Stacked sugar cubes

27: A global study revealed something we all already knew: lockdowns intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus have had a negative effect on people's physical and mental health. More than 27 percent of respondents (out of a study of 8,000) said they had gained weight after going into "lockdown," according to a study published in the Journal of Obesity. Many also reported battling mental health ailments as a result of the economic and public health crises.


12,000: Amid a years-long recession and soaring poverty exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, Argentina's parliament passed a one-off wealth tax to be borne by 12,000 of its wealthiest residents. Argentina's leftist president Alberto Fernández says he hopes the levy will generate 300 billion pesos (US$3.75 billion), which will be used to procure medical supplies and provide loans to small businesses.

0: In Kuwait's General Assembly election last weekend, zero of the 29 female candidates won a seat, while the lone female MP, Safa al-Hashem, was booted out. Women won the right to vote in the Gulf kingdom just 15 years ago.

700: The Pentagon announced that all US servicemen and women in Somalia, around 700 troops, will be withdrawn by mid-January, and will likely be redeployed to other parts of East Africa. Somali officials, for their part, said the timing could not be worse: the militants of al-Shabab and Islamic State continue to wreak havoc in the country, while conflict flares in neighboring Ethiopia.

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