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Hard Numbers: China's fake fishing fleet, forever Obiang, Iran's deadly protests, IMF lending spree

Map showing how fishing vessels help China's navy in the South China Sea.
Gabriella Turrisi

280: China is paying commercial trawlers more than they can make by catching fish to stay anchored for at least 280 days a year in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. This is just one of the many ways China is using civilian ships to augment its naval power and help enforce its maritime claims in the region.

6: Africa's longest-serving head of state, strongman President Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, will "run" for a sixth term in office next year. Obiang has called the shots in the oil-rich West African nation since he deposed his uncle in 1979, and is expected to eventually hand off to his playboy son, VP Teodorín Obiang.

41: At least 41 people have been killed in one week of widespread protests across Iran after a woman was beaten to death for failing to wear a headscarf as the mullahs have decreed. President Ebrahim Raisi is threatening a crackdown, while the US is pushing to keep Iranians online.

140 billion: As of Aug. 31, the IMF has issued loans worth a record $140 billion this year. Countries deep in the red like Sri Lanka and Zambia are now negotiating bailouts, and Ghana, Egypt, and Tunisia are likely to follow as interest rate hikes to fight inflation and a strong US dollar make it more expensive to pay off debt.


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