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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.

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It's been four days since Iran's top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, died in a hail of bullets on a highway near Tehran. Iran has plausibly blamed Israel for the killing, but more than that, not much is known credibly or in detail.

This is hardly the first time that an Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated in an operation that has a whiff of Mossad about it. But Fakhrizadeh's prominence — he is widely regarded as the father of the Iranian nuclear program — as well as the timing of the killing, just six weeks from the inauguration of a new American president, make it a particularly big deal. Not least because an operation this sensitive would almost certainly have required a US sign-off.

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Joe Biden has had one of the longest political careers in American history, but his most important act is yet to come. Can decades of experience in Washington prepare him to lead the most divided America since the end of the Civil War?

Watch the GZERO World episode: What you still may not know about Joe

Ethiopia on the brink: After ethnic tensions between Ethiopia's federal government and separatist forces in the northern Tigray region erupted into a full-blown armed conflict in recent weeks, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced his forces had taken control of Tigray's capital on Saturday and declared victory. But the fugitive Tigray leader Debretsion Gebremichael quickly called Abiy's bluff, saying the fighting is raging on, and demanded Abiy withdraw his forces. Gebremichael accused Abiy of launching "a genocidal campaign" that has displaced 1 million people, with thousands fleeing to neighboring Sudan, creating a humanitarian catastrophe. The Tigray, who make up about five percent of Ethiopia's population, are fighting for self-determination, but Abiy's government has repeatedly rejected invitations to discuss the issue, accusing the coalition led by Gebremichael's Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) of "instigating clashes along ethnic and religious lines." As the two sides dig in their heels, Ethiopia faces the risk of a civil war that could threaten the stability of the entire Horn of Africa.

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110: At least 110 people were killed in Nigeria's conflict-ridden Borno state on Saturday, when armed men attacked agricultural workers as they tended their fields. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the brutal attack, but analysts say the assault was likely the work of Boko Haram or Islamic State-linked groups that have gained a foothold in the Sahel region in recent years.

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Reasons for Hope: COVID and the Coming Year. Watch on Friday. Dec 4 2020 12 noon - 1 pm ET


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