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Courtesy of Midjourney

Here’s why I can’t watch soccer like a normal person

Politics and history have a way of intruding on – even ruining – everything for me, and these days, it’s soccer’s turn.

Right now, most of the Western Hemisphere is engrossed in two major soccer tournaments. In Europe, it’s the Euros, where the Old Countries are battling it out. In the Americas, it’s the Copa América, where the New Ones are.

All told, the countries participating in the two tournaments are home to more than a billion people. So, it’s a big deal – basically two half-filled World Cups at once.

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El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during the inauguration

REUTERS/Jose Cabezas/File Photo

El Salvador’s millennial strongman on track to be reelected

El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal has given President Nayib Bukele the green light to seek another term, even though the country’s constitution says consecutive presidential terms are a no-no. Polling suggests that Bukele, 42, is poised to win next year’s election handily, largely due to a war he’s waged against violent street gangs that’s gained widespread domestic approval.
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Undocumented Immigrants from West Africa, Mexico, and Venezuela camp outside the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

Catherine Nance / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters

Biden approves hundreds of thousands of work-visas for Venezuelan migrants

As President Joe Biden left the Big Apple last night, his administration announced that Venezuelans already in the country could legally live and work in the US for the next 18 months.

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Undated photo posted by Jack Teixeira\'s mother on Veterans Day Nov 11, 2021 on her Facebook page.

Photos: Facebook via EYEPRESS Images via Reuters Connect

What We're Watching: Pentagon leaker suspect arrested, Gershkovich swap chatter, Uruguay’s free trade ambitions

And the suspected leaker is ...

On Thursday afternoon, the FBI arrested a suspect in the most damaging US intel leak in a decade, identifying him as Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Teixeira was reportedly the leader of an online gaming chat group, where he had been allegedly sharing classified files for three years. If convicted of violating the US Espionage Act, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars. Teixeira will appear in a Boston court on Friday.

We know that the chat group was made up of mostly male twentysomethings that loved guns, racist online memes, and, of course, video games. We don’t know what motivated the leaks, what other classified material the leaker had, or whether any of the docs were divulged to a foreign intelligence agency.

Arresting a suspect, though, is just the beginning of damage control for the Pentagon and the Biden administration. Although the content of the leaks surprised few within the broader intel community, many might not have realized the extent to which the US spies on its allies.

Uncle Sam obviously would’ve preferred to have intercepted the message this scandal sends to America’s enemies: US intel is not 100% secure.

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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.

Reuters

Maduro’s not going anywhere. What comes next for Venezuela?

Just four years ago, most observers would have bet good money that Nicolás Maduro’s days at the top were numbered.

In 2018, Venezuela’s strongman president had declared himself the winner after a reelection battle that was broadly considered to be rigged. Maduro’s subsequent crackdown on anti-government protesters made him one of the world’s most reviled and isolated leaders.

It’s now been 10 years since Maduro, the foreign minister at the time, was handed the top job, and his power is more entrenched than ever. How has the Venezuelan despot survived and what might this mean for the country's politics and its people?

Meet Maduro. A former bus driver from Caracas, Maduro got his political training as a young man in Cuba. Upon returning to Venezuela, he became a big shot in the union movement and in leftist politics as a member of the United Socialist Party.

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Who is Colombia's new president?
Who is Colombia's New President? | GZERO World

Who is Colombia's new president?

Who is Gustavo Petro, Colombia's first leftist president? He’s a [deep breath] sixty-two-year-old-ex-leftist-guerilla-turned-mayor-turned-opposition-leader who rode a wave of voter anger to a narrow victory over a populist construction magnate last June. Got that?

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From stunted capitalism to economic growth in Colombia
Petro Proposes a New Kind of Capitalism for Colombia | GZERO World

From stunted capitalism to economic growth in Colombia

During his victory speech last June, Colombia’s new president, and the country’s first leftist leader in modern history, said that it was time to “develop capitalism.” In an exclusive interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, President Gustavo Petro explains what he meant.

“I mean to say that capitalism has not developed in Colombia. The productive capacity that it generates, which is indubitable throughout human history, has been quite rickety in my country.”

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Can a leftist president change Colombia?
Can a Leftist President Change Colombia? | GZERO World

Can a leftist president change Colombia?

Colombia now has its first leftwing president: Gustavo Petro. He’s a [deep breath] sixty-two-year-old-ex-leftist-guerilla-turned-mayor-turned-opposition-leader who rode a wave of voter anger to a narrow victory over a populist construction magnate last June. Got that?

Petro was swept to power by a slim margin in June, thanks mainly to young Colombians. He had promised them something different in a country that's been rocked by mass protests over inequality and corruption, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

Colombia's new president, who started his political career as a leftist guerrilla in the 1990s, promises change. He wants to fight climate change by ending oil exploration and to massively increase social spending by taxing the rich more.

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