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Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius on Lithuania, Belarus, NATO & Trump

Protests and violence continue to escalate in Belarus as pro-democracy demonstrators demand the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko, whose landslide reelection in August is widely viewed as illegitimate. GZERO Media spoke to Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius of neighboring Lithuania, a nation that has become a staunch ally of the opposition movement in Belarus and is providing refuge to Lukashenko's main challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.


In a conversation with GZERO's Tony Maciulis, Linkevičius offered support for the protesters, saying, "They're still in the streets, still protesting, although they are really intimidated, beaten, raped, tortured, put into the custody. They're still so courageous and trying to fight for their right to choose, basically, and asking just to have normal elections and to elect their leadership."

Of Tikhanovskaya, Linkevičius explained the reasons why his nation offered the opposition leader a safe haven and what life has been like for her since fleeing Belarus, which he describes as "a difficult situation."

Linkevičius also called on the international community to take the ongoing unrest in Belarus seriously and to become more actively involved. "Sanctions is the least we can do," he said. "We also should support civil society, free media, those victims of repressions, to find funds to support them." Multilateral organizations "should do more," he said, "But, as usual, sometimes we are not capable to react on time and that's a pity."

Later in the conversation, Linkevičius discussed COVID-19 response in his nation and across Europe as the number of new cases continues to climb. The Foreign Minister also offered well wishes to President Trump who is in treatment for COVID-19 infection, and said Trump's diagnosis was a reminder of how serious and global the virus is.

In reflecting on the years of US diplomacy since President Trump took office, Linkevičius said it is "not the best time for multilateralism," climate action or free trade, but he praised the current US administration for "visible and tangible participation in the security of our region."

Microsoft announced earlier this year the launch of a new United Nations representation office to deepen their support for the UN's mission and work. Many of the big challenges facing society can only be addressed effectively through multi-stakeholder action. Whether it's public health, environmental sustainability, cybersecurity, terrorist content online or the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, Microsoft has found that progress requires two elements - international cooperation among governments and inclusive initiatives that bring in civil society and private sector organizations to collaborate on solutions. Microsoft provided an update on their mission, activities for the 75th UN General Assembly, and the team. To read the announcement from Microsoft's Vice President of UN Affairs, John Frank, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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They call it Einstein. It's the multibillion-dollar digital defense system the US has used to catch outside hackers and attackers since 2003. But it was no match for what's looking like one of the biggest cyber breaches in US history. Ian Bremmer breaks it down.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Cyber attack: an act of espionage or war?

Since Martin Luther King Jr delivered his iconic "I have a dream" speech in August 1963, the number of Black Americans elected to the United States Congress has dramatically increased. Still, it wasn't until 2019, more than half a century later, that the share of Black members serving in the House of Representatives reflected the percentage of Black Americans in the broader population —12 percent. To date, only six states have sent a Black representative to serve in the US Senate (recent runoff elections will make Georgia the seventh state), and many states have never elected a Black representative to either house of Congress. Here's a look at Black representation in every US Congress since 1963.

More than 32 million COVID shots have now been administered globally, raising hopes that the light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight.

The US has vaccinated 3 percent of its total population, while the UK is nearing a solid 5 percent inoculation rate. In Israel, which has been hailed as a vaccine success story, almost 24 percent of people have already received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

But while many countries are able to glimpse the outlines of a post-COVID world, there is a huge population of people who are being left out entirely. Refugees, as well as displaced, undocumented, and stateless people around the world remain ineligible for inoculations and vulnerable to the coronavirus.

We take a look at three case studies where powerless populations are being left in the lurch.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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