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| World in :60 | GZERO Media

Immigration a Biden priority at Three Amigos Summit

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

What's on the agenda at the Three Amigos Summit?

Well, immigration is very high only between the US and Mexico. But still, the fact that Biden is willing to use this pandemic era clause to try to keep migrants from coming to the United States was not on my Bingo card six months ago. A lot of progressive Dems are unhappy with him, and a lot of conservatives are saying he's doing too little, too late, but nonetheless does recognize that he doesn't win any votes on balance by having large number of illegal immigrants continue to come to the United States. Also, a whole bunch of new NAFTA stuff, especially trade relations on energy with the Mexicans, Americans, and the Canadians, pretty unhappy with what AMLO has been doing on that front.

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Rescuers work at a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.

REUTERS

What We’re Watching: Russia’s Zaporizhzhia strikes, Washington-Caracas dealings, Canadian asylum challenge, Macron’s intimacy

Russian strike on Zaporizhzhia provokes anger and fear

Ukraine’s foreign minister said Thursday that seven Russian missiles hit residential buildings overnight, killing a still unknown number of people in Zaporizhzhia, a city located in a region annexed by Russia in recent days and the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. President Putin has ordered Russian troops to take control of the plant. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Mariano Grossi was in Kyiv Thursday as part of talks on creating a zone of protection around it to avoid a catastrophe. Last week, at least 25 people were killed and many more were wounded by a missile strike on a humanitarian convoy in this same region. It’s a reminder that though Russia is losing ground at the moment in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, it can still inflict great damage, including to civilians. And it’s one more attack that raises fears for nuclear safety.

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General view of Severodonetsk from the last floor of a damaged building in the outskirts of the city.

Rick Mave / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: Russian progress in Ukraine, gun ban plans in Canada, DRC-Rwanda tensions

Ukraine update: Is the war really shifting?

In recent days, Russian forces have made incremental gains in the Donbas. Vladimir Putin’s military now controls most of Luhansk province, and they are close to taking the strategic city of Severodonetsk, which would open the way to a wider Russian occupation of Donetsk province. Russia has shifted strategy in recent weeks, withdrawing from areas it couldn’t hold around Kyiv and Kharkiv to focus on more limited objectives in the East and South. Some military analysts warn that Russia’s recent gains are still coming at a very high cost in terms of human losses and morale. But even these slight shifts in the winds of war have raised fresh questions in the EU and US about what comes next. Driving Russia out of the east and south does not seem immediately possible. And although Washington continues to send Ukraine advanced weapons, US President Joe Biden on Monday said he would exclude rockets that could strike into Russian territory. After more than three months of war, the Ukrainians are still fighting like hell to defend their country and their democracy, but it’s no clearer yet what a reasonably achievable endgame looks like for Ukraine, for its Western backers, or for Moscow.

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A truck is towed from in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

What We’re Watching: Canada freezes protesters’ assets, Spanish right in turmoil

Canadian protesters see accounts frozen. Authorities have started blocking accounts of people linked to Canada’s trucker convoy and protests in accordance with the Emergencies Act invoked last week by PM Justin Trudeau. Royal Canadian Mounted Police froze more than 200 financial products, including bank and corporate accounts, linked to vaccine mandate protesters who have brought chaos to Ottawa and US border crossings in recent weeks. Opposition leaders and a Canadian civil rights group question the legality of the move, which Trudeau says is necessary for restoring order. American truckers and President Joe Biden, meanwhile, will be watching closely as a similar convoy gets underway in the US this week. Plans are reportedly in place to set up perimeter fencing around the US Capitol building ahead of Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1 for fear of similar protests plaguing the nation’s capital.

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Cross country skiing at the 2022 Beijing Olympics

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Hard Numbers: Real snow disrupts Winter Games, French airstrikes in the Sahel, “blasphemy” lynching in Pakistan, Canadian cops arrest protesters

222 million: Several ski and slalom events had to be pushed back at the Beijing Olympics Sunday due to heavy snow and poor visibility. Ironically, China has been criticized for using 222 million liters of water to create artificial snow conditions for the Games.

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A Ukrainian soldier tests a US-supplied M141 Bunker Defeat Munition weapon in Lviv.

REUTERS/Roman Baluk

What We’re Watching: Foreigners advised to leave Ukraine, Egypt-Sudan blockade, Canadian truckers vs auto makers

Ukraine alert level rises. Americans and Brits are being urged to leave Ukraine. On Friday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan advised American citizens “to depart [Ukraine] immediately” within the “next 24 to 48 hours” and characterized the threat as “immediate.” A Russian military move against Ukraine, he said, could begin "before the Olympics have ended." Sullivan also noted that a significant amount of territory in Ukraine could be occupied by Russian troops. The British foreign office similarly told Brits living in the region to leave while commercial flights are still available.

Lithuania, meanwhile, says it will send Kyiv a cache of Stinger surface-to-air missiles in the next few days to bolster Ukrainian defenses against a possible Russian invasion. Battlefield bonafides aside, the symbolism is rich: these same weapons helped bury the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts to prevent war continue, if choppily. The UK defense minister will meet his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Friday, though the Kremlin doesn’t seem to take London very seriously. Russia’s top diplomat shot down threats of British sanctions as “empty slogans” and said his talks on Thursday with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss were a meeting of “the mute with the deaf.” With Russia massing troops on Ukraine’s border and running massive war games in neighboring Belarus, stakes are high. The next big diplomatic moves? German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets Monday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before heading to Moscow to see Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

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Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: Land borders crucial to trade

Hundreds of Canadian truckers angry about vaccine mandates have paralyzed Ottawa, the capital, for more than a week. They’ve blocked roads, honked their horns, and called for Trudeau’s resignation. Now, they have obstructed access to the Ambassador Bridge — a crucial artery connecting Detroit, Michigan, to Windsor, Ontario, that accommodates the transfer of more than a quarter of US-Canada annual trade worth a whopping $137 billion. Here’s a look of how this route compares with a few other major land trade routes.

A truck sits near Parliament Hill as truckers protest COVID vaccine mandates in Ottawa.

REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

Freedom Convoy or disorder fleet?

Canada’s picturesque capital isn’t known for high-stakes political protests and standoffs with police. But for many days, Ottawa has been paralyzed by the Freedom Convoy, a fleet of some 500 trucks whose drivers crossed the country to protest a new federal law requiring all unvaccinated truckers to quarantine when returning from the US.

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