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Hard Numbers

66,000: The latest installment of France's anti-government "yellow vest" protests attracted 66,000 people nationwide, according to French authorities. That's less than half the turnout the previous weekend. But those numbers could rise again next weekend, as observers attributed the weaker turnout to cold weather and safety concerns after the Strasbourg terror attack.


187: A report for the US Senate on Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US Presidential election says that content created by Russian government-backed groups garnered 187 million interactions on Instagram. That's nearly triple the number of interactions for similar content on Facebook, which has been much more in the spotlight as Americans try to assess what impact Moscow may have had on the election's outcome.

35: US gun manufacturers exported 35 million weapons and rounds of ammunition to Paraguay in 2017, a figure so high that it prompted US officials to halt commercial arms exports to the South American nation earlier this year. The weapons have helped to fuel violence and drug trafficking not only in weakly policed Paraguay but also next door in Brazil, where killings have skyrocketed.

3.9: By the end of this year (soon!), some 3.9 billion people will have internet access, says a UN agency. That means that for the first time ever, more than half of earth's population will be able to surf the web. Over the past decade, Africahas experienced the fastest growth in internet access globally. Since 2005, the percentage of Africans with an internet connection has soared from 2 to 24.

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