Pop quiz: what percentage of plastic currently gets recycled worldwide? Watch this video in Eni's Energy Shot series to find out and learn what needs to be done to prevent plastic from ending up in our oceans. Plastic is a precious resource that should be valued, not wasted.
Ten years ago this week, a powerful earthquake off the coast of eastern Japan triggered a tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant, resulting in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. A decade and dozens of decommissioned reactors later, nuclear energy still supplies about 10 percent of global electricity, but its future remains uncertain amid post-Fukushima safety concerns.
As more countries pledge to curb emissions to mitigate climate change, nuclear could serve as a clean(ish) and reliable source of energy. But investing more in nuclear comes with tradeoffs.
<p><strong>Nuclear is greener than you think.</strong> It's not renewable like solar or wind, but nuclear's direct carbon dioxide emissions output is zero. Over its life cycle, a nuclear plant produces about the same volume of <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-nuclear-power-zero-emission-no-but-it-isnt-high-emission-either-41615" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">indirect emissions</a> per unit of electricity (mainly to extract and process uranium, to build and operate the facilities, and store the waste) as wind, and one-third of solar. That helps explain why the use of nuclear power is <a href="https://morningconsult.com/2019/05/06/ocasio-cortez-green-new-deal-leaves-door-open-nuclear/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">not ruled out entirely</a> by US proponents of the Green New Deal.</p><p>There's also the unintended environmental cost of shutting down. When the Fukushima disaster prompted Germany to take most of its nuclear plants offline, it was soon forced to fire up its coal plants, leading to <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/germany-rejected-nuclear-power-and-deadly-emissions-spiked/#:~:text=More%20distressingly%2C%20the%20researchers%20estimated,from%20respiratory%20or%20cardiovascular%20illnesses." rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">1,100 additional deaths</a> <em>per year</em> from air pollution. Scientists estimate that not replacing all nuclear plants with fossil fuels by 2050 could save more than <a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/nuclear-power-may-have-saved-1-8-million-lives-otherwise-lost-to-fossil-fuels-may-save-up-to-7-million-more/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">seven million lives</a>.</p><p>Moreover, while solar and wind are both intermittent and therefore depend on energy storage, nuclear is as reliable as oil, gas, and coal. The International Energy Agency <a href="https://www.iea.org/reports/nuclear-power-in-a-clean-energy-system" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">projects</a> that the world could meet its Paris climate goals by 2040 by raising nuclear's share of the global energy mix to 15 percent and investing a lot more in <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/mini-nuclear-reactors-offer-promise-of-cheaper-clean-power-11613055608" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">cheaper, cleaner</a> nuclear plants).</p><p><strong>But nuclear is also very expensive, and understandably unpopular.</strong> Generating electricity from nuclear now <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/stories/nuclear-power-101#:~:text=The%20WSINR%20report%20also%20estimates,in%20at%20%2429%20to%20%2456." rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">costs</a> about $112-189 per megawatt hour, much more than solar ($36-44) and wind ($29-56). Also, while the total lifetime cost of building and running a plant has declined for solar and wind over the last decade, it has increased for nuclear, so poorer countries can't afford it. Finally, the average construction time for a single plant is nearly 10 years — dangerously slow for the urgent battle against climate change.</p><p>The other major concern is <a href="https://theconversation.com/10-years-after-fukushima-safety-is-still-nuclear-powers-greatest-challenge-155541" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">safety</a>. To be fair, <a href="https://www.nei.org/resources/fact-sheets/comparing-fukushima-and-chernobyl" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">unlike Chernobyl</a> the Fukushima accident didn't kill anyone from radiation, and was caused not by a chain of human errors but a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, a catastrophe on a scale that even the safety-conscious Japanese <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-16334434" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">hadn't planned for</a>. But they did build the site near the coast in a known quake-prone area, and they didn't protect the reactors as well as <a href="https://newrepublic.com/article/154942/america-nuclear-power-plants-climate-change-risk-fukushima" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">European countries did</a> after a French plant flooded in 1999. </p><p>More importantly, Fukushima spurred a global popular backlash against nuclear power that has yet to dissipate. More than <a href="https://www.jaif.or.jp/en/japanese-opinion-poll-finds-that-views-on-nuclear-power-turn-slightly-positive/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">49 percent</a> of Japanese people said a year ago that they want nuclear power to be discontinued. Roughly the <a href="https://morningconsult.com/2020/09/09/nuclear-energy-polling/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">same percentage of Americans</a> now have an unfavorable view of nuclear, making it the most unpopular source of energy in the US after coal.</p><p><strong>So, who's still building new nuclear plants, and why?</strong> <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/21/world/europe/belarus-russia-nuclear.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Russia</a>, for now the dominant global player in the industry, is exporting its nuclear technology to countries with relatively friendly governments like those in <a href="https://www.rfi.fr/en/europe/20191030-russia-gains-nuclear-foothold-eu-despite-brussels-concerns-putin-orban-west" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Hungary</a>, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-russia-nuclearpower/iran-russia-start-construction-of-new-iranian-nuclear-plant-idUSKCN11G0EB" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Iran</a>, and <a href="https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Russia-starts-building-Turkeys-first-nuclear-power-plant-03041801.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Turkey</a>. But <a href="https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/voa-news-china/china-track-supplant-us-top-nuclear-energy-purveyor" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">China</a> is catching up fast, and has plans to both finance and construct new plants in places as diverse as <a href="https://thediplomat.com/2020/03/the-china-pakistan-nuclear-nexus-how-can-india-respond/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Pakistan</a>, <a href="https://www.industryweek.com/technology-and-iiot/energy/article/21966315/china-south-africa-sign-nuclear-energy-pact" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">South Africa</a>… and the <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-34590205" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">UK</a>.</p><p>Moscow and Beijing — the latter <a href="https://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/China-Doubles-Down-On-Nuclear-Energy-To-Cut-Carbon-Emissions.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">betting big on nuclear</a> as part of its bid to go carbon-neutral by 2050 — are <a href="https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/07/china-and-russia-look-dominate-global-nuclear-power/149642/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">competing</a> to <a href="https://www.nei.org/news/2020/russia-china-expanding-nuclear-exports-us-keep-up" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">fill the void</a> briefly created by the US. (The Trump administration <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/dipkabhambhani/2020/08/07/trump-administration-pivots-to-nuclear-energy-finds-lever-against-china-russia/?sh=74131e4647b1" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">reversed</a> Obama-era bans on US international public lenders financing nuclear projects abroad, and President Joe Biden has yet to say whether he'll stay the course.)</p><p>If the Americans stage a nuclear export <a href="https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/511978-america-needs-to-stage-a-come-back-in-nuclear-energy-exports" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">comeback</a>, things could get interesting. On the one hand, US-built plants might be preferable for countries committed to net zero emissions that can afford them. On the other hand, some of those same nations have popular environmentalist parties that want to <a href="https://europeangreens.eu/content/position-nuclear-phase-out-europe" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">abolish</a> nuclear energy, and many locals will protest nuclear construction <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/business/businessspecial3/07nuke.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">in their backyard</a>.</p><strong>A tough choice.</strong> Weighing the risks of a costly, unpopular source of energy against the benefits of emissions-free electricity will provoke debate in many countries. But as the drive for climate action becomes more urgent, governments are running out of time to make their choice.
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This Monday, March 8, is International Women's Day, a holiday with roots in a protest led by the Russian feminist Alexandra Kollontai that helped topple the czar of Russia in 1917. More than a hundred years later, amid a global pandemic that has affected women with particular fury, there are dozens of women-led protests and social movements reshaping politics around the globe. Here we take a look at a few key ones to watch this year.
<p><strong>Mexico. </strong>Latin America's second most populous country heads into March 8 embroiled in a major #MeToo political scandal, as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador defends a powerful member of his party <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/04/opinion/international-world/amlo-feminist-salgado-macedonio.html" target="_blank">accused of sexual harrassment and rape</a>. That alone is fueling what are likely to be sizable protests this weekend, but there are two other big issues that have spurred the women of Mexico to action in recent years. The first is a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jul/22/mexico-femicides-president-amlo-women-shelters" target="_blank">growing crisis of femicide</a> — in Mexico last year, a woman was killed <a href="https://www.milenio.com/policia/feminicidios-mexico-cierra-2020-940-casos" target="_blank">every 8 hours</a> (Spanish). The numbers <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/05/americas/mexico-femicide-coronavirus-lopez-obrador-intl/index.html" target="_blank">got worse during the pandemic</a>, when quarantine rules forced many women to stay at home with abusive partners or family members. The second is the growing <a href="https://apnews.com/article/mexico-city-mexico-f84cb30c4b3f30c0a09e856e3d941e47" target="_blank">movement to change Mexico's restrictive abortion laws</a>, which strictly limit the procedure in most places outside the capital city. While public opinion is divided on the issue, feminist leaders in Mexico are looking to the recent <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/30/world/americas/argentina-legalizes-abortion.html" target="_blank">success </a>of the abortion-legalization movement in Argentina — part of a broader "Green Tide" of <a href="https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/29445/a-new-type-of-politics-argentina-s-pro-choice-movement" target="_blank">feminist organization and power</a> across Latin America.</p><p><strong>Poland. </strong>Earlier this year, the Polish government approved <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/poland-thousands-protest-as-abortion-law-comes-into-effect/a-56363990" target="_blank">a draconian new abortion law</a> — now among the strictest in the EU — that all but eliminates women's right to terminate pregnancies legally. Throughout the pandemic, protest groups led by women have hit the streets in opposition to the measure, which is supported by the ruling rightwing Law and Justice Party, but <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54716994" target="_blank">opposed by a majority</a> of Poles. And while protests have died down since the law was passed, it will be a fresh focus this weekend. More broadly, the debate over abortion has become a totem of the wider cultural and political clash in Poland, which pits a conservative national government with strong ties to the Catholic Church and a largely rural political base against an increasingly liberal opposition in the country's big cities. Polish pro-choice activists face an uphill battle, but again — so too did those in Argentina, where the campaign lasted some 15 years.</p><p><strong>India. </strong>By now you've doubtless heard about the massive farmers protests roiling New Delhi. (If not, see <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/farm-to-negotiating-table-in-india" target="_self">here</a>.) But you've probably heard less about the <a href="https://www.vogue.co.uk/news/article/farming-protests-india" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">sizable role that women are playing in the movement</a>, as participants, speakers, and organizers. It's not hard to see why. Consider that <a href="https://www.oxfamindia.org/women-empowerment-india-farmers" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">80 percent of working women</a> in India are employed in the farming sector, and half of India's self-employed farmers are women. That means the government's new agriculture liberalization laws — which farmers worry will put them at the mercy of conglomerates — will have a huge impact on India's hundreds of millions of rural women. This issue has become the single biggest political crisis of <a href="https://morningconsult.com/form/global-leader-approval/#section-56" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">otherwise-popular</a> Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tenure. </p><p><strong>Australia. </strong>In Australia, a rape allegation made by a former staffer for the ruling Liberal party has dominated the country's politics in recent weeks, causing a stream of women to come forward with stories of sexual harrasment and assault in Australia's Parliament House, including a separate decades-old <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/australia/christian-porter-australia-rape-allegation-intl-hnk/index.html" target="_blank">allegation</a> of rape against the current Attorney General. Brittany Higgins, an alleged victim who has become the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/world/australia/australia-parliament-house-rape-claim.html" target="_blank">face </a>of the growing movement, says she felt silenced by the government after coming forward in 2019, prompting Prime Minister Scott Morrison <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-56078818" target="_blank">to call</a> for an inquiry into the parliament's "workplace culture." A slew of female politicians — from parties across the spectrum — have left politics in recent years because of what many <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-08/bullying-of-women-in-politics-also-seen-at-state-level/10208898" target="_blank">say</a> is the pervasive misogyny of Canberra's old boys' club. (You may recall former Prime Minister Julia Gillard's now-famous<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCNuPcf8L00" target="_blank"> misogyny speech from parliament in 2012</a>.)</p><p><strong>Japan. </strong>Around the globe, <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/the-pandemic-is-hurting-women-more-than-men" target="_self">women</a> have suffered disproportionately from COVID's social and economic aftershocks. In Japan — where biases that disadvantage women are <a href="https://thediplomat.com/2020/12/japans-new-gender-equality-policy-takes-a-step-back/" target="_blank">deeply ingrained </a>— that toll has been especially pronounced: about 7,000 <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/22/world/asia/japan-women-suicide-coronavirus.html" target="_blank">Japanese women</a> committed suicide in 2020, a 15 percent annual increase (the number of Japenes men who committed suicide decreased from the previous year). While the subjugation of Japanese women is not new — Japan currently ranks 121st out of 153 countries on the World Economic Forum's annual Gender Gap<a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2020.pdf" target="_blank"> list</a> — the way that women in particular are responding to the issue <em>is </em>new. More assertive women's right advocates and<a href="https://savvytokyo.com/4-of-the-most-powerful-to-date-feminist-movements-in-japan/" target="_blank"> groups </a>have begun mobilizing to shine light on the conditions that lead to Japanese women's experiences of alienation, helplessness, and depression. One particular focus in recent years has been the push for reforms to the country's archaic rape laws, which critics say <a href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/evyqap/japans-outdated-sexual-assault-laws-are-leading-to-unjust-rape-acquittals" target="_blank">place </a>an unreasonably high burden of proof on alleged victims (victims need to prove that they "fought back" during an assault).</p><p><strong>Bottom line: </strong>International Women's Day can sometimes fall prey to a kind of cultural kitsch, with lazy appeals to "girl power" and cringey hashtags. But for many women around the world, it's a day to celebrate how far societies have come in the fight for equality, and to reflect on how far we still have to go.</p>
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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:
Hey everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Welcome to your week, life looking better every day in the United States, coronavirus land. But I thought I'd talk about, this week, all of this cancel culture that everyone's talking about right now. If you're on the wrong political side, your opponents are trying to shut you down and you take massive umbrage. I see this everywhere, and it's starting to annoy.
<p>Last week, maybe, the biggest story was about Dr. Seuss and the fact that a few books were taken down, no longer being published by the Seuss Foundation, the publisher of those books, because of ethnic and racial stereotypes that were promoted in those books from decades and decades ago. Publishers in the private sector have the right to publish whatever they do and don't want that they have intellectual property control over. One thing that seemed silly on the back of it was all of these people then deciding to spend massive amounts of money, pushing Dr. Seuss to the top of the charts, for a whole bunch of books that were not getting canceled, that were still being published, money of which would be going to the same publisher that had decided to cancel the few books in the first place.</p><p>So very bizarre, and maybe makes everybody happy or everybody unhappy at the same time. But of course, the big story is that you had, then, this huge fodder for people on the left and right to come after each other. If you're on the left, of course, these books are horrible and need to be removed from the public dialogue. That of course also means that you're smearing Dr. Seuss as a whole, who, from many of our perspectives, were children's books that we grew up on and were just fine.</p><p>Then on the conservative side, you have people saying, "This is an outrage. Can you believe that they're trying to burn books and ban books? It's the beginning of authoritarianism and we're being canceled." Kevin McCarthy doing a reading of Green Eggs and Ham, which is perfectly fine, and you can still buy... A lot of people like to stand up and read perfectly innocuous Dr. Seuss books, but now there's strong politics behind it.</p><p>The problem is that any political issue, at a period of time that the United States is more politically divided, more politically dysfunctional, where political opponents are not just political opponents but are considered to be bad, fundamentally evil, means any issue that can be made into tribal warfare inside politics in the United States becomes precisely that. It drives people kind of batshit, right? We saw that with the Muppets, too. Those of you that know me know that I am a big fan of the Muppets, both as a show and puppets as a concept, so much so that it's like Hair Club For Men. I decided to become an owner.</p><p>Now, because done it back in the '70s, a lot of the skits that were done are now considered insensitive. So, Disney has decided to put a warning label on all of the Muppet shows from back then, warning of negative depictions and or mistreatment of people and cultures. To be fair, this is like the warning symbol that you see on your McDonald's apple pie that contents are indeed hot and could hurt you. It's because the United States is an incredibly litigious society and overly litigious society. This is corporate speak for, please don't sue us. We've done what we needed to do," but anybody that wants to watch the Muppets can still watch the Muppets.</p><p>It should not be a big deal, but of course you see Donald Trump Jr. coming out and saying, "They're banning the Muppets," and all of these other folks on the right saying, "How dare they. How can they possibly be banning the Muppets?" Which, of course, no one is actually doing. So, you see how we have a lot of folks' partisan ship on the right going crazy about cancel culture.</p><p>But what about on the left? Yeah, it's happening on the left, too. I saw this last week when Governor Abbott in Texas came out and said he's opening everything. So, 100% businesses are being open and no more mask mandate, which struck me as... I understand the business opening because there is an economic tradeoff between opening businesses and having quarantines, and when people are getting vaccinated, there's a much greater move in favor of economic openings. But saying you're ending the mask mandate is stupid and just playing politics. So, I was annoyed about that.<br/> </p><p>But then I saw people with millions of followers from the left on social media, like Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann, who were so angry with Abbott that they said, "This is Texas, and you see what they're like in Texas. If that's the way you feel well, then we shouldn't be sending Texas any vaccines." Who the hell is we? We're Americans. First of all, Texas is a diverse state that has both Democrats and Republicans. It's increasingly purple. It's not red or blue. Even if it was red, everybody needs vaccines. The entire country is rolling vaccines out and it's really important for us to do that in the US and do it around the world.</p><p>But there is such incredible dysfunction psychologically in this us versus them, bad versus good, black versus white, that you have partisans that have just lost their minds, that have lost their humanity in the spirit of being on the same team. The one that bothered me from the left the most in the last week was about CPAC. Some of you may have seen that when the CPAC Conference occurred down in Orlando, Florida at the Hyatt hotel, there was a stage and the design of the stage looked like, design-wise, a rune. They're not the swastika, but a rune that was worn by some Nazi officers.</p><p>Of course, everybody on the left goes crazy. Not everybody. A lot of people on the left go crazy, that it must've been intentional, this is a dog whistle for white nationalists and white supremacists. So, you have people with significant followings on the internet intranet saying that this is a Nazi support, and that you should be banning the GOP and banning Hyatt, which was hosting all of us. Alyssa Milano, with well over three million followers on Twitter, saying, "Hyatt is totally fine hosting Nazis. Boycott Hyatt."</p><p>Of course, anyone could understand that this was vastly overdone. This is conspiracy thinking that no one is doing research into figuring out what the actual stage looks like and this obscure rune from the Nazi-era Germany. Then we find out, we get the actual facts, which is it was a design, an event design company, that came up with the stage design for a fairly awkward space to do something that large. Company was called Design Foundry based in Maryland. Small company, 98%, more than 98%, of their political donations from their employees in the last year went to Democrats, not Republicans. They were the ones that came up with the design and they apologized.</p><p>The GOP said they're not going to use them for further events and all of that. Well, you would think on the back of that that, of course, Alyssa and others are going to take down their posts and they're going to say, "We got it wrong," and apologize. No, no. As of today, that post is still up there with thousands and thousands of retweets saying to boycott Hyatt, and Hyatt losing money on the back of this.</p><p>A small piece of advice if anyone sees this, post this out for Alyssa. Alyssa, do them a favor. Go stay at a Hyatt and take a post of yourself at the Hyatt and tell your fans the next time they're going to a hotel, they should stay at a Hyatt. Why? Because you caused economic damage out of political lunacy. It was completely wrong. It was completely without merit. They did nothing wrong. This is hurtful. It's hurtful to the country. It's hurtful to the corporation, but most importantly, it's hurtful to us. It's hurtful to the people who are no longer looking at each other as human beings, but instead as political sport, as scoring a point.</p><p>It doesn't matter if more of this is being done by one side or the other. What matters is that it's lunacy. It's fake news. It's not facts. It's conspiracy thinking. It's really going to cause much more damage to our polity, something that, I think, deeply, we all still want to believe in, and we want to make better.</p><p>So that is my little rant for today, for Monday, for kicking off the week. I hope everyone does well, and increasingly we aren't going to need to avoid people. Just a little bit longer. Looking forward to that. Take it easy. Be good.</p>
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March 08, 2021
"Apocalyptic" protests in Senegal: At least five people have been killed in clashes with police as protests over poverty, unemployment, and the jailing of a popular politician rock the West African nation of Senegal. Ousmane Sonko, who heads the opposition Movement to Defend Democracy (M2D) and is considered the most viable challenger to current president Mackie Sall, was accused of rape in February and arrested last week. Sonko says the charges are a politically motivated attempt to remove him from politics before the 2024 presidential election. His supporters immediately hit the streets, voicing a range of grievances including joblessness and poverty. Though youth unemployment has fallen over the past decade, it still exceeds eight percent and close to two-thirds of the country's 16 million people are under the age of 25. As Sonko supporters pledge to continue protests this week, Senegal's head of conflict resolution says the country is "on the verge of apocalypse."
<p><strong>Biden's Afghanistan roadmap: </strong>US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wants to speed up peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, according to a <a href="https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-170504" target="_blank">new memo</a>. In a letter addressed to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Blinken proposed a peace summit in Turkey to finalize details of a plan under which new elections would follow the installation of a transitional government. The missive comes just weeks after intra-Afghan peace talks resumed in Qatar after a hiatus. The Biden administration is still <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/16/us/politics/biden-afghanistan-troop-withdrawal-taliban.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">playing</a> coy on whether it plans to honor a Trump administration commitment to withdraw <em>all </em>remaining US troops in Afghanistan by May 1. Blinken has not ruled out a full troop drawdown by that date (2,500 US troops are still in the country nearly 20 years after the US first invaded), but skeptics <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/world/asia/afghan-troops-withdrawal-senator-reed.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">warn</a> that a hasty withdrawal before all details have been ironed out — including protections for women and minority groups — could lay the groundwork for a violent Taliban takeover.</p><p><strong>Tourism post COVID:</strong> The pandemic has clobbered the global tourism industry, inflicting <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/the-graphic-truth-tourism-reliant-economies-take-a-hit" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_self">a crippling blow on many economies</a> that rely heavily on outside visitors to stay afloat. But as tourist hotspots look ahead to life after all the testing and social distancing requirements of COVID, some overcrowded destinations are <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/07/travel/hawaii-covid-tourism.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">starting to think</a> about ways that post-pandemic tourism can be more sustainable, less disruptive to everyday life, and healthier for the whole economy. Part of that, as the US island paradise of Hawaii has found, is about better-controlling the flow of tourists to specific destinations, but it's also about crafting a tourism strategy that is as responsive to the needs of locals as it is to the needs of visitors (about two-thirds of Hawaiians now say they don't want tourists to return, according to a recent poll). As economies around the world look to bounce back after the worst year in decades, tourist destinations will have hard decisions to make. </p>
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