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Russian reservists recruited during the partial mobilisation of troops.

Reuters

Hard Numbers: Russian casualties, Australian hackers, British sanctions, Michigan’s political shift

100,000: The Pentagon says Russia has suffered 100,000 casualties in the war in Ukraine. This comes as the Kremlin has started retreating from the Ukrainian city of Kherson amid a series of military setbacks. At home, Vladimir Putin is coming under increasing pressure from nationalists who say the war effort has been a failure.

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Annie Gugliotta

What We’re Watching: Australia’s climate bill, Ukraine’s progress, Sweden’s election

Australia passes climate bill after a decade

The Australian parliament has passed its first piece of climate legislation in over a decade just months after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of the center-left Labor Party came to power vowing to prioritize climate change mitigation efforts. The bill – supported by the Green Party and independents but not by former PM Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party – passed the Senate (and is all but assured to be passed by the lower house). It includes a commitment to slash greenhouse emissions by 43% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade. For context, the US emission reduction goal for 2030 is 50%, Canada’s is 40%, and the UK’s is 78% by 2035. Although the new target is an improvement from the former conservative government’s 26%, critics say the bill doesn’t go far enough to offset Australia’s large carbon footprint. Australia is the world’s second-largest exporter of coal and relies on coal for 75% of its electricity consumption. The Albanese government has notably not banned new coal and gas projects – lucrative Australian exports – which some say could make this 43% target hard to meet. Still, after years of government foot-dragging, many Aussies are hailing this progress four months after a general election that was seen in large part as a referendum on climate (in)action.

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Paige Fusco

The Pacific rebellion scaring Washington

The US is scrambling to step up its diplomatic game with Pacific Island leaders following a breakdown of unity at a regional summit this week that analysts warn could weaken resistance to China’s plans for controversial security alliances.

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A supporter of Colombian presidential candidate Rodolfo Hernandez in Bogota.

REUTERS/Vannessa Jimenez

What We’re Watching: Colombia’s “anti” runoff, Pacific meh on China, Sudan ends emergency

It’s anti vs. anti in Colombia presidential runoff

Colombians wanted change? Well, now they’ll have no choice! In the first round of the country’s presidential election on Sunday, the top two finishers were leftist opposition leader Gustavo Petro (40%) and Rodolfo Hernández (28%), an independent populist tycoon who surged late in the campaign with an anti-corruption message. The two will head to a runoff on June 19. Both promise a radical reorientation of the Andean country at a time of high inequality, rising violence, and simmering social tensions. For Petro, the answer lies in super-taxing the rich, massively expanding the social safety net, and decarbonizing the economy. Hernández, meanwhile, wants to slash taxes, shrink the state bureaucracy, and even legalize cocaine. We’ll have more to say ahead of the runoff, but for now: has the election of any other major economy in recent memory featured a presidential runoff between TWO stridently anti-establishment figures like this?

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Annie Guglitotta

Australia's new government: shake up at home, steadiness abroad

Anthony Albanese, Australia’s newly elected prime minister, hasn’t wasted any time since being sworn in on Monday. After taking the oath of office, he immediately boarded a flight to Tokyo to meet with Australia’s Quad partners – India, Japan and the US – to talk China.

Indeed, the unusually hasty political transition was not lost on President Joe Biden, who quipped that “if you fall asleep that's okay” – a nod to Albanese’s campaign trail hangover and/or jet lag. But Albanese fought the urge to nap because he has a jam-packed agenda, which includes bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Fumio Kishida as well as Biden.

Albanese, the son of a single mum who grew up in public housing in Sydney, takes the reins as the country’s economy is still reeling from the enduring pandemic. What does the election of his center-left Labor Party mean at home and abroad?

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Ukraine War Dominates Davos Discussions | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Ukraine war dominates Davos discussions

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60 from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Is the Russia-Ukraine war dominating the conversation in Davos?

Yes, it is. There is only one side of the conversation here. Not true globally, but in Davos, there are no Russian delegates. And I mean, frankly, pretty much every single person attending is saying as much as they can in favor of Ukraine. You see a lot of people kind of dressing the part and certainly you're in Europe. And so as a consequence, the fact that this is a war in Europe that ends the peace dividend, it's been topic number one, topic number two, topic number three. Kept me pretty busy, frankly.

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Albanese addresses supporters in Sydney after winning Australia's election.

REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

What We’re Watching: Australia elects new PM, Poland hearts Ukraine, Saudis stand by Russia

Albo takes over in Oz

After his Labor Party won Saturday's parliamentary election, Anthony Albanese, known popularly as Albo, is set to become Australia’s new prime minister. But it remains unclear whether Labor has a parliamentary majority: if his party falls just short in the end, it'll be a minority government, so Albanese will need some support from the Greens and climate-focused independents to get laws passed. In a gesture toward both, Albanese announced Sunday that he wants to make Australia a renewable energy superpower — a sharp departure from Scott Morrison, aka ScoMo, his coal-loving conservative predecessor. While mail-in ballots are still being counted, Albanese was sworn in Monday as acting PM in order to attend the Quad Summit in Tokyo on Tuesday. Albanese will need to hit the ground running because Australia is also in the AUKUS security partnership, which China doesn’t like one bit. Just weeks after Beijing inked a deal with the neighboring Solomon Islands that'll allow the Chinese to gain a military foothold in the Pacific, expect the China question to continue dominating Australian foreign policy under the new government.

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Joe Biden speaks during a joint news conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk-youl in Seoul.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

In Asia to fix imbalance, Biden talks both guns and butter

In his first presidential trip to Asia, where he is visiting South Korea and Japan as well as huddling with Quad partners, Joe Biden isn’t expected to sign any major trade deals or defense agreements. But America’s commander-in-chief is going to be in China’s neighborhood, shoring up new and old alliances in the region, reminding Beijing that checking the PRC is very much on Washington’s agenda, despite the administration’s attention being taken up by domestic politics and the war in Ukraine.

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