Former Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi was killed by rebels on 20 October, 2011, after a NATO intervention designed to protect civilians helped strengthen an uprising against his regime. Since then, the country has been mired in chaos as different factions have battled for control, resulting in extensive destruction and human causalities. Libya has been nominally governed since 2014 by warring administrations backed by foreign powers in the west and east of the country. Last year, UN mediation efforts finally began to gain traction with an agreement on a cease-fire and a roadmap for elections to be held later this year. We talked with Eurasia Group expert Ahmed Morsy to find out how things are going.

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Some of the worst sectarian clashes since Lebanon's 15-year civil war (1975-1990) broke out in Beirut this week between supporters of Hezbollah and Amal, both Shiite political parties, and Christian, far-right Lebanese Forces. Shiite protesters were rallying against the state probe into the Beirut port blast, which occurred last year. They say authorities were singling out Shiite politicians for questioning and blame. In this video, watch Ian Bremmer's conversation with Lebanese journalist and author Kim Ghattas on GZW talking about the future of Lebanese politics and sectarianism in the county after the after the blast. It was originally published on August 19, 2020.

In Lebanon, "a majority (are) united in wanting a different future, a future that is non-sectarian, that is non-corrupt, that provides prosperity, justice, dignity for people," journalist Kim Ghattas told Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

In this interview, Ghattas discusses the opportunity that could arise from the tragedy of the Beirut explosion which killed 200 and injured thousands more. The Lebanese are "fed up" with the militant group Hezbollah, she tells Bremmer, and want to strive for a government that better resembles the diversity and cosmopolitan nature of its citizens.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Lebanon Post-Blast: Rage in the Streets of Beirut.

With the US-China rivalry intensifying in Southeast Asia, the May 2022 presidential contest in the Philippines is shaping up as the most important election in years for the region's balance of power. President Rodrigo Duterte has pivoted the traditionally pro-US country toward China, but the one-term limit means he cannot seek reelection, offering the possibility of a reversal under a new president. Similarly, he/she may rein in a violent anti-drugs campaign that has drawn international condemnation. We talked to Eurasia Group expert Peter Mumford to get some sense of who Duterte's potential successors are, and how they might approach his controversial legacy.

Do we know yet who's running?

Nearly 100 candidates registered for the 2022 presidential contest ahead of the initial deadline of 8 October, though the vast majority of these will fade away and parties can change their candidates up until 15 November. Currently, there are six credible contenders for the top job: Bongbong Marcos, a former senator and son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos; Isko Moreno, mayor of Manila and a TV/film actor; Senator Manny Pacquiao, the world-famous former boxer; Vice President Leni Robredo, head of the opposition Liberal Party; Senator Ping Lacson; and Senator Bato dela Rosa, the last-minute pick from Duterte's party. The presidential contest is one round, with the prize going to whoever secures the largest share of the popular vote in what is already a crowded field.

Who are the frontrunners?

Marcos is leading the pack among those who've confirmed their participation so far, benefiting from strong support in much of Luzon, the Philippines' main island. He is less popular elsewhere, however, and is generally seen as a divisive figure who evokes memories of his father's brutal regime. And he trails Sara Duterte-Carpio, the president's daughter and mayor of Davao, in rankings of all potential candidates. Moreno and Pacquiao are also both very popular and would pose a stiff challenge for either Duterte-Carpio or Marcos by appealing to a broad range of voters, though their campaign machinery is not (yet) as strong. Nor should Robredo be written off despite her low poll ratings — her decision to enter the contest has been warmly welcomed by many who are eager to turn a page on the Duterte era; she has been one of the president's staunchest and most consistent critics.

Is Duterte-Carpio expected to eventually enter the race?

She continues to disappoint her legion of supporters — who have been using the hashtag #RunSaraRun to build momentum online — by ruling it out. Days before the last week's filing deadline, she registered to run for another term as mayor of Davao her father's old job. However, her denials should not be taken at face value; there is a tradition of Philippine politicians (especially in the Duterte family) not wanting to look overly eager for power, lest it turn off voters. Several parties have presented what are clearly "placeholder" candidates in the hope that Duterte-Carpio will use one of them as a vehicle to get to Malacañang Palace. She has consistently topped the polls of potential presidential candidates, though her lead has narrowed recently while Marcos's numbers have been rising. This Duterte brand may have been tarnished somewhat by the president's perceived mishandling of the pandemic and a recent corruption scandal — or perhaps because her strategy of delaying a decision is backfiring.

Will Duterte's endorsement be important?

While the president's approval ratings have dipped, they remain very high (75 percent in the latest poll), handing a significant advantage to whomever he backs. That does not, however, guarantee victory for his chosen candidate. The election will become much closer if both Duterte-Carpio and Marcos run for the top job, splitting the vote of supporters of the current president and potentially allowing a candidate such as Moreno or Pacquiao to slip through the middle. Similarly, the Duterte machine would be easier to defeat if they and anti-Duterte politicians fall in behind a single candidate. However, it seems Pacquiao, Moreno, Robredo and Lacson are, for now, determined to stay in the race.

Could Duterte still run for vice president?

Though he recently abandoned plans to run for the vice presidency in response to polls showing voters were lukewarm on the idea, he could throw his hat back in the ring if the polling improves, and if his daughter doesn't run. Among many possible permutations, Marcos or Duterte-Carpio could also sign on to another ticket as vice-presidential candidates. A ticket with either Duterte or Duterte-Carpio as running mate would be much more competitive, although the current frontrunner for VP is Tito Sotto, Lacson's running mate and with big name recognition as a former TV personality.

Is the next president likely to uphold Duterte's legacy on China and the anti-drugs campaign?

None of the main contenders would hug China as closely as Duterte has, though changes in policy would be more moderate under Duterte-Carpio, Moreno, and Lacson, while Pacquiao and Robredo would shift foreign policy more dramatically back toward a firm pro-US stance. Either way, the Philippines appears likely to become a geopolitical "swing state" in terms of the US-China battle for influence in the region. As for the anti-drugs crackdown, polls suggest it has been broadly popular in the Philippines thanks to a perceived reduction in crime, but it has always been tainted with concerns about extra-judicial killings. An impending International Criminal Court investigation will bring to light more evidence of human rights violations. Duterte-Carpio, Marcos, and Dela Rosa would likely maintain (perhaps with some nuances) a tough crackdown on drugs; other candidates would likely distance themselves more from Duterte's controversial campaign.

Peter Mumford is practice head for South and Southeast Asia at Eurasia Group.

Iraq will hold on Sunday its fifth election since the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, and the first since a widespread protest movement in 2019 ousted the government in place at that time. Over 900 candidates are vying for 329 parliamentary seats against a backdrop of still-elevated economic, social, and security tensions in the oil-rich country. Eurasia Group analyst Sofia Meranto explains what's at stake in the vote.

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Energy price surge + winter = ? Natural gas prices are at all-time highs in Europe. In the US, they've gone to a 14-year peak. With demand from post-COVID economies outstripping supply, and winter coming, bills for heating and electricity could soar — and drive up inflation on both continents. Fears about natural gas have, in turn, caused a run in oil markets, driving crude prices to three-year highs as well. Meanwhile, restrictions on using coal have contributed to blackouts in China, causing some exporting factories there to slow production just ahead of Christmas season, when demand for Chinese-made consumer goods soars. More holiday demand chasing fewer gadgets and clothes would mean higher prices. And then of course there's the question of how to tackle inflation while promoting climate change policies that are meant to reduce emissions…

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These are exciting times for Qatar. The tiny but fabulously wealthy Gulf state has been providing the US and other Western powers with invaluable assistance in dealing with a newly ascendant Taliban in Afghanistan. It is preparing to hold its first elections next month, and next year it will host the FIFA World Cup, international soccer's biggest stage and the second most-watched global sporting event after the Olympics.

Qatar has been very successful in raising its international profile in recent years, but it is now finding that this success brings challenges of its own. We talked with Eurasia Group Middle East analyst Sofia Meranto to find more about what's happening in the country.

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There is little intrigue about the outcome of Russia's elections to the Duma (the lower house of parliament) on 17-19 September. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party has won every national election in Russia under President Vladimir Putin, dating back to 2003, and this time will be no exception.

Still, in recent months, the Kremlin has dialled up various forms of political repression against opposition figures, those connected to them and independent media.

We asked Eurasia Group Russia analyst Jason Bush what this escalating repression tells us about Putin's hold over public opinion, and what questions it raises about Russia's long-term future.

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El Salvador will become the world's first country to formally adopt the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as legal tender on 7 September. The move is the brainchild of President Nayib Bukele, a young leader who's eager to shake up El Salvador's economic policy, and is wildly popular with approval ratings of 87 percent. Eurasia Group experts Risa Grais-Targow and Paul Triolo explain how it's all supposed to work.

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