GZERO Media logo

Hard Numbers

10,000: Around 10,000 students boycotted the first day of school in Hong Kong on Monday, the latest twist in the Chinese territory's pro-democracy protests. The walk-out follows a tense weekend in which protesters threw fire-bombs and police beat and pepper-sprayed people in the Hong Kong Metro.

21.2: The average tariff applied to Chinese products crossing the US border hit 21.2 percent on Sunday after the latest round of US trade levies took effect. That's up from an average of 3.1 percent at the beginning of the Trump administration. The figure is due to rise further in December if the two countries can't find a way to resolve their escalating trade dispute.

882,000: Colombian president Ivan Duque is offering an $882,000 bounty for the capture of former FARC leaders who appeared in a video recording last week calling for followers to resume their armed struggle against the government. It's the latest sign that the 2016 peace deal that ended the guerilla group's 50-year Marxist insurgency is in danger of falling apart.

18: The US war in Afghanistan turns 18 years old next month. On Sunday, the US lead negotiator said the country was "at the threshold" of an agreement with the Taliban, which is expected to involve the withdrawal of roughly 14,000 US troops and other foreign forces from the country. Over the weekend, the Taliban stepped up a military offensive in northern Afghanistan.

Meet Carlo Fortini, a young geophysical engineer whose passion for speed and challenge resonates in everything he does. When he is not racing on his motorbike, you can find Carlo operating one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world at Eni's Green Data Center in Po Valley, Italy. Here, he brings his technical and creative expertise to develop new software for underground exploration.

Watch the latest Faces of Eni episode to learn more about what drives Carlo.

It almost didn't happen — but here we are again. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden face off tonight in the final presidential debate of the 2020 US election campaign.

More Show less

Back in 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump presented his vision for an "America First" foreign policy, which symbolized a radical departure from the US' longtime approach to international politics and diplomacy.

In electing Donald Trump, a political outsider, to the top job, American voters essentially gave him a mandate to follow through on these promises. So, has he?

Trade

"A continuing rape of our country."

On the 2016 campaign trail, candidate Trump said that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a 12 country trade deal pushed by the Obama administration — would "rape" America's economy by imperiling the manufacturing sector, closing factories, and taking more jobs overseas.

More Show less

In an op-ed titled "Iran Arms Embargo Reckoning," the Wall Street Journal editorial board argues that ending the UN arms embargo on Iran was a major flaw of the 2015 nuclear deal and questions whether Biden could do anything to contain Iran at this point. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Henry Rome take out the Red Pen to explain why this discussion misrepresents the importance of the embargo and the consequences for its expiration.

So, the US presidential election is now just days away, and today's selection is focusing on a specific aspect of foreign policy that will certainly change depending on who wins in the presidential contest—namely America's approach to Iran.

You've heard me talk before about the many similarities between Trump and Biden on some international policies, like on China or on Afghanistan. But Iran is definitely not one of those. Trump hated the JCPOA, the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, put together under the Obama administration, and he walked away from it unilaterally. Joe Biden, if he were to become president, would try to bring it back.

More Show less

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, US President George W. Bush demanded that Afghanistan's Taliban government surrender Osama bin Laden and end support for al-Qaeda. The Taliban refused.

On October 7, US bombs began falling on Taliban forces. NATO allies quickly pledged support for the US, and US boots hit the ground in Afghanistan two weeks later.

Thus began a war, now the longest in US history, that has killed more than 3,500 coalition soldiers and 110,000 Afghans. It has cost the American taxpayer nearly $3 trillion. US allies have also made human and material sacrifices.

More Show less
UNGA banner

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal

Episode 6: Big cities after COVID: boom or bust?

Living Beyond Borders Podcasts