Hard Numbers: China's rebuttal, pandemic porn, Iran's mishap​, NYC cops target minorities

10,000: China's foreign ministry has published a 10,000-word rebuttal to what it says are US "lies" that Beijing covered up the origins and early spread of the coronavirus. Even if we could read the piece, which is evidently in Mandarin only, we'd still prefer the 2-minute LEGO-knockoff version.


19: An Iranian naval training mission went awry on Monday when one ship accidentally hit another with a missile, killing at least 19 sailors. This is Iran's second major missile-related mishap this year – in January, it mistakenly shot down a Ukraine-bound civilian airliner, killing everyone on board.

97.5: Coronavirus is killing minorities at disproportionately high rates in the US and UK, but punishment for violations of social distancing rules is following the same pattern now in New York City. According to public records, of the 40 people arrested for this reason since mid-March, 39 were black or Hispanic.

22: As hundreds of millions of minds wander while on lockdown, the pornography industry is evidently booming. Traffic on the porno megasite Pornhub has risen 22 percent year on year in March, The Economist reports.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan announced a $1 billion, four-year commitment of additional support to address economic and racial inequalities in our local communities that have been intensified by the global pandemic.

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As protests over the police killing of George Floyd raged across the country, there have been more than 125 instances of journalists being shot with rubber bullets by police, arrested, or in some cases assaulted by protesters while covering the unrest.

Foreign news crews from Germany and Australia have been caught up in the crackdown. Australia's Prime Minister has even called for an investigation. Some of these journalists have simply been caught in the crossfire during surges of unrest, but video and photographic evidence reveals cases where police have deliberately targeted reporters doing their jobs.

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600,000: French authorities said 600,000 residents downloaded its new coronavirus contact tracing up within the first few hours of its release. The app, which aims to prevent a second wave of infections in that hard-hit country, has stirred controversy in France amid concerns that the data it gathers could be abused by the government to surveil people.

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As anti- racism protests rocked US cities in recent days, thousands of people gathered in cities around the world in solidarity. In some instances, demonstrators assembled outside US embassies — in Berlin, London, Paris, and elsewhere — to condemn the police killing of George Floyd. In others, crowds inspired by the Floyd demonstrations gathered to protest systemic racial injustice in their own societies. Here's a look at where demonstrators have taken to the streets in recent days.

This week, Ian Bremmer is joined by analyst Michael Hirson to take the Red Pen to an op-ed by New York Times Opinion columnist Bret Stephens.

Today, we're marking up a recent op-ed by New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, entitled "China and the Rhineland Moment." And the subheading here is that "America and its allies must not simply accept Beijing's aggression." Basically, Bret is arguing that US-China relations are at a tipping point brought on by China's implementation of a new national security law for Hong Kong. And he compares this to Hitler's occupation of the Rhineland in 1936, describes it as the first domino to fall in Beijing's ambitions.

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