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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.

Microsoft released a new annual report, called the Digital Defense Report, covering cybersecurity trends from the past year. This report makes it clear that threat actors have rapidly increased in sophistication over the past year, using techniques that make them harder to spot and that threaten even the savviest targets. For example, nation-state actors are engaging in new reconnaissance techniques that increase their chances of compromising high-value targets, criminal groups targeting businesses have moved their infrastructure to the cloud to hide among legitimate services, and attackers have developed new ways to scour the internet for systems vulnerable to ransomware. Given the leap in attack sophistication in the past year, it is more important than ever that steps are taken to establish new rules of the road for cyberspace: that all organizations, whether government agencies or businesses, invest in people and technology to help stop attacks; and that people focus on the basics, including regular application of security updates, comprehensive backup policies, and, especially, enabling multi-factor authentication. Microsoft summarized some of the most important insights in this year's report, including related suggestions for people and businesses.

Read the whole post and report at Microsoft On The Issues.

On Tuesday night, you can finally watch Trump and Biden tangle on the debate stage. But you TOO can go head to head on debate night .. with your fellow US politics junkies.

Print out GZERO's handy debate BINGO cards and get ready to rumble. There are four different cards so that each player may have a unique board. Every time one of the candidates says one of these words or terms, X it on your card. First player to get five across wins. And if you really want to jazz it up, you can mark each of your words by taking a swig of your drink, or doing five burpees, or donating to your favorite charity or political candidate. Whatever gets you tipsy, in shape, or motivated, get the bingo cards here. It's fight night!

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GZERO Media, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group, today hosted its second virtual town hall on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its distribution.

The panel was moderated by New York Times science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli and featured Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Lynda Stuart; Eurasia Group's Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director of Energy, Climate & Resources; Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman; and Gayle E. Smith, the president & CEO of ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Watch the full video above.

Donald Trump's presidency has irked a lot of people around the world. And in fairness, that's no surprise. He was elected in part to blow up long-standing assumptions about how international politics, trade, and diplomatic relations are supposed to work.

But while he has correctly identified some big challenges — adapting NATO to the 21st century, managing a more assertive China, or ending America's endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — his impulsive style, along with his restrictions on trade and immigration, have alienated many world leaders. Global polls show that favorable views of the US have plummeted to all-time lows in many countries, particularly among traditional American allies in Europe.

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How was it that after decades of infighting, European nations were able to come together so quickly on an economic pandemic relief package? "I'm tempted to say because of COVID-19…because the triggering factor for the crisis was not the banks…not the bad behavior of some policy-makers somewhere in the region. It was actually this teeny tiny little virus..." European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde tells Ian Bremmer how a microscopic virus spurred the greatest show of international unity in years.


Watch the episode: Christine Lagarde, Leading Europe's United Economic Pandemic Response

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