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What We're Watching: Haiti & Greece protests, Venezuela on film, Afghan women's prisons

What We're Watching: Haiti & Greece protests, Venezuela on film, Afghan women's prisons

Haiti's protests – After decades of dictatorship and then chaotic democracy, about 60 percent of Haiti's 11 million people still live in poverty today. Why? For the thousands of protesters who've raised their voices for the past several months, President Jovenal Moise and those around him have stolen billions of dollars that should have been spent on Haiti's economic development. Moise, who maintains he's stolen nothing, blames government dysfunction and says the opposition has made it impossible to hold elections that would seat a new parliament. In response, he proposes a new constitution, to be ratified by popular referendum, that would give the president expanded powers to sweep aside gridlock. Protests have become violent, more than 40 people have been killed, and Amnesty International accuses security forces of "excessive force." Something's got to give, but as Haiti has proven again and again over the decades, that's not the same as saying that progress will be made.


Greek Island clashes intensify – More than 60 people on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios have been injured in violent clashes over the Greek government's plan to build new migration centers there. The Greek islands have long been the gateway to Europe for migrants fleeing Africa and the Middle East via the nearby Turkish coast. But many residents there argue that their communities are already under-resourced and overcrowded as a result of the influx. In Lesbos, for example, 19,000 migrants are currently housed in squalid conditions in a camp originally designated to hold fewer than 3,000. Locals say asylum seekers should be sent to mainland Greece. Despite ongoing talks, Athens says it's moving ahead with the plan, even as the violence extends into a third day.

A stunning short film about the Venezuela protests – In the spring of 2017, Venezuelan cinematographer Braulio Jatar was studying film in New York City when massive anti-government protests erupted in his home country. He took his camera and went to Caracas to document the unrest, embedding himself with a team of medics who treated the wounded on all sides. His award-winning 9-minute film, Where Chaos Reigns, takes an unflinching, beautifully shot – and decidedly apolitical – look at the protests from right on the frontlines.

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Afghan women in prison – Afghanistan has long been one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a woman. Perpetrators of violence against women enjoy a culture of impunity, and police are notorious for forcing women – who have no financial autonomy – to return home to their abusive husbands. And so for some Afghan women the only way they could escape these marriages and protect their children was to murder their husbands. In this compelling photo essay, the New York Times chronicles the experiences of women who killed their spouses and found sanctuary at Herat Women's Prison in western Afghanistan. The photos, and the women's stories, are mesmerizing.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

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In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

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