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Japan’s Shinzo Abe assassinated

Japan’s Shinzo Abe assassinated

Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe died on Friday after being shot while giving a speech at a campaign event in the city of Nara. He was 67.

“This heinous act of brutality is utterly unforgivable,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said of the killing.

Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister before stepping down in 2020 due to health issues. During his time in office, he conceived of and implemented “Abenomics,” a set of policies to revive Japan’s languishing economy amid a rapidly aging society made up of three “arrows” or pillars: monetary easing, fiscal stimulus, and structural reforms.

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US President Joe Biden exits off of Air Force.

Ken Cedeno via Reuters

What We’re Watching: Dems take aim at Biden, them’s the breaks, BoJo; Japan takes to the polls

Are Dems done with Biden?

The US president’s party usually takes a thrashing in midterm elections, whether Republican or Democrat. But as November’s midterms approach, Democrats look set to take a greater-than-usual hit. (Republicans, for their part, only need to gain five seats to gain control of the House of Representatives and one seat to flip the Senate.) Crucially, it’s not only disaffected independents and middle-of-the-road suburban voters feeling the burn of inflation and losing patience with President Biden. Congressional Dems and party officials are increasingly expressing dissatisfaction with the commander-in-chief’s lackluster governing style and legislative losses – as well as his failure to use the power of the presidency to better appeal to voters. Indeed, many Dems are saying (mostly off-the-record) that they think fresh blood is needed to guide the party to the 2024 election. But who? VP Kamala Harris is wildly unpopular and has had a series of mishaps over the past 18 months. If Donald Trump decides to run again, or if another contender uses his playbook in 2024, are any Democrats capable of winning? The left appears to be backed into a corner, and many analysts anticipate a bloodbath come November.

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