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What We're Watching: Super Tuesday, NK missile test, and a coronavirus pop track

What We're Watching: Super Tuesday, NK missile test, and a coronavirus pop track

Super Tuesday: The first "big bang" vote of the 2020 US presidential election is here. On Tuesday, voters in 14 states – along with American Samoa and a broader category called "Democrats Abroad" – will choose among the contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination. Their votes will then be translated into delegates sent to the Democratic Party national convention in July. We aren't so interested in the play-by-play of who wins which state and how it gets spun, because the big question is this: do the Super Tuesday results give Senator Bernie Sanders an insurmountable delegate lead or not? That's plausible, because Democrats allot their delegates based on proportions of vote counts rather than as winner-take-all by state. That system makes it harder to catch a frontrunner who opens a clear lead. If Bernie emerges with an overall lead of 300 delegates, he'll become an overwhelming favorite to take on President Trump. If Sanders' lead is just 100 or so, then former Vice President Joe Biden – whose moribund campaign was revived by a strong showing in South Carolina – still has a real chance.


North Korea fires more missiles into the sea: On Monday, North Korea launched two short-range missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan. The missile test, Pyongyang's first since November, comes days after the US and South Korea suspended an annual joint military drill (which always irks Kim Jong-un) because the South is dealing with an outbreak of the coronavirus. While this missile launch was less provocative than some of North Korea's previous tests, Kim Jong-un seems to be sending a message: "pay attention to me!" After all, it's now exactly one year since the Hanoi summit between him and President Trump, which ended without any breakthrough in nuclear talks. North Korea remains under crippling US and UN sanctions.

What we're listening to: An incredibly catchy pop/club tune (with animated video) called "Jealous Coronavirus," about how to stop the spread of the disease. No, it's not by hitmakers Max Martin or Dr Luke. It's by the Vietnamese Health Department. Watch it here.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

Over the weekend, some 40,000 Russians braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Russian opposition leader Navalny in jail. Hundreds of thousands demonstrating across the country in Russia over well over 100 cities, well over 3000 arrested. And Putin responding by saying that this video that was put out that showed what Navalny said was Putin's palace that costs well over a billion dollars to create and Putin, I got to say, usually he doesn't respond to this stuff very quickly. Looked a little defensive, said didn't really watch it, saw some of it, but it definitely wasn't owned by him or owned by his relatives.

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Even as vaccines roll out around the world, COVID-19 is continuing to spread like wildfire in many places, dashing hopes of a return to normal life any time soon. Some countries, like Israel and the UK for instance, have been praised for their inoculation drives, while still recording a high number of new cases. It's clear that while inoculations are cause for hope, the pace of rollouts cannot keep up with the fast-moving virus. Here's a look at the countries that have vaccinated the largest percentages of their populations so far – and a snapshot of their daily COVID caseloads (7-day rolling average) in recent weeks.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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