Who's Joe Biden going to visit first?

Who's Joe Biden going to visit first?

Now that Joe Biden is officially US president, leaders from around the world would like a word with him — but where will he make his first international trip?

After a tumultuous four years, many countries are now clamoring for a face-to-face with President Biden. That includes allies who felt abandoned by Trump's "America First" presidency, as well as adversaries with thorny issues on the agenda. We check in on who's pitching him hardest on a near-term state visit.


Canada. President Biden, it's Justin Trudeau. Look, it's no secret that there was no love lost between me and Donald Trump. He ruined a good thing that Barack and I had going on when he withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a 12-nation trade deal — while also slapping tariffs on Canadian steel. That was a low blow. Joe, come visit Ottawa. You're our largest trade partner. We can collaborate on human rights, security, trade, and join forces on clean energy initiatives. I'll also use my doe-eyed charm to encourage you to change your mind about the Keystone XL Pipeline, which aimed to expand critical oil exports for Canada until you signed an executive order Wednesday aborting the project.

UK. Joe, Boris on the line. I know I got cozy with your predecessor, but I did at least try to distance myself from Donald Trump after the recent insurrection at the US Capitol. I should get credit for that, no? Either way, let bygones be bygones. Now that Brexit is done and dusted, we really need to focus on our "special relationship." We have so much to sort out together: How to tackle China's increasingly bellicose behavior, reforming and refocusing NATO, and tackling climate change now that you've recommitted to the Paris Climate goals. And of course, we need to iron out the details of a new UK-US trade pact so that the anti-Brexit crusaders don't have another political mishap to hold over my head.

Mexico. Joe, it's Presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador here. As I recently told you, we have many challenges to tackle together — but let's not get too pally. Donald Trump was unpredictable and crass, sure, but he mostly left us alone. He didn't harangue us about human rights or rule of law, because he respects Mexico's "sovereignty." I'm not so sure about you though, Joe. That's why I recently offered Julian Assange asylum here in Mexico, and scrapped a law giving American drug agents immunity on our home soil. It was important to assert myself a little before you came into office, comprendes? We need to come together to address security issues and the immigration crisis (there's already a new migrant caravan heading towards the Rio Grande). But let's work on these issues together — from afar.

Germany. Finally, we're back together again — Angela and Joe — albeit briefly! I'm not one for hyperbole, but you really need to prioritize a visit to Berlin pronto. There's urgent work to be done to bolster transatlantic relations after four years of chaos: We need to form a unified front on trade grievances with China (I know you're not thrilled about the EU-China investment deal currently in the works, but come to the Chancellor's office, we'll talk.) European confidence in the US as a reliable partner is at historic lows, and while Emmanuel Macron, my friend in France, thinks Europe should assert itself and stop relying so much on Washington, I know our alliance matters now more than ever. Come to Berlin, Joe. Let me help you help yourself.

Iran. Joe, it's me, President Hassan Rouhani. Long time no see. We worked so well together on that nuclear deal back in 2015, before your predecessor came along and wrecked things. You and I both want to revive it somehow. Let's meet in, say, Geneva? We can try to find some common ground. If you lift those economic sanctions currently strangling the Iranian people, I'll try to get the mullahs to hit the brakes on this rapidly increasing uranium enrichment program. But we better meet quickly: we've got presidential elections in June, and my successor could be a real hardliner who won't be as willing to fraternize with Great Satan. Think about it, Joe.

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Tunisia, the only country that emerged a democracy from the Arab Spring, is now in the middle of its worst political crisis since it got rid of former autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali over a decade ago.

On Sunday, the 64th anniversary of the country's independence from France, President Kais Saied responded to widespread protests over the ailing economy and COVID by firing embattled Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and suspending parliament for 30 days. Troops have surrounded the legislature, where rival crowds faced off on Monday, with one side chanting in support of the move and the other denouncing it as a coup.

How did we get here, do we even know who's really in charge, and what might come next?

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13: The two Koreas have restored their communication hotline almost 13 months after Pyongyang abruptly cut it in response to Seoul not doing enough to prevent North Korean defectors from sending propaganda leaflets across the shared border. The hotline was established in 2018 following a historic meeting between North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

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Now that the Tokyo Olympics are finally underway, your Signal crew will be bringing you some intriguing, uplifting, and quirky facts about the Games that have many people on edge.

Today — what's the smallest country (by population) to win a gold medal in a summer Olympics?

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Political division, disinformation and, frankly, stupidity are costing lives. It is not authoritarian to mandate vaccines in America. In fact, there is historical precedent. Making vaccine uptake a requirement will save tens of thousands of lives and maybe many more than that. There really aren't two sides to this argument, there is just the science.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Hope you're having a good week. I wanted to kick it off by talking about vaccines. We all know the recent spike in cases and even hospitalizations that we have experienced in this country over the past couple of weeks. It looks like that's going to continue. It is overwhelmingly because of Delta variant. The hospitalizations and deaths are overwhelmingly because too many people are un-vaccinated.

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24-year-old Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate recounts how in 2020 she was cropped out of a photo at Davos of her with other white climate activists (like Greta Thunberg) and what it revealed about how people of color and people in developing countries, like those in Africa, are frequently excluded from the climate conversation.

Watch the episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Predictable disaster and the surprising history of shocks

Now that the Tokyo Olympics are finally underway, your Signal crew will be bringing you some fun, intriguing, uplifting, and quirky facts about the Games that have many people on edge.

First up — what's the Refugee Team?

At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, the International Olympic Committee created for the first time the Refugee Team to allow those who had fled persecution in their home countries to participate in the Olympics. Up from 10 athletes in 2016, it now has 29 participants across 12 sports from conflict-ridden countries: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo, Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela.

A separate team of refugees will also participate at the Paralympics, both of which are managed by the IOC and the UN Refugee Agency.

Iranian-born Kimia Alizadeh, a Germany-based taekwondo champion, narrowly missed out on bronze this week, which would have been the Refugee Team's first ever Olympic medal. Follow the team here.

Dr Anthony Fauci says the US is again "going in the wrong direction" as COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to rise across America. Over the past two weeks, hospitalizations — an apt indicator of serious illness from COVID — have spiked in 45 out of 50 states as a result of the contagious delta variant and rejection of vaccines, which are leading many US states to now have a vaccine surplus. We take a look at the 10 states where hospitalization rates have increased the most in recent weeks, and their corresponding vaccination rates — and unused vaccine rates.

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