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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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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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Taiwan and US flags are placed for a meeting in Taipei.

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

What We’re Watching: Trading with Taiwan, Türkiye talk, battered Boric

Washington & Taipei launch new trade deal

The US and Taiwan just unveiled a new trade initiative to expand cooperation across a number of sectors, including agriculture, tech, and labor regulation, among others. Taipei sees the pact as a precursor to an eventual free trade deal. For Washington, this is the latest initiative to come from its strong Asia focus in recent weeks. Just days ago, President Joe Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Regional Framework, a trade deal with 13 states – including regional heavyweights India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and some Pacific islands – in a bid to counter China’s regional clout. (Taiwan was not invited to that deal to avoid really irking Beijing.) The US wants to address technology trade with Taiwan, specifically semiconductor production. The self-governing island produces more than 90% of the world’s semiconductors, which power the device you’re reading this on and have been in short supply thanks to the pandemic’s distribution and production disruptions. Washington would love to help prop up Taiwan’s semiconductor industry to block China from getting a bigger piece of the global tech pie. Beijing, obviously not thrilled, called on Washington to “stop elevating relations with Taiwan,” which it sees as part of the mainland.

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A service member of pro-Russian troops stands guard next to a combat vehicle, with the symbol "Z" seen on its side, in Mariupol, Ukraine.

REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

What We're Watching: A rare win for Putin, Chile drafts constitution, North Korea's COVID catastrophe

Putin enjoys rare win in Ukraine

This week brought more bad news for Vladimir Putin and his invasion. Ukrainian fighters have pushed Russians back from the city of Kharkiv, the fight for the Donbas appears to have stalled, and Russian commentators are becoming more open about their country’s military failures on the internet and even on state-controlled TV. But the surrender of hundreds of Ukrainian fighters from a Mariupol steel plant gives Russia a genuinely important win. First, it clears away the final obstacle to establishing a land bridge that connects Russian-occupied Crimea with the Russian border. Second, it’s a big propaganda win for Putin, who insists the war is aimed partly at “de-Nazifying” Ukraine. Many of those who surrendered belong to the Azov Battalion, a group with a history of ultra-nationalist, white-supremacist politics. Ukraine’s government says it hopes the now-captive troops can be traded for captive Russians, but Russia’s parliament may ban any release of Azov prisoners. Ultimately, Putin will decide their fate. Are they most valuable to him as trophies, or as pawns who provide him with an opportunity to appear magnanimous?

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What We're Watching: Chilean beekeepers, bartering in Xian, possible Turkish-Saudi détente

Standing up for the bees in Chile. Chilean beekeepers demonstrated Tuesday outside the presidential palace in Santiago, calling for the government to provide more support for the ailing industry. The protesters set up on the street dozens of hives containing 10,000 bees to draw attention to their plight, and stop police from shutting down the rally. (At least seven police officers were stung.) Beekeepers say that a decade-long “megadrought” has ruined the crops and flowers needed to sustain bees — and they want the government to guarantee honey prices or provide subsidies for producers. This might seem like an obscure agriculture story, but it’s not: bees pollinate some of Chile’s major food exports like avocados, apples and almonds, and thus help sustain an industry worth a whopping $6.46 billion in exports in 2020. Although the government says it has been supporting some communities facing water shortages, the bee industry says it’s not enough. Disgruntled beekeepers might be in luck: the leftist Gabriel Boric, who supports expanding Chile's social safety net, will be sworn in as president in March.

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