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Jess Frampton

What We’re Watching: Taming US inflation, China’s water claims, Boris vs EU

US Fed vs inflation — game on

This week, the US Federal Reserve is set to increase interest rates by as much as 75 basis points or more in a bid to tamp down soaring inflation. Last Friday's inflation report showed prices growing at an annual rate of 8.6%, the highest in over 40 years. That price growth reflects today’s higher fuel and food prices, brought on by Russia’s war in Ukraine, lingering pandemic-related supply chain constraints, and Biden’s own pandemic stimulus spending. It will now fall largely to the Fed to rein things in. The effects of the Fed’s move this week will be watched closely by markets to be sure, but also by political strategists on both sides of the aisle. Just five months out from the US midterm elections, economic issues top US voters’ concerns, and recent polls say they trust Republicans more than Democrats when it comes to taming inflation.

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Boris Johnson Is Likely To Face Another No-Confidence Vote Soon | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Boris Johnson is likely to face another no-confidence vote soon

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Boris Johnson survives no-confidence vote, but are his days as prime minister still numbered?

Yeah. On balance, I think you're still going to see another no-confidence vote. The rules in the Tory Party executive committee say you can't, but they can change the rules. And because the vote was this close and because there is such opposition with the scandals that he continues to drive, I think the likelihood that you end up with another no-confidence vote in coming months is actually pretty high. So on balance, yeah, I still think his days are numbered. He's holding on by a thread. Good news though, is that he's less likely to cause trouble over Northern Ireland-Ireland border given how weak he is right now. So the Europeans at least are resting a little easily.

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Ari Winkleman & Annie Gugliotta

The Graphic Truth: Boris hangs on by a thread

Boris Johnson is famous for weathering controversy — from alleged affairs to partygate — often emerging stronger than before. But since taking office, the British PM has been caught in so many political scandals that most Brits, and many in his own Conservative Party, have now turned against him. Still, Johnson narrowly survived a no-confidence vote on Monday and lives to fight yet another day. We take a look at his approval ratings as prime minister, highlighting a few of the dramas that have eroded his popularity.

This comes to you from the Signal newsletter team of GZERO Media. Subscribe for your free daily Signal today.

    Anti-Tank Weapons Needed To Achieve Peace in Europe | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

    EU fast-tracks Ukraine membership application

    Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Washington.

    First question, what happened to Ukraine's application for EU membership?

    Well, that's a process that takes a long time, but what was decided by the heads of state and government of the European Union yesterday was to send it immediately to the European Commission for its assessment. That's a process that normally takes some time, but the fact that it was done immediately is as strong a signal as you can get for a process that unavoidably takes a substantial amount of time.

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    Inside Beijing's Struggle to Keep the Olympics COVID Free | World In :60 | GZERO Media

    Beijing's struggle to keep the Olympics COVID free

    COVID-19 positive cases leading up to the Beijing Olympics, a proposed defense pact between Ukraine, Poland, and the UK, and the Joe Rogan/Spotify scandal -- Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

    First, how is COVID-19 affecting Beijing Olympics prep in China?

    Well, we've got already well over a hundred members of Olympic athletes and staff that have tested positive twice, which means they ain't playing. They're not involved. They're going to go home. And these numbers are going to go way up. I do think that this idea of a complete closed loop system, the Chinese have more ability to implement and execute on that than pretty much any country in the world. So I doubt you're going to see spread from the Olympics into the broader population, but you're going to see a lot of people with COVID coming in because omicron is so incredibly spreadable. And that's going to be yet one more thing that dings a very weird Beijing Olympics with diplomatic boycotts and populations unhappy about where we are and not having fans and all the political challenges and censorship and surveillance of phones and data going to the government. And it's just so politicized that you hate to see that with global athletes, and global athletics, but that's where we are. I do say that I'm glad that the athletes are still competing. It's one of the few things that can bring us all together on this planet.

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    No Progress After Russia-US Talks, Party is Over for Boris Johnson | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

    No progress after US/NATO-Russia talks, Boris Johnson in trouble

    Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Kiev, Ukraine

    First question, how is the crisis in this part of Europe developing?

    Not good. There's been a week of intense diplomacy with talks in Geneva, and Brussels, and Vienna that produced virtually nothing. The Russian, sort of key demands are outrageously unrealistic. They know that is the case. The US is trying to engage them on somewhat different issues. We'll see if there's any prospect there, but it doesn't look too good. I think the likelihood is that we gradually will move into the phase of what the Russians call military technical measures, whatever that is.

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    Russian president Vladimir Putin met Chinese president Xi Jinping in a virtual call on Wednesday Dec 15, 2021.

    REUTERS

    What We’re Watching: Putin-Xi heart each other, Boris survives Tory revolt, Fed may raise US interest rates

    No new friends — Putin and Xi. The leaders of Russia and China held a conspicuously chummy video conference on Wednesday at a time when both are getting an earful from “the West.” Putin told his “dear friend” Xi that he will absolutely attend the Beijing Winter Olympics next February despite a US-led diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights abuses, and that China is right to be worried about Western military maneuvering in the Pacific. Xi, meanwhile, told his “old friend” Putin that China supports Russia’s demands for security guarantees from NATO. Both men reportedly discussed developing alternative financial structures in order to evade Western sanctions — the US and EU have threatened to shut Russia out of SWIFT if the Kremlin invades Ukraine (again). Russia-China relations have always been tricky — they have clashed over borders in the past and Moscow is perennially worried about being dwarfed economically by its more populous neighbor. But as the US gears up for a push against authoritarian countries, the two most influential important ones are closing ranks.

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    Impact of Omicron Variant Remains Uncertain | World In :60 | GZERO Media

    Omicron variant unlikely to lead to lockdowns by governments

    Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the omicron variant, the Honduras presidential election, and the pros and cons of getting stuck in a UK pub for three days in a snowstorm.

    As the omicron variant emerges, is a return to lockdown next?

    The answer is, only in a few play places, because people are exhausted from lockdowns. They're angry with their governments from doing it. Governments are going to be very reluctant to have the economic hit as a consequence, especially when they know they can't pay out the relief money that they've been paying over the last couple of years, and they're not yet sure about just how much of a danger omicron is. I think all sorts of travel restrictions, but unless and until you see that the spread starts leading to significant lethality, hospitalizations, and once again, the potential for ICUs to be overwhelmed, I do not expect many significant lockdowns that are countrywide at this point. Not least in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the populations are very young and as a consequence, you can have a lot of spread and they're not paying attention to it, frankly.

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