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Hard Numbers: Ethiopia faces locusts again, Japan's COVID response lags, and Russian booze booms

Hard Numbers: Ethiopia faces locusts again, Japan's COVID response lags, and Russian booze booms

1 million: The UN said this week that recent massive locust infestations in East Africa (some swarms were estimated to be the size of Moscow) have decimated crops, forcing 1 million Ethiopians onto food aid. And it's not over. The UN has also warned that a coming second wave of locusts could be twenty times worse.


14: A surge in fighting between the UN-backed government in Libya and opposition forces has forced the closure of 14 hospitals just as the war-torn country has recorded dozens of new COVID-19 cases. Coronavirus-designated hospitals in Tripoli, the capital, have been targeted in the fighting, prompting the UN to call for an immediate ceasefire. So far, no one is listening.

75: A majority of Japanese – some 75 percent – think that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's move to declare a state of emergency last week in response to the coronavirus pandemic came too late. The move allows some states to mandate the closure of schools and businesses, and order residents to stay in their homes.

65: Alcohol abuse in Russia may have fallen sharply over the past 15 years, but with millions of Russians now under home quarantine orders, vodka sales leapt 65 percent in the last week of March. Hospitals say they are now gearing up for a host of booze-related admissions.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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For the first time in twenty years, extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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