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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Trump Absent from World Leaders Summits in Asia; A New Cold War with China?; To Brexit or Not to Brexit, Still the Question; Can Democrats Consolidate House Gains?; Interview with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 18, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:10] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
We'll begin today's show on the other side of the globe. World leaders have been meeting in Papua New Guinea this weekend, but one leader has been noticeably absent from this year's APEC summit, Donald Trump. Why isn't he there?
Also, what in the world is going on with Brexit? We'll tackle all of it with a terrific panel.
And the 2018 midterms are over, sort of. Now it's time to learn some lessons and look ahead to 2020. The big question, should Democrats zig left or zag towards the center to beat Donald Trump? We'll have a debate.
Finally we'll put the art into artificial intelligence. Can you pick out which of these paintings was painted by a robot? Stay tuned to find out.
But first, here is my take. It's easy to get distracted by the circus of the Trump presidency. We all do. But what is its larger effect? Well, for now take a look at three gatherings this week on the other side of the planet attended by all the major Asian countries, the ASEAN and East Asia summits in Singapore and the APEC conference in Papua New Guinea are particularly important because countries in the region are trying to navigate the seismic power shift taking place there, the rise of China.
For this it is crucial they understand the role of the world's current super power, the United States. But the president of the United States is MIA. Donald Trump chose to skip the summits and send Vice President Mike Pence in his place. China's president Xi Jinping, Russia's Vladimir Putin and India's Narendra Modi all visited either Singapore or Papua New Guinea while Japan's Shinzo Abe and South Korea's Moon Jae-in traveled to both.
A persistent complaint from Asian countries has been that while the United States worries about the rise of China as Pence did in his speech at the ASEAN summit it is abandoning the field to Beijing. It does not take the time to attend meetings, shape the agenda, shore up its alliances, deepen its ties in the region. Trump's continued lack of interest will only feed this fear.
We're seeing the Trump effect in the retreat on trading issue as well. The two mechanisms for greater prosperity and cooperation that were moving toward completion in the region had been the Transpacific Partnership and the regional comprehensive and economic partnership. Trump pulled America out of the TPP undermining the pact's goal of giving Asian countries a stable alternative to a Chinese dominated system.
And after 24 rounds of negotiations for the RCEP which includes China momentum appears to have slowed perhaps even stall. India is trying to protect its market from Chinese imports. Other countries are trying to keep India service industries out. And everyone can take solace that this is all simply an echo of what the world's super power, the United States, is doing in its own trade negotiations.
I have said before and continue to believe that the Trump administration has a valid point about China's abuse of the global trading system. I think it's right to get tough with Beijing. But it is grossly mistaken in its instinctive opposition to trade in general repeatedly voiced by the president. Trump said in July --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we didn't trade we'd save a hell of a lot of money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: The statement is simply false. According to calculations by the Peterson Institute for International Economics the expansion of trade since 1950 raised U.S. GDP to the tune of $2.1 trillion in 2016. That is the equivalent of a gain of $17,014 per person or $18,131 per household.
There are few ideas that have been as thoroughly tested through history as the notion that trade raises the country's increment living standards. It can also have the effect of creating habits of cooperation, even peace as it has done in Europe and as it might help to do in Asia.
American leaders understood that for decades until now. In 1998 Ronald Reagan said in a radio address.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We should be aware of the demagogues who are ready to declare a trade war against our friends, weakening our economy, our national security and the entire free world. All while cynically waving the American flag.
[10:05:01] The expansion of the international economy is not a foreign invasion. It is an American triumph, one we worked hard to achieve and something central to our vision of a peaceful and prosperous world of freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" columnist this week. And let's get started.
Let's keep the conversation going about Asia with today's panel. Kurt Campbell was President Obama's assistant secretary of State from East Asian and Pacific Affairs from '09 to '13. He now runs a strategic advisory group focused on Asia. Rana Faroohar is a global business columnist for the "Financial Times" and CNN's global economic analyst. And Ian Bremmer is the founder and president of Eurasia Group and the foreign affairs columnist for "TIME" magazine.
Kurt, let me start with you. What I -- you wrote a very significant article in "Foreign Affairs" in which you said that basically both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats, had gotten China wrong. It's caused a lot of controversy. But what is the implication for U.S. policy towards China? In a sense, are you saying that what Donald Trump represents is the new normal? A much tougher policy towards China?
KURT CAMPBELL, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EAST ASIAN AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS: Thank you, Fareed. First, I would say I think the argument of the piece was more than the conditions have changed. I actually think a collection of bipartisan group of strategist did follow the right strategy for decades but that the course that China has chosen is quite different from what we had hoped for a long period of time. And now that requires us to have a fairly significant rethinking of what the strategic approach of the United States and other countries should be towards China and a rising Asia.
The argument however is very different from what the policy prescription that the president has proposed. What we need is a multi-facetted approach that frankly involves participating in the kinds of summits and engagements that the president is missing this week plus a multi-facetted trade and diplomatic strategy that reminds Asians that the United States intends to play an important role in Asia for decades to come.
ZAKARIA: Ian, you were just in Asia. Is it your sense that they -- that there are people beginning to feel we are entering a kind of new Cold War?
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: There certainly is a growing concern about that. I mean, the notion that China has it has become wealthier is absolutely not going to politically reform and they are going to start creating institutions that are not complimentary with those of the United States but rather are competitive.
That's a sense that not only the Americans and the Europeans have but also Singaporeans, Indonesians, you know, Malaysians. People on the ground very concerned that the U.S. might not be as committed to them but very concerned that their future in under a Chinese umbrella is a problem. And there's no question that in the technology space China developing an alternative internet and alternative AI system and that feels increasingly like a Cold War with the United States. The question is on trade and whether President Trump is really
planning to squeeze the Chinese and work on executing and implementing a new normal between the two countries or whether he's going to meet him in a couple of weeks and say hey, we got some money. I am a president. He's a president. We're the two adults. Here is our deal like he tried to do with the North Koreans in Singapore. I could easily see Trump doing the latter, not the former.
ZAKARIA: And, Rana, you say, you know, building on this idea of the future, we're actually entering a kind of tripolar world where there's going to be a European sphere, an American sphere and essentially a Chinese Asian sphere.
RANA FAROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: I think that's right. I think you can see it already happening, it's been happening since the U.S.-China trade conflict began. As Ian says, China is really developing an entire digital ecosystem that it will lead, but there'll be other countries, ASEAN nations, maybe some Middle Eastern nations that will come into that orbit.
I spoke recently to a Chinese venture capitalist who told me he doesn't expect to be able to be allowed to make deals in the U.S. anymore, to invest in the U.S. but that's OK because he sees China as a kind of a U.S. market post-World War II. It's big enough. It can grow on its own. The big question, and I think this goes to both points, is how will the U.S. and Europe engage? Particularly around digital trade. Because frankly that's where the vast majority of the growth is? Are we going to come together? Are there going to alliances made? Or is that going to become bifurcated as well? I think that would mean very bad things for the U.S.
ZAKARIA: Kurt, very briefly before we take a break, Ian's question, there really does seem to be a division of the administration there. The deal makers who say let's scare China and get a better deal. And then there are people who feel like Peter Navarro, no, we need to actually fundamentally have a break, decouple with China, disentangle this economically interdependent relationship.
[10:10:08] Which do you think will prevail?
CAMPBELL: I wish it was just as easy as two groups. I actually think it's more multifaceted. There is definitely a group that says if China buys more stuff from the United States, Boeing jets, you know, branching products, farm stuff, that we can resettle accounts a bit and the president can tap those as examples of his leadership.
There's another group that says no, it needs to be deeper. Structural reforms. China discarding 2025 and allowing more American technology and other firms' engagement, honest and fair engagement in China. And then there's even a third group that says no. What we really need to do is disentangle our economies so the United States has to go about its business independent from China.
I'm kind of where Ian is, though. I think each of these groups vie for attention with the president. The president is the ultimate decision-maker. What's fascinating about the U.S.-China relationship is that the relationship between our two countries has never been more complicated and more complex but fundamentally the institutions that have been tasked for decades to manage the relationship have never been less influential.
Ultimately every major decision in the U.S.-China relationship is made by two men. President Xi Jinping in China and President Donald Trump in the United States. Both of whom shared some fascinating commonalities there. Impatient. They tend to be skeptical sometimes of advice they get from people beneath them. And they both belief fundamentally in their ability to make decisions under pressure. So frankly the most important bilateral meeting we have seen between the United States and China is about to take place in a couple of weeks. And anyone knows what the outcome will be.
ZAKARIA: Don't go away. When we come back we are going to talk about the wild week across the bond. What is next for Britain, Brexit and Theresa May, when we come back.
[10:16:52] ZAKARIA: To Brexit or not to Brexit. That remains the question for Britain. Prime Minister Theresa May presented her draft plan for leaving the EU to her Cabinet on Wednesday. It was sort of a soft Brexit and on Thursday came a raft of resignations including May's chief Brexit negotiator himself, and that sent the pound tumbling and made many questions whether May can actually get this deal done.
Let's bring back the panel, Kurt Campbell, Rana Faroohar, and Ian Bremmer.
Ian, this seems like a bit of a freak show or there may be other ways to describe it. But it's not working out.
BREMMER: No. I mean, finally we have something that everyone in the U.K. can agree upon, which is they all don't like this deal. You know, and the fact is that the U.K. and Prime Minister May is in a really untenable position which is she's trying to act domestically as if she can get a better deal than the status quo ante. That is actually not possible and she's trying to negotiate as if she's an equal when you have the fifth largest economy negotiating against the world's largest common market.
An economic super power which is not prepared to give them the deal that they used to have, anything remotely close to that. So she can spin it domestically but as the rubber hits the road, especially because there's not a sense of impending crisis, there's not a sense of falling off a cliff, where there was the razor edge at the end when there was a Greek potentially exit from the Eurozone and then facing a depression.
So nothing is forcing the political players in the U.K. to have to compromise. Everyone is still playing politics the way that, you know, sort of George Osborne and Cameron -- David Cameron did when they put the referendum forth in the first place. So where we are right now is she's going to face in all likelihood a no confidence vote which she could win or lose. But this deal that she's put forward, that for 14 hours it looked like they've made progress, they made no progress whatsoever.
ZAKARIA: But what that means, Ian, is basically what Britain is looking for is access to the European market on roughly the same terms they had, and the Europeans of course saying of course you can't get that. That's the whole -- you only get that if you're a full member. So either the government will have to fall or it seems to me there'll have to be a second referendum. But there's no prospect that they can get the deal that they are fantasizing.
BREMMER: I think that there is a prospect that in fact the most likely outcome here is that there is a vote of no confidence. Theresa May wins it, though, barely. She then has a year where they can't have another such vote. And she puts forward a slightly tweaked deal. But it gets to be truly towards the end of negotiating where suddenly the British market feels like it's going to implode if the U.K. doesn't support her, if the parliamentarians don't support her.
And that's the way you ultimately get a deal done. But you have to create urgencies. Sometimes they say, you need to take a problem, you want to fix it, you need to make it bigger. That's precisely what needs to happen in the U.K. if you want to get from here to exit procedure.
ZAKARIA: But all of this brings up actually your column, which is the world is actually moving toward de-globalization, that when you look at Brexit, corporates are beginning to disentangle.
ZAKARIA: You're seeing in the U.S.-China relationship, supply chains are coming home.
[10:20:01] FAROOHAR: Yes. It's interesting. A lot of CEOs I speak to are kind of in a period of willful blindness, I guess, about this. I think that there really is cognitive (INAUDIBLE) because we've had 40 years of the global economy working in one particular way. All that is changing right now. I agree with Ian's analysis on what's going to happen with Brexit. I think it's very possible that you're going to see the U.K. go into a period of renegotiations.
But if you think about it again from Europe's perspective, and in particular Germany's perspective, they can't afford to let more countries fall out of the union which is already frankly pretty precarious. We've seen Italy have a populist election. I think that the rules of the game are changing. But that the heads of these nations, the global elite, and the business community are waiting to see who blinks first. Who is going move their supply chain? Everybody is talking about it. Is the European Union going to survive? We're all in doubt.
I think ultimately until you get real political cohesion you're going to have economic volatility and certainly market volatility.
ZAKARIA: Kurt, what does this look like from Asia? They are looking at Europe, they're looking at the United States, and what are they seeing?
CAMPBELL: Look, it's such a critical period when the lion share of the history of 21st Century is now clearly going to be written in Asia. When Asians look at the West, look at the United States and Europe, and certainly what's going on now in Brexit and the follies in Washington, the disharmony and the disunity is terribly anxiety provoking in every capital in Asia.
And I think what it does it causes those countries to think I've got to get my best deal with China. And I've got to think more about my neighborhood because these countries that have played such a large role in helping shape our environment through trade, through institutions and through defense, they're not as reliable in the future as they have been in the fast.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating. Kurt Campbell, Ian Bremmer, Rana Faroohar, pleasure to have you all on. We will have you back.
All right. Next up, where in the world is the largest tech incubator? The tech startup incubator. It is not in Silicon Valley. It is actually not in China. It is in an unlikely location and we will take you there when we come back.
[10:26:11] ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment? When you think of the industrial revolution you might think of Europe and its railways, the cutting edge technology of the time that unlocked explosive growth. So perhaps it's fitting that in a massive abandoned railway depot in southeast Paris, the next great hope for the French economy is taking route.
It's called Station F, and its founders call it the largest start-up incubator in the world. It pans more than 300,000 square feet and includes 1,000 start-ups. The incubator represents the entrepreneurial spirit that President Emmanuel Macron hopes to foster in France. But it was built with private money by the French telecom billionaire Xavier Niel, a Macron supporter.
In the building entrepreneurs home pitches and marketing strategies, Facebook and Microsoft have both launched programs working with Starbucks there. So is Station F the Silicon Valley of Paris? We asked its direct, Roxanne Varza.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROXANNE VARZA, DIRECTOR, STATION F: I think Station F, a lot of people think it looks very much like Silicon Valley because we have a high density of startups. We have a lot of startup coming. Ecosystem based on campus but we don't necessarily want to be compared to Silicon Valley. We like to think that what's happening here is very unique and also very unique to what's happening in the ecosystem in Europe.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ZAKARIA: So what is happening in the startup ecosystem in Europe? London is still the tech hub but post-Brexit France may have an opportunity to catch up. After his election Macron announced an $11 billion fund for innovation. He passed tax and labor reforms designed to help businesses and make it easier to hire workers. He launched a new tech visa and has courted tech investment.
And there are signs of growth. In 2017 French venture capital firms raised $3.2 billion up from just $596 million in 2014. And the founders at Station F want to build companies that can harness that new money.
One of the companies hosted at Station F is led by two American entrepreneurs, Binta Jammeh and Jean Guo. Their startup Konexio offers computer training to poor communities including migrants and refugees in France. It even teaches a cohort of students to code and works to place them in jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BINTA JAMMEH, COO AND CO-FOUNDER KONEXIO: What we saw is that there were quite a few short-term solutions to the question of integration but not necessarily a plethora of long-term solutions. And so when we look at what really impacts integration in the long term particularly here in Europe its access to economic opportunities. It's access to jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: And of course there are many French entrepreneurs working at Station F as well. Take Arnaud Lenglet of Panda Guide. He's developing a headset that uses a camera and artificial intelligence to guide the blind. He shared with us a video simulation created for investors of what he hopes the final product will look like. The computer vision equipped headset would be able to recognize objects and transmit that information to the user through vibrating headphones.
A robotics engineer, Lenglet came up with the idea after talking to a friend who is blind and suffered a fall on a train platform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARNAUD LENGLET, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, PANDA GUIDE: I was wondering, oh, why are we building autonomous car? Why are we sending robots to Mars? And why are we don't creating things for the blind and visually impaired? So that the first strategy I want to transfer what we are doing in robotics and to apply it to something close to human, to other people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: So can all this talent and energy revamp the French economy and banish the image of labor strikes and a 35-hour workweek? Well, France still has a long way to go to become a vibrant tech hub. Macron has made progress but the country does need more reforms including labor reforms. It also needs a broader culture of innovation. Initiatives like Station F and a lot more like them could be the start of a revolution.
Next on "GPS," how to take on Donald Trump and his Republican Party as they prepare for battle in 2020? Should the Democrats court the centrists or move to the left? The great debate, when we come back.
ZAKARIA: So did the Democrats achieve a blue wave in the 2018 midterm elections earlier this month?
I'll leave it to the American political pundit class, but I think it's safe to say they did pretty well. The left-leaning party picked up more than 30 seats in the House of Representatives to give it a majority in that chamber. In the Senate the Republicans still hold a majority, of course.
So the question is, what should Democrats do to learn from and build on the successes in 2020?
Should the party electrify and embrace its diverse base or should it veer to the center and thus pick up wayward independents and never- Trumpers, too?
Joining me now to discuss are Steve Phillips, a former politician himself, now an author, Civil Rights leader and the founder of "Democracy in Color." And Peter Beinart is a contributor to CNN and The Atlantic and a professor of journalism at CUNY.
Peter, let me start with you and ask you to just try to give us the overall picture. Because it does seem to me it's a little bit mixed. You can read it whichever way you want. The Democrats do about as well in terms of seat gain, it seems, as in 2006. Most of the districts in the country moved left. The Times did one of these massive graphic surveys, and they point out the average district moved 10 percent left.
But then, when you look at it, you see that, if you compare to the gains that they made in 2006 when the Iraq War was very unpopular, second term of George W. Bush, it was not as impressive in terms of this overall rightward -- leftward shift. And when you compare it to the Republican gains in the election of 2010, after Obama and health care, it's nowhere nearly as impressive. The Republican gain, the average seat in America went 19 percent to the right, compared to 10 percent to the left.
So what's the -- what's the, sort of, overall picture?
BEINART: The overall picture is the Democrats did a good job of mobilizing their base. But Donald Trump also did a reasonable job of mobilizing his base, which is that Trumpism is not a fluke. Donald Trump, who I think is a horrific president, does have a capacity to scare and mobilize rural, particularly, white voters. And he brought those people out enough to save the Senate for Republicans.
ZAKARIA: Steve, you see it, I think, more positively, right?
PHILLIPS: Yes, fundamentally that -- it's important to begin recognizing that this president has never enjoyed majority support in this country. He lost the popular election by 3 million votes. He did not even get 50 percent in the three states that gave him the election. So -- and he has never made any attempt to govern in the interest of the majority of people.
And so what you saw was the beginning of a wave, really, of people who are bearing the brunt of the attacks of this president standing up and fighting back and winning all across the country. And so it's not a complete victory yet, but it's a strong affirmation that there is a majority that has a different vision from what this president is pursuing and it was finally manifested in the electoral polls last week.
ZAKARIA: Peter, when you look at it, I think the big question is was Nancy Pelosi's strategy the right one?
I think it's fair to say that Nancy Pelosi set out a very clear strategy, which is "We are not going to make this about Trump; we're not going to make it about impeachment; we're not going to even go into the -- the issues that Trump wants a clear one? it is we are not going to make it Trump or impeachment. it is not that Trump wants us to, like immigration. We're going to talk about our issues, that are more, in a sense, centrist, in the sense that they're practical concerns people have about the economy, about jobs, about health care and such."
Did that work?
BEINART: It absolutely worked. I mean, the problem is that the Democrats had to win to retake the House a lot of districts that either voted for Donald Trump or were historically Republican districts. And in those districts, talking about impeaching Donald Trump wouldn't have worked. Democrats didn't talk a lot about the Russia probe at all. In fact, in those districts, people want more civility.
Now, that may be a pipe dream in the era of Donald Trump, but they actually wanted people to be able to go and get things done even now, even with Donald Trump as president. And what Nancy Pelosi shrewdly understood was that the issue of health care and maintaining preexisting conditions against the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare was an issue that Democrats could run on in the most blue districts and the most purple and even the most red districts. And that was a very, very shrewd strategy.
ZAKARIA: But, Steve, you say, if you look at the math -- and you say this in your New York Times piece -- do the math; the Democratic Party needs to move left, not center?
PHILLIPS: Well, it's fundamentally about what is the vision of the country and what is the priorities and the values (inaudible).
And so we live in a country now where the president of the United States is trying to roll back the progress this country has made towards greater inclusion and equality and a higher set of values that is based upon diversity. You know, misogyny, racism, xenophobia are hallmarks of this presidency.
And so the question is, are you going to unequivocally stand up against that, summon the majority to your side, or some people in the Democratic Party feel like you have to, kind of, accommodate and try to do a lowest-common-denominator strategy.
ZAKARIA: Peter, I suppose the argument that Steve is making is that there actually aren't a lot of persuadables left in America. We're two tribes, and Trump is very good at bringing out his tribe, and the Democrats should be better at bringing out their tribe?
BEINART: I don't entirely agree with that. I mean, there may not be that many persuadables, but in a country that's very, very split, those people are actually still really important. I think a big part of the reason Donald Trump won was he reversed the Republican Party's position on free trade and he didn't talk at all about privatizing Social Security and Medicare. And those -- that helped him. Remember, he won 10 percent of people who had voted for Bernie Sanders.
Democrats have to win those people back, and they can do it, I think, above all, by saying that Trump was a fraud; he promised you a kind of economic security and in fact what he's doing is pursuing the same old Republican economic policies that make your life more difficult. And that works for voters of every different race and -- and gender.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating conversation, which will continue and will continue on this program in the months ahead. Thank you both.
Up next, from Tito to Milosevich to Brnabic, how Serbia, an Orthodox nation with a history of being led by strong men came to be lead by a gay woman. Fascinating story, when we come back.
ZAKARIA: When you think of people who have led Serbia, I'm guessing you think of strong men. Beginning in the 1940s when it was part of the Greater Yugoslavia, there was of course the infamous Communist ruler Josip Broz Tito. At the end of the 20th Century, Serbia was run by a brutal super-nationalist, Slobodan Milosevich. In 1999, Milosevich became the first sitting head of state to be indicted by an international tribunal.
So I found it interesting that today Serbia, a country that is 85 percent Orthodox Christian, has a head of government who is not a man and not the leader one might expect. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic is a gay female. When she was in New York recently, she came to the studio to tell me about herself and how she came to become prime minister.
ZAKARIA: Prime Minister Brnabic, pleasure to have you on.
BRNABIC: Thank you for inviting me, Fareed. ZAKARIA: I want you to tell us a little bit about Serbia because it's
-- at one level, it's a very conservative country. It's Orthodox. And yet you have an astonishingly high number of members of Parliament who are women. You have three of the four people who set your monetary policy who are women. These are among the highest numbers in the world. How do you explain that contradiction?
BRNABIC: Well, I think Serbia is changing. And, you know, there's also -- you know, we have to deal with a lot of, I would think, you know, today false perceptions about Serbia, you know, that stem from the past. But, you know, Serbia is changing and we are going in the right direction.
I actually think that we are going very, very fast in the right direction. And I'm proud of it, you know, and in some cases like, you know, women empowerment, politics is actually leading the way, compared to businesses, where, you know, it's normal that businesses should lead the way. In politics in Serbia, you know, we have a woman who is the president of the parliament, parliament speaker. We have the governor of the national bank is a woman, myself as the prime minister. In my government, I have very, very powerful women. You know, the deputy prime minister and minister of infrastructure is a woman, minister of justice a woman, minister of European integration, woman. You know, we have a minister for the population policy, a woman. We really have strong women in power, and it's great to see.
ZAKARIA: Your own story is even more unusual and distinctive because you're not just a woman but you're a gay woman. How difficult was it to grow up in Serbia under those circumstances?
BRNABIC: I was very lucky. I was very, very fortunate. I had always full support from my family and full support from all of my friends, or closest friends. And so for me, growing up in Serbia was pretty much like growing up anywhere else. And so, you know, I'm not the best person to talk about it. But, again, if you know who you are and you run with it, then other people will learn to cope with it and learn to accept it. And so, you know, but obviously, I mean, the support of family and friends is paramount. You know, if I -- if me as an openly, you know, gay woman prime minister is helping at least one person in Serbia or elsewhere in the region or in the world feel better about themselves, then -- then I think I've already done a lot.
ZAKARIA: You make it easier than people tell me it was. But when you go into politics, at that point did you -- have you had people oppose you, denounce you?
BRNABIC: Absolutely, absolutely, from day one. And, you know, but, again, there I had the huge support from the president of the country, who is also the president of the largest political party that -- that supports me and supports the government in the parliament. So I had the huge backing. I mean, without that backing, I don't think I would be able to become the prime minister. But we had a lot of opposition to this, some from -- some religious communities, some from just the opposition parties, some even from the parties who are supporting the government and the coalition but actually did not vote for me and my government in the parliament because of my sexual orientation. ZAKARIA: Do you get attacked on social media?
BRNABIC: I do. I do, very often and actually, you know, these are very, kind of...
BRNABIC: ... really nasty stuff.
ZAKARIA: What do you -- how do you handle it, personally?
BRNABIC: It's difficult. It makes my life difficult. It makes me -- it makes me more difficult to do my job because you, kind of, need, kind of, a special focus and strength to really, you know, just disregard that and focus on what's very important, and that is my job and that is what I will be able to do for the citizens of Serbia.
I make it -- I also want to be a very transparent prime minister. I want to be active on the social networks. I want to be approachable to people. So I made it my policy not to block people on the social media, which is sometimes making -- you know, that makes it more difficult. I don't want to block people on the social media. I actually also want to, you know, sometimes even see, you know, because then I know how other people who not have support that I have, how they feel and what they are going through.
BRNABIC: So it's important for me, although it makes my life, you know, sometimes -- sometimes I do get really, really tired and depressed because of that. But, you know, I enjoy, on the other hand, on the positive side, I enjoy every single little success that we have as the government as the country. I really rejoice in it. And that gives me power to continue.
ZAKARIA: Prime Minister, pleasure to have you on.
BRNABIC: Thank you very much. Thank you for your invitation. It was my pleasure to be here.
ZAKARIA: And we will be right back.
ZAKARIA: California voters approved Proposition 7 last week, a measure that would allow the state to stay in Daylight Savings Time year-round. It brings me to my question. What other country or entity recently announced it intends to permanently scrap Daylight Savings Time, the European Union, China, Russia or South America? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
My book of the week is Sophie Pedder's "Revolution Francaise: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation." I read this while preparing for my interview last week. For all those intrigued by Macron, a fascinating figure on the world stage, this is the best book on him and his effort to make France great again.
And now for the last look. Take a look at these paintings. They were commissioned by GumGum, an artificial intelligence company with a focus on computer vision, alongside researchers from Rutgers University. One of these six artworks was not painted by a human being. GumGum was interested in how close AI could come to replicating the human creative process. So can you guess which painting was the work of a robot?
If you picked the last, you were correct. This is Cloudpainter, a painting robot developed by American artist Pindar Van Arman. The machine's camera takes a photograph of a subject to paint and, using AI techniques like facial recognition and deep learning, the computer begins to put paint on the canvas. With the help of algorithms, Cloudpainter creates an original composition. And it is not simply painting preplanned brush strokes like a 3-D printer would. The robot watches its work and changes direction as the painting develops, drawing inspiration from other images and paintings, much like a human artist would.
So is art created by a robot still art? Van Arman says, for now, his robots are capable artistic assistants, but they may make art independently of humans in the not-too-distant future.
The answer to my "GPS" challenge this week is A. The European Commission announced the E.U. should forgo mandatory seasonal clock changes starting next year. An online survey ordered by the European parliament received an unprecedented 4.6 million responses, with 84 percent of respondents in favor of ending the biannual clock change. The commission presented a formal proposal to the parliament and individual countries will have the choice of staying in summer or winter time zones permanently.
As for California, it isn't the only state to want to abandon Daylight Savings Time, but state lawmakers and eventually Congress will need to approve the switch before these pesky time changes are officially history.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.