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Ian Bremmer: Zero COVID No Longer Works, and China Will Pay a Price | Top Risks 2022 | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer: Zero COVID no longer works, and China will pay a price

For Ian Bremmer, China has the strongest political governance of any major economy today. Sometime that's good, and has allowed China to become the world's second largest economy.

But there's also a downside we're going to see this year, Bremmer said during a livestream conversation to launch Eurasia Group's annual Top Risks report. China's zero-COVID policy, which worked incredibly well in 2020 to respond to the pandemic, no longer works because the virus has changed.

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Impact of Omicron Variant Remains Uncertain | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Omicron variant unlikely to lead to lockdowns by governments

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the omicron variant, the Honduras presidential election, and the pros and cons of getting stuck in a UK pub for three days in a snowstorm.

As the omicron variant emerges, is a return to lockdown next?

The answer is, only in a few play places, because people are exhausted from lockdowns. They're angry with their governments from doing it. Governments are going to be very reluctant to have the economic hit as a consequence, especially when they know they can't pay out the relief money that they've been paying over the last couple of years, and they're not yet sure about just how much of a danger omicron is. I think all sorts of travel restrictions, but unless and until you see that the spread starts leading to significant lethality, hospitalizations, and once again, the potential for ICUs to be overwhelmed, I do not expect many significant lockdowns that are countrywide at this point. Not least in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the populations are very young and as a consequence, you can have a lot of spread and they're not paying attention to it, frankly.

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The Graphic Truth: Perceptions of COVID

Where do people think the pandemic is mostly contained where they live and that life will soon return to normal? A recent Ipsos survey takes a look at people's perceptions in more than two dozen countries. Saudis, Indians, and Malaysians top the list of optimists, while most Europeans aren't quite sure, and things seem particularly grim in Canada, where just a quarter of those polled feel that the pandemic is behind them. But do these perceptions have anything to do with the current state of daily cases? We crossed that specific data point with the Ipsos poll's findings and, well, have a look. It seems factors beyond actual cases may play a bigger role in how people feel about the pandemic.

What We're Watching: Anti-lockdown protests turn violent in Europe

Europe anti-lockdown protests get violent. Pockets of unrest spread across Europe in recent days as tens of thousands gathered in several cities across the continent to protest government measures aimed at curbing a fast-spreading wave of COVID-19. Violent clashes broke out between demonstrators and police in The Hague and Rotterdam where Dutch cops opened fire at an increasingly aggressive crowd protesting the tightening of restrictions. Meanwhile, more that 35,000 people turned out in Brussels, while large crowds rocked Vienna, protesting fresh lockdowns that initially targeted only the unvaccinated, as well as new vaccine mandates. The state of the pandemic in Europe is not good. Germany recorded more than 48,000 new cases Sunday, the highest on record, prompting new lockdowns in the lead-up to Christmas, while deaths across the continent are also rising since the summer months, though they remain well below pre-vaccine levels. What's more, far-right groups, like Austria's Freedom Party, are taking advantage of COVID fatigue and anti-vaxx sentiment to encourage people to defy government rules and sow chaos.

Why Pandemic Was "Perfect Storm" for Violence Against Women: Dr. Okito Wedi | GZERO Media

Why pandemic was "perfect storm" for violence against women: Dr. Okito Wedi

Gender-based violence tends to jump in any emergency situation, and the pandemic was no different. During COVID-related lockdowns around the world, Creative Development CEO Dr. Okito Vanessa Wedi says the home was no safe space for women. "Preexisting toxic social norms, together with actually being in a pandemic, losses of jobs, anxiety about the future [and] the restriction of movement" all created a "perfect storm" that turned partners into abusers.

She spoke during "Measuring what matters: How women are critical to pandemic recovery," a livestream conversation on October 28, 2021, hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Minouche Shafik: Keeping Talented Women Working is Good for the Economy | GZERO Media

Minouche Shafik: Keeping talented women working is good for the economy

More women are now going to college than men, but much of that talent later goes to waste. Why? For London School of Economics Director Minouche Shafik, the problem is that we don't have systems in place to retain talented women in the workforce in crisis situations like the pandemic, when so many women had to quit their jobs and stay home to take care of their kids. "The talent of all of those women is a huge potential economic gain to our societies," she explains, so we need to find a way to better match them to (remote) jobs that suit their skills. "This is not just about inequality story; this is really an economic efficiency story as well."

She spoke during "Measuring what matters: How women are critical to pandemic recovery," a livestream conversation on October 28, 2021, hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Women Fell Between the Cracks" During COVID — Former UN Women Chief | GZERO Media

"Women fell between the cracks" during COVID — former UN Women chief

During the pandemic, former UN Women chief Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says many women were "caught up in the crossfire that is not of their own making," accounting for two-thirds of jobs lost due to COVID. What's more, she adds, women forced into the informal job market to make ends meet had a hard time returning to formal jobs once lockdowns ended. And since government incentives didn't target them enough, "women fell between the cracks."

She spoke during "Measuring what matters: How women are critical to pandemic recovery," a livestream conversation on October 28, 2021, hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Europeans Irritated That Travel to US Still Not Allowed | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

European travel to US still not allowed, EU asks why

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

What's the issue of traveling between the US and Europe?

Well, that's a subject of irritation at the moment because Europe has opened up to American visitors, but America is still closed. And this, in spite of the fact that if you look at vaccination rates, they are higher in Europe, in the EU today, than they are in the US. So, if they send an alignment between Washington and Brussels on these issues in the next few weeks, there's a risk of the Europeans saying, "Well, if you've got to stop us, we're going to stop you." And I'm not quite certain that would be a good development.

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