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Egypt's Foreign Minister Samih Zhukri (l) speaks during the closing ceremony at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Christophe Gateau/DPA via Reuters

What We’re Watching: Climate comp fund, Malaysian coalition building

COP27 delivers on reparations but fails on fossil fuels

Two days behind schedule, the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, finally wrapped up with a historic agreement on Sunday. Wealthy countries will pay poor nations for the economic damage caused by climate change. The so-called "loss and damage fund" will compensate the developing world for impacts like droughts and flooding, which rich nations led by the US had resisted for 30 years. But so far it's only a political statement of intentions with no financial commitment, so it'll be up to future COPs to work out the details. What's more, climate activists' joy over the much-awaited reparations deal was overshadowed by a lack of progress in cutting fossil fuels. Efforts to include stronger language on phasing out oil and natural gas on top of coal were rebuffed by top fossil fuel producers as well as by major guzzlers in the developing world who won't jeopardize their economic growth to embrace renewables. In other words, a victory for climate justice but a painful defeat for clean energy at a COP where expectations were low.

Get more COP27 insights from Eurasia Group analyst Franck Gbaguidi on our Instagram and YouTube channels.

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US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wields the gavel as she presides over the first impeachment of President Donald Trump.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

What We’re Watching: Pelosi’s farewell, #RIPTwitter, Malaysian vote, Iranian rage, UK austerity

Pelosi takes a final bow

Nancy Pelosi is standing down as leader of the Democratic Party in the US House, but she’ll remain in Congress as a representative of San Francisco. She was both the first woman to serve in the ultra-powerful role of House Speaker and a hate figure for many on the right. Pelosi’s personal toughness, Herculean fundraising prowess, and ability to hold together the typically fractious Democratic Party in the House will remain her legacy for Democrats. For Republicans, seeing her pass the gavel to one of their own in January will mark a moment of triumph in an otherwise disappointing midterm performance. In announcing her plans, Pelosi noted that “the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.” At a moment when both parties are led by politicians of advancing age, that’s a big step – and a trend we’ll be watching closely as a new Congress takes shape and the next race for the White House begins. Eurasia Group US Managing Director Jon Lieber says his bet is on 52-year-old Hakeem Jeffries taking the Democratic reins. If Jeffries gets the job, he'll make history as the first Black politician to lead a party in Congress.

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Malaysians wave flags during the 65th National Day celebrations parade in Kuala Lumpur.

EYEPRESS via Reuters Connect

Will elections bring more political stability to Malaysia?

Malaysia will hold early elections on Nov. 19­­, the government announced Thursday. Polls were not due until September 2023, but Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had come under intense pressure to bring them forward from senior figures in the ruling United Malays National Organization party and its Barisan Nasional partners. Several of these face criminal prosecutions they hope a new government would quash, while others argued elections should be held earlier to deprive the opposition of time to regroup.

Malaysia has gone through significant political instability — and three prime ministers – since the shock 2018 election defeat of UMNO, which had ruled the country since independence. Amid much greater parliamentary fragmentation and shifting political alliances, the country was led by two other coalitions – Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional – until BN returned to power in 2021 with Ismail’s premiership. BN and PN have governed Malaysia together since 2020, but PN was previously the senior partner whereas BN now is.

Will the upcoming polls result in greater political stability? Will they make much difference in the policy outlook? Eurasia Group analysts Peter Mumford and Fadli Yusoff explain.

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Ari Winkleman

No feed no chicken

First, it was Indonesia with palm oil, then India with wheat. This week, Malaysia joined a growing list of countries nationalizing food supplies by suspending exports of live chickens to cool down soaring local prices that have skyrocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine.

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Malaysia ups palm oil exports, al-Shabab strikes in Somalia, split verdict on marital rape in India, journalist killed in West Bank

Hard Numbers: Malaysia ups palm oil exports, al-Shabab strikes in Somalia, split verdict on marital rape in India, journalist killed in West Bank

162: Indian women’s rights groups are reeling after a New Delhi court failed to deliver a verdict in a case that could have overturned a 162-year-old law permitting marital rape. The Indian Penal Code says sex "by a man with his own wife" does not constitute rape. The case will likely be appealed before the Supreme Court.

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Brendan Smialowski/REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Blinken leads migration summit, Rohingya tragedy in Malaysia, East Timor votes, South African leftists join Eswatini protests

20: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is meeting with representatives from 20 countries in Panama this week to try and form an agreement on mass migration in Latin America. Immigration is proving a headache for Biden ahead of midterm elections: Last month, US border officials apprehended more than 200,000 people at the Mexican border, the biggest monthly influx in over two decades.
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Annie Gugliotta

What We're Watching: Blinken goes to Southeast Asia

Blinken tours Southeast Asia. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken kicks off on Monday his first Southeast Asian trip as America's top diplomat with stops in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Following similar tours by VP Kamala Harris and Defense chief Lloyd Austin, Blinken wants to bolster US defense cooperation with ASEAN, an economic bloc made up of Southeast Asian countries, to build a bulwark against China in the South China Sea. He will also pitch Joe Biden's vision for US-led Indo-Pacific trade as an alternative to doing more trade with China, and talk up Southeast Asia as an alternative business destination for US companies looking to abandon China. But what ASEAN really wants is tariff-free access to the US market, a non-starter for Biden because he says big trade deals with low-wage countries will hurt low-skilled American workers. Meanwhile, Southeast Asian countries are in a bind of their own: doing more business with the US as an alternative to China will create jobs, but the Chinese won't be happy about it — and nowadays they carry a lot more economic sway in the region than America does.

What We're Watching: Another bad day for Boris, NATO-Russia talks on the cards, Malaysian corruption scandal

Boris’ horrible, no good, very bad day. Boris Johnson is no stranger to controversy. In fact, sometimes he appears to relish it. But not this time. As British authorities weigh whether to impose unpopular restrictions amid a surge in omicron cases, a video has surfaced of top Downing Street aides tastelessly joking about flouting lockdown rules last Christmas by gathering for a holiday party. At the time, Britons were forbidden to gather with friends and family during the holiday season, let alone say goodbye to dying relatives. What’s more, Downing Street has been accused of trying to cover up the shindig – a “wine and cheese” night, according to the video – until this damning footage materialized. Johnson says he is “sickened and furious” about it, and a top aide has since resigned. (Johnson himself has not been accused of attending the party.) Meanwhile, London police say they are looking into the case. The timing is pretty awful for Johnson, who is already facing party backlash over a series of blunders in recent months, as well as his perceived failure to address Brexit-related shortages of gasoline and goods. Currently, 55 percent of Britons disapprove of his leadership.

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