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Biden infrastructure plan would boost jobs; Georgia voter law tensions

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics:

What specifics do you expect to be in Biden's "build back better" infrastructure plan?

Well, this is really a two-part plan. The first part Biden's rolling out this week, and it's focused mainly on infrastructure. Bridges, roads, tunnels, transit, the whole infrastructure smorgasbord, including on broadband deployment, as well as investing in things like rural hospitals, schools and upgrading buildings to be more energy efficient. Biden's proposed between $2 and $2.5 trillion depending on how you do the math, paid for by tax increases primarily falling on the corporate sector that actually spread out over 15 years, as opposed to the bill's spending, which spreads out over 10. That means the bill will be mildly stimulative to the economy on top of creating potentially new jobs through the direct spending that's going to happen.

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Quick Take: Bolsonaro lashes out, Brazil could suffer

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here, kicking off the week. I hope everyone's doing well. As well as can be expected, snowing yet again here in New York City, we'll get through it. March, I feel March is coming. It doesn't mean spring, but it means something. But anyway, thought we'd talk about Brazil. Haven't spoken about Brazil in some time here and making some news.

They were making news, significant news, of course, at the beginning of the pandemic, when President Bolsonaro was so badly mishandling the response in addition to some other leaders in this hemisphere, President Trump, President Lopez Obrador in Mexico. But most recently, the sudden sacking of the CEO of Petrobras, the state energy company in Brazil. Roberto Castello Branco is gone, replaced by a general, a former Minister of Defense Joaquim Silva e Luna and my God, the inbound I've seen over the past hours in terms of, does this mean that the state is taking over the economy in Brazil? What do we think about investors? What do we think about pricing? Are they in serious trouble? And the answer is, this is a real hit. This is a real hit.

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An exhausted Ecuador votes

On Sunday, Ecuadorans head to the polls after what has been, by any standards, a hellish 18 months.

In October 2019, the oil-dependent Andean country of 17 million people was wracked by protests and violent clashes over a plan to cut fuel subsidies that was part of a lending lifeline from the International Monetary Fund.

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Elections to watch in 2021

This year, voters in dozens of countries will choose new leaders. With the human and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic as a backdrop, how will the worst global crisis in more than a hundred years play out at the ballot box? Here are a few key elections to keep an eye on in 2021.

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The Graphic Truth: Who's going to the polls in 2021?

More than thirty countries have already scheduled national elections in 2021. A handful of others have yet to announce their election dates, and some may need to hold additional runoffs mandated by their constitutions. All will take place under the cloud of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its economic aftermath. Here's a look at the presidential or legislative elections that are currently scheduled around the world over the next twelve months.

Nepal falls into political turmoil. China and India are watching

December 21, 2020 8:03 AM

Nepal is now set to hold elections starting in late April, more than a year earlier than the expected vote in November 2022.

Thailand holds provincial elections in fresh test of democracy

December 21, 2020 5:00 AM

NONTHABURI • Thais voted nationwide yesterday in provincial elections that mark the first test of democracy since a general election last year that drew accusations of manipulation and helped spawn months of youth protests.

Jokowi's son-in-law, new Medan mayor, is no stranger to the limelight

December 14, 2020 5:00 AM

Smart, humorous and firm. These traits stand out for people who have come to know Mr Bobby Nasution.

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