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What We're Watching & What We're Ignoring


Fresh violence in Kashmir – A suicide attack yesterday on a convoy carrying Indian police officers in Indian-administered northern state of Jammu and Kashmir has killed at least 42 people. The attack by the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed is the deadliest local attack in decades and could spark a fresh cycle of violence between India and Pakistan, who both claim the region is rightfully theirs. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi quickly pledged to retaliate, and the Indian response could include cross-border shelling or even a more daring surgical strike against militants in Pakistan. More broadly, prospects for a lasting peace agreement in Jammu and Kashmir – once believed to be more likely with the election of Imran Khan in Pakistan last year – now seem more distant again.

Donald Trump's veto pen – The House of Representatives voted this week to cut most US funding for Saudi Arabia's military operations in Yemen, setting up a potential showdown with President Trump. The resolution now moves to the Senate, which passed a similar measure last year after the Saudi government's murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi drew attention to the kingdom's destructive involvement in Yemen's civil war and resulting humanitarian crisis. If the Senate gives the green light, President Trump will have to decide whether to use the first veto of his presidency in order to protect Washington's long-standing but controversial relationship with Riyadh.


The end of "The Philippines" – The famously blunt-spoken Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wants to scrap his country's current name in favor of "Maharlika," a term that refers to the warrior class that ruled the islands before Spanish King Felipe II's explorers colonized the islands and named them for him (Felipe -> Filipinas = mind blown). The nationalistic name change idea isn't new. In the 1980s, Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whom Duterte admires, pushed the idea. But we are ignoring it because polls in the past have shown little popular interest in the idea. Plus, it takes a lot for a name change to stick. We haven't heard any one calling Czech Republic "Czechia", eSwatiniis still Swaziland to most, and you are definitely a sucker out-of-towner if you refer to New York's Triboro Bridge as "RFK Bridge."

Israeli translation corrections – Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu caused a stir when he told a reporter that the Middle East peace conference he was attending in Poland was actually about forming a coalition to go to war with Iran. While his office quickly softened the official translation afterwards, it appears that Bibi really did say "war." Given that Bibi has always been extremely, and even comically, hawkish on Iran, we are ignoring the revised translation

President and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc Morial, comes to 'That Made All the Difference' podcast to discuss his time as mayor of New Orleans, today's challenges, and what it will take to build a more just, equitable and inclusive society.

Listen now.

Though celebrations will surely be more subdued this year, many Germans will still gather (virtually) on October 3 to celebrate thirty years since reunification.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall — and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union — Germany reunited in a process whereby the much wealthier West absorbed the East, with the aim of expanding individual freedoms and economic equality to all Germans.

But thirty years later, this project has — to a large extent — been difficult to pull off. The economic and quality of life gap is shrinking, but lingering inequality continues to impact both German society and politics.

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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.

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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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Watch: Tolu Olubunmi in conversation with Dr. Samira Asma from the World Health Organization on how they are advancing health data innovation in the age of COVID-19.

This content is brought to you by our 2020 UN General Assembly partner, Microsoft.

Watch UN Innovation Room conversations weekly on Thursdays at 9 am EDT: https://www.gzeromedia.com/unga/livestream/

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