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So, what is Vladimir Putin thankful for?

World leaders sit around the Thanksgiving table

Not everyone celebrates the US holiday of Thanksgiving, but we've all got something to be grateful for in this awful year, right? So as Americans gather around the table — or the Zoom — to give thanks on Thursday, here's what a few world leaders are grateful for at the moment.


Donald Trump, US President

Very strongly grateful that although my legal appeals are MELTING faster than my attorney's hair dye, tens of millions of people still believe my claims of election fraud. That will be very useful to me in my next reality TV project — stay tuned! BIG RATINGS!

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

I'm grateful that although Trump lost, he has done more to delegitimize American democracy and institutions in the past four years — four weeks even! — than I could manage in a lifetime. Separately, I think Turkey is highly overrated.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Unfortunately there is not (yet) a German word for "the feeling when you are thankful that although you are retiring next year after 15 years of running Germany you are at least reasonably happy that the transatlantic relationship, troubled as it is, might be on an upswing now that Biden won."

The Coronavirus, Pandemic-in-Chief

Not psyched about all this vaccine news, but "it is what it is," as they say. At the very least I'm thankful that it could still take years to distribute globally. Now, let's sit down to dinner shall we? Come a little closer, can't quite hear what you are saying ...

Xi Jinping, President of China

Thankful to have shared 2020 with my dear friend Donald. If it weren't for him, our COVID coverup, Hong Kong crackdown, Xinjiang repression, and all those faulty PPE products we shipped to Europe would have made me the world's most hated person.

Kamala Harris, VP-elect of the US

Thankful for the chance to put on these Converse All-Stars and walk all over the haters for the next four years.

Abiy Ahmed, PM of Ethiopia

Thankful that the Nobel Committee gave me that peace prize two years before I threatened earlier this week to kill civilians in my deepening conflict with Tigray rebels.

Boris Johnson, PM of the UK

Well it's been a bloody awful year. Brexit, then Covid. Then more COVID — and now COVID and Brexit at the same time. And 2021 doesn't look much better with that sleepy Irish bloke in the White House. At the very least I'm grateful that Americans are obsessed with The Crown.

Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil

I'm grateful that no matter how outrageously I behave, 30 percent of Brazilians will always have my back. Is that enough to win again in 2022? We'll see.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey

Ha ha, very funny. President of "Turkey" has to comment, eh? No! By the way, Vladimir, I saw that comment above — you better have been talking about the bird, which is legitimately bland and overrated, like Russia.

Narendra Modi, PM of India

Thankful that we will probably start getting those H1B visas back again. But if Biden goes wobbly on China we will NOT be happy. By the way, agree with Recep on the turkey — why don't you, like, put some decent spices on that?

Benjamin Netanyahu, PM of Israel

Just a word of gratitude for the carte blanche that Trump gave me these past four years — on settlements, on Palestine, on the Golan Heights, on Jerusalem — because let me tell you, without him in the White House, things are about to get a lot harder for me.

Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran

Great Satan is Great Satan, no matter how you slice that turkey, but we are pretty thankful that Joe Biden won. At least there is a chance to revive the Iran deal and get rid of some of these sanctions. Still, Death to America! Death!

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus

Thankful to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro for showing me the way: despite months of protests, sanctions, and general global hate over my blatant theft of the election in August, my security services are sticking with me and I'm not going anywhere.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

World Bank President David Malpass was as horrified at what he saw during the January 6th pro-Trump riots on the Capitol as millions of other Americans. But he was concerned for another reason as well: "From the standpoint of world development, it distracts attention at a time when we need to help countries actually develop and get beyond COVID and get back to growth path." He joined Ian Bremmer to talk about how the civil unrest on Washington was distracting from the urgent development work of the World Bank during a pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

14,000: Cash-strapped Venezuela has sent enough oxygen to fill 14,000 individual canisters to its more prosperous neighbor Brazil, which is suffering a shortage of oxygen supplies for COVID patients in hard-hit Amazonas state. In response, right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Venezuela's socialist leader Nicolás Maduro should be dispatching emergency supplies to needy Venezuelans.

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Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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