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Somalia appoints former al Shabaab spokesperson as minister in Mogadishu

REUTERS/Feisal Omar

What We're Watching: Somalia's new cabinet, takeaways from US primaries, Peru's president in peril

Somalia appoints former al-Shabab militant to cabinet

Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre has named former al-Shabab spokesperson, Muktar Robow, as Somalia’s minister for endowment and religious affairs. A veteran of the Afghan war, who was training with al-Qaida in Afghanistan during 9/11, Robow helped found al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow the Somali government in a bid to invoke a strict interpretation of Sharia law. The militants have killed tens of thousands since 2007, and they’ve recently been involved in cross-border attacks in Ethiopia. Robow (aka Abu Mansour), who once had a $5 million bounty on his head, broke from the al-Qaida-linked militants back in 2017. Arrested by Somali authorities in 2018 to prevent him from running for office, Robow had been under house arrest in Mogadishu until last year, when he was taken back into custody. This week, he was released just before his new role was announced. As the new face of Somalia’s war against al-Shabab, Robow is tasked with helming the ideological battle against the terrorists. Some believe this will strengthen the government’s hand against al-Shabab, but critics fear it could lead to sectarian violence.

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The US president's poll numbers sure are looking grim, but he's got a foolproof plan to refresh his brand and reconnect with voters ahead of the mid-terms. Right? Right?

Watch more PUPPET REGIME!

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The History of Black Voting Rights in America | GZERO World

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Until 1965, Black people in America who wanted to vote first faced faces unanswerable poll questions, and later equally tough literacy tests.

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How is the Biden administration's response to omicron?

Well, it hasn't been great. It started with the travel ban from affected countries that was already probably behind the curve given how widespread the variant was and the administration admitted they did not see this new variant coming. They were caught flat-footed on the surge in demand for testing over the holidays. And while they first promised to make tests reimbursable by insurance, which is, of course, a real pleasure for Americans who love to deal with their insurance companies, they then said they were going to make 500 million tests available for free, but this isn't even enough to have two tests for every American. And news came out that they were instead of investing in increased manufacturing capacity, what they were doing was going to purchase surplus tests, which could exacerbate private sector shortages. But probably, more importantly, it means that the new free tests were going to arrive probably after the current surge in cases is over.

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For Ian Bremmer, a democracy dies when regular people like the rioters choose violence over votes, and we can no longer agree on objective reality. But Republicans have done such a great job at whitewashing that Democrats are now the ones with their back against the wall ahead of the November midterms.

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Listen: On the anniversary of the Capitol insurrection, America has only grown more divided. More Republicans than ever believe that the election was stolen. And that’s not just a domestic problem. It’s a national security threat. Ian Bremmer speaks with Fiona Hill, former senior director of the National Security Council who famously testified against her boss, former president Donald Trump, in his first impeachment trial. Hill, an expert on Russia and China, worries about the global implications of January 6.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

January 6 Anniversary: America's Back — Against the Wall? | GZERO World

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If the January 6th assault on the US Capitol had a face, it would probably be that of the horned and shirtless “Q-Anon Shaman.” He was one of many weirdos, along with right-wing extremists and militia members who assaulted Congress that day. But there were also many ordinary Americans — imagine your neighbor calling to hang Mike Pence.

A democracy dies when regular people choose violence over votes, and we can no longer agree on objective reality.

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What this means for Dems is that they're in for a midterm shellacking like the one that 12 years ago humbled Biden's old boss, Barack Obama.

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US midterm elections are normally about voters punishing the party in the White House, which usually loses seats in the House and Senate, and often control of Congress. But not the one this November.

For Jon Lieber, Eurasia Group's US managing director, the big threat to American democracy in this year's midterms is that the Republican Party — now controlled by president Donald Trump — could win gubernatorial and other state-level races in key swing states with candidates who support Trump's bogus claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

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