Episode
November 29, 2018

How will MBS be received at the G20 summit?

In this episode, we also explore China’s new social credit scoring system and the significance of NASA's Mars landing.
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On Thursday, November 28 at 19:30 GMT:

#G20

On Friday, the two-day G20 summit begins in Argentina and, with the modern diplomatic order in flux, analysts are closely watching for official meetings as well as those that may take place on the sidelines.

In a meeting bound to draw headlines, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has requested a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Relations between the kingdom and Turkey have been severely strained by the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month. New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch has asked Argentina to investigate the  crown prince for possible war crimes in Yemen and for alleged involvement in the murder of Khashoggi. On Wednesday, Argentine prosecutors said they would proceed with the case.

Elsewhere, US President Donald Trump will hold meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping. It will be the first time Xi and Trump have been face-to-face since Washington imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and China retaliated with its own set of measures.

And there’s climate change. Last year, Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord. And a new UN report has warned that the world is now further than it was last year from meeting the goals of the Paris agreement.

We’ll take a look at what’s expected from the summit.

China “social credit score”

China is testing a cutting-edge new plan authorities say will make it easier for citizens to do business and build trust in one another. In partnership with the country's biggest company, Alibaba, the government is creating a system that not only tracks credit scores, but also "social credit".

In the most often cited example of how the system works, if you buy diapers, you are responsible and so your score goes up. If you buy video games, though, the system deems you to be lazy and your score could suffer.

So is this plan - due to roll out in 2020 - an Orwellian nightmare or necessary to protect consumers in one of the world's most sprawling economies? We’ll take a look at what’s behind the system and what its consequences could be.

Mars landing

After a six month voyage, NASA’s InSight Lander has landed on Mars. InSight’s goal is to look deep beneath the surface of the red planet, and crack the mystery of how it, and other planets, were formed. NASA says the mission will measure what it describes as Mars's "vital signs": its pulse (seismology), temperature (heat flow) and reflexes (precision tracking).

We’ll take a look at the significance of the Mars landing, and what NASA is hoping to learn.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Kimberly Halkett @KimberlyHalkett
White House correspondent, Al Jazeera English
aljazeera.com
 

Atsi Sheth @MoodysInvSvc
Managing director, Moody’s Investors Service
moodys.com

Cindy Yu @CindyXiaodanYu
China specialist, Spectator Magazine
blogs.spectator.co.uk

Mara Hvistendahl @MaraHvistendahl
Author & journalist
marahvistendahl.com

Stephanie Smith @Stephist
Digital & social media lead, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
jpl.nasa.gov

Read more:

MBS arrives in Argentina in the face of G20: Will he be a pariah? - Al Jazeera
NASA's Insight lands on Mars - What's next? - Al Jazeera

 

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