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.

Building on its previous commitment, Walmart is investing an additional $350 billion in products made, grown and assembled in America - supporting more than 750,000 new jobs by 2030. This pledge will aim to avoid more than 100M metric tons of CO2 emissions, advance the growth of U.S. based suppliers, and provide opportunities for more than 9,000 entrepreneurs to become Walmart suppliers and sellers through Walmart's annual Open Call.

China's GDP grew a lower-than-expected 4.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021, a whopping three percentage points less than in the previous period. It's a big deal for the world's second-largest economy, the only major one that expanded throughout the pandemic — and now at risk of missing its growth target of 6 percent for the entire year.

Normally, such a drastic slowdown would have put the ruling Communist Party in a tizzy. But this time, Xi Jinping knows this is the price he must pay for his big plans to curb rising inequality and boost the middle class at the expense of the CCP's traditional economic mantra: high growth above all else.

More Show less

Religious tension rising in Bangladesh: Clashes between Hindus and Muslims in Bangladesh have surged over the past week, leaving at least four people dead. After an image was posted on Facebook showing the Quran at the feet of a statue at a Hindu temple, Muslims burned Hindu-owned homes and attacked their holy sites. Both sides have taken to the street in protest, with Hindus saying that they have been prevented from celebrating Durga Puja, the largest Hindu festival in the country. Such acts of sectarian violence are not uncommon in Bangladesh, a majority-Muslim country where Hindus account for nine percent of the population. Indeed, as Eurasia Group's Kevin Allison recently warned, unverified social media content stoking inter-ethnic conflict is a massive problem throughout South Asia, where for many people Facebook is synonymous with the internet.

More Show less

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Read Ian Bremmer's wide-ranging essay in Foreign Affairs that puts in perspective both the challenge, and the opportunity, that comes from the unprecedented power of Big Tech.

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here on the road, something we haven't done very much recently, but will increasingly as we try to move through COVID. And I want to talk to you about a new article that I just put out in Foreign Affairs that I'm calling "The Technopolar Moment." Not unipolar, not bipolar, not multipolar, technopolar. What the hell does technopolar mean?

It means that increasingly big technology companies are themselves geopolitical actors. So to understand the future of the world, you can't just look at the United States, Europe and China. You need to look at the big tech companies, too.

More Show less

China gets away with a lot these days in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and elsewhere. That's because over the past decade, its economy has experienced explosive growth, making it an indispensable trading partner for almost every country in the world. At the same time, China has been expanding its share of the global economy, and is now set to overtake the US as the world's biggest economic powerhouse in the near term. We take a look at China's annual growth rate and share of the global economy based on GDP over the past decade.

The European Union is, for better or worse, the most ambitious experiment in human history in institutionalized multinational cooperation. Its success depends on the willingness of its members to abide by its rules.

In recent years, the populist-nationalist governments of former Communist bloc members Hungary and Poland have flouted some of those rules in order to boost their own popularity with citizens suspicious of the EU's liberal values on issues like immigration and minority rights. In response, the EU has scolded these "illiberal" governments and threatened forceful action – so far without much effect.

The fight between EU institutions and Poland and Hungary has escalated.

More Show less

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

What is the legacy of Colin Powell?

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell tragically died of complications of COVID-19. He was the first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first Black National Security Advisor and the first Black Secretary of State. And he leaves a legacy of a long career, dedicated almost entirely to public service.

More Show less

Can this guy defeat Viktor Orban? Hungary's opposition movement of odd bedfellows has finally settled on the person they think has the best chance of defeating PM Viktor Orbán at the ballot box: Péter Márki-Zay, a politically conservative small-town mayor from southeastern Hungary, who beat out left-leaning European Parliament member Klara Dobrev in a weekend poll. Márki-Zay has a lot going for him: as a devout Catholic and father of seven it will be hard for the ultraconservative Orbán to paint him as a progressive threat, even as Márki-Zay reaches out to reassure left-leaning groups that he will protect LGBTQ rights. What's more, Márki-Zay has little political baggage: until recently he was a marketing executive. But can the relatively inexperienced Márki-Zay keep the various opposition factions happy? The stakes couldn't be higher: since taking power more than a decade ago, Orbán has deliberately made Hungary into an "illiberal" state, cracking down on the press, undermining the rule of law, and clashing with the EU. Bonus: if Márki-Zay stays in the news, you get to say "Hódmezővásárhely" the name of the city he currently runs.

More Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

Colin Powell's legacy

US Politics

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal