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Hard Numbers: A leak kills in India, Americans trust governors, criminals stash cash, and the UK nosedives

Hard Numbers: A leak kills in India, Americans trust governors, criminals stash cash, and the UK nosedives

13: A gas leak at a chemical plant in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has left at least 13 dead and hundreds sick. The LG Polymers facility was attempting to reopen after idling for seven weeks under India's nationwide lockdown. Local police said the long period of inactivity had contributed to a chemical reaction that caused the leak.


71: All politics is local, the saying goes – especially, it seems, when it comes to pandemics. A whopping 71 percent of American voters told an FT/Peterson survey that they trust their own state governor over President Trump when it comes to deciding when to reopen the economy.

12.6 million: Lockdowns are evidently making it hard for criminals to move money around these days. Dutch money laundering investigators recently turned up 12.6 million euros in cash in a home in the city of Eindhoven, the largest find of its kind in the country's history. In case you wondered, the stash weighted more than five hundred pounds (255kg).

300: The Bank of England says the UK is set for its worst economic downturn in 300 years, as coronavirus-related lockdowns slash GDP by 30 percent in the first half of this year. For those with a macabre sense for history, 1720 was the year of Europe's last major outbreak of the Black Plague.

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

Joe Biden has vowed to radically change the US' approach to foreign policy and international diplomacy should he win next week's election.

But a lot has happened in four years under Donald Trump that could impede Biden's ability to simply return to the status quo ante. How different would US foreign policy really be under a Biden presidency? What will the two-term former vice president likely be able to change, and what's bound to remain the same, at least for now?

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"The top priority will be to announce to the world that the United States they've known for decades is back." Former top Obama diplomat and current CEO of the think tank New America Anne-Marie slaughter predicts an American revival on the global stage if Joe Biden wins the presidency. But at a time when the United States has never been more divided, can any nation, even the world's most powerful, be a global leader if it cannot even keep its own house in order? Ian Bremmer's conversation with Slaughter is part of a new episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: How a "President Biden" could reshape US foreign policy

"If [the election] is very close and it ends up in the courts, that kind of protracted situation I think will lead many Americans to believe that it was an unfair election." Rick Hasen, election law expert and author of Election Meltdown, lays out some of the worst-case scenarios for Election Day, ranging from unprecedented voter suppression to dirty tricks by foreign actors. The conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. The episode begins airing nationally in the US on public television this Friday, October 30. Check local listings.

Emmanuel Macron in trouble: These are trying times for Emmanuel Macron, as the French president suddenly finds himself dealing with three major crises at once. First, France is currently reeling from a massive second wave of coronavirus, which has forced Macron to order a second national lockdown. Second, he is facing rising social tensions at home over the (long-fraught) question of integration into French society, after an Islamic beheaded a teacher who had shown derogatory images of the Prophet Mohammed as part of a lesson on free speech. The killing of three people outside a Nice church by a knife-wielding man of Tunisian origin yesterday heightened the sense of crisis. Lastly, Macron is facing a backlash from much of the Muslim world over his controversial comments in response to the teacher's murder, in which he pledged to crack down on extremism but also seemed to target Islam in general. There have been anti-French protests across the Muslim world, and several countries have called for a boycott of French goods. Macron doesn't face voters again until 2022, but he's already had to reset his presidency a few times. And his rivals — particularly from the far right, anti-immigrant National Rally party— may start to smell blood in the water.

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