Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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Mayorkas impeachment: Reps. Lofgren & Spartz on House vote on DHS secretary
Mayorkas impeachment: Reps. Lofgren & Spartz on House vote on DHS secretary | GZERO World

Mayorkas impeachment: Reps. Lofgren & Spartz on House vote on DHS secretary

The US House of Representatives is voting on a Republican-led resolution to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the immigration crisis on the southern border. On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer sat down with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who both sit on the House Immigration subcommittee, moments before the vote took place for their thoughts on the first impeachment of a cabinet secretary in modern history.

“[The impeachment] has nothing to do with meeting the constitutional standards,” Lofgren, former chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement, tells Bremmer, “It’s a complete waste of time.”

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United States Senator Ron Johnson (Republican of Wisconsin)

Credit: Rod Lamkey / CNP/Sipa USANo Use Germany

Will Democrats and Republicans head for the border?

Now’s the time to watch the fascinating politics of immigration policy in the United States. For years, both Democrats and Republicans have played high-stakes political poker by using dysfunctional US border policy, and a series of migrant surges across the US-Mexico boundary, as a wedge issue. The Dems say Republicans hate immigrants. The Republicans say Democrats use immigrants to win more votes. (Reality check: President Joe Biden hasn’t changed former President Donald Trump’s policies very much.)
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Republican candidates line the Miami stage for Wednesday's GOP debate.

Jonah Hinebaugh-USA TODAY via Reuters

What this week’s vote and GOP debate mean for 2024

In a world obsessed with reading polls like prophecies, many are looking at Tuesday’s election results for evidence of where Americans really stand.

Despite Joe Biden’s lagging popularity, Democrats scored key victories on Election Day. They maintained control of the governorship in predominantly red Kentucky, made an impressive showing in Mississippi, and enshrined a constitutional right to abortion in Ohio. The abortion issue also helped Dems flip the House of Delegates and maintain control of the State Senate in Virginia.

So was Tuesday a harbinger of 2024?

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Speakerless House shows weakness to US adversaries, says Rep. Mike Waltz
Speakerless House shows weakness to US adversaries, says Rep. Mike Waltz | GZERO World

Speakerless House shows weakness to US adversaries, says Rep. Mike Waltz

It's not a particularly comfortable moment to be a House Republican on Capitol Hill. Unable to agree on a Speaker, the House remains paralyzed and unable to do crucial work on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy priorities. Israel, of course, is at the top of that list. Republican Congressman Mike Waltz worries that the paralysis on Capitol Hill is playing right into the hands of America's adversaries.

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Paralyzed US House is an “absolute nightmare” - Sen. Chris Murphy
Paralyzed US House is an “absolute nightmare” - Sen. Chris Murphy | GZERO World

Paralyzed US House is an “absolute nightmare” - Sen. Chris Murphy

A House (of bickering Republicans) divided against itself, cannot stand. Forgive the redux of Abraham Lincoln's famous quote, but it seems particularly relevant in light of another week of total paralysis on Capitol Hill. Namely, within the House Republican caucus.

According to Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who sat down with Ian Bremmer for an interview on GZERO World, the chaos in the House chamber due to Republicans' inability to nominate a House speaker may, in fact, be a feature, not a bug. "The House is just an absolute nightmare, and it's a really bad look for the United States. It weakens President Biden's credibility abroad."

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President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Reuters

Trump vs. Biden: Round two

It’s on. President Joe Biden released a kick-off reelection ad on Tuesday, which means both he and his predecessor Donald Trump have now officially thrown their hats in the ring for the 2024 presidential race, kicking off one hell of a showdown.

Most Americans don't want either candidate to run again, but if polls – and vibes – are anything to go by, that’s what they’ll get. But what’s the same and what’s shifted since 2020, and how might these factors shape the 2024 campaign?

The more things change …

What pandemic? The last time Biden and Trump were both vying for the Oval Office, the number one issue for many voters was pandemic containment and recovery.

That’s no longer the case. For most Americans, who are now concerned with inflation and bread-and-butter issues, the pandemic feels like a distant memory.

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Luisa Vieira

Lessons from the COVID lab-leak fiasco

The US Department of Energy made unlikely headlines over the weekend when The Wall Street Journal reported that new evidence had led the agency to conclude with “low confidence” that the COVID-19 virus probably escaped from a Chinese lab. The DOE’s findings match up with the FBI’s, which point to an accidental leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology with “moderate confidence.”

This follows investigations by four other agencies plus the National Intelligence Council that concluded with low confidence that the virus spread naturally from animals to humans, possibly in a wet market in Wuhan. Other intelligence agencies, including the CIA, remain undecided, much like DOE was until recently.

The bottom line is we still don’t know how the pandemic got started. Both origin stories – natural transmission and laboratory leak – are scientifically plausible. The DOE’s report should lead us to update our beliefs slightly toward the lab-leak theory, but the score in the intelligence community is still 5-2 in favor of zoonotic transfer, and all but the FBI’s conclusions were reached with low confidence.

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Photo composite of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Luisa Vieira

What We’re Watching: China’s budding diplomacy, Biden’s border control, Russia’s big plans

What’s next for Russia & China?

Russia and China broadcast their friendship to the world on Wednesday as the West freaked out about the possibility of Beijing turning to arm Moscow’s troops in Ukraine. After meeting Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin said that strong Russia-China ties are “important for stabilizing the international situation.” (A tad rich coming from the guy who upended geopolitics by invading Ukraine a year ago.) Putin also confirmed that Xi Jinping would visit Moscow for a summit in the coming months. Wang, for his part, clarified that while their famous partnership “without limits” is not directed against any other nation, it certainly should not be subject to external pressure. He said both countries support “multipolarity and democratization of international relations” – in other words, not a US-led liberal international order. Still, no matter what Western governments say, the Chinese are not so willing to break ties with the US and its allies, mainly because Beijing's trade relations are too important. Meanwhile, we wonder whether the current status of the Russia-China relationship — friends with benefits but complicated — will blossom into a marriage (of convenience) or end in a bad breakup. What we know for sure is that China is getting more involved in the Ukraine conflict generally. Learn more here.

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