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What is holding up the coronavirus relief package in Congress?

Ben White, Chief Economic Correspondent for Politico, provides his perspective on the news in US politics:

What is holding up the coronavirus relief package in Congress and how would it help Americans?

The biggest holdup is Democrats are not comfortable with the $500 billion fund to bail out certain industries like the airlines. They think there are not enough strings attached, not enough limits on executive pay or stock buybacks. They also want more unemployment insurance, extensions, and other efforts to aid individuals. But overall, it would send checks to a lot of Americans, earning under $100,000 or $75,000. It would do a lot to help bail out small businesses. So, a lot of good stuff in there and I think they'll make a deal.


Is the coronavirus epidemic bringing our politicians closer together or further apart?

Well, right now, they're pretty far apart. I think more economic damage, further drops in the stock market, will start to bring them together. We'll get one big package done and then they'll have to come back and do a lot more, I think.

Why has Joe Biden been so invisible in recent days?

Well, this has been really puzzling to me. He was pretty much dark for a long period of time. That's starting to change. He did a briefing today on camera. He did some stuff yesterday. I think he's starting to come out and push back on how President Trump has handled this crisis. I think we'll see a lot more from Joe Biden in the coming days.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

Over the weekend, some 40,000 Russians braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Russian opposition leader Navalny in jail. Hundreds of thousands demonstrating across the country in Russia over well over 100 cities, well over 3000 arrested. And Putin responding by saying that this video that was put out that showed what Navalny said was Putin's palace that costs well over a billion dollars to create and Putin, I got to say, usually he doesn't respond to this stuff very quickly. Looked a little defensive, said didn't really watch it, saw some of it, but it definitely wasn't owned by him or owned by his relatives.

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Even as vaccines roll out around the world, COVID-19 is continuing to spread like wildfire in many places, dashing hopes of a return to normal life any time soon. Some countries, like Israel and the UK for instance, have been praised for their inoculation drives, while still recording a high number of new cases. It's clear that while inoculations are cause for hope, the pace of rollouts cannot keep up with the fast-moving virus. Here's a look at the countries that have vaccinated the largest percentages of their populations so far – and a snapshot of their daily COVID caseloads (7-day rolling average) in recent weeks.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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