, would it change anything?

One has got to the bottom of it, to certain extent. The evidence, there was a German laboratory confirming nerve agent, Novichok. They sent it to a French laboratory and the Swedish independent laboratory, they came to the exact same conclusions. I mean, it's dead certain. He was poisoned with an extremely poisonous nerve agent coming from the Russian state laboratories. Now, there is a discussion underway of what to do. I mean, the Russians are refusing any sort of serious discussions about it. Surprise, surprise. And we'll see what actions will be taken. There might be some sort of international investigation within the context of the OPCW, the international organization that is there, to safeguard the integrity of the international treaties to prevent chemical weapons. But we haven't seen the end of this story yet.

Watch as Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, explains what's going on in technology news:

Would Facebook actually leave Europe? What's the deal?

The deal is that Europe has told Facebook it can no longer transfer data back and forth between the United States and Europe, because it's not secure from US Intelligence agencies. Facebook has said, "If we can't transfer data back and forth, we can't operate in Europe." My instinct, this will get resolved. There's too much at stake for both sides and there are all kinds of possible compromises.

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

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