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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reacts during a press conference at St Andrews House in Edinburgh.

ANDY BUCHANAN/Pool via REUTERS

Sturgeon's arrest roils Scottish politics

On Sunday, Scotland's former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was briefly detained over a police investigation into some 600,000 pounds ($750,000) worth of missing funds at the Scottish National Party. She was released without being charged after seven hours of questioning.

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Supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga throw stones at riot cops in Nairobi.

REUTERS/John Muchucha

What We’re Watching: Kenyan protest politics, twice the Ma in China, SNP names new leader

Anti-government protests escalate in Kenya

On Monday, hundreds of protesters stormed a controversial farm owned by Kenya’s former President Uhuru Kenyatta. The rioters stole livestock, cut down trees, and then set the land on fire.

The motive likely has something to do with the ongoing protests against the government of President William Ruto captained by opposition leader Raila Odinga, who narrowly lost the 2022 election to Ruto, Kenyatta’s ex-VP. (The members of this political threesome have all worked with each other in the past in Kenya, where elite business and politics are about as tight as can be.)

This behavior is nothing new for Odinga. While the protests are outwardly about the rising cost of living, Eurasia Group analyst Connor Vasey says that the opposition is just “taking his politics to the streets,” using inflation and other grievances as a “lightning rod to ensure turnout”. And while he is officially trying to overturn Ruto’s victory, Vasey believes that what Odinga really wants is an unofficial executive role in government.

From here, we can expect a test of political willpower. Odinga is threatening more rallies, while Ruto says he’ll continue to deploy the security forces against the protesters. The president hopes that if his rival doesn’t get his political concessions soon, popular support for his mobilization will subside.

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FILE photo of Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

SNP handout photo via EYEPRESS via Reuters Connect

Sturgeon’s bombshell upends UK politics

In last Friday’s edition, we documented the trials and tribulations now facing Britain’s Conservative Party. This week brought news that further disrupts UK politics.

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Will UK survive Brexit "hangover"?
Tony Blair On Dealing With The Brexit "Hangover" | GZERO World

Will UK survive Brexit "hangover"?

More than six years after the UK voted to leave the EU, you'd think the process would be over by now. Think again.

Unfortunately, the Northern Ireland protocol — no hard border with the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state — remains a Brexit "hangover" that's causing a lot of frustration across the English Channel, former British PM Tony Blair tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

What's getting in the way of a constructive relationship between Brussels and London? For Blair, the very anti-European politics of part of the UK right.

Blair, who wanted to remain in the EU, doesn't think Brexit will end up fragmenting the country. But he admits Brexit has given fresh impetus to both Scottish nationalists and those who want a united Republic of Ireland.

The video above is an excerpt from the weekly show, GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, which airs weekly on US public television. Watch the episode on "upheaval in UK" here.

UK's Liz Truss & Charles III face tough challenges ahead
The UK's Two New Leaders Face Tough Challenges Ahead | GZERO World

UK's Liz Truss & Charles III face tough challenges ahead

In early September, in just 48 hours the UK got a new prime minister (Liz Truss) and a new king (Charles III, after the death of Queen Elizabeth II).

Both take over at a turbulent time in British politics, but Truss in particular faces a list of domestic obstacles with no easy fix. Her top priorities are the economy and the energy crisis aggravated by Russia's war in Ukraine, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

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Upheaval in UK: the sobering challenges facing new PM Truss & new King Charles III
Tony Blair on the UK's troubled present and uncertain future | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Upheaval in UK: the sobering challenges facing new PM Truss & new King Charles III

In early September, in just 48 hours the UK got a new prime minister (Liz Truss) and a new king (Charles III, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II).

Both take over at a turbulent time in British politics, with no shortage of current and future challenges. To name just a few: a stagnant economy, sky-high energy prices, more Brexit fallout with the EU, and Scots demanding a fresh independence vote.

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks to former British PM Tony Blair (1997-2007), who believes there will be a lot of uncertainty over the next year or two if Truss insists on big tax cuts and big borrowing.

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Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, launches her manifesto during the Scottish Parliamentary election in Glasgow, Scotland.

Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS

Scotland's rocky road ahead

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, says another independence referendum for Scotland is now a matter of "when not if," and that after leaving the UK, Scotland will launch a bid to rejoin the EU. But there are formidable obstacles ahead.

Getting to a vote will force a complex game of chicken with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. If a majority of Scots then vote for independence — hardly a sure thing – the process of extricating their new country from the UK will make Brexit look easy. Next, come the challenges of EU accession. In other words, Scotland's journey down the rocky road ahead has only just begun.

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What We're Watching: Israel-Hamas escalation, Scotland's independence drive, Colombian strike continues

Israel strikes Gaza after Hamas rockets: Things escalated very quickly on Monday in Jerusalem. For weeks, violent clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians over tensions surrounding access to the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as an anticipated verdict in the eviction of several Palestinian families from East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, spread throughout the city. While Israeli police used heavy force to crack down on Palestinians throwing rocks and launching fireworks, the Hamas militant group in the Gaza Strip used the clashes as a pretext to launch a barrage of rockets into Israel. Hamas usually restricts its reach to southern Israel, but this time it launched dozens of rockets into Jerusalem, causing a mass evacuation of the Knesset, Israel's parliament. Israel responded swiftly Monday by bombing the Gaza Strip, resulting in at least 24 Palestinian deaths, including nine children. Since then, Hamas has fired at least 250 rockets into Israel, including several that landed on houses in southern Israel, while Israeli forces have struck 140 targets in the Gaza Strip. For now, both sides appear to be preparing for a massive escalation, raising fears of an outright war.

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