What is going on between the WHO, the US and China?

What is going on between the WHO, the US and China?

We need someone to blame for this virus crisis, right? Trump will be elected or not in November on the back of well over 100,000 deaths, horrible economic performance and unemployment. No real bounce seen before November. Probably a second wave just before elections, given the seasonality of the virus. Which means you've got to blame China, the World Health Organization. And that means the Americans threatening to pull out of the organization as a whole, saying that they're doing lifting for China and also demanding investigation, as are other countries, of China for how they handled the initial outbreak of the disease. I am much more sympathetic to calls about Chinese responsibility because it's clear they did mishandle and did cover up the early days of this virus. The Chinese are saying they're only prepared to accept an investigation after the crisis is over. The WHO is saying that's three to five years from now. I agree on the time frame. Don't agree that that would be an appropriate way to handling it. A lot of countries around the world, particularly allies of the United States, are increasingly putting pressure on China. Big trade dust-up between the Chinese and the Australians as a consequence. Not directed by the United States, which is interesting. Australia did that all by themselves.


Secondly, how are lockdown measures affecting Turkey during Ramadan?

Erdogan, the president who was trying to reopen the economy understands if they allow fully people to come to mass prayers and the rest during Ramadan, would lead to much more significant outbreaks. They have gotten their testing regime up significantly. Their economy is in real trouble. They're keeping it locked down while Ramadan is going on. That is a smart move. Certainly, one of the economies out there that I am most concerned about. They're going to need to go someplace for international aid, most likely that the IMF and Erdogan wants no part of it. He said publicly, absolutely not, a horrible organization, they force all sorts of unacceptable reforms, put you under their thumb. But if it's not them, I don't see money for them. The potential for a really messy exit, capital controls, default, seems reasonably high in the coming year in Turkey.

How is Vladimir Putin and Russia handling the pandemic?

Pretty badly. Doctors keep getting thrown out of windows in Russia. We don't like to see that. Doctors that are dealing with the coronavirus, they've been not upfront around how many people were getting this disease in the early days, as well as how many people have been dying from it. Russia now has the second highest number of cases in the world that they're reporting. Though the death toll is still pretty low, quite low, because if people die from other illnesses, even if they have coronavirus, they usually will put the other illness. A lot of doctors are saying this is being mishandled. Putin presently at 59% approval ratings. That's the worst approval rating of his entire presidency. Keep in mind that also, that's on the back of $30 oil. A big fight that was mistimed with the Saudis on that front. And, of course, economic contraction. Putin has no opposition to speak of in the country. He's not under any pressure to leave. It's not under any pressure to go anywhere, even after this term is over. He's changing the constitution, over time. He's going to be president for life. But he's not governing well, and his economy and his country is in severe decline. And that's obvious in the what they can and can't do in other parts of the world.

Finally, another health minister gone. Where is Brazil and its coronavirus response?

Pretty much the worst of any major democracy around the world. Two health ministers, both capable, fired within four weeks. Not something you normally want, but really not during a pandemic. In Brazil, they're saying that everyone should be taking the miracle drug, chloroquine. We now have President Trump saying he's taking hydroxychloroquine himself, even with the FDA saying you shouldn't. But he hasn't gotten rid of Fauci or a second head of the infectious disease response. Bolsonaro, by a strong head and shoulders, deserves the accolade for most incompetent response of a democracy to coronavirus.

Paper was originally made from rags until the introduction of cellulose in 1800. Since then, it has transformed into a "circular" industry, with 55% of paper produced in Italy recovered. It no longer just comes from trees, either. Some companies produce paper with scraps from the processing of other products like wool and walnuts.

Learn more about this rags to riches story in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

In late 2017, Zimbabwe's long-serving strongman Robert Mugabe was deposed by the army after 37 years in power. Amid huge popular celebrations, he handed over the reins to Emmerson Mnangagwa, his former spy chief. It was an extraordinary turn of history: Mugabe, one of Africa's last "Big Men" and a hero of the country's liberation war to end white minority rule, went out with barely a whimper, placing Zimbabwe — stricken by economic ruin and international isolation — in the hands of "The Crocodile."

Mugabe has since died, but almost three years after his departure, Zimbabwe's woes continue.

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As the world prepares to mark the 75th anniversary since American forces dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, global non-proliferation efforts, first codified in Cold War-era treaties, are in jeopardy. While the overall number of nuclear weapons continues to decrease — mainly because the US and Russia have set about dismantling retired weapons — both countries, which account for 90 percent of the world's total nuclear arsenal, continue to modernize their nuclear weapons programs. Meanwhile, the New START treaty, which limits the number of long-range nuclear weapons that each side can deploy to about 1,500 apiece, is at risk of collapsing. Here's a look at which countries have nuclear weapon stockpiles and who's ready to use them.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Happy Monday, we are in August, summer, should be taking it a little easier. Coronavirus not taking the stress levels off but hopefully giving people the excuse, if you're not traveling so much, be close with your families, your loved ones and all that. Look, this is not a philosophical conversation, this is a talk about what's happening in the world, a little Quick Take for you.

First of all, you know, I'm getting a little bit more optimistic about the news in the United States right now. Yes, honestly, I am. In part because the caseload is flattening across the country and it's reducing in some of the core states that have seen the greatest explosion in this continuation of the first wave. Yes, the deaths are going up and they should continue to for a couple of weeks because it is a lagging indicator in the United States. But the fact that deaths are going up does not say anything about what's coming in the next few weeks. That tells you what's happened in the last couple of weeks.

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TikTok, ya don't stop: The wildly popular video app TikTok has been in the crosshairs of American lawmakers for many months now. Why? Because the app is owned by a Chinese company, raising national security concerns that it could funnel personal data on its 100 million American users to the Chinese government. The plot thickened in recent days after President Trump abruptly threatened to ban the app altogether, risking a backlash among its users and imperiling US tech giant Microsoft's efforts to buy the company's North American operations. After a weekend conversation between Microsoft and the White House, the sale negotiations are back on but US lawmakers say any deal must strictly prevent American users' data from winding up in Chinese Communist Party servers. The broader fate of TikTok — which has now been banned in India, formerly its largest market, and may be broken up under US pressure — nicely illustrates the new "tech Cold War" that is emerging between China and the United States. A Microsoft/TikTok deal is expected by September 15. Tick..Tock.

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