What We're Watching: London's reckoning with gender-based violence, Merkel's party comes up short, former Bolivian leader jailed

A person stands in front of a police officer at the Parliament Square, following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, in London, Britain March 14, 2021.

London's reckoning with gender-based violence: London's police chief Cressida Dick is in hot water after police used heavy-handed tactics to crack down on a protest against violence against women. Hundreds of people gathered in South London Saturday to pay tribute to 33-year old Sarah Everard, who was abducted and killed last week while walking home from a friend's house (a London police officer has since been charged with her murder.) The gruesome crime has galvanized a women's movement, which says that London's streets are unsafe for women, and that gender-based violence is widespread. Images of police manhandling vigil attendees on Saturday prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to weigh in, saying he was "deeply concerned" by the footage and that steps would be taken to make London's women feel safe. The uproar comes right as the UK Parliament debates a bill that would on the one hand impose stricter jail sentences for rapists and domestic abusers, but which would also broaden police powers to "control" protests. More women-led demonstrations are planned for the days ahead.


Angela Merkel's party takes a beating: German Chancellor Angela Merkel may still be one of the most popular elected politicians in the world— but it's a different story for her ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party. In two crucial state elections over the weekend, the center-right CDU got clobbered, drawing its lowest local vote tallies ever as the Green Party outpaced them in Baden-Württemberg and the center-left Social Democrats gained steam in Rhineland-Palatinate. Both states are former CDU strongholds. With Merkel set to step down after a general election this September, the result raises a host of questions about what German politics looks like after she's gone. New CDU party leader Armin Laschet isn't landing well with voters just yet, and while the party is still the most popular in Germany, its 30 percent support level (the party's lowest ever) raises questions about whether it will get enough votes this fall to form a coherent government. Speculation is already flying about the possibility of what would be a very bizarre cobble up of the Greens, the Social Democrats, and the economic liberals of the Free Democratic Party. To be fair, a lot can change in the next six months, but Germany's post-Merkel politics are shaping up to be much more fragmented than we've seen in many years.

Bolivia's former interim president jailed: Jeanine Áñez, the right-winger who ran Bolivia as interim president after Evo Morales was ousted in 2019, is now behind bars, facing charges of terrorism and sedition. Prosecutors of the new government — headed by a Morales protege who won a landslide election victory last fall — say that Áñez and several other officials played a direct and illegal role in pushing Morales from power after mass demonstrations erupted in response to allegations that he had rigged a presidential vote. There is a lot of bad blood here. During her time as president, Áñez made a number of conspicuous moves to roll back the legacy of Morales, a leftwing former coca-grower union boss who ran Bolivia with support from the country's massive indigenous population from 2006 until 2019. There were also allegations that she used security forces to crack down on Morales supporters who saw the 2019 events as a coup. But the jailing of Ms Áñez on what some observers say are flimsy charges has raised questions about whether this is an act of justice or a murkier story of political revenge. Either way, for Bolivia the political and social wounds of the past two years remain wide open.

Building on its previous commitment, Walmart is investing an additional $350 billion in products made, grown and assembled in America - supporting more than 750,000 new jobs by 2030. This pledge will aim to avoid more than 100M metric tons of CO2 emissions, advance the growth of U.S. based suppliers, and provide opportunities for more than 9,000 entrepreneurs to become Walmart suppliers and sellers through Walmart's annual Open Call.

"The people are stronger," pro-democracy demonstrators chanted as news broke that the Sudanese military had staged a coup Monday, overthrowing the joint civilian-military government and dashing hopes of democracy in the war-torn country.

The backstory. In 2019, Omar al-Bashir – a despot who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 years – was deposed after a months-long popular uprising.

Al-Bashir was a bad guy: he cozied up to terrorists like Osama bin Laden and dropped barrel bombs on his own people. He also embezzled truckloads of money from oil production while millions of Sudanese went hungry, and oversaw a genocide in the Darfur region that left 300,000 people dead and displaced 1.6 million.

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500: Fuel shortages in conflict-ridden Haiti are putting many hospital patients at risk. If fuel isn't delivered ASAP, UNICEF says around 500 people – including children and COVID patients – are at very high risk of deterioration. Supplies and deliveries have been disrupted for weeks because of heightened gang activity in the country.

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Sort of, but governments haven't lost all control yet. On the one hand, The Atlantic CEO Nicholas Thompson says that governments can still push tech companies for transparency in their algorithms, while Microsoft has partnered with the US government to together fight hackers "so the company is seen as a champion for freedom and democracy." On the other, over time Thompson expects tech firms in the US and China to gradually become more powerful as the state becomes less powerful toward them. Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the latest episode of GZERO World.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Big Tech: Global sovereignty, unintended consequences

As COP26 nears, the need for real climate action has never been more urgent. There are reasons for hope, but many scientists believe the ambitious goal of net zero emissions by 2050 is unattainable without immediate and significant change. Governments, financial institutions, and private sector companies alike have all recognized the need for a multistakeholder approach to solving this crisis of a lifetime.

Watch "Climate Crisis: Is net zero really possible?" a one-hour virtual livestream, hosted by GZERO Media and Microsoft as part of the Global Stage series, to hear scientists, corporate leaders and policymakers debate this question and offer critical perspectives on the way forward. Live on Tuesday, November 2nd at 11am ET, we'll break down what "net zero" means, take stock of where the world is on the path to carbon neutrality, and discuss critical steps needed to make real progress.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hey everybody and happy Monday. Back in the office, getting a little cool. So I've got my sweater going on. It's the first time I've had a sweater on. What do you do with that? Discussing fashion, as I talk to you about what is on my mind this week?

And what's on my mind this week, Facebook. Facebook is on my mind. It's a tough week for Facebook. There are all sorts of whistleblowers out there. There's testimony going on. There's calls for regulation. Everybody seems unhappy with them. Indeed, you even got the government relations types, Nick Clegg, who I've known for a long time back when he was a policymaker in the UK saying that the headlines are going to be rough, but we're are going to get through it. But I will say, first of all, I'm kind of skeptical that any of this goes anywhere in terms of impact on how Facebook actually operates.

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Turkey's Erdogan ups the ante with the West: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared diplomats from 10 Western countries "persona non-grata" after the group — which includes the US, France, and Germany — called on Ankara to release Osman Kavala, a Parisian-born Turkish businessman who's been held in jail since 2017 but hasn't been charged with a crime. Erdogan says that Kavala was involved in an attempted coup against the government in 2016. This latest move is a sign of Turkey's authoritarian drift in recent years, which has seen Erdogan's government increasingly crack down on opposition members as well as journalists. It also reflects Turkey's increasingly fraught relations with the West: things got particularly bad between Washington and Ankara after Turkey purchased missile defense systems from the Russians in 2019. The Council of Europe (the continent's leading human rights organization) had previously warned that Ankara has until November to release Kavala or it would impose "infringements," though it's unclear what those would be.

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ASEAN gets tough(ish) with Myanmar: The leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations meet Tuesday for their annual summit with one notable absence: the head of Myanmar's military junta. It's a rare snub from ASEAN, a regional bloc that's gotten a lot of heat in the past for giving tyrants a free pass. The junta says ASEAN violated its traditional principles of deciding by consensus by disinviting its leader, and non-interference in domestic affairs for demanding the bloc's special envoy meet detained former leader Aung San Suu Kyi. For their part, the other ASEAN members have grown visibly alarmed at Myanmar's rapidly deteriorating political and economic situation since the February coup, and they're worried about the spillover effects of Myanmar becoming a failed state. More importantly, Myanmar is a big thorn in ASEAN's side as it walks a fine line between keeping warm ties with the US — which most members want cash and security from — and getting along with China, one of Myanmar's few remaining friends and viewed with suspicion by most ASEAN members over its South China Sea shenanigans.

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