Hard Numbers

50,000: Ongoing Yellow Vest protests in France saw some 50,000 people take to the streets across the country last Saturday, up from 29,000 the week before.


The Yellow Vest movement shows little sign of wavering, despite President Macron's decision to backtrack on the controversial tax proposal that initially sparked the wave of discontent.

50: In more than 50 villages across India, people have petitioned the government to change town names they view as bizarre, embarrassing, or even racist. In some cases, these changes have involvedreplacing names perceived to carry the Islamic cultural vestiges of the Mughal empire that ruled India for centuries with Hindu-inspired words.

32: Civilian gun ownership increased by 32 percent globally in the decade through 2017, rising to a total of 857.3 million guns, according to the Small Arms Survey research project. Firearm possession has increased steadily in Europe, in part in response to heightened perceptions of insecurity, though European gun-wielding still lags behind the global average.

8: Nearly eight people die every day commuting on the suburban railway system in Mumbai, India due to overcrowding that often sees trains filled at three times their recommended capacity. A new $3.3 billion underground replacement is expected to carry an estimated 1.6 million riders a day when it opens in 2021.

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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For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.

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From climate change to connecting more people to the Internet, big companies like Microsoft are seeing an increasing role within multilateral organizations like the UN and the World Health Organization. John Frank, Microsoft's VP of UN Affairs, explains the contributions tech companies and other multinational corporations are making globally during this time of crisis and challenge.

7: Among the 10 nations showing the highest COVID-19 death rates per 100,000 people, seven are in Latin America. Weak health systems, frail leadership, and the inability of millions of working poor to do their daily jobs remotely have contributed to the regional crisis. Peru tops the global list with nearly 100 fatalities per 100,000 people. Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia are also in the top 10.

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