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A woman holds a sign with the phrase "Don't be afraid of change" following the constitutional referendum in Santiago de Chile.

Claudio Abarca Sandoval via Reuters Connect

Second time the charm for new Chilean constitution?

Chileans will try again this year to agree on a new constitution to replace the one drafted during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. A substantial share of the population has long wanted to jettison the Pinochet-era charter – though it has undergone significant changes over the years – and the issue became a rallying cry for the massive demonstrations that rocked the country in 2019. Yet the first attempt to do so failed when voters decisively rejected in last September’s referendum a new draft that was seen by many as moving the country too far to the left.

As the Congress-appointed expert committee prepares to start work on a new version on March 6, we asked Eurasia Group expert Luciano Sigalov what to expect from Chile’s second attempt to rewrite its constitution.

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Paige Fusco

Hard Numbers: EU energy tax, Lebanese bank 'hold-up,' Russian election meddling, Chile-Ecuador soccer drama

140 billion: The EU hopes to raise 140 billion euros with its proposed windfall tax on energy companies that don’t burn natural gas but have made a killing from sky-high electricity costs driven by gas. Brussels would use the money to pay for consumer subsidies such as an EU-wide price cap on gas. The bloc has notably not followed through on talk of capping Russian gas prices.

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Supporters of "I Reject" option react to early results of the referendum on a new Chilean constitution in Valparaiso, Chile.

REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

Can Chile get from “No” to “Yes”?

Sometimes the worst defeats can be the best new beginnings.

It’s been more than a week since Chile’s ultra-progressive draft constitution suffered a landslide rejection. Two-thirds of Chileans voted against it. Turnout was the highest in 30 years. The “No” vote won across every region and major demographic. It wasn’t even close.

But as Chile’s lawmakers get to work this week to map out a do-over, could that stunning defeat actually be a good thing for Chile’s polarized democracy?

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British pound banknote is displayed on US Dollar banknotes.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Hard Numbers: Cheaper British pound, India’s Congress Party march, Chilean damage control, convictions of Hong Kong children’s authors

37: Markets are responding negatively to new British PM Liz Truss, with the British pound falling this week to its lowest level against the US dollar in 37 years. Truss is taking the helm this week as the UK grapples with cost-of-living and inflation crises that dwarf those in the EU and the US.

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Liz Truss arrives for the announcement of Britain's next Prime Minister at The Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London.

REUTERS/Hannah McKay

What We're Watching: Liz beats Rishi, Chile rejects charter change, Trump wins DOJ probe delay

Meet the UK's new PM

As expected, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss won the Conservative Party leadership race on Monday and will become the next British PM, replacing the disgraced Boris Johnson. Truss — a political chameleon who's popular with the Tory base — beat former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, a moderate technocrat, by a comfortable margin of 57% of party member votes. She now faces tough challenges at home and abroad. First, a looming recession compounded by a cost-of-living crisis and an energy crunch. Truss, who fancies herself as a modern Margaret Thatcher, plans to announce big tax cuts and perhaps a temporary freeze on energy bills for the most vulnerable Brits — which her economic guru has warned would be fiscally irresponsible. Second, a likely collision course with the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol. Brace for rocky times ahead as Truss tries to convince Brussels to renegotiate the post-Brexit trade deal, which scrapped a hard border between Northern Ireland, part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state. (No surprise then that Brussels is hardly looking forward to her moving into No. 10 Downing St.) On Tuesday, Truss will travel to Scotland to meet with Queen Elizabeth II, who as per tradition will ask her to form a government at the monarch's Balmoral summer residence.

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Chileans rally against the proposed new constitution in Santiago.

REUTERS/Iván Alvarado

Ahead of referendum, Chileans lukewarm on new constitution

On Sunday, Chileans go to the polls again to have their say on a proposed new constitution for the country.

Following earlier votes on whether a new charter was necessary and then who'd get to draft it, Chileans will decide whether to approve or reject a new constitution that enshrines some fundamental new rights and expands the role of the state in looking out for poor citizens and other marginalized groups.

How will the charter change Chile if it passes, and what happens if it doesn't? We get some clarity from Eurasia Group experts Yael Sternberg and Luciano Sigalov.

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Luisa Vieira

Is Latin America’s new “pink tide” for real?

Since it’s August we obviously can’t ask much of you, but try this for fun: take out a red marker and a black and white map of Latin America.

Now, color in all the countries currently led by leftist leaders. You’ll immediately be filling in five of the largest economies — Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Perú. By October, you’ll likely have added Brazil, the biggest of them all.

Along with stalwart leftists in Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and the new presidenta of Honduras, your map will have a big splash of rojo/vermelho bigger than any we’ve seen in at least 15 years. That’s when observers first hailed — or feared — a new “pink tide” in Latin America.

But is the region really back in the red, so to speak? Or is this pink tide different from previous ones? Spoiler: they are not the same. Let’s look at what’s going on.

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Johnson attends a news conference during a NATO summit in Madrid.

REUTERS/Yves Herman

What We're Watching: Bombshell UK news, China-Philippines ties, Chilean constitution draft, G20 meeting

Britain’s bombshell resignations

The hits keep coming for the scandal-plagued administration of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. On Tuesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, both of them heavyweights in the Conservative Party, quit Johnson's government. The trigger came in the wake of MP Chris Pincher’s resignation last week. Pincher stepped down amid new allegations of sexual misconduct. But the party controversy has erupted over the PM’s decision to appoint Pincher as deputy chief whip in the first place. He denied being aware of earlier sexual misconduct allegations against Pincher. Those stemmed from Johnson’s tenure as foreign secretary, when Pincher served under him. The PM was forced to acknowledge this week that he had been briefed on the matter. On Tuesday, Johnson admitted that appointing Pincher had been a mistake. Johnson survived an embarrassing vote of no confidence on June 6 following revelations that he participated in social gatherings that violated COVID lockdown rules and failed to come clean with parliament. But the Pincher scandal and these bombshell resignations now have Johnson’s political career on life support.

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