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US readiness for coronavirus; US-Taliban peace & Afghanistan's future

Ian Bremmer's perspective on what's happening in geopolitics:

Separating the politics from policy, is the US ready for a coronavirus pandemic?

The answer is clearly no. Because so much of the medical supplies and the pharmaceuticals, the supply chain comes from China. The country that was hit hardest by coronavirus. Their supply chain has been radically disrupted, which means as this comes to United States and expands as it almost surely will, you're going to see shortages. Add that to fake news and the potential for panic buying and stockpiling and a bigger economic hit is greater than we would like it to be.

How real is the US-Taliban peace agreement and what is the road ahead in Afghanistan?

Two very different questions. It's very real in the sense the Americans are looking to engage with the Taliban. A very good conversation, as President Trump said, to get the Americans out of Afghanistan after 20 years of fighting, nearly. The longest war in American history. Those troops are starting to withdraw. And I think that there's a good chance that you're going to get most, if not all of them out over the course of the next year, plus. But that doesn't mean peace on the ground. The Taliban certainly not disarming. And the engagement between the Americans and the Afghanis has not involved the Afghan government. That's a serious problem for the people that are going to end up getting governed, a lot of them, at least by the Taliban. Last time that happened, it was one of the most repressive regimes of the world. That's kind of what we're heading back to.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

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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