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.

A sector that's rapidly expanding, domotics - domus (home) plus robotics - are smart houses that manage temperature and lighting to minimize wasted electricity. For example, smart thermostats sense your presence and set the temperature according to your needs, saving 20% a year on heating bills. Watch this episode of Eni's Energy Shot series to learn how domotics save money and increase a home's value.

Even if the US, Europe, China, and India reduce carbon emissions at the rate they've promised, much climate damage has already been done. That shouldn't stop these and other countries from doing all they can to meet their net-zero emissions targets, but they also better start preparing for a world of people on the move.

Climate change will displace an unprecedented number of people in coming years, creating not just a series of humanitarian crises in many parts of the world, but lasting political, economic, and social upheaval as those of us who live on higher ground try to find a sustainable place for these climate refugees to live.

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Listen: In a wide-ranging interview with Ian Bremmer, Pulitzer Prize-winning climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert assesses the current state of the climate crisis and answers a simple question: how screwed are we? And as the climate continues to warm at a record pace, she unpacks some of the more extreme climate solutions that some increasingly desperate nations are starting to consider. Such measures may sound like stuff of science fiction (see: injecting sulfur particles into the atmosphere or shooting millions of tiny orbital mirrors into outer space) as times become more desperate, their appeal is growing. Can we fix the planet the same way we broke it?

China is making its neighbors nervous these days. Chinese fighter jets are screaming into Taiwan's airspace. Hundreds of armed Chinese "fishing boats" are plying the disputed waters of the South China Sea. And Beijing is slashing imports from some trading partners because of disputes over political issues.

To push back against this increasingly aggressive behavior, regional powers Japan, India, and Australia, together with the US, are boosting cooperation via a 17-year-old grouping called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or simply "The Quad." But how effectively can these four countries really work together to counter China? Eurasia Group's Peter Mumford discusses the Quad's future.

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Want to tackle climate change? If so you'll have to reach out to China, which is currently responsible for over a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions. Beijing will certainly take your call, as climate is a huge priority for President Xi Jinping.

Xi has promised that China will go "net zero" — meaning its carbon emissions will be offset by equal amounts of either natural or tech-driven carbon capture — by 2060. Is a decade later than most of the top 10 polluting countries fast enough for the rest of the world? It is for the Chinese, who want to help but have their own ideas about how.

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When will it be safe for the world's children to be vaccinated against COVID-19? The World Health Organization's chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, says that vaccines are being tested in children down to the age of six or even lower, and promises that data on children will be shared as soon as it's available. She also notes that there are not enough studies on transmission in schools, and the WHO has advised governments to prioritize schools "over other things like shopping malls or cinema halls or pubs." Dr. Swaminathan spoke with Ian Bremmer in an interview on GZERO World, airing on US public television stations starting April 9. Check local listings.

Watch the episode: Vaccine nationalism could prolong the pandemic

Over the past half century, climate change has had an immense impact on the farmers who produce the food we eat. A new study by Cornell University shows that global warming has knocked 21 percent off of global agriculture productivity growth since 1965, equivalent to seven years of normal growth if humans had not polluted the planet. But not all countries have been affected in the same say. Farmers in warmer parts of the world have been hit hard as conditions grow more arid, but sub-polar regions in Canada or Siberia are now actually better for agriculture because they are not as cold as they used to be. Here we take a look at how climate has affected farming productivity growth around the world.

On Tuesday, a major US intelligence report said the top threat to America right now is China. A day later, John Kerry, the Biden administration's "climate czar," got on a plane to... China.

Such is the drama of ties between the world's two largest economies these days.

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Can "the Quad" constrain China?

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