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Hard Numbers

250,000: Some 250,000 people left Turkey for work, political, social, or cultural reasons in 2017, twice the number recorded in 2016. The combination of economic turmoil and deepening authoritarianism have pushed younger and more cosmopolitan Turks abroad: almost half of the emigrants were between 25 and 34 years old and 57 percent came from big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir.


2,312: Researchers mapping illegal mines in the Amazon have identified 2,312 small sites, along with 245 large-scale mining operations in six countries that share the rain-forest. High prices for gold and other rare minerals used in the manufacture of cellphones has spurred a historic surge in illegal mining, which accelerates deforestation and contamination of the rainforest. Venezuela, Brazil, and Ecuador – the top three countries for illegal mines – don't cooperate well enough to address the problem. Very cool interactive map of the sites is here.

42: Russia's role in the world has grown over the past ten years, say 42% of respondents to a global survey by Pew. Whether they think that's a good thing is less clear. Globally, a median of just 34 percent have a favorable view of Russia, while around a quarter say they are confident that Putin will "do the right thing" in world affairs. The most Russia-friendly countries according to the survey are the Philippines, Tunisia, South Korea and Greece.

1: Over the weekend Iraq celebrated the one-year anniversary of the defeat of Islamic State. So how is the self-styled caliphate doing these days? It controls only about 20-square miles of territory, but its attacks have gotten more frequent over the past year, jumping to 75 a month versus 60 in 2016. What's more, the group is believed to still have 20,000 to 30,000 people under arms in Iraq and Syria, about the number that the Central Intelligence Agency estimated in 2014, when ISIS was at its peak.

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