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2021's Top Risks: global challenges intensify

Eurasia Group today published its annual list of the main geopolitical threats for 2021. For the second year in a row, the #1 Top Risk is rising political polarization in the United States, which not many years ago was deemed one of the world's most stable nations, with strong institutions and — as the sole global superpower — with a clear mandate to lead the world on many fronts.

That's all gone, for now. Why, and what does this mean for America and other countries?

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Watch Ian Bremmer explain the "Top Risk" of 2021: divided US domestic politics

Today, GZERO Media's parent company, Eurasia Group, released its annual report on the top 10 geopolitical risks that will shape the year.

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What does Brexit mean for the UK, London, and NYC? Will McConnell allow a US stimulus payment vote?

Brexit will be here on January 1st. What big changes are coming?

There are a lot of big changes coming. Most important for the average Brit is the fact that you no longer can work or have education access in the European Union. You have to apply with normal immigration patterns, as you would outside the EU. That's going to change the way people think about their future. But otherwise, a lot greater regulatory impact, declarations of customs for goods being transmitted, so the cost of trade is going to go up with the world's largest common market. You know, the idea of I mean, for financial markets is very important because you have financial groups that are losing automatic access to the single market in the EU as well. They're supposed to be new deals cut around that, but we aren't there yet. It's not a disaster, but the fact that all these changes are happening immediately, and they are a significant cost primarily on the smaller economy of the United Kingdom and that they're going to have to be borne at a time when the economy's not doing well, when coronavirus hasn't been handled very well, when global demand is already depressed, this is a big hit, and it's a big hit also on the back of almost five years of uncertainty around the UK.

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China's repression and growing global influence; US stimulus, and Trump vs. Murdoch

Watch: Ian Bremmer with your last Quick Take of 2020. 2021, just around the corner. We know it's going to be better. I mean, not immediately. It's going to take some time. We're still in the teeth of this crisis. But 2021 feels like many of us are going to emerge from crisis. And that is a positive thing. The idea of going to work every day, sending your kids to school, just being normal, being a little bit more normal, something that I wish for all of us as soon as humanly possible.

Back to the news of the day: I was so disturbed to see this citizen journalist get four years in prison in China for reporting on what the Chinese government was doing in Wuhan in terms of the scale of the pandemic, the crackdown and the rest. She's been on hunger strike for some time. The sentencing came down just a few hours ago. All of three hours in the courts, such as they are. We know no rule of law, no independent judiciary in China. And don't you dare go after the official narrative. That is frowned upon to say the least.

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Trump's last 4 weeks in office: vetoed coronavirus relief bill, controversial pardons

Watch Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, lend perspective to the big developments in Trump's final weeks in office:

What's going on with the coronavirus relief bill? Will Trump really not sign it?

It's possible. This week he did veto the National Defense Authorization Act, suggesting that he's willing to break some china on his way out the door. And Trump is demanding now that Congress do much more generous stimulus checks to individual American households. That probably can't pass either the House or the Senate because Republicans don't support it. But now Trump is aligned with the Democrats and he's threatening to take down this massive spending bill in order to get what he wants. A little bit of drama around Christmas time. We'll see what happens.

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