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

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.

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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