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YELLOW VESTS = RED LIGHTS FOR MACRON

YELLOW VESTS = RED LIGHTS FOR MACRON

French President Emmanuel Macron faces the biggest test of presidency as a protest movement, sparked by discontent with a plan to raise gasoline taxes, has grown and become violent. Gabe is here to walk you through the latest:


The gilets jaunes ("yellow vests") protests began just over two weeks ago in response to a government proposal to further increase a "green tax" on gas and diesel fuels. Gas currently costsmore than $7 per gallon in France, and the tax would add 30 percent to that.

Since then the protests have come to embody widespread disillusionment with an aloof president. The protests have, accordingly, gained in intensity. Over the weekend, three people were killed and 260 wounded. Shops were destroyed, and monuments vandalized.

Even after this weekend's violence: 71 percent of French people surveyed support the movement, according to RTL, and nearly 90 percent say the government has mishandled the entire episode. Both the far-right National Front and far-left Unsubmissive Front support the gilets jaunes and have called on parliament to scuttle the tax hike before it takes effect in January.

These protests could well determine the trajectory of the rest of Macron's presidency. He has to placate the protestors but without capitulating in a way that politically dooms his broader plans to reform France's lethargic economy.

Mr. Macron was elected in part because he was a political outsider – now that he is in the cockpit, does he have the political acumen to manage a crisis like this?

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

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In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

UNGA Livestream