Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting of the Investing in America Cabinet in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Friday. May 5, 2023.

Tom Brenner/Reuters

Rate cuts could help Biden and Trudeau’s reelection prospects

The polls are grim these days for incumbent governments. Both President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are trailing their challengers, Donald Trump and Pierre Poilievre, particularly when it comes to economic matters.

A new NBC News poll suggested only 36% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, compared to 61% who disapprove. Trump held a 5 percentage point lead when it came to voting intentions. Similarly, two in three Canadians believe Trudeau is taking the country in the wrong direction, while Poilievre holds a lead of up to 15 points on voting intentions for an election that could be 18 months out.

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Welcome to Antarctica: A conflict-free zone
title placeholder | Ian Bremmer | Quick Take

Welcome to Antarctica: A conflict-free zone

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here and a Happy New Year 2024 from Antarctica.

That's actually where I am in a year where we're going to have, unfortunately, so much international conflict, so much geopolitical posturing, so much difficulty around the world. Seems like a good place to take a fresh start to kick off the year one continent that is actually free of that conflict and free because the world has decided to govern it well, the Antarctic. They used to be territorial claimants with overlapping claims, old colonial powers, and countries that were closed, whether it's Chile, Argentina, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, others. But they all suspended those claims as they entered into an Antarctic Treaty back in 1959.

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Courtesy of Midjourney

The world of AI in 2024

1. Powerful new models: Today’s AI systems still struggle with natural language, computer vision, and so-called hallucinations (read: they tend to make stuff up). But more potent AI models are coming soon. OpenAI is expected to release GPT-5, and Meta may soon unveil LLaMA 3, the latest version of its open-source model. We will also likely see improvements to the new Google model Gemini, which was recently added to its Bard chatbot.

2. Labor tensions: The acceleration of AI will continue to reshape industries, automating jobs and displacing workers. That will lead to widespread tension in various sectors of the economy. Union leaders could make AI the centerpiece of their strikes, and you might hear a lot of talk about “reskilling” workers on the lips of lawmakers heading into the 2024 election. This time it’s sure to work …
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Republican candidates line the Miami stage for Wednesday's GOP debate.

Jonah Hinebaugh-USA TODAY via Reuters

What this week’s vote and GOP debate mean for 2024

In a world obsessed with reading polls like prophecies, many are looking at Tuesday’s election results for evidence of where Americans really stand.

Despite Joe Biden’s lagging popularity, Democrats scored key victories on Election Day. They maintained control of the governorship in predominantly red Kentucky, made an impressive showing in Mississippi, and enshrined a constitutional right to abortion in Ohio. The abortion issue also helped Dems flip the House of Delegates and maintain control of the State Senate in Virginia.

So was Tuesday a harbinger of 2024?

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Former Vice President Mike Pence announces he is dropping out of the race for president of the United States at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday.

Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Reuters

Pence's withdrawal leaves Trump with one less obstacle

On Saturday, former US Vice President Mike Pence dropped out of the presidential race for the GOP nomination, saying that "this is not my time.”

After six months of campaigning, Pence had failed to galvanize a large enough base of support and donations. Bowing out erased the funding needs but it also may have spared Pence the embarrassment of potentially failing to qualify for the third Republican primary debate on Nov. 8. As of Friday, four candidates had qualified: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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