Hard Numbers: COVAX delivery, Beijing’s billionaires, Belfast burns, a global seed cartel
38.4 million: COVAX announced on Thursday it has delivered almost 38.4 million doses of COVID vaccines in its six weeks distributing jabs across the developing world. The rollout has so far been slowed by supply constraints from India, major producer of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the main jab for COVAX.
100: Beijing added 33 billionaires to its roster in 2020 and now has 100, beating New York by one to have the most of any city in the world today. China's recent wealth boom has been spurred by its quick containment of COVID, a soaring stock market, and a pandemic-fueled global surge in online shopping for Chinese-made goods.
55: At least 55 cops were injured Wednesday night in clashes between Catholic and Protestant protesters in Belfast. Northern Ireland has seen sporadic street violence since the 1998 Good Friday Agreements put an end to decades of sectarian bloodshed in Ulster. The latest riots derive in part from local tensions over post-Brexit trade rules.4: Four multinational corporations — Bayer, Corteva, ChemChina, and Limagrain — currently control more than half of the world's seeds. UN food and agriculture agencies warn that this cartel has an outsize influence over the global food supply because it prevents farmers from buying and selling seeds freely.