What we are watching: Power in Sudan, Racial Tensions in Israel, Troubles in Turkey

What we are watching: Power in Sudan, Racial Tensions in Israel, Troubles in Turkey

The fate of Sudan's power-sharing deal — Sudanese opposition protesters have reached a power-sharing agreement with the military under which the two sides will create a "sovereign council" to be headed by the military for 21 months, followed by 18 months of civilian leadership ahead of fresh elections. In addition, the two sides have pledged a full investigation of the military's deadly crackdown on protesters in June. It remains to be seen whether that's truly possible, given that the killings were carried out by forces loyal to General Mohamed Hamdan, currently the most powerful figure in Sudan. In addition, the protesters seem to have made a big concession by allowing the military to run the council first — but in the end, they have the problem that all civilian popular revolutions must face: you need men with guns to run a state — who will they be?

Racial and generational tensions in Israel — Last week, an off-duty cop killed an unarmed Ethiopian Jewish teenager under unclear circumstances, prompting riots and protests among Israel's small, marginalized community of Ethiopian Jews. The back story is that tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in the 1980s, escaping famine and political repression at home. But while that first generation of immigrants remained stoic in the face of what its leaders describe as discrimination and racism, their children are much more willing to confront these issues head on, opening another fault line in Israel's increasingly polarized society.

Erdogan's Troubles — Troubles for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have only deepened since his man lost the Istanbul mayor's election…twice. Early Saturday morning, Erdogan fired central bank governor Murat Cetinkaya because he refused to lower interest rates in order to give Erdogan's political standing a boost with a short-term surge of economic growth. The move in the wee hours on a weekend was evidently meant to give investors time to digest the news before they reacted. But when markets opened Monday, the Turkish lira dropped like a stone, further devaluing the money that Turks carry in their pockets. Later on Monday, Erdogan suffered a second blow as former Turkish deputy prime minister Ali Babacan announced his resignation from Erdogan's Justice and Development Party over "deep differences" with the party's direction. He's now expected to form a rival party with former president Abdullah Gul.

A new politics in Greece — What challenges await the center-right New Democracy party after it rang up a resounding victory in Sunday's election? Check out Leon Levy's take here, and our interview with incoming prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakos here. "If there's a bigger lesson for the world to take away from Greek elections this Sunday," Leon writes, "it's this: even populist movements run out of steam."

What we are ignoring:

Russia's explanation of a deadly sub mishap – Last week, 14 Russian sailors perished in a fire aboard a submarine that Moscow says was carrying out a survey of the sea floor. Russian President Vladimir Putin later revealed the sub was nuclear powered and, although the reactor is reportedly safe, an anonymous military official was quoted in the local press saying that the valiant efforts of the crew had saved the ship and "averted a catastrophe of planetary scale." Our sympathies are with the dead and their families, but there's no way we're buying the official line that this secretive, high-tech sub was innocently exploring the ocean depths for science.

As digital technology reshapes the workplace, a move toward skills-based training and employment will unlock opportunities for companies and job seekers alike. While automation and AI are already taking on many routine tasks, demand for people with technology skills is rising fast around the globe. Getting the right people into the right jobs within the right organizations is one of the biggest challenges facing the world of work. So how can it be overcome? To read some recent skills-related stories, visit Microsoft On the Issues.

In recent days, Northern Ireland has seen some of its worst street violence in over a decade. The anger has subsided a bit this week, but post-Brexit fears leave many uncertain about their future in a deeply divided land with a long history of political violence between Irish republicans and UK unionists.

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Iran has vowed to avenge Sunday's attack on its Natanz nuclear facility. Tehran blames Israel, which — as in the past — has neither confirmed nor denied it was responsible. And all this happens just days after indirect talks on US plans to rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resumed in Vienna. What the Iranians do now will determine the immediate future of those negotiations, a Biden administration priority.

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The end of "forever" in Afghanistan: The Biden administration says it'll withdraw all remaining US troops in Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that prompted Washington to invade the country in the first place. It's unclear how the withdrawal will affect American plans to steer intra-Afghan peace talks in the right direction under the terms of a peace agreement reached by the Trump administration and the Taliban in May 2020. Trump promised to pull out next month as long as the former al-Qaida hosts kept their end of the bargain by not launching deadly attacks (spoiler alert: they have not). Biden's move honors his campaign pledge to end a "forever war" that has claimed more than 2,300 American lives and cost the US Treasury almost $1 trillion since 2001. However, critics fear that a hasty departure could leave the Afghans helpless to prevent the Taliban from returning to power, rendering the entire mission not only expensive, but ultimately pointless.

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Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week on World In 60: J&J vaccine woes, Blinken warns China, Fukushima water and a large rabbit.

How will the pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine affect the overall pandemic fight in the United States?

Yeah. Right at it, right? Well, we heard that the FDA has suspended vaccines from J&J because of blood clots. They found six in seven million cases. It's kind of like the suspension of AstraZeneca in Europe. It's likely only going to last for a few days. It's a very small percentage of the total number of vaccines that are being jabbed right now into the arms of Americans. It's not going to really slow America's ability to get everyone vaccinated, but it is going to create more vaccine hesitancy. People at the margins will say, "Is this safe? They said it was fine. Now they're saying it's not okay." I understand why there's enormous caution on the part of the FDA, but I wish, wish, wish the communications had been a little softer around all of this. Also will be a problem in terms of export, as J&J is going to be a piece of that. And again, others around the world will say, "Well, if I don't get Moderna, if I don't get Pfizer, I'm not sure I want to take it at all." So all of this is negative news, though I would still say the United States this year is looking really, really good among major economies in dealing with pandemic.

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750 million: While struggling with one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world right now, India has approved Russia's Sputnik V COVID vaccine. Moscow has a deal in place to produce 750 million doses of the shot in India.

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In recent weeks, both Pfizer and Moderna have announced early phases of vaccine trials in children, and Johnson & Johnson also plans to start soon. If you know a kid who wants to learn about vaccines, how they work, why we need them, this story is just what the doctor ordered.

Watch the episode: Vaccine nationalism could prolong the pandemic

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Welcome to your week and I've got your Quick Take and thought I would talk a little bit about where we are with Iran. One of the Biden administration's promises upon election was to get the Americans back into the JCPOA, the Iranian nuclear deal. As of last week, negotiations are formally restarted, and pretty quickly, in Vienna, they're not direct. The Americans and Iranians are both there, but they're being intermediated by the Europeans because they're not yet ready to show that they can talk directly to each other. That's Iran being cautious in the run-up to their presidential election coming this summer. But the movement is there. So far the talk has largely been about sequencing the Iranian government, saying that all of the sanctions need to be removed before they're willing to go back into the deal, because the Americans after all, unilaterally withdrew from a deal that the Iranians were indeed adhering to, and the inspections did confirm that.

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