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What We’re Watching: Kyrgyz political unrest, Indonesian protests, Venice flooding contained

Post-election unrest rocks Kyrgyzstan: After mass protests over alleged irregularities in Sunday's parliamentary elections, authorities in Kyrgyzstan — a small former Soviet republic in Central Asia — have nullified the results, opening the way to a fresh vote. Only four of 16 parties won seats, and (by sheer coincidence!) three of those parties have close ties to President Sooronbai Jeenbekov. The result prompted supporters of the other twelve parties to hit the streets, where they clashed with riot police and later ransacked parliament. Opposition leaders — with backing from international observers — say there is evidence of vote-buying. Some are now openly seeking to unseat Jeenbekov, who was elected in 2017 in the first democratic transfer of power in Kyrgyzstan's history. The country is no stranger to political unrest — over the past 15 years, protests have ousted two presidents. We are watching to see if Jeenbekov can reach a deal to placate the opposition and hold fresh elections, and also keeping an eye on how the Kremlin responds — if there's one thing Putin doesn't like, it's (more) democratic uprisings in his neighborhood.

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What We're Watching: Trump and the Uighurs, Maduro tightens his grip, George Floyd's impact in Indonesia

Does Trump support the Uighurs or not? President Trump signed a law Wednesday that would allow the United States to sanction Chinese officials involved in the detainment of that country's Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang province, a scheme long deemed to be a gross human rights violation by the United Nations. More than one million Uighurs are believed to have been locked up since 2017 as part of what Beijing describes as a benign "deradicalization campaign," but is widely believed to be a network of internment camps where minorities are held indefinitely without trial. President Trump said the measure is proof that his administration is "tough on China", and Chinese leaders have vowed retaliation. But the signing came on the same day as fresh allegations from former national security adviser John Bolton that Trump had at one point given the green light to Chinese President Xi Jinping to build the Uighur camps and asked for help with his own re-election campaign. The Trump administration says Bolton's claims, which are difficult to prove, are the lies of a "sick puppy."

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Coronavirus Politics Daily: Epicenter in Indonesia, Ethiopia to the rescue, and sex in a pandemic

Indonesia becomes an epicenter: Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country, is now considered an epicenter of the pandemic, after it suffered its biggest daily surge in cases Thursday with over 900 new infections. The country of 260 million has the largest outbreak in Southeast Asia, recording about 20,000 cases and 1,300 deaths, though a recent study suggested that as few as 2 percent of the country's coronavirus infections may have been reported. When pressed on why Indonesia is experiencing a surge in cases while the curve appears to be flattening in neighboring countries, Indonesian health authorities blamed the public's flouting of social distancing guidelines. But critics say the government has sent wishy-washy messages on how to stop the disease's spread, as demonstrated by the fact that only four of Indonesia's 34 provinces have applied widespread social-distancing restrictions. Meanwhile, as the country's 225 million Muslims prepare to celebrate the end of Ramadan this weekend, popular markets have been overwhelmed by shoppers buying food and clothing, with little guidance or enforcement of large-scale social distancing measures. Indonesia's public health system is grossly underfunded, and experts warn that given the shortage of hospital beds, medical equipment and staff, the situation could deteriorate fast in the coming weeks.

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France Unites Around Notre Dame Fire: World in 60 Seconds

Can President Micron unite France after the Notre Dame fire?

Yeah, I think he does actually have a shot. He's been taking it really hard for the last few months. Big demonstrations on the ground every week - the Yellow Vests. They're going to have to maintain a respectful distance given the level of disaster that they've just experienced and it gives Macron an opportunity to actually unify the country around something constructive in this case. Rebuilding this extraordinary cathedral.

What's the biggest issue at stake in Indonesia's election?

It's infrastructure, it's improving the economy. Joko - Jokowi, is the guy that's building the roads. A month ago, they finally got the first metro, underground metro, to actually start in Jakarta. Anyone who's been there, three hours to get from meeting to meeting. They desperately needed it. He's going to win again and it's gonna be helpful for the economy in the country.

Who's in charge in Sudan right now?

It is a rotating military council. They promised that the opposition can put anyone they want to be prime minister, but watch the military continue to control the country. That is, they're not giving up anytime soon.

Is the honeymoon over for Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president?

No, I wouldn't say it's over, but his popularity is starting to slip and the economy is getting a little soft. Job numbers don't look great right now. And he's having a hard time getting consensus because his party is relatively small and he doesn't want to work the traditional sausage making operations in Brazilian congress, which means that it's going to be a long term for this guy. But it also means that he's going to have to do business the way most Brazilian politicians do. He's not suddenly going to create an authoritarian Brazil = couldn't do it even if he wanted to.


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

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