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Why No One Approved of Olaf Scholz’ Trip to China | GZERO World

Why no one approved of Olaf Scholz’s trip to China

Why did German leader Olaf Scholz decide to make a solo trip to Beijing earlier this month? It's a question that many Germans, even within his own administration, are asking. GZERO's Alex Kliment takes a closer look.

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US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) arrives for leadership elections at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
REUTERS/Leah Millis

What We’re Watching: Republican House, Israeli robo-guns, Poland’s back

GOP wins slim House majority

More than a week after the US midterm elections, the Republican Party finally clinched its 218th seat in the House on Wednesday, giving the GOP a razor-slim majority in the chamber. But with several races still not called, the exact margin remains unclear — the tighter it is, the harder it'll be for Kevin McCarthy, who’s expected to replace Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, to keep his caucus together. A Republican-held House effectively kills the Democrats’ legislative agenda, although retaining control of the Senate will keep extremist proposals away from President Joe Biden's desk and allow him to appoint federal judges. For the GOP, it's an opportunity to launch investigations on stuff like the origins of COVID, the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the Republicans' favorite target: Biden's own son, Hunter. It might even lead to impeaching the president. On foreign policy, expect the GOP to penny-pinch US aid to Ukraine and make Congress get even tougher on China — perhaps not the best idea after Biden and Xi Jinping decided to cool things down at the G-20 in Bali.

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Who Blew Up the Nord Stream Pipelines? | GZERO World

Who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines?

The controversial Nordstream pipeline that connects Russia to Germany made headlines last September when segments of it mysteriously exploded, deep under water.

Who was responsible?

"My guess is the Russians," says German diplomat Christoph Heusgen tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

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German Chancellor Scholz's Controversial China Trip | GZERO World

German Chancellor Scholz's controversial China trip

It was the right move, but was it the right time? That’s how German diplomat Christoph Heusgen describes Chancellor Olaf Scholz's decision to visit Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing today, along with a delegation of German business leaders. Heusgen spoke to Ian Bremmer in an upcoming episode of GZERO World.

Heusgen and Bremmer discuss the many questions swirling around this visit, including that, at a moment when European nations are already trying to wean themselves off of an energy dependency with Russia, is it really the right time to strengthen business ties with China?

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A supporter of Pakistan's former PM Imran Khan in Karachi gestures following the shooting incident on his long march in Wazirabad.

REUTERS/Imran Ali

What We're Watching: Pakistan’s former PM shot, Olaf goes to Beijing

Imran Khan survives assassination attempt

Pakistan’s former PM Imran Khan — aka “Kaptaan” for his cricket accolades and lead-from-the-front style of populist politics — survived an assassination attempt on Thursday during his “Long March” to Islamabad. Khan was shot in the leg as his truck-driven stage rolled through the central Pakistani city of Wazirabad, and he was rushed to a hospital in Lahore, where he was eventually declared stable. Eight other members of his entourage were also injured, and one party worker was killed. At least one alleged gunman was challenged and apprehended by a brave bystander. “He was misleading people and I couldn’t take it,” the suspect said in a leaked confession to police. “I tried to kill only him.” Meanwhile, Khan’s party accused PM Shehbaz Sharif's government of plotting the attack and threatened protests nationwide if they weren’t removed from power. As if on cue, widespread protests kicked off against military and government officials. Khan, who was removed from office last April, has been demanding snap elections, but so far he’s been ignored. Despite his party sweeping by-elections, mass rallies, and his summoning of unprecedented support against the military, the political establishment hasn’t blinked. Will this attack force their hand?

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A natural gas pipe in front of EU and Russian flags.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

What We're Watching: Russia-EU pipeline repairs, AMLO in the (White) House, Sri Lanka's new leader

Will Russia turn the taps back on?

“Trust us,” Russia is saying, “we’re just doing routine maintenance.” Moscow has just shut off its Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a major source of natural gas for Germany, for 10 days of summer repairs. Annual checkups to these pipelines are normal, but this is no normal year. Berlin worries the Kremlin might leave the pipes closed as a way to retaliate against the EU for the bloc’s Ukraine-related sanctions. Nord Stream 1 carries about 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Germany, equaling about half of the country’s yearly consumption. If Moscow keeps the line shut, Europe would struggle to store up enough gas supplies ahead of next winter. Natural gas prices in Europe are already soaring, and although the EU is moving to wean itself off of Russian energy, any further shortfalls would further stoke already-high inflation, with unpredictable political consequences across the continent. Putin, of course, knows this. Keep an eye on that “closed for repairs” sign hanging on Nord Stream 1.

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Luisa Vieira

War in Ukraine and the race against time

The conventional wisdom is that Russia’s war in Ukraine has settled into a slow grind as Russian forces gain territory acre-by-acre across the Donbas region. But behind the war’s slow-rolling violence, three frantic races are well underway.

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Paige Fusco

Europe plans for Putin & Trump 2.0

Signal spoke with Eurasia Group Vice Chairman Gerry Butts about Europe’s future given the uncertainty created by both Russian aggression and America’s volatile politics. This interview was edited for length and clarity.

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