What We're Watching: Japan wants to jail Ghosn's American helpers

Japan seeks arrest of Americans who helped Ghosn escape: Japanese authorities have issued arrest warrants for three Americans suspected of helping former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn flee the country while he was awaiting trial on charges of financial wrongdoing. You might recall Ghosn's dramatic escape back in December, where he walked out of his home in Tokyo, turning up a day later in Lebanon. The Japanese claim that the three US citizens – including a former US special forces soldier– smuggled Ghosn onto a plane by hiding him in "portable luggage." The three Americans are believed to still be in the Middle East. Japan and Lebanon have about a month to decide whether Ghosn will be extradited back to Tokyo, but Beirut generally doesn't hand over its nationals to foreign governments.


"International crisis" looms in northern Syria: After a weeks-long offensive that has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, Syrian government forces have captured the town of Maarat al-Numan in Idlib province, rebel forces' last stronghold. The town, held by opposition fighters since 2012, controls the long road linking Damascus to Aleppo, and is critical to Bashar al-Assad's plan of consolidating power across Syria. The dire humanitarian situation in Idlib has worsened as sustained air strikes have forced some 20,000 people to flee their homes there in the last two days alone. The US special envoy for Syria warned Thursday that around 700,000 displaced civilians from northwest Syria are now on the move to the Turkish border, which he says, could create a full blown "international crisis."

What we're really watching, like on TV:

Pandemic: Worried about coronavirus? Great time to check out the new Netflix docuseries "Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak," which explores the world's preparedness to deal with a potential influenza pandemic. Spoiler: experts say a new outbreak is inevitable, and that the world isn't prepared to handle it. Besides its freakish resonance for the moment, Pandemic introduces viewers to everyday heroes on the frontlines of managing and researching epidemics, like these scientists working tirelessly to develop a universal flu vaccine.

Eni's luminescent solar concentrators can help smart windows and next-generation buildings generate electricity. But even Eni hadn't imagined using this technology to create eyeglasses capable of charging mobile phones and headsets.

Introducing Funny Applications, Eni's video series that imagines new, unexpected uses for technology. Watch the premiere episode.

We've written recently about how the COVID-19 pandemic will hit poorer countries particularly hard. But the burden of the virus' spread also falls more heavily on working class people even in wealthy countries, particularly in Europe and the United States. This is exacerbating the divide between rich and poor that had already upended the political establishment in countries around the world even before anyone had heard of a "novel coronavirus."

Why?

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Meet Mark Wetton, a Kentucky-based businessman who owns a dust-collection factory in Wuhan. He has been there since the beginning of the outbreak, and describes the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak there, life in lockdown, and what things are like today as the city finally begins to reopen its borders and come back to life. He also shares some lessons learned that he hopes Americans will heed.

For much of the world, the rapidly expanding coronavirus pandemic is the worst global crisis in generations. Not so for terrorists, traffickers, and militant groups.

Efforts to fight coronavirus are diverting government attention and resources away from militants and gangs, creating huge opportunities, particularly for transnational terrorist groups who thrive in vacuums of security and political power, says Ali Soufan, founder of the Soufan Group, and a leading authority on global terrorist organizations.

ISIS, for example, has recently called on its followers to intensify their jihad against governments in the West and in the Muslim world, particularly in Iraq. (Though they also issued a travel advisory against heading to Europe right now, which we imagined here.) The jihadists of Boko Haram have stepped up strikes againstweak governments in West Africa. And even as Iran grapples with one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world, its Shia proxies inside Iraq are continuing to attack US bases there as Washington withdraws troops from the country over coronavirus concerns.

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The coronavirus is likely to hit poorer countries particularly hard, but it is also laying a bigger burden on working class people even in wealthy ones. As less affluent people suffer disproportionately not only from the disease, but also from the economic costs of containing it, we can expect a worsening of income inequalities that have already upended global politics over the past few years. Here is a look at inequality in some of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 so far.