The Salvador of El Salvador?

The Salvador of El Salvador?

Here is a sentence you have read some version of many, many times in recent years:

The candidate surged to a once-unlikely victory over his establishment opponents after a campaign in which he skillfully deployed social media, railed against traditional political parties, and pledged to stamp out corruption.

On Sunday, Salvadoran businessman Nayib Bukele, a former mayor of his country's capital, became the latest political outsider to fit this description, winning the first round of El Salvador's presidential election outright with nearly 54 percent of the vote.



His victory was a sharp rebuke to the country's two main parties – the FMLN and ARENA. They grew out of warring factions of the country's brutal civil war and have run El Salvador for more than a quarter of a century since.

The youthful Mr. Bukele, who sports a leather jacket rather than suits and ties, and who campaigned under the bold slogan "there's enough money if nobody steals," will now take control over one of the most violent countries on earth.

Nearly 70,000 Salvadorans belong to gangs, and though the murder rate has fallen in recent years, it still trails only Venezuela as the most violent country in the world's most violent region.

Bukele has pledged to stamp out graft, help the poor, and continue the crackdown on crime. If he is able to do so, it would represent a remarkable turnaround for a deeply scarred country. What's more, instability in El Salvador has affected its neighbors, contributing to northward migration flows that are the subject of such bitter political rancor in the United States.

But Mr. Bukele also has a problem that is all too common for many of today's political upstarts – his party, GANA, controls just 11 seats out of 84 in congress, meaning that in order to make good on his promises, he'll have to work with precisely the parties he railed against on the campaign trail.

Being an outsider is an increasingly good way to win elections. But as elsewhere, it remains to be seen whether Bukele can actually deliver on the outsized promises that carried him to victory.

Vaccines are the best hope to end the COVID-19 pandemic. But rich countries are hogging most of the doses, with more than 83 percent of shots administered to date having gone to residents in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Most poor countries will have to wait years to achieve widespread vaccination, according to one study.

To address this inequity some stakeholders are pushing hard for waivers to intellectual-property (IP) rights through World Trade Organization trade rules so that manufacturers in poorer countries can make their own vaccines locally. India and South Africa have been leading the charge, which would essentially mean that deep-pocketed pharma companies like New York-based Pfizer, for instance, would have to hand over the keys to the kingdom, allowing local companies in New Delhi and Johannesberg to make generic versions of their vaccines.

Unsurprisingly, the debate has gotten fiery, with passionate arguments emerging both for and against.

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Russian president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened an "asymmetrical, rapid, and harsh" response for anyone that dares to cross a "red line" with Russia.

What's the red line? Putin says he'll decide on a case-by-case basis. And the cases at the moment are growing: the US has sanctioned Russia over cyber crimes; Putin critic Alexei Navalny is near death in a Russian prison; the Czechs say Russia blew up a Czech munitions depot; and as many as 120,000 Russian troops are reported to be massing along Russia's border with Eastern Ukraine.

Which is to say: there's potentially a Sol Lewitt's-worth of red lines to ponder now.

Europe has been hit by a green wave in recent years. Green parties in countries as varied as Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Finland, and Sweden have made sizable electoral gains, with some now sitting in national governments.

The Green phenomenon seems to be gaining yet more momentum in the lead up to some crucial European elections (Germany, France) in the months ahead. What explains the green shift, and where might this trend be headed?

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More than 930 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have already been administered globally, and another 1 billion more are expected to be manufactured by the end of May. Most of the manufacturing is concentrated in a small group of countries. While some — like China, for instance — are exporting roughly half of the shots they make, others — mainly the US — are keeping most of the supply for domestic use. Meanwhile, export controls have been a particularly thorny issue in the European Union and India, where governments have come under intense pressure to stop sending vaccines to other parts of the world amid sluggish rollouts at home. We take a look at what the world's top manufacturers are doing with the vaccines they are producing.

Ian Bremmer explains how a fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, in the summer of 1969, set the conservation movement ablaze in the United States. A TIME Magazine article about the fire led to the Clean Water Act, creation of the EPA, and the first Earth Day—April 22, 1970. Over 50 years later, citizens of the world agree that climate change is a global emergency. But how can nations come together to find solutions that are truly attainable?

Watch the GZERO World episode: Can We Fix the Planet the Same Way We Broke It?

US President Joe Biden's highly anticipated two-day climate summit opens on Thursday, when dozens of world leaders and bigshot CEOs will gather (virtually) to try to save the planet. Above all, the US is looking to showcase the idea that "America is back" on climate change. But will other countries buy it?

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55: EU governments on Wednesday reached a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels by the end of the decade. The commitment is in line with the bloc's broader goal of going carbon-neutral by 2050.

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