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Ukraine’s Kherson Victory Is a Turning Point in the War | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Ukraine’s Kherson victory is a turning point in the war

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics.

What's the importance of Putin losing the city of Kherson?

Major, I would say. I mean he lost, first, the battle for Kyiv immediately after launching his invasion. Then he lost the battle for Kharkiv, the second largest Ukrainian city. And now he lost the absolutely key city of Kherson, where he had said even that it's an exit to Russia. He is totally absent from the issue in the Russian media, blaming it all on the military, but it's a turning point in the war. Very big. More to come.

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Hard Numbers: Taiwanese pushback, Kosovo license plates, Indian aircraft carrier, Japan’s war on floppy disks

1: Taiwan shot down Thursday for the first time a suspected Chinese drone flying over one of its outlying islets near the mainland. It's the latest sign that Taipei is now pushing back more forcefully against China's military muscle-flexing around the self-governing island.

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US Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) during a Jan. 6 committee hearing.

USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

What We're Watching: The outgoing Liz Cheney, trouble in Kosovo, France out of Mali

Liz Cheney’s next move

Liz Cheney, a three-term Republican US congresswoman from Wyoming, suffered a stinging defeat Tuesday night at the hands of well-funded primary opponent Harriet Hageman, enthusiastically backed by former president Donald Trump. Sarah Palin — the former vice presidential candidate and governor, also supported by Trump — won the Alaska primary to run for Congress. Cheney’s defeat marks a remarkable political fall for a nationally known conservative politician who is the daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, the previous generation of Republicans’ best-known Washington powerbroker. Her political future and her potential impact on American politics will be defined by her central role on the congressional committee investigating the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and Trump’s role in it. Trump, according to Cheney, is “guilty of the most serious dereliction of duty of any president in our nation’s history.” Cheney raised some $13 million for her now-failed House campaign. She can still spend that money on a future race. Next up: speculation that Cheney will run for president in 2024 in a campaign defined by opposition to Trump, who is still the Republican presidential frontrunner.

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Osama bin Laden sits with his successor Ayman al-Zawahri.

REUTERS/Hamid Mir

What We’re Watching: US kills Al-Qaida leader, Pelosi's Taiwan pit stop, Yemen holds its breath, tensions rise between Kosovo and Serbs

US kills al-Qaida leader

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Monday night to make an announcement 21 years in the making: the US killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in a drone strike in Kabul over the weekend. Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man and key architect in the 9/11 terror attacks was killed in the first US attack in Afghanistan since the American withdrawal last August. The operation – a major counterterrorism coup for Biden – reportedly saw al-Zawahri killed at the home of a staffer to senior Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani. A CIA ground team, with the help of aerial reconnaissance, has confirmed the death. “My hope is that this decisive action will bring one more measure of closure,” Biden told loved ones of 9/11 victims. He also warned that the US “will always remain vigilant … to ensure the safety and security of Americans at home and around the globe.” With al-Qaida franchises having cropped up globally over the past decade, the death of Zawahri – who was wary of the brand’s localization and its effect on his authority – will present a challenge for control of the militant group.

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Who Still Welcomes American Tourists? | International Travel in the Era of Coronavirus | GZERO World

Who still welcomes American tourists? International travel in the era of coronavirus

Ian Bremmer offers a quick a survey of nations currently welcoming American tourists, in case your cabin fever has you longing to fly away. Think Caribbean, the Balkans, or even the U.K.—but as they say in the fine print of any offer, "Some restrictions may apply."

What We're Watching: A big blast hits Iran, Serbia and Kosovo sit down again, Dominican Republic has a new president

Iran's main nuclear site gets hit: An explosion at the Natanz nuclear site, Iran's main nuclear facility, will likely set back Tehran's nuclear program by months, the Islamic Republic confirmed Sunday. A powerful bomb evidently destroyed infrastructure that Iran has used in recent years to build more advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium — fuel that can be used to make an atomic bomb. The attack has been widely attributed to Israel, though the Israeli government rarely acknowledges actions carried out by its intelligence agencies. Since President Trump walked away from the Iranian nuclear deal in 2018, isolating the US from its European allies, Iran has flouted its own commitments by ramping up its production of enriched uranium and blocking international inspectors from key nuclear facilities. Now, analysts warn that this latest episode could push Iran to move more of its enrichment programs in harder-to-find places underground.

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Kosovo President Indicted for War Crimes; Americans Barred from EU? | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Kosovo president indicted for war crimes​; Americans barred from EU?

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

What will happen to the president of Kosovo?

Well, if the indictments that have now been published are confirmed, then he actually faces arrest. And we'll have to go to The Hague and then face a lengthy, complicated trial where our protection of witnesses is going to be quite a problem. It's going to take years. And no question, this will bring significant turmoil to the politics of Kosovo.

Will Americans be prevented from entering the European Union?

That's now being discussed by the by the ministers over videoconference with Brussels. But on the criteria that are there at the moment, it looks not unlikely that will be the case. But the debate is still ongoing.

What We're Watching: Trump's high seas feud with Iran and Venezuela, Kosovo leader's war crimes rap, Singapore's family feud election

US sanctions Iran over Venezuela oil shipments: In a bid to scuttle growing cooperation between two of Washington's biggest bogeymen, the White House yesterday slapped sanctions on five Iranian tanker captains who had delivered oil to Venezuela. Both Venezuela and Iran are currently under crippling US sanctions, but Tehran has been sending food and fuel aid to its comrades in Caracas, as Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro clings to power despite leading his country into economic ruin. If you're puzzled as to why Venezuela, with the world's largest known oil reserves, needs to import oil (and gas), it's because its own output has fallen due to low prices, US sanctions, and the incompetence of the Maduro cronies who run the state oil company. In a further snub to Caracas, a US warship yesterday took a swing through waters claimed by the Venezuelan government — earlier this year the Trump administration had threatened to deploy more Navy vessels to the region as part of a crackdown on drug trafficking, believed to be a major source of income for the Venezuelan ruling clique.

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