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.

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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