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What We’re Watching: Sudanese protesters vs each other, NBA vs China, EU vs Poland

Protests in Sudan: Protests are again shaking the Sudanese capital, as supporters of rival wings of the transitional government take to the streets. Back in 2019, after popular demonstrations led to the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir, a deal was struck between civilian activists and the army, in which a joint civilian-military government would run the country until fresh elections could be held in 2023. But now supporters of the military wing are calling on it to dissolve the government entirely, while supporters of the civilian wing are counter-protesting. Making matters worse, a pro-military tribal leader in Eastern Sudan has set up a blockade which is interrupting the flow of goods and food to the capital. The US, which backs the civilian wing, has sent an envoy to Khartoum as tensions rise, while Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are all vying for a piece as well.

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The EU takes a swing at Poland and Hungary

The European Union is, for better or worse, the most ambitious experiment in human history in institutionalized multinational cooperation. Its success depends on the willingness of its members to abide by its rules.

In recent years, the populist-nationalist governments of former Communist bloc members Hungary and Poland have flouted some of those rules in order to boost their own popularity with citizens suspicious of the EU's liberal values on issues like immigration and minority rights. In response, the EU has scolded these "illiberal" governments and threatened forceful action – so far without much effect.

The fight between EU institutions and Poland and Hungary has escalated.

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Billionaire populist Czech PM Babiš is on his way out after election loss

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

What's happening in Poland? Should we worry?

Well, legal niceties aside, within the realm of the treaties, the European Union treaties, agreed, it is fundamental that the laws apply and are respected. And if the Polish constitutional court, loaded with political appointees, now decides that they don't apply in Poland, that sort of undermines the very concept of Polish membership of the European Union. So we'll see what happens. We haven't heard the last of this, but it's a fundamental battle. There's no question about that.

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The Graphic Truth: Are Europe's leaders loved?

It's been a wild 18 months in Europe. Countries like France, Italy and Spain, once the epicenters of the pandemic, now boast strong vaccination rates and have enjoyed bustling summer revivals. There's been lots of Brexit drama in the UK, while the entire continent also braces for a post-Merkel Europe. So how have Europe's leaders stacked up against the ups and downs? We take a look at the approval ratings of leaders from Europe's top five economies over the past 10 months.

Polexit isn’t in Poland’s future; Texas bans COVID vaccine mandates

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at Polexit fears, China & India energy woes, and Texas Governor Abbott's ban on COVID vaccine mandates.

Is a "Polexit" from the EU a real possibility?

You just want to say "Polexit", right? I mean, you don't get to brand that, Poland. It's like being in the G20. You don't get to be in line. You're the 21st largest economy, at least you were when they put that together. They're annoyed about that. They're not going to leave the EU, but there is a real fight over recent judicial rulings that EU laws are not aligned with Poland. Poland supersedes. There's going to be a fight. There might be some fines. Everyone's going to be animated about it. But Poland's not going anywhere. Are some demonstrations though.

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What We're Watching: North Korean bluster, EU aid for Afghanistan, Tigray offensive

What We're Ignoring

Kim Jong Un's "invincible" military: North Korea's supreme leader is desperate for American attention these days. At the same time he's showing the South a little more love, Kim is lashing out at the US, now vowing to build an "invincible" army to defend his country from American hostility. The supreme leader, who just two weeks ago tested his first hypersonic missile, is doubling down on his strategy of getting more — and more powerful — weapons to convince President Joe Biden to stop ghosting him and return to the negotiating table. But it hasn't worked so far, and unless Kim has a bigger ace up his sleeve, the talks will remain frozen — as will North Korea's hopes of getting the US to lift economic sanctions in place because of Pyongyang's nuclear program.

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Podcast: Grading Biden on foreign policy with journalist Robin Wright

Listen: Can President Biden tamp down growing global skepticism and persuade his allies that the US is really "back"? Or is America's credibility irreparably damaged no matter what Biden, or any future president, says or does? Ian Bremmer is joined on the GZERO World podcast by global affairs journalist and Middle East expert Robin Wright of The New Yorker to discuss why Biden, the most geopolitically experienced US president in decades, is already looking to hit the reset button on America's foreign policy.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

The US and EU further talks on technology governance

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Hello, and welcome to the new Cyber In 60 Seconds. My name is Marietje Schaake, and you're finding me at the Democracy Forum in Athens. So, from my hotel room, I'm looking back at the Trade and Technology Council that took place in Pittsburgh this week.

For those who missed it, this gathering brought together high-level officials from the Biden administration and the European Commission. It was a long-anticipated meeting that was supposed to reach conclusions about a shared governance agenda for tech-related issues like AI, data, semiconductors, and foreign direct investments. But the Trade and Technology Council was also expected and hoped to mark a new start after very difficult years across the Atlantic. I think we all remember the years when President Trump was still in the White House. And thankfully, the August fallout and French anger did not end up pouring cold water over the events. Although, the general sentiment in Europe that the honeymoon weeks are over is widely shared.

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