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Hard Numbers

242,000: The solar power industry employed 242,000 Americans in 2018, according to a new study. That was down slightly from a year earlier, as Trump administration tariffs on Chinese solar panels and changes to state policies for solar power hit demand for new projects. The Solar Foundation industry group expects the number of jobs to rise again next year as overall panel prices fall.

3,000: Turkish courts have convicted over 3,000 soldiers and civilians accused of participating in an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. Erdogan has cracked down on political opponents in the wake of the botched putsch, including supporters of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he blames for organizing the plot.

74: A new poll shows that 74 percent of Americans, including 65 percent of Republicans, support a tax on the wealth of the country's richest individuals. Several Democrats who're bidding for the 2020 presidential nomination have promised to implement such a policy if elected.

61: A recent poll commissioned by the Campaign to Stop Killer robots found that 61 percent of respondents across 26 countries favored a ban on "lethal autonomous weapons systems" that can attack and kill without human intervention. So far just 28 countries have signed on to an effort at the United Nations to prohibit the technology.

Pop quiz: what percentage of plastic currently gets recycled worldwide? Watch this video in Eni's Energy Shot series to find out and learn what needs to be done to prevent plastic from ending up in our oceans. Plastic is a precious resource that should be valued, not wasted.

Ten years ago this week, a powerful earthquake off the coast of eastern Japan triggered a tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant, resulting in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. A decade and dozens of decommissioned reactors later, nuclear energy still supplies about 10 percent of global electricity, but its future remains uncertain amid post-Fukushima safety concerns.

As more countries pledge to curb emissions to mitigate climate change, nuclear could serve as a clean(ish) and reliable source of energy. But investing more in nuclear comes with tradeoffs.

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This Monday, March 8, is International Women's Day, a holiday with roots in a protest led by the Russian feminist Alexandra Kollontai that helped topple the czar of Russia in 1917. More than a hundred years later, amid a global pandemic that has affected women with particular fury, there are dozens of women-led protests and social movements reshaping politics around the globe. Here we take a look at a few key ones to watch this year.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hey everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Welcome to your week, life looking better every day in the United States, coronavirus land. But I thought I'd talk about, this week, all of this cancel culture that everyone's talking about right now. If you're on the wrong political side, your opponents are trying to shut you down and you take massive umbrage. I see this everywhere, and it's starting to annoy.

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"Apocalyptic" protests in Senegal: At least five people have been killed in clashes with police as protests over poverty, unemployment, and the jailing of a popular politician rock the West African nation of Senegal. Ousmane Sonko, who heads the opposition Movement to Defend Democracy (M2D) and is considered the most viable challenger to current president Mackie Sall, was accused of rape in February and arrested last week. Sonko says the charges are a politically motivated attempt to remove him from politics before the 2024 presidential election. His supporters immediately hit the streets, voicing a range of grievances including joblessness and poverty. Though youth unemployment has fallen over the past decade, it still exceeds eight percent and close to two-thirds of the country's 16 million people are under the age of 25. As Sonko supporters pledge to continue protests this week, Senegal's head of conflict resolution says the country is "on the verge of apocalypse."

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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