Hard Numbers

25: China has announced that it will increase its defense budget by 7.5 percent to $179 billion in 2019. While that's smaller than last year's 8.5 percent boost, it marks the 25th consecutive year that Beijing has increased military spending.

3.5: A child born in Venezuela today can expect to live 3.5 years less than one born into the previous generation, according to the Universidad Central y la Simón Bolívar.

$226,500: Spain's far-right Vox party brought in $226,500 in online donations in just two days this week. The upstart party is relying on grassroots support ahead of parliamentary elections on April 28 because it's too small to qualify for the public subsidies given to the country's dominant political groups.

$8.7 billion: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his net worth shrink by $8.7 billion in 2018, amid tightening margins and a political backlash against the tech giant. Not to worry, though – Zuck is still sitting on $62.3 billion, according to latest Forbes billionaires ranking.

95: French President Emmanuel Macron has delivered or begun the process of legislating 95 percent of the 60 reforms he's initiated since coming to office in 2017, according to the think tank iFRAP. The question now is whether he can achieve similar success at the European level, after outlining an extensive agenda to do so this week.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan announced a $1 billion, four-year commitment of additional support to address economic and racial inequalities in our local communities that have been intensified by the global pandemic.

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Have you heard? The Republican president of the United States proposed a plan for "partial basic income" and his plan passed the House of Representatives. In 1969.

President's Nixon's plan, which he called "the most significant piece of social legislation in our nation's history," died in the Senate and never became law. It hasn't really made a comeback in the US. But the idea of "guaranteed basic income" is already back in the news in Europe, because income inequality — exacerbated by COVID-19 — will become increasingly hard for the world's political leaders to ignore.

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Poland's election set: After a grueling political fight between the far-right Law and Justice Party, which heads the government, and opposition parties on how and when to hold a presidential election during a global pandemic, Poland says the ballot will now go ahead on June 28. For the incumbent government, led by President Andrzej Duda, the election is a chance to further solidify its agenda of social conservatism and an alarming reworking of the country's democratic institutions. While April polls strongly favored Duda, the pandemic-induced economic crisis has dented his ratings in recent weeks, giving centrist candidates a slightly better chance to take the nation's top job. Indeed, in last year's election, the Law and Justice party won only a very shaky parliamentary majority and needs Duda to stay at the helm, not least in order to pass controversial judicial reforms that the EU has long-deemed as undemocratic.

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The coronavirus crisis has clobbered all European economies, but most have avoided a severe spike in unemployment. That's in part because of government programs that directly subsidize workers' wages while also incentivizing employers to keep workers on the payroll by reducing their hours. This approach has shielded much of Europe from the kind of unemployment calamity that's plaguing the United States, where the jobless rate has increased sixfold since January and is now more than double that of the Euro area. Here's a look at how European job markets have fared in the time of coronavirus.

As protests over the police killing of George Floyd raged across the country, there have been more than 125 instances of journalists being shot with rubber bullets by police, arrested, or in some cases assaulted by protesters while covering the unrest.

Foreign news crews from Germany and Australia have been caught up in the crackdown. Australia's Prime Minister has even called for an investigation. Some of these journalists have simply been caught in the crossfire during surges of unrest, but video and photographic evidence reveals cases where police have deliberately targeted reporters doing their jobs.

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