Who's Japan's new PM? The world's third largest economy has a new prime minister after the Japanese parliament voted to elect Yoshihide Suga to the top job just weeks after Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest serving prime minister, resigned because of health problems. Suga, a former cardboard factory worker and close political confidant of Abe for almost a decade, was elected to head the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with 70 percent of the parliamentary vote. There's widespread consensus among political observers that Suga, known as a pragmatist, will seek to continue Abe's political agenda and legacy, with one commentator dubbing him an "Abe substitute." Suga's cabinet also includes many former Abe loyalists, suggesting a continuation of his policies. Japan now faces twin economic and health crises, while experts say a second wave of infection has already hit the country. One key decision for Suga is whether to move forward with the Olympic games, which Tokyo is still slated to host next summer despite uncertainty about the pandemic.
Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics on this week's World In (More Than) 60 Seconds:
First, who is Lebanon's new prime minister?
His name's Mustafa Adib and I had never heard of him. Apparently, he wasn't being considered for prime minister until apparently 24 hours ago. He was Lebanon's ambassador to Germany or is Lebanon's ambassador to Germany. And also, a PhD in political science. So clearly, we must like him. He can't be a bad guy. He looks basically like a technocrat. But in part, it's because Lebanon is impossible to govern and can't agree on any of the well-known and outspoken figures. And this is a massive economic challenge that they're facing. Their currency is falling apart. Their budgets, they can't fund. They had that massive explosion that's going to cost billions to rebuild Beirut. Just happened a couple of weeks ago. They're also fighting coronavirus. They have millions of refugees on their territory that they're paying for. And they don't have as much money from the Gulf states that they had historically because they're facing their own budgetary challenges. On top of which, it's really hard to get an IMF deal done when you don't have effective governance and when Hezbollah is part of your government structure.
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GZERO World host Ian Bremmer examines the already precarious political situation in Lebanon ahead of the deadly explosion of August 4, and the road ahead for a nation that has already seen its prime minister and cabinet resign amid widespread protests and anger.
On GZERO World, Lebanese journalist and author Kim Ghattas discusses worldwide response to the recent explosion in Beirut. On French President Emmanuel Macron's visit, she tells Bremmer reaction has been "very positive." Ghattas explains that the Lebanese people want to hear words of empathy and support from other world leaders, and also have advised, "Don't give money to the government, give aid directly to the people, to recognized organizations, to hospitals. And second, we want justice. We want an international investigation."
"Here is Lebanon, not Iran," Lebanese chanted last October, when widespread protests calling for reform of Lebanon's dysfunctional sectarian power-sharing system broke out across the country. It was a war cry meant to expose the destructive role of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shiite group, in Lebanese politics in recent years.
Now, recent events — including the deadly explosion at a Beirut port earlier this month that killed at least 200 people and wounded thousands, as well as the country's economic tailspin — have again shined a spotlight on the role of Hezbollah within Lebanese politics and society.
What is Hezbollah, and why does it matter?