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What we're watching: Argentina back to the future?

What we're watching: Argentina back to the future?

Argentina's "Back to the Future" Vote – In 2015, Argentines chose a radically different direction for their country. By electing the pro-business Mauricio Macri as president, they rejected more than a decade of left-wing Peronist populism in favor of an experiment with economic reforms to open the economy. When they head back to the polls this Sunday for the first round of the next presidential election, it looks like they'll render a stark verdict: it hasn't worked. The "dream" that Macri promised has become a nightmare, because his economic reforms inflicted enough pain to provoke popular backlash, but without reassuring investors that the government was committed to long-term change. The Peronist party, led by Alberto Fernandez with former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his running mate, is the clear favorite to win, perhaps without a second-round runoff. We're watching to see how Argentines understand their past and how they want to move toward the future.


Kurds Without Guns – Think of the Kurds now retreating from northeast Syria as part of the recent US-Turkey and Turkey-Russia deals, and you'll probably picture men with guns. But more than 176,000 civilians, nearly 80,000 of them children, have been forced from their homes in that region, according to the UN. It's not clear where these people will go. In their place, Turkey's government says it will dispatch large numbers of Syrian Arab refugees who are now living in camps inside Turkey. In short, Turkey is remaking the ethnic balance inside the borders of another country as part of a deal with Washington.

Baby Shark: The Protest Remix – A woman driving through Beirut with her 15 month-old son in the passenger seat finds her vehicle surrounded by dozens of shouting protesters. The child becomes frightened. To reassure the thoroughly befuddled toddler, protesters begin dancing and singing "Baby Shark" a hit children's tune that's been watched close to 4 billion times on YouTube. We're watching (and rewatching) this video of the incident, because we're almost as amused and bewildered as the kid.

What We're Ignoring:

Les Expos sont là! - It took more than half a century, but the Montreal Expos have finally advanced to baseball's biggest stage, the World Series! The pride of Quebec and their mascot Youppi! have taken the first two games in this best-of-seven series from the Houston Astros. It's a....wait, what? Ah...It appears the Expos left Montreal in 2004 to become the Washington Nationals. So, ya know, never mind.

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.

On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a remarkable series of executive orders. Boom! The US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord. Bang! The United States rejoins the World Health Organization. Pow! No more ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries. Biden's press secretary reminded reporters later in the day that all these orders merely begin complex processes that take time, but the impact is still dramatic.

If you lead a country allied with the US, or you're simply hoping for some specific commitment or clear and credible statement of purpose from the US government, you might feel a little dizzy today. The sight of an American president (Barack Obama) signing his name, of the next president (Donald Trump) erasing that name from the same legislation/bill, and then the following president (Biden) signing it back into law again will raise deep concerns over the long-term reliability of the world's still-most-powerful nation.

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"There needs to be a dramatic and deep reduction in the amount of debt on the poorest countries. That's clear." As the world's poorest nations struggle to recover from a devastating pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass argues that freeing them of much of their debt will be key. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no qualms about saying that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on our podcast.

Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (more than) 60 Seconds:

Biden's first scheduled call with a world leader will be with Canada's Justin Trudeau. What's going on with the Keystone Pipeline?

Well, Biden said that that's it. Executive order, one of the first is that he will stop any construction or development of the Keystone Pipeline. This is of course an oil pipeline that would allow further oil sands oil to come to the United States. The infrastructure is significantly overstretched, it's led to backlogs, inefficiency, accidents, all the rest, but it also facilitates more energy development and keeps prices comparatively down if you get it done. So, there are lots of reasons why the energy sector in Canada wants it. Having said all of that, Trudeau, even though he's been a supporter of Keystone XL, let's keep in mind that he did not win support in Alberta, which is where the big energy patch in Canada is located. This is a real problem for the government of Alberta, Canada is a very decentralized federal government, even more so than the United States. The premier of Alberta is immensely unhappy with Biden right now, they've taken a $1.5 billion equity stake in the project. I expect there will actually be litigation against the United States by the government of Alberta. But Trudeau is quite happy with Biden, his relationship was Trump was always walking on eggshells. The USMCA in negotiations ultimately successful but were very challenging for the Canadians, so too with the way Trump engaged in relations on China. All of this, the fact that Trump left the nuclear agreement with Iran, the Paris Climate Accords, WHO, all of that is stuff that Trudeau strongly opposed. He's going to be much more comfortable with this relationship. He's delighted that the first call from Biden is to him. And it certainly creates a level of normalcy in the US-Canada relationship that is very much appreciated by our neighbors to the North.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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