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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Itay Ben On/GPO/dpa

What We’re Watching: Blinken’s Middle East chats, Erdogan’s bid to split Nordics, Peru’s early election, China offers baby incentives

Blinken meets with Middle East leaders

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken picked a volatile time to visit the region. After first stopping in Egypt to meet with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the US’ top diplomat touched down in Israel on Monday, where he took part in a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. But Blinken’s visit comes amid a violent flareup in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last week, Israel carried out an operation in Jenin in the West Bank, targeting members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in an operation that killed nine people, including civilians. Meanwhile, on Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire on Jews praying at a synagogue in East Jerusalem, killing seven. Then on Saturday, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy shot a father and son in Jerusalem’s Old City. What’s more, Israel is currently in the throes of a constitutional crisis as Netanyahu’s right-wing government seeks to dilute the power of the independent judiciary. But analysts say that the top agenda item is undoubtedly Iran. Over the weekend, Israel reportedly struck a compound in the Iranian city of Isfahan used to manufacture long-range missiles. (For more on the Isfahan attack and why Iran is feeling increasing pressure at home and abroad, watch Ian Bremmer’s Quick Take here.) It’s unclear whether the US was informed in advance about the strike, but Israeli leadership has in the past clashed with Washington over Jerusalem’s go-at-it-alone approach to dealing with Iran. As things become increasingly volatile in the Iran-Israel shadow war, Blinken presumably wants to make sure that the US is kept in the loop. On Tuesday, Blinken will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel's opposition leader Yair Lapid.

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TITLE PLACEHOLDER | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Slim GOP majority traps McCarthy in US House speaker standoff

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Why is the GOP, the Republican Party, having difficulty electing a House leader?

Well, it's because they have like a razor, razor thin margin and that means that Kevin McCarthy cannot afford to lose votes even though he has 90% of the GOP ready to vote for him. That's not enough to get it done, and the Democrats are more than happy to watch the Republicans flail around for days or weeks to lose votes while they are in the majority. So as a consequence, we're going to keep having votes. Last time you had more than one vote for a house speaker was in 1923. So congratulations to the GOP on making history.

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Finland & Sweden Joining NATO Will Strengthen NATO As Western Alliance | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Finland and Sweden NATO bid faces problems with Turkey’s Erdogan

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Nuuk, Greenland.

Will Sweden and Finland join NATO?

Well, they have decided, Finland is in the process of a parliamentary process. Sweden took the government decision today to apply for membership of NATO. That means that they will hand in their applications within a day or two, that’s dependent upon some technical details. And then it is up to the NATO members to decide whether they will be accepted or not. It’s welcomed by most countries. The Russian reaction, so far, has been perhaps somewhat more subdued than you could expect; they have other issues to deal with at the moment. There are some problems with Mr. Erdogan in Turkey who wants to extract some concessions on completely unrelated issues. But I would hope, and I would guess, that this would be sorted out. And this will no doubt strengthen NATO as a Western alliance, a cohesive alliance, determined to do its contribution to the stability of Europe with the support also of the administration in Washington.

Historic EU COVID Recovery Fund Deal; Turkey & Greece Aegean Dispute | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Historic EU COVID recovery fund deal; Turkey and Greece Aegean dispute

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on this week's World In (More Than) 60 Seconds:

How will the EU coronavirus recovery fund work and are there winners and losers?

How it's going to work? Hundreds of billions of euros being distributed between, its collective redistribution from wealthy countries to poor countries. And that money has been now unanimous agreement between all 27 members of the European Union. Not 28, the Brits are no longer a part of the table. And it's historic. It's by far the biggest political success that we've seen anywhere around the world in providing real multilateral leadership to help make it easier for those countries that are suffering the most. In the case of Europe, that means the poorer countries that don't have the ability to bail out their devastated economies. Again, you are seeing double digit contractions across Europe economically this year. Now you're seeing hundreds of billions of euros, half of that will be grants, don't need to pay back, half will be loans. That was a big part of the of the debate, of the controversy.

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Erdogan's AK Party Loses Support: World in 60 Seconds

Erdogan's AK Party Loses Support: World in 60 Seconds

Turkish President Erdogan orders a recount after losing support in major cities.

It's your World in 60 Seconds with Ian Bremmer!


And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft Today in Technology.

GZERO World S1E33: The Autocrat’s Playbook

The Autocrat's Playbook

How does a democracy die? In stops and starts – says our guest this week – and usually, from within. Steve Levitsky is a professor of politics at Harvard and the co-author of the recent bestseller How Democracies Die. Drawing from history and present day (think: Venezuela), Levitsky makes a compelling case for precisely how an autocrat could bring down the pillars of democracy. And Ian presses him on perhaps the most worrying implication of all: is the United States next?

+World Cup + Turkey Elections + Migrants in the Mediterranean.

Let’s get to it.

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