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Hard Numbers: Biden’s ad buy, German nuke games, Kwoks lose big, Bolsonaro’s sick cabinet

Hard Numbers: Biden’s ad buy, German nuke games, Kwoks lose big, Bolsonaro’s sick cabinet

280 million: Democratic candidate Joe Biden plans to spend $280 million on campaign ads in his battle against US President Donald Trump. Although Trump trails the former vice president by 7 points in an average of national polls, the incumbent has set aside less than half that amount for ads of his own.


500,000: About half a million people would die instantly if a large nuclear bomb were detonated in Frankfurt, Germany's most populous city, according to a new simulation from Greenpeace. It is estimated that the US — the only atomic power that stores part of its arsenal in other countries — has maintained between 15 and 20 nukes on German soil since the end of the Cold War.

8 billion: The uber-rich Kwok family, which owns Hong Kong's largest real estate empire, lost $8 billion over the past twelve months. The steep drop in the dynasty's net wealth is partly attributed to lack of investor confidence in Hong Kong as China has moved to assert fuller control over the city. It's also worth noting that the Kwoks publicly oppose the new security law that China has imposed on the former British colony.

8: Jorge Oliveira, Brazil's secretary of the presidency, is the eighth member of President Jair Bolsonaro's cabinet to have tested positive for the coronavirus. Bolsonaro — who recently survived COVID-19 himself — is part of a select group of world leaders who continue to play down the threat of the pandemic, and is often seen meeting people without social distancing or wearing a mask, even as Brazil has tallied more 2.8 million cases and close to 100,000 deaths.

Pop quiz: what percentage of plastic currently gets recycled worldwide? Watch this video in Eni's Energy Shot series to find out and learn what needs to be done to prevent plastic from ending up in our oceans. Plastic is a precious resource that should be valued, not wasted.

Ten years ago this week, a powerful earthquake off the coast of eastern Japan triggered a tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant, resulting in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. A decade and dozens of decommissioned reactors later, nuclear energy still supplies about 10 percent of global electricity, but its future remains uncertain amid post-Fukushima safety concerns.

As more countries pledge to curb emissions to mitigate climate change, nuclear could serve as a clean(ish) and reliable source of energy. But investing more in nuclear comes with tradeoffs.

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This Monday, March 8, is International Women's Day, a holiday with roots in a protest led by the Russian feminist Alexandra Kollontai that helped topple the czar of Russia in 1917. More than a hundred years later, amid a global pandemic that has affected women with particular fury, there are dozens of women-led protests and social movements reshaping politics around the globe. Here we take a look at a few key ones to watch this year.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hey everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Welcome to your week, life looking better every day in the United States, coronavirus land. But I thought I'd talk about, this week, all of this cancel culture that everyone's talking about right now. If you're on the wrong political side, your opponents are trying to shut you down and you take massive umbrage. I see this everywhere, and it's starting to annoy.

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"Apocalyptic" protests in Senegal: At least five people have been killed in clashes with police as protests over poverty, unemployment, and the jailing of a popular politician rock the West African nation of Senegal. Ousmane Sonko, who heads the opposition Movement to Defend Democracy (M2D) and is considered the most viable challenger to current president Mackie Sall, was accused of rape in February and arrested last week. Sonko says the charges are a politically motivated attempt to remove him from politics before the 2024 presidential election. His supporters immediately hit the streets, voicing a range of grievances including joblessness and poverty. Though youth unemployment has fallen over the past decade, it still exceeds eight percent and close to two-thirds of the country's 16 million people are under the age of 25. As Sonko supporters pledge to continue protests this week, Senegal's head of conflict resolution says the country is "on the verge of apocalypse."

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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