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What We’re Watching: Australia-HK extradition, Ivorian PM dies, WHO reviews itself

What We’re Watching: Australia-HK extradition, Ivorian PM dies, WHO reviews itself

Australia ends extradition with Hong Kong: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country would suspend an extradition treaty with Hong Kong in response to China's new security law, which severely compromises the city's autonomy. Morrison also said Canberra would give around 10,000 Hong Kong students and visa holders in Australia a path to permanent residency. Australia-China ties have been deteriorating in recent months — in response to Morrison's calls for an investigation into China's handling of the pandemic, Beijing slapped fresh tariffs on Australian goods in May. Australia's latest move follows a similar one by Canada last week, while Britain has also condemned China's draconian security law and said it will offer 3 million Hong Kongers a path to citizenship. We're watching to see whether the international blowback will have any effect on Beijing's policy.


Who will run for Ivorian president after PM's death? The prime minister of the Ivory Coast died suddenly on Wednesday, following his first cabinet meeting since returning from heart surgery in France. The passing of Amadou Gon Coulibaly, 61, upends the race to replace President Alassane Ouattara, who had designated Coulibaly as his successor ahead of an election set to occur in just three months. Outtara has been in office since 2011, when he took power following a brief yet bloody civil war that erupted after his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo refused to leave office even after losing the 2010 election. Now Ouattara will either have to change his mind and run for reelection, or pick another candidate for the ruling party to face Henri Konan Bedie, an aging former military coup leader, as well as Gbagbo. This political uncertainty could have big implications for the future of the Ivory Coast, which in recent years has moved beyond its violent past to become one of Africa's best-governed countries.

"Independent" panel to review WHO on coronavirus: The World Health Organization has appointed a committee to evaluate the global response to the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the WHO's own handling of the pandemic. The move comes at a critical time for the global public health body, which has come under fire from President Trump for being too cozy with China. The WHO denied that the review had anything to do with pressure from the US, which last week announced its withdrawal from the body altogether. The question now is whether a panel appointed by WHO member states will be powerful enough to conduct a credible probe.

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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