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Aging Autocrats & Tech Bros: 2023's Top Risks | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Aging autocrats and tech bros: 2023's top risks

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here and a Happy New Year to you. It is 2023. Can still say Happy New Year because it's the beginning, it's the first week of January. I think all this week, that's perfectly fine. I wanted to spend a couple of minutes with Quick Take on our top risk, something we do every year. Been around for 25 years now as a firm. This is our anniversary. And I always try to give a sense of where the world is heading in the coming year. At the end of the year, we go back, we see what we got right, we see what we got wrong.

And this year, what's interesting about this year, it's kind of two sides to a very interesting coin. On the one hand, democracies, major democracies, and the institutions surrounding them, whether it's the European Union, or it's the G7, or NATO, the United States, and Brazil, and Canada, and Japan, these institutions, the countries, they look pretty stable. They're not about to fall apart.

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British PM Boris Johnson and Irish PM (Taoiseach) Micheal Martin at a Rugby Union match in London.

Action Images via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Tories want Boris back, Venezuelans flee, Ukraine trolls Chechnya, Republicans heart election-deniers

32: That's the percentage of Conservative Party members who say they want to replace embattled British PM Liz Truss with ... Boris Johnson, her disgraced predecessor. Perhaps he won't need Puppet Regime to find him a new job, after all.

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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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IAEA chief Rafael Grossi departs a press conference in Austria upon returning from Ukraine.

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Hard Numbers: IAEA Zaporizhzhia report, Solomons election snub, millionaire SUV, a dream job

50: The International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday issued its much-awaited report on the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. The 50-page document recommends, among other things, a security perimeter around the facility to enable safe inspections.

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Gabriella Turrisi

Hard Numbers: Court denies Bolsonaro, Pelosi plans Taiwan trip, Morocco jails migrants, Ukrainian first lady visits US

20: Brazil’s top electoral court issued 20 rebuttals to President Jair Bolsonaro’s recent claim that the electronic voting system used since 1996 is vulnerable. Bolsonaro often implies he’ll dispute the result if he loses the October presidential election to former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who's leading the polls by a wide margin.

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A man walks past Sinn Fein election posters along the nationalist Falls Road in Belfast.

REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

What We're Watching: Elections in Northern Ireland, South African president in trouble

Northern Ireland’s choice

On Thursday, voters across the UK head to the polls for local elections, but it’s the contest in Northern Ireland that might make history. Sinn Féin is expected to finish with the most seats in Northern Ireland’s assembly. Its victory would be more symbolic than immediately substantive, since power in the assembly must be shared between the two lead parties, and Sinn Féin has focused its campaign on today’s economic hardship, not on a century of Irish partition. But the symbolism matters. A Sinn Féin win would mark the first time in Northern Ireland’s 101-year history that the UK province is led by a party that supports reunification with the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state. It would make Sinn Féin the most popular party on both sides of the Irish border. And it would prove deeply embarrassing for UK PM Boris Johnson, who is fighting for his scandal-plagued political life at the moment and considering another battle with the European Union over Northern Ireland’s place in the EU’s single market.

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Sign encouraging participation in the US Census in Somerville, Massachusetts.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Hard Numbers: US Census bungle, US election workers afraid, Sweden ups defense spending, Oz beefs up army

18.8 million: The 2020 US Census reportedly miscounted a whopping 18.8 million people. The miscount underrepresented people of color while overcounting whites. This raises questions about the Census numbers’ validity as a basis for reallocating congressional and state Electoral College votes.

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Chilean presidential candidate Jose Antonio Kast from far-right Republican Party meets with supporters during a campaign rally in the outskirts of Santiago, ahead of the first round of presidential elections on November 21, Chile, October 25, 2021.

REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

What We’re Watching: Elections in Chile & Venezuela, Modi blinks, Chinese buffet ban

An extreme choice for Chilean president. Chileans go to the polls on Sunday for the first round of the presidential election. The two frontrunners are former lawmaker José Antonio Kast, a rightwinger who pines for Augusto Pinochet, and former student leader Gabriel Boric, who's moderated his positions from his more far-left days but still wants to spend big on social programs. Kast, who's benefited from rising anti-migrant sentiment, is currently leading in the polls, while Boric hasn't been able to campaign for two weeks after getting COVID. Still, Kast probably won't get 50 percent of the vote, meaning that things will go to a December runoff in which Boric is projected to have a slight edge. Just months ago, Chileans elected a largely left-leaning assembly to rewrite the Pinochet-era constitution following mass protests over rising inequality in late 2019. The next president will want to have a say in that process.

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