GZERO Daily is a free newsletter!

{{ subpage.title }}

Scotland's First Minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) Leader Nicola Sturgeon.


What We’re Watching: Sturgeon's resignation, NATO-Nordic divide, India vs. BBC, Tunisia’s tightening grip

Nicola Sturgeon steps down

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Wednesday that she is stepping down. She’s been in the role for over eight years, having taken power after the failed 2014 independence referendum. Speaking from Edinburgh, Sturgeon said she’d been contemplating her future for weeks and knew "in my head and in my heart" it was time to go. A longtime supporter of Scottish independence, Sturgeon was pushing for a new referendum, which was rejected by the UK’s top court late last year. In recent weeks, she and her colleagues had been debating whether the next national election in 2024 should be an effective referendum on independence. Sturgeon will stay in power until a successor is elected — likely contenders include John Swinney, Sturgeon’s deputy first minister, Angus Robertson, the culture and external affairs secretary, and Kate Forbes, the finance secretary.

Read moreShow less
Paige Fusco

Can a dictator make democracy work for Tunisia?

The birthplace of the Arab Spring and the only country to emerge from it as a democracy — albeit an imperfect one — is now well on its way to becoming something … different.

Read moreShow less

Protesters rally agains the constitutional referendum in Tunis.

Mahjoub Yassine/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

What We're Watching: Tunisian referendum, Lavrov on African tour

Tunisia holds constitutional referendum

Tunisians go to the polls Monday to vote in a referendum over the new constitution pushed by President Kais Saied. The vote is scheduled on the first anniversary of Saied sacking the government and suspending parliament in the only country that emerged a democracy from the Arab Spring. At the time, he justified the move as necessary to prevent a bigger crisis, but his opponents called it a coup; since then, Saied has consolidated power by taking it away from any institution or group that challenged him, including judges and trade unions. The president's growing dictator vibes have upset many Tunisians who initially supported him, but he still has fans among younger people tired of corruption and dysfunctional parliamentary politics. Most opposition groups have boycotted the plebiscite, so the "yes" vote is likely to win (albeit with a low turnout). If the new charter is approved, Saied promises to hold legislative elections within six months. But they'll be less decisive under the revised constitution, which vastly expands presidential power at the expense of parliament and the judiciary.

Read moreShow less

A protester wears a face mask with a sticker reading "Chase Prayuth" and raising the three-finger salute during a rally against the Thai PM.

Chaiwat Subprasom / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Hard Numbers: Thais come clean on Pegasus, Salvadoran emergency extended, Tunisian pol questioned, Chinese boycott mortgages

30: Thailand admitted using the Israeli-made Pegasus spyware to track phones in cases related to drugs or “national security.” The government reportedly also deployed Pegasus to spy on 30 activists linked to the ongoing youth-led mass protests against coup-leader-turned PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, which triggered a political earthquake by questioning the role of the monarchy.

Read moreShow less

Indian Muslims demand the arrest of BJP member Nupur Sharma for her comments on Prophet Mohammed in Mumbai.

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Hard Numbers: India’s BJP irks Muslims, Bolsonaro’s bling, Tunisian judges on strike, TikToking boomers in Japan

2: India's ruling BJP party has suspended two officials for making controversial comments about the Prophet Mohammed that have sparked outrage across the Islamic world. PM Narendra Modi is in a tough spot: only a formal apology will placate Gulf countries that India does a lot of business with, but it might make Modi look weak in the eyes of his Hindu nationalist base.

Read moreShow less

Hard Numbers: Kenyan reforms nixed, Macron’s McKinsey woes, Sri Lanka goes dark, Tunisia’s Zoom “coup”

70: Kenya’s top court on Thursday rejected President Uhuru Kenyatta’s sweeping plans to tweak the constitution before his term ends in August. Among the amendments he had proposed were creating the position of prime minister and adding 70 new members of parliament — all to be initially appointed by (surprise!) Kenyatta himself.

Read moreShow less

Hard Numbers: South Korea’s new prez, Russian default, Tunisian apathy, Venezuela's olive branch

0.85: Conservative candidate Yoon Suk-yeol won South Korea’s presidential election after a very ugly campaign. The center-left’s Lee Jae-myung conceded defeat when Yoon was ahead by only 0.85 percentage points with more than 90% of the votes counted.

Read moreShow less

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia

REUTERS/Adriano Machado

What We're Watching: Bolsonaro heads to Moscow, Biden moves on frozen Afghan funds, Tunisia's dwindling democracy

Bolsonaro’s bold move. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is heading to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin despite objections from the US and his own aides about the timing, given the Ukraine crisis. But “Tropical Trump” may think the time is just right to try and boost his domestic popularity with some time on the international stage. He’s currently trailing former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the run-up to Brazil’s October election. With over 600,000 COVID deaths since the panbdemic started and a battered economy, Bolsonaro also needs to bring home some bacon. Moscow recently issued a two-month ban on exports, and since Brazil is the biggest buyer of Russia’s nitrate fertilizer, Brazilian farmers are worried about their crops. Bolsonaro is expected to ask Putin to revoke the ban. If he secures the deal overseas, will it give him a boost back home?

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily