Republican National Convention 2020: Trump's White House speech & other unusual plans

Watch as Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber previews the RNC 2020:

The Republicans are meeting this week for their convention, a mostly virtual affair, because the 336 delegates are still going to get together in Charlotte, North Carolina, to do all the convention business, including the roll call of states that will officially nominate the president. This is happening because the convention rules didn't allow changes that would require it to go all virtual like the Democrats did.

Other highlights of the week are going to be President Trump's speech from the White House lawn, which has raised both ethical and legal concerns that the White House seems unconcerned about. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is giving an address from a business trip in Jerusalem, which has been unusual. And you've got a couple from Missouri who's being accused of a felony for pointing guns at protesters walking by their property a couple weeks ago. This gets at one of the themes of the convention, which is going to have a strong focus on Democratic policies that the Republicans are going to argue undermine American greatness, cater to the radical left, and are going to reverse all the progress that's been made under President Trump.

One other unusual thing is that there's no party platform this year. Usually the party's wonks get together every four years to put together a statement of what the party stands for and what they're going to win, should they take back the White House. Usually this is routinely ignored by politicians. And so this year, the Republicans decided to just get rid of the convention altogether and recycle the old platform from 2016. The president is bringing in a couple of reality TV producers, including one that worked with him on The Celebrity Apprentice, to help make this a really good show. It's going for half an hour longer than the Democrats did in primetime. And the president's hoping that he can get some kind of approval rating bounce. Right now, he's at the bottom of his range between 40% and 42%. And his approval right now, there was an Ispos poll released over the weekend that suggested Biden got about a five-point bounce to his favorability rating coming out of his convention, and that's kind of thing the president is looking for here.

A sector that's rapidly expanding, domotics - domus (home) plus robotics - are smart houses that manage temperature and lighting to minimize wasted electricity. For example, smart thermostats sense your presence and set the temperature according to your needs, saving 20% a year on heating bills. Watch this episode of Eni's Energy Shot series to learn how domotics save money and increase a home's value.

Even if the US, Europe, China, and India reduce carbon emissions at the rate they've promised, much climate damage has already been done. That shouldn't stop these and other countries from doing all they can to meet their net-zero emissions targets, but they also better start preparing for a world of people on the move.

Climate change will displace an unprecedented number of people in coming years, creating not just a series of humanitarian crises in many parts of the world, but lasting political, economic, and social upheaval as those of us who live on higher ground try to find a sustainable place for these climate refugees to live.

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Listen: In a wide-ranging interview with Ian Bremmer, Pulitzer Prize-winning climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert assesses the current state of the climate crisis and answers a simple question: how screwed are we? And as the climate continues to warm at a record pace, she unpacks some of the more extreme climate solutions that some increasingly desperate nations are starting to consider. Such measures may sound like stuff of science fiction (see: injecting sulfur particles into the atmosphere or shooting millions of tiny orbital mirrors into outer space) as times become more desperate, their appeal is growing. Can we fix the planet the same way we broke it?

China is making its neighbors nervous these days. Chinese fighter jets are screaming into Taiwan's airspace. Hundreds of armed Chinese "fishing boats" are plying the disputed waters of the South China Sea. And Beijing is slashing imports from some trading partners because of disputes over political issues.

To push back against this increasingly aggressive behavior, regional powers Japan, India, and Australia, together with the US, are boosting cooperation via a 17-year-old grouping called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or simply "The Quad." But how effectively can these four countries really work together to counter China? Eurasia Group's Peter Mumford discusses the Quad's future.

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Want to tackle climate change? If so you'll have to reach out to China, which is currently responsible for over a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions. Beijing will certainly take your call, as climate is a huge priority for President Xi Jinping.

Xi has promised that China will go "net zero" — meaning its carbon emissions will be offset by equal amounts of either natural or tech-driven carbon capture — by 2060. Is a decade later than most of the top 10 polluting countries fast enough for the rest of the world? It is for the Chinese, who want to help but have their own ideas about how.

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When will it be safe for the world's children to be vaccinated against COVID-19? The World Health Organization's chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, says that vaccines are being tested in children down to the age of six or even lower, and promises that data on children will be shared as soon as it's available. She also notes that there are not enough studies on transmission in schools, and the WHO has advised governments to prioritize schools "over other things like shopping malls or cinema halls or pubs." Dr. Swaminathan spoke with Ian Bremmer in an interview on GZERO World, airing on US public television stations starting April 9. Check local listings.

Watch the episode: Vaccine nationalism could prolong the pandemic

Over the past half century, climate change has had an immense impact on the farmers who produce the food we eat. A new study by Cornell University shows that global warming has knocked 21 percent off of global agriculture productivity growth since 1965, equivalent to seven years of normal growth if humans had not polluted the planet. But not all countries have been affected in the same say. Farmers in warmer parts of the world have been hit hard as conditions grow more arid, but sub-polar regions in Canada or Siberia are now actually better for agriculture because they are not as cold as they used to be. Here we take a look at how climate has affected farming productivity growth around the world.

On Tuesday, a major US intelligence report said the top threat to America right now is China. A day later, John Kerry, the Biden administration's "climate czar," got on a plane to... China.

Such is the drama of ties between the world's two largest economies these days.

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Can "the Quad" constrain China?

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