Hard Numbers: A Kiwi crackdown on foreign political cash

20: When an image of tennis god Roger Federer is imprinted on a Swiss 20 franc silver coin in January, the 20-time Grand Slam winner will become Switzerland's first living person to have their likeness minted on a coin. Naturally, the "heads" side of the coin will show Federer executing his signature one-handed backhand.

58: Madrid may currently be hosting the UN Climate Change Conference, but 58 percent of Spaniards surveyed say they are "dissatisfied" with their country's environmental conservation efforts.

50: New Zealand's government has introduced legislation that would cap all foreign donations to political campaigns at just NZ $50 ($32 USD) in a bid to reduce foreign influence over domestic politics. Last year, the country's opposition leader was accused of failing to declare a $100,000 donation from a Chinese businessman.

208: Iranian state TV has confirmed that security forces shot and killed people in their brutal crackdown on nationwide protests last month, but said that those who died were "thugs and rioters." The broadcast didn't give a specific death toll, but the human rights watchdog Amnesty International says at least 208 people were killed.

Family, friends, co-workers and neighbors around the world are facing an economic crisis. Dealing with it requires the cooperation of every sector of society – governments, businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals. As a global company, Microsoft is committed to helping the efforts through technology and partnership including those with the CDC, WHO, UNESCO and other companies.

For more on our collective efforts to combat Covid-19 around the world visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Did you know that COVID-19 is caused by 5G networks? Were you aware that you can cure it with a hairdryer, cow urine, or a certain drug that isn't fully FDA-approved yet?

None of these things is true, and yet each has untold millions of believers around the world. They are part of a vast squall of conspiracy theories, scams, and disinformation about the virus that is churning through the internet and social media platforms right now.

More Show less

15: So far, 15 US states and territories have delayed their primaries amid coronavirus fears, with many expanding vote-by-mail options to protect voters' health. Six of them have picked June 2, which is now an important date to watch.

More Show less

The danger to informal workers grows: Coronavirus lockdowns have created a world of uncertainty for businesses and workers around the world. But one group of people that could be hit particularly hard are those working in the so-called "informal economy," where workers lack formal contracts, labor protections, or social safety nets. Nowhere is this challenge more widespread than in Africa, where a whopping 85 percent of the work force toils in the informal sector. These workers, which include street vendors, drivers, and the self-employed, don't have the luxury of working from home, which makes social distancing unviable. As a result, many continue to go to work, risking exposure to the virus, because not turning up is often the difference between putting food on the table and starving. What's more, even where governments are trying to provide support, many people lack bank accounts, complicating efforts to get them aid. In Nigeria, for example, some 60 percent of people do not even have a bank account, according to the World Bank.

More Show less

As Europe inches past the peak of COVID-19 deaths and the US slowly approaches it, many poorer countries are now staring into an abyss. As bad as the coronavirus crisis is likely to be in the world's wealthiest nations, the public health and economic blow to less affluent ones, often referred to as "developing countries," could be drastically worse. Here's why:

More Show less