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:
<ul class="ee-ul"><li>The candidates are <strong>Friedrich Merz</strong>, a business-friendly candidate of the center right, <strong>Armin Laschet</strong>, governor of Germany's largest state, and <strong>Norbert Röttgen</strong>, the current chairman of parliament's foreign affairs committee. </li><li>Any of these three could win. Merz has pledged to lead the CDU "out from the shadow of Angela Merkel" by leading the party toward the center right. The other two contenders have offered themselves as centrists and consensus <a href="https://think.ing.com/articles/germany-guick-guide-to-this-weeks-cdu-leadership-vote/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">builders</a>.</li><li>The winner will enter negotiations with the CDU's sister party, the Bavaria-only Christian Social Union and its popular <a href="https://www.web24.news/u/2020/06/spiegel-poll-on-black-green-coalition-and-candidate-for-chancellor.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">leader</a>, Markus Söder, to choose a CDU-CSU unity candidate for September's national election. That choice will be made in late March or early April. </li><li>Watch the popularity ratings of this weekend's winner over the next few weeks. Those numbers will likely determine whether the new CDU leader or the CSU's Söder will be chosen as the union's candidate for chancellery. </li><li>That CDU-CSU unity candidate is highly likely to replace Merkel as Germany's chancellor in September, possibly in coalition with the Green party.</li></ul><p><strong>Europe will be watching all this closely,</strong> because Merkel's September exit will mark a crucial turning point for the European Union. Over the past 15 years, <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/is-angela-merkel-staging-a-comeback" target="_self">Merkel's ability</a> to use Germany's unrivalled political and economic muscle and her own powers of persuasion have helped Europe navigate: </p><ul class="ee-ul"><li>The <a href="https://www.npr.org/2011/12/08/143292255/can-angela-merkel-save-europe" target="_blank">sovereign debt crisis </a>that followed the 2008-2009 global financial market meltdown</li><li>The migrant crisis that followed Syria's civil war</li><li>Increasingly troubled relations dividing Europe's North from South, and East from West</li><li>Ever more complex relationships with the United States and China</li><li>The process of moving beyond Brexit to build a new relationship with the UK</li><li>The <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/07/europe/angela-merkel-coronavirus-legacy-grm-intl/index.html" target="_blank">response </a>to the global pandemic</li></ul><p>She certainly hasn't done all that alone. But as leader of the EUs most influential member, and by virtue of her experience and of international respect for her judgment and ability, she has proven indispensable for the EU's ability to absorb an extraordinary series of shocks. </p><p><strong>Europe faces new challenges in 2021.</strong> The enormous <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-17/eu-unveils-conditions-for-gigantic-recovery-fund-disbursements" target="_blank">economic recovery fund</a> for EU members must be successfully rolled out. In a COVID world, there must be wisely crafted new rules for how much EU member states will tax and spend. </p><p>There's work to do with US President-elect Joe Biden to bolster transatlantic relations. The EU parliament will <a href="https://www.euronews.com/2020/12/30/eu-and-china-set-to-sign-historic-investment-deal-but-could-human-rights-concerns-scupper-" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">consider </a>an historic and controversial investment deal with China. There are potential crises with Turkey to <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/11/europes-stance-on-turkey-toughens-with-sanctions-weapons-talk" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">manage</a> and complex relations with Russia to consider. </p><p>French President Emmanuel Macron will now move to center stage, but there are factors that will limit his ability to fill the vacuum left behind by Merkel. </p><p>First, given Germany's economic and political clout, Macron will need a capable and willing German partner, and for most of this year, Merkel will remain in place with reduced influence. It will take time for Germany's new leader to establish himself. </p><p>Second, just as Merkel departs in September, Macron must look to his own campaign for re-election next year. France has <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/the-road-ahead-for-macron-is-only-getting-rougher" target="_self">plenty </a>of health, economic, and security challenges to keep him busy. </p><strong>Bottom line:</strong> Saturday will open a new chapter in Europe's history — the post-Merkel EU. We'll learn more about what that means for Germany soon enough. Its meaning for Europe — and its ability to weather the next unexpected storm — will take much longer.
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Does Cuba belong back on the US's State Sponsors of Terrorism list? The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board showed their support for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision on this issue in a recent opinion piece, "Cuba's Support for Terror." But in this edition of The Red Pen, Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analysts Risa Grais-Targow, Jeffrey Wright and Regina Argenzio argue that the WSJ's op-ed goes too far.
We are now just a few days away from the official end of Donald Trump's presidency, but the impacts of his latest moves in office will obviously last far beyond Joe Biden's inauguration. There's the deep structural political polarization, the ongoing investigations into the violence we saw at the Capitol, lord knows what happens over the next few days, there's also last-minute policy decisions here and abroad. And that's where we're taking our Red Pen this week, specifically US relations with Cuba.
<p>The Trump administration this past week declared Cuba a "state sponsor of terrorism." Just to remind you, the Obama administration removed Cuba from that list in 2015 as part of a broader opening with the communist country. The Wall Street Journal editorial board is a big fan of the decision to put it back on the list.</p><p>Cuba has problems when it comes to human rights and suppression of political opponents, plus close ties to countries that the United States hardly friendly with, like Iran and Venezuela. But we think this op-ed actually goes too far, as does Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's parting shot of putting that nation back on this list.</p><p>So, let's get to it. First, The Editorial Board writes that "Cuba will attempt to coax Joe Biden to resume Mr. Obama's courtship, but the regime never honored its promises at home or abroad."</p><p>Well, Cuba wasn't really given a chance, and that wasn't the point. Trump started to roll back Obama's policies immediately after becoming president. Obama intended to engage the Cuban population and encourage economic opening with the United States as a way to bring about political change. The policy was never about the communist regime's "promises."</p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-rebelmouse-image"> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQ2MDQyNC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MTM4NjMwMX0.XVSB5SSABHpigORSFs2YxqXz9wvka-dvp6QORhpkCpI/img.png?width=980" id="ca393" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2d570234e5c4a8365a0b421405c8fdf8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="..."the regime never honored its promises or abroad." It never had the chance to keep promises." /> </p><p>Next, the Wall Street Journal argues that Cuba is responsible for the "collapse of Venezuela's democracy." Maduro "survives in power thanks to Cuba," and Venezuela has become a "base for transnational crime and terrorism."<br/></p><p>Now, it's true, Cuba has and does support the Maduro regime. So have Russia, Turkey, China, and Iran. US sanctions have also deepened Venezuela's crisis. And the United States doesn't seem so concerned about Venezuela being a terrorist base since Venezuela is not actually on the terrorist list itself.</p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-rebelmouse-image"> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQ2MDQzOS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTcxNTI4Nn0.9IPwICn8BaVxi0_oE0hSovbVSH6LQYnPWAKFuB8Q9e0/img.png?width=980" id="27b90" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6372972c3419f3755c78871974258dd4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt=""...a Cuban satellite used fas a base for transnational crime and terrorism." Venezuela isn't even on the sponsors of terror list!" /> </p><p>The op-ed also states that Cuba has "deepened and broadened its commitment to terrorism," and that the nation harbors terrorists and criminals wanted by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.<br/></p><p>By this standard it's true, but many US allies would also need to make the list. Saudi Arabia for example, has long harbored people suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks. France refuses to extradite its own citizens to face US courts. And by the way, the United States has harbored many anti-Castro exiles who have committed acts of violence in Cuba.</p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-rebelmouse-image"> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQ2MDQ1OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MjUwMjY2N30.U2hLXBJuQKeZhFQrF2w9srjrxACovmlKeCZ2sVGy2Ag/img.png?width=980" id="b81a5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b0f498f54b3e868b7a739b2279f9321b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt=""..it has deepened and broadened its commitment to terrorism." Let's be honest: this isn't about anything Cuba did. " /> </p><p>Now Cuba is far from being blameless, but that's not the point. Why put Cuba back on this list now? The decision has a lot more to do with the US political calendar than anything Cuba has done. The 11<sup>th</sup> hour move is intended to complicate Biden's Cuba plans, nothing more.<br/></p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-rebelmouse-image"> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQ2MDQ4MC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTE2MDU0OH0.Izs5vfBcsHt_q5UdAKaX91exAwpOIPYd7p93GF3sY48/img.png?width=980" id="2c582" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b47cc58da7577a08338187575e005898" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt=""...it has deepened and broadened its commitment to terrorism." Is Cuba blameless? Of course not. Neither is America." /> </p><p>It was Ronald Reagan who first added Cuba to the terrorism list back in 1982, and the US had embargoes in place with Cuba for nearly 50 years. Communist government is still in power and still repressive.</p><p>What makes Trump, or the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, think this time around is going to be any different? It feels more like another mess to toss at the incoming president and his administration.<br/></p><p>Add it to the growing pile.</p>
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Watch Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, lend perspective to this week's historic impeachment proceedings.
Impeachment. President Trump became the first president ever to be impeached twice this week. And the question on everybody's mind is will he be convicted in the Senate? And I think the answer right now is we just don't know. I'd probably bet against it. There was a really strong Republican vote against impeaching him in the House, with only 10 of the over 100 Republicans breaking with the President and voting to impeach him. And the question now is in the Senate, is there more support for a conviction? Senate Majority Leader McConnell has indicated he's at least open to it and wants to hear some of the facts. And I expect you're going to hear a lot of other Republicans make the same statement, at least until the trial begins.
<p>What are the reasons they wouldn't impeach? Well, Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas has argued that you can't impeach a president after he's already left office. And the trial would of course start after he leaves office. This probably isn't true because it's a question that would probably be up to the Senate to decide. The Supreme Court is usually loath to weigh in on issues of internal matters for the legislative branch, a co-equal branch of government. So, it's the Senate's decision. If they want to impeach a president after he leaves office, they can. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina has argued that this would be a bad precedent to set and could lead to some absurd examples, like impeaching George Washington years after he died. That's probably a slippery slope that you don't have to worry about too much, but it's an argument Republicans might make.</p><p>You're also going to hear some Republicans say that the President did something wrong, deserves to be censured, but shouldn't be impeached. This is something that some Republicans in the House side have said. Hasn't really caught on yet in the Senate but could be something that people turn to short of impeachment. I think you can easily see four to five votes already today being there to impeach the President among Republicans in the Senate, but you need 17. If McConnell goes, he probably brings along some other Republicans and that would get you closer to the threshold that you need. But there's a lot of facts that are still to come out. There will be a trial with fact finding in it. And the President's own behavior could dictate which way this goes. If he continues to indicate support for the riot in the coming weeks, if he continues to make controversial statements or make a problem of himself, he could get convicted.</p><p>The implications of him being convicted are that once he's impeached, even out of office, both Houses of Congress can vote with a simple majority to bar him from ever holding political office again, which might be helpful for Republicans looking to the 2024 presidential election. But on the other hand, President Trump isn't really one to follow precedent. He could decide to run anyway and let somebody sue him and then build up his political capital and attract attention and fundraising to himself in the process.<br/>So the trial should start right around the 19th or the 20th. We don't actually know when that's going to happen yet. It may interfere with Senate business, but the Senators should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. I would expect them to be able to set up a process to confirm Biden's cabinet nominees at the same time they're running this impeachment trial. This does, however, give the opportunity to some Republican Senators who are opposed to Biden's cabinet to gum up the works. But I think Republicans are generally probably going to want to at least look cooperative in the early days of this administration. So I don't see this being too big of an impediment to Biden's agenda.<br/></p>
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January 15, 2021
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?