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What We're Watching: US Government Shutdown Continues

Priyanka Gandhi – With elections due by May and Narendra Modi's BJP still the dominant force in Indian politics, the entrance onto the national political stage of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whose father, grandmother, and great-grandfather all served as Congress Party prime ministers, deserves attention. She's widely considered more charismatic than her older brother Rahul, the party's current leader. After upset wins for Congress in three recent state elections, does she have the political talent to bring her party back to the center of Indian politics?

US Federal Workers – The shutdown stalemate looks set to continue. As the US enters Day 35 of a partial government shutdown, we're watching how federal employees respond. With the approach of tax season, the Trump administration has ordered 30,000 employees of the Internal Revenue Service to work without pay. Will they? This question will be repeated across other federal agencies. Look for more stories about large numbers of federal employees who don't show up for work.

What We're Ignoring:

Your Job Frustrations You don't have to be a US federal employee to be fed up with a bad job situation, but there's no way you have it as bad as UK Prime Minister Theresa May does. Check out this "behind-the-scenes footage" from part of her day, from an ad created by a job search site.

Japanese otters Last year, the Japanese city of Susaki named a live otter with a large social media following to be its honorary tourism ambassador. The city also has a guy in an otter costume as its official mascot. But then a second guy in an otter costume began filming himself performing reckless stunts and committing apparent crimes, some of them a little creepy. Confusion ensued. We're ignoring this madness, because if we really started following it, we'd never get any work done.

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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The United States has never been more divided, and it's safe to say that social media's role in our national discourse is a big part of the problem. But renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher doesn't see any easy fix. "I don't know how you fix the architecture of a building that is just purposely dangerous for everybody." Swisher joins Ian Bremmer to talk about how some of the richest companies on Earth, whose business models benefit from discord and division, can be compelled to see their better angels. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

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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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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