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120 million: Between now and March, officials expect around 120 million Hindu pilgrims to gather at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati rivers near the city of Prayagraj in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The celebration, known as the Kumbh Mela festival, will be so big that it is expected to be visible from space.

993: Governments around the world executed 993 prisoners in 2017, according to Amnesty International. The tally doesn't include China, thought to be the world's top executioner, which keeps the frequency of its use of capital punishment a closely guarded secret. This week a Chinese court hastily sentenced a Canadian citizen to death in a drug smuggling case, in a decision many saw as a thinly-veiled response to Canada's detention of a top Chinese tech executive.

90: Approximately 90 percent of all economic espionage cases handled by the US Justice Department over the past seven years have involved China. Alleged theft of American intellectual property is one of the major sticking points in trade talks and the growing strategic confrontation between Washington and Beijing.

31: Around 31 percent of Britons say they trust the European Union, the second lowest in the common bloc above only Greece.

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It's been four days since Iran's top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, died in a hail of bullets on a highway near Tehran. Iran has plausibly blamed Israel for the killing, but more than that, not much is known credibly or in detail.

This is hardly the first time that an Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated in an operation that has a whiff of Mossad about it. But Fakhrizadeh's prominence — he is widely regarded as the father of the Iranian nuclear program — as well as the timing of the killing, just six weeks from the inauguration of a new American president, make it a particularly big deal. Not least because an operation this sensitive would almost certainly have required a US sign-off.

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Joe Biden has had one of the longest political careers in American history, but his most important act is yet to come. Can decades of experience in Washington prepare him to lead the most divided America since the end of the Civil War?

Watch the GZERO World episode: What you still may not know about Joe


Ethiopia on the brink: After ethnic tensions between Ethiopia's federal government and separatist forces in the northern Tigray region erupted into a full-blown armed conflict in recent weeks, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced his forces had taken control of Tigray's capital on Saturday and declared victory. But the fugitive Tigray leader Debretsion Gebremichael quickly called Abiy's bluff, saying the fighting is raging on, and demanded Abiy withdraw his forces. Gebremichael accused Abiy of launching "a genocidal campaign" that has displaced 1 million people, with thousands fleeing to neighboring Sudan, creating a humanitarian catastrophe. The Tigray, who make up about five percent of Ethiopia's population, are fighting for self-determination, but Abiy's government has repeatedly rejected invitations to discuss the issue, accusing the coalition led by Gebremichael's Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) of "instigating clashes along ethnic and religious lines." As the two sides dig in their heels, Ethiopia faces the risk of a civil war that could threaten the stability of the entire Horn of Africa.

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110: At least 110 people were killed in Nigeria's conflict-ridden Borno state on Saturday, when armed men attacked agricultural workers as they tended their fields. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the brutal attack, but analysts say the assault was likely the work of Boko Haram or Islamic State-linked groups that have gained a foothold in the Sahel region in recent years.

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Reasons for Hope: COVID and the Coming Year. Watch on Friday. Dec 4 2020 12 noon - 1 pm ET

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