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US President Joe Biden during a campaign stop ahead of the midterm elections in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

What We're Watching: Biden's secret papers, Ukrainians in Oklahoma, Tigrayan demobilization

Check your closets for classified docs

It’s been a rollercoaster kind of week for US President Joe Biden.

On the downside, it seems he just plumb forgot to return not one but two batches of classified documents from his days as VP. The first cache was reportedly found on Nov. 2 – yes, you read that right, just days before the midterms – but not reported publicly until Monday. Then, on Wednesday, reports emerged of a second tranche of unreturned docs discovered at another location. Biden, keen to distinguish himself from the way former President Donald Trump handled his own classified documents scandal, said his lawyers followed protocol and immediately contacted the National Archives about returning the documents. A Justice Department review is underway.

The good news this week for Biden is that for the first time since the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan in Aug. 2021, his approval rating (46%) is now higher than his disapproval (45%), according to an Economist/YouGov survey. Why the uptick? Biden has signed major pieces of legislation like CHIPS and the Inflation Reduction Act in recent months. Meanwhile, Republicans blew their chance for a “red wave” in the midterms, and the GOP's chaotic election of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy shows just how deep divisions in the party are. Still, House GOP members are hellbent on investigating Biden over a range of issues including, perhaps, the newfound classified files. Biden has had a good nine months — could the GOP-controlled house change his fortunes?

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Biden's gas prices woes

The Graphic Truth: Biden's gas price woes

Polls show US voters rank the economy as their No. 1 issue ahead of the Nov. 8 midterms. Many blame Democrats for today’s inflationary pressures despite a bid by the White House to dub increased prices at the pump as “Putin’s price hike.” But even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine sent global supply chains into a tizzy, Biden’s disapproval rating was way higher than he would’ve liked. We track the correlation between it and US gas prices since the beginning of the year.

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Biden's first midterms: How does he stack up?

The Graphic Truth — Biden's first midterms: How does he stack up?

US midterm elections are always seen as a referendum on the president’s performance. When voters head to the polls this November, it will be the first time they’ve been able to cast a ballot at the national level since Joe Biden won the presidency in 2020. Things aren’t looking great for him: Biden’s approval rating hovers at 42%, and polls suggest that Democrats are slated to lose control of the House of Representatives. But this pessimistic forecast is not unique to Biden. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt occupied the White House (1933-1945), only two presidents (Clinton and W. Bush) have made gains in the lower chamber after midterm elections. We take a look at how Biden stacks up compared to his five predecessors less than two months before the midterms.

Are We In A Recession? | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Are we in a recession?

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC, shares his analysis on US politics.

When is a recession, not a recession?

The Biden administration this week has spent an extraordinary amount of time refuting the notion that the US economy is in a recession. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen on Sunday pointed to strong job numbers and consumer spending as signals that the US economy continues to grow. But plenty of analysts have started to question how strong and durable that growth is in the face of rising prices and Fed induced interest rate hikes. Later this week, the government will release its estimate for second quarter economic growth. The first quarter data showed that the economy shrank by 1.5% and supply chain problems wreaked havoc on economic output and some estimates of second quarter growth suggest there could be another quarter of contraction in the cards.

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Japan To Become More Assertive On Global Stage After PM Abe's Death | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Japan's assertive foreign and economic policy reflect Abe's legacy

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

With Japanese people mourning former PM Shinzo Abe, how will his death further influence Japan's politics?

Well, we've already seen a fairly easy majority win by Abe's own Liberal Democratic Party. He had been stumping for them when he was assassinated. His two legacies are things that the Japanese are moving on. One, Abenomics, the three arrows of fiscal policy and monetary policy and growth really underpin the new style of capitalism that Prime Minister Kishida's been talking about. I think that they will more assertively align towards those, even though the BOJ at this point, The Bank of Japan doesn't have a lot of flexibility given the indebtedness levels. But also the Quad, the CPTPP, the desire of the Japanese, the prime minister to go to NATO for the summit a couple weeks ago. I mean, all of these were really kicked off by Abe wanting a more assertive foreign policy, normalizing their defense capabilities. You might even see a move now towards reforming the constitution on the defense side, something Abe wanted to do but didn't have the votes for. Now the LDP does. I expect to see Japan increasingly assertive on the global stage like you've seen Germany under Olaf Scholz.

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Sleepy Joe Captured on Camera! | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

Sleepy Joe captured on camera!

Is it a Robin or a Robinette? Filmmakers have tracked down the elusive Joe Biden in its natural habitat. What can we learn about the elusive Biden's behavior?

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Biden's Big Rebrand | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

Biden's big rebrand

The US president's poll numbers sure are looking grim, but he's got a foolproof plan to refresh his brand and reconnect with voters ahead of the mid-terms. Right? Right?

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On Foreign Policy, Biden's Heart in the Right Place but "Clumsy", Says Robin Wright | GZERO World

On foreign policy, Biden's heart in the right place but "clumsy", says journalist Robin Wright

Joe Biden came into office with enormous foreign policy experience, a sharp contrast from his predecessor. So far, however, The New Yorker's Robin Wright says "there has been a lot of clumsy behavior" on Afghanistan and more recently alienating allies with AUKUS, and Biden's people are good thinkers but neither brave nor bold. "It's a weak administration [whose] heart's in the right place," she explains, but it needs to come up with more and move faster. Watch her interview with Ian Bremmer on the latest episode of GZERO World.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Biden's rocky start on foreign policy

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