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UK’s new COVID strain problematic but economic pain is a greater risk

Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (more than) 60 Seconds:

Number one, what's the story with the new COVID strain in Britain?

Well, I mean, it's a mutation. Apparently, it is equally combatable by the vaccines that we've developed, and I've heard that directly by some of the people that are running those companies. So, it's not a concern about the ability that we have to stop the disease once we get vaccinations, thank God. But it is a problem in terms of how much more quickly the virus can be transmitted. Now, in the United Kingdom, they do an awful lot of testing, especially compared to many countries in Europe, and they have found an extensive amount of this new strain, which has led them to bring the UK into Tier 4, as they call it, which means basically Christmas is canceled. No one's going anywhere. Everything's locked down. That also has meant that a lot of countries have suspended travel to the United Kingdom, which I understand, but we've already seen some of this new strain in Italy, for example. I suspect it's going to pop up in a bunch of other countries in the continent. If it's everywhere, do you really want the additional pain economically?

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Merkel calls for Navalny poisoning inquiry; why Phil Hogan resigned

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

What is the story with the resignation of the EU trade commissioner, Phil Hogan?

Well, he was unwise in that he didn't respect the rules and the regulations that are there for how to behave in these Covid times. It was primarily Irish regulations or Irish recommendations that he didn't adhere to. And accordingly, there was the strong urge by the government in Dublin that he should resign. And that he did, by his own choice. And now we'll see who will succeed him in that very important position.

What's going to be the European reaction to the poisoning of Aleksei Navalny in Moscow?

I think the reaction so far has been strong. Particularly Berlin, they were keen to get him to the hospital in Berlin. They did thorough investigations and they declared, yes, he has been poisoned. And Chancellor Merkel made a very strong statement saying that he has been poisoned, those responsible have to be put into account or to account, and there has to be independent investigations. That being said, everyone knows where responsibility lies. Everyone knows there will be no investigation. Everyone knows those responsible will not be held to account. This is Russia as we have it today.

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