Group of 7 (G7)

Expert Voices

With Italy's endorsement, Belt and Road Initiative could divide the EU

A picture shows a statue and the Italian flag at half mast at the Vittoriano unknown soldier monument in central Rome on October 4, 2013.
The Vittoriano monument in central Rome on Oct. 4, 2013. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

Italy is preparing to endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), according to the Financial Times, potentially handing Xi Jinping a major victory at a time when his signature foreign policy vision is under attack.

Why it matters: Italy is an unusual candidate for China’s BRI, economically and politically, since its membership in the EU means that it already has access to competitive financing for infrastructure projects without the strings and risks that come with borrowing from Beijing. As a member of the G7, Italy would be the largest economy yet to endorse the BRI.

52% of Americans would feel "very comfortable" with a female president

Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar
Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, each rumored as potential 2020 presidential candidates. Photos: Paul Marotta via Getty Images; Ethan Miller via Getty Images; Theo Wargo via Getty Images for DGA

52% of Americans — including 45% of men and 60% of women — say they would feel "very comfortable" having a female president, according to a new study by Kantar Public.

The big picture: The Reykjavik Index for Leadership ranks the U.S. third among G7 countries in terms of the percentage of people who would be comfortable with a female head of state. The U.K., which is currently led by Prime Minister Theresa May, came first with 58%, while Germany — which has been governed by Chancellor Angela Merkel for the past 13 years — ranked sixth with 26%.

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