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Digital commerce should be a source of empowerment for everyone, everywhere. That's why we're bringing together the latest research, diverse perspectives, and innovative ideas on how to help people and small businesses around the world — by fostering digital equity and inclusion, unlocking growth through trade, and building a more open future for payments. We're exploring questions like, How did Bangladesh become a fintech pioneer? Why do only 15% of women-owned small businesses currently export? Join us as we explore these and other important issues at the Visa Institute for Economic Empowerment.

Right now, only one region of the world is reporting an increase in new daily COVID cases. Here's a hint: it's one of the places where vaccines are, for the most part, easiest to get.

It's Europe. According to the World Health Organization, the region last week notched a 7 percent uptick in new daily infections, the third week in a row that infections rose there.

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Six months ago, China's tech giants were champions of the state, working with the government to conquer US Big Tech. But then Xi Jinping started cracking down, and a trillion dollars in their market value is gone. Huh? For Nicholas Thompson, CEO of The Atlantic and former editor-in-chief of WIRED, it makes sense for Xi to go after cryptocurrencies to ensure they don't replace the yuan. But going after national tech champions, he says, could be fool's errand because it's inevitable they'll someday become more powerful than the state itself.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Big Tech: Global sovereignty, unintended consequences

Australia's underwhelming climate pledge: After waffling on whether he'd attend COP26, Prime Minister Scott Morrison now says Australia will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But there's a catch: the scheme would not involve overhauling the country's lucrative fossil fuel sector. The PM also stopped short of making ambitious targets by 2030, one of the key objectives of COP26. Australia is one of the world's top coal-producing countries and has one of the biggest carbon footprints per capita, but its government has long dragged its feet on climate change — mainly because fossil fuel exports are a boon for the economy. "We won't be lectured by others who do not understand Australia," Morrison said in response to criticism about his government's weaker-than-hoped-for pledges. While the US has pledged to halve its carbon output by 2030, and the EU says it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions 55 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, Australia is aiming for a mere 26 percent cut on 2005 emissions in that period.

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"The people are stronger," pro-democracy demonstrators chanted as news broke that the Sudanese military had staged a coup Monday, overthrowing the joint civilian-military government and dashing hopes of democracy in the war-torn country.

The backstory. In 2019, Omar al-Bashir – a despot who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 years – was deposed after a months-long popular uprising.

Al-Bashir was a bad guy: he cozied up to terrorists like Osama bin Laden and dropped barrel bombs on his own people. He also embezzled truckloads of money from oil production while millions of Sudanese went hungry, and oversaw a genocide in the Darfur region that left 300,000 people dead and displaced 1.6 million.

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After a very rocky start, the EU stepped up its COVID vaccination game in the spring, and by the end of summer had vaccinated more people per capita than the US. Close to 80 percent of EU residents are now fully vaccinated, yet inoculation levels have either plateaued or remain low where people don't trust the government, the vaccine — or both. This is leading to a third wave of the pandemic mainly in Eastern Europe, and as a result Europe is the only continent where COVID cases are now rising. We compare how much people in the EU trust their government with their willingness to get vaccinated.

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at Sudan's military coup, China's efforts to join the CPTPP, and the UK's Brexit-induced disruptions.

The coup has taken over in Sudan. What's happening there?

Well, there are coups and attempted coups in Sudan all the time. In this case, the military taking out a transitional civilian government, which is problematic for a couple of reasons. One, because they're not going to allow investigations to proceed. And with a lot of the generals taking over, being with corruption charges against them. And secondly, because the money that they desperately need from the IMF international aid and other sources not coming because they've gotten rid of the economic comparative technocrats, including the Prime Minister, an economist himself. There's going to be need to back down and at least compromise at some point because they're desperate to have international support, but first, they want to ensure that they're all staying in power. And that is unfortunate for the people of Sudan. And if it mattered to the United States and Europe, they'd be making headlines, but it really doesn't. It's like Egypt and Ethiopia and the Emirates are the key players here and you're not going to see many headlines.

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500: Fuel shortages in conflict-ridden Haiti are putting many hospital patients at risk. If fuel isn't delivered ASAP, UNICEF says around 500 people – including children and COVID patients – are at very high risk of deterioration. Supplies and deliveries have been disrupted for weeks because of heightened gang activity in the country.

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Nicholas Thompson on China's tech U-turn

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