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Supporters of "I Reject" option react to early results of the referendum on a new Chilean constitution in Valparaiso, Chile.

REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

Can Chile get from “No” to “Yes”?

Sometimes the worst defeats can be the best new beginnings.

It’s been more than a week since Chile’s ultra-progressive draft constitution suffered a landslide rejection. Two-thirds of Chileans voted against it. Turnout was the highest in 30 years. The “No” vote won across every region and major demographic. It wasn’t even close.

But as Chile’s lawmakers get to work this week to map out a do-over, could that stunning defeat actually be a good thing for Chile’s polarized democracy?

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Liz Truss arrives for the announcement of Britain's next Prime Minister at The Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London.

REUTERS/Hannah McKay

What We're Watching: Liz beats Rishi, Chile rejects charter change, Trump wins DOJ probe delay

Meet the UK's new PM

As expected, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss won the Conservative Party leadership race on Monday and will become the next British PM, replacing the disgraced Boris Johnson. Truss — a political chameleon who's popular with the Tory base — beat former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, a moderate technocrat, by a comfortable margin of 57% of party member votes. She now faces tough challenges at home and abroad. First, a looming recession compounded by a cost-of-living crisis and an energy crunch. Truss, who fancies herself as a modern Margaret Thatcher, plans to announce big tax cuts and perhaps a temporary freeze on energy bills for the most vulnerable Brits — which her economic guru has warned would be fiscally irresponsible. Second, a likely collision course with the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol. Brace for rocky times ahead as Truss tries to convince Brussels to renegotiate the post-Brexit trade deal, which scrapped a hard border between Northern Ireland, part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state. (No surprise then that Brussels is hardly looking forward to her moving into No. 10 Downing St.) On Tuesday, Truss will travel to Scotland to meet with Queen Elizabeth II, who as per tradition will ask her to form a government at the monarch's Balmoral summer residence.

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Chileans rally against the proposed new constitution in Santiago.

REUTERS/Iván Alvarado

Ahead of referendum, Chileans lukewarm on new constitution

On Sunday, Chileans go to the polls again to have their say on a proposed new constitution for the country.

Following earlier votes on whether a new charter was necessary and then who'd get to draft it, Chileans will decide whether to approve or reject a new constitution that enshrines some fundamental new rights and expands the role of the state in looking out for poor citizens and other marginalized groups.

How will the charter change Chile if it passes, and what happens if it doesn't? We get some clarity from Eurasia Group experts Yael Sternberg and Luciano Sigalov.

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Luisa Vieira

Is Latin America’s new “pink tide” for real?

Since it’s August we obviously can’t ask much of you, but try this for fun: take out a red marker and a black and white map of Latin America.

Now, color in all the countries currently led by leftist leaders. You’ll immediately be filling in five of the largest economies — Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Perú. By October, you’ll likely have added Brazil, the biggest of them all.

Along with stalwart leftists in Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and the new presidenta of Honduras, your map will have a big splash of rojo/vermelho bigger than any we’ve seen in at least 15 years. That’s when observers first hailed — or feared — a new “pink tide” in Latin America.

But is the region really back in the red, so to speak? Or is this pink tide different from previous ones? Spoiler: they are not the same. Let’s look at what’s going on.

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Taiwan and US flags are placed for a meeting in Taipei.

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

What We’re Watching: Trading with Taiwan, Türkiye talk, battered Boric

Washington & Taipei launch new trade deal

The US and Taiwan just unveiled a new trade initiative to expand cooperation across a number of sectors, including agriculture, tech, and labor regulation, among others. Taipei sees the pact as a precursor to an eventual free trade deal. For Washington, this is the latest initiative to come from its strong Asia focus in recent weeks. Just days ago, President Joe Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Regional Framework, a trade deal with 13 states – including regional heavyweights India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and some Pacific islands – in a bid to counter China’s regional clout. (Taiwan was not invited to that deal to avoid really irking Beijing.) The US wants to address technology trade with Taiwan, specifically semiconductor production. The self-governing island produces more than 90% of the world’s semiconductors, which power the device you’re reading this on and have been in short supply thanks to the pandemic’s distribution and production disruptions. Washington would love to help prop up Taiwan’s semiconductor industry to block China from getting a bigger piece of the global tech pie. Beijing, obviously not thrilled, called on Washington to “stop elevating relations with Taiwan,” which it sees as part of the mainland.

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Why This COVID Surge Is Different Than 2020 | Behind Putin's Threats | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Why this COVID surge is different than 2020; behind Putin's threats

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on Omicron, Putin's antics, and Chile's millennial president.

With Omicron cases increasing, is December 2021 really any different than December 2020?

Of course, it's different. You know why it's different? Because so many more people are vaccinated and so many people have already gotten COVID, which means the likelihood that they're going to be severely hospitalized or die goes way, way down. So we should be worrying less individually about COVID even though the policy impact the shutdown impact for at least a few weeks is going to be very significant. And of course, if you haven't gotten your boosters, get those boosters. Of course if you're not vaccinated, I don't know what a booster's going to do for you. Why am I even telling you that?

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What We're Watching: Gabriel Boric, new president of Chile

Boric wins in Chile. In the end, it wasn’t even close. Faced with two diametrically opposed choices for president in Sunday’s presidential runoff, more than 55 percent of Chilean voters went with leftwinger Gabriel Boric instead of his far-right opponent José Antonio Kast. The ten-point gap was so wide that Kast conceded before the count was even done. Boric, 35, now becomes the youngest president of any major nation in the world. Elected just two years after mass protests over inequality shook what was one of Latin America’s most reliably boring and prosperous countries, Boric has promised to raise taxes in order to boost social spending, nationalize the pension system, and expand rights indigenous Chileans. But with the country’s legislature evenly split between parties of the left and the center-right, the new president will likely have to compromise on his sweeping pledge to make Chile the land where neoliberalism “goes to its grave.”

Chile's President-elect Gabriel Boric celebrates with supporters after winning the presidential election in Santiago, Chile, December 19, 2021.

REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

What We’re Watching: Chile’s new prez, Manchin sinks Biden’s agenda, Russian NATO wishlist, Australia vs China, Afghan trust fund

Boric wins in Chile. In the end, it wasn’t even close. Faced with two diametrically opposed choices for president in Sunday’s presidential runoff, more than 55 percent of Chilean voters went with leftwinger Gabriel Boric instead of his far-right opponent José Antonio Kast. The ten-point gap was so wide that Kast conceded before the count was even done. Boric, 35, now becomes the youngest president of any major nation in the world. Elected just two years after mass protests over inequality shook what was one of Latin America’s most reliably boring and prosperous countries, Boric has promised to raise taxes in order to boost social spending, nationalize the pension system, and expand the rights of indigenous Chileans. But with the country’s legislature evenly split between parties of the left and the center-right, the new president will likely have to compromise on his sweeping pledge to make Chile the land where neoliberalism “goes to its grave.”

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