Hard Numbers: France’s unions start to look like Grinches

55: Ongoing strikes over a proposed pension reform have brought Paris to a standstill, with major train services shuttered. But as the holidays near, public opinion is shifting against the unions behind those work stoppages: 55 percent of people surveyed by Le Figaro newspaper said it's "unacceptable" for strikes to continue over the holiday period.


173: Myanmar's navy detained 173 Rohingya Muslims in a boat off the country's southern coast, a worrying sign that members of the minority group are making dangerous sea journeys to avoid persecution by the military. Last week, dozens of other Rohingya who tried to flee by boat appeared in a Myanmar court to face charges of "traveling illegally."

70,000: The number of migrants and refugees going to Europe from Turkey has nearly doubled this year, with some 70,000 arrivals. The surge has raised questions about whether Turkey is honoring the terms of its migrant deal with the EU, in which Ankara is supposed to let through only the most "vulnerable" migrants.

1: The wealthiest one percent of adults in Lebanon receive a quarter of the national income, and the top 0.1% take as much as the bottom 50%. That level of income inequality is part of what sparked the recent nationwide anti-government protests.

As Europe inches past the peak of COVID-19 deaths and the US slowly approaches it, many poorer countries are now staring into an abyss. As bad as the coronavirus crisis is likely to be in the world's wealthiest nations, the public health and economic blow to less affluent ones, often referred to as "developing countries," could be drastically worse. Here's why:

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25: A divorce lawyer in Shanghai told Bloomberg News that his business has surged 25% since the city began easing its lockdown in mid-March, as being cooped up on lockdown evidently exposed irreconcilable differences in people's marriages.

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Japan mulls state of emergency: Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe is poised to declare a "state of emergency" because of the coronavirus pandemic, giving local governments the authority to order people to stay in their homes and shutter businesses and schools. Japan has so far managed the crisis without the kinds of sweeping lockdowns seen elsewhere, but a surge of new cases in recent days – particularly in Tokyo – has put pressure on the government to do more. Japan has one of the world's oldest populations – a third of its people are older than 65, the demographic most vulnerable to COVID-19. The emergency decision comes at a tough time. Japan's economy has been hurting for several months now, as China's massive lockdowns in January and February cratered demand for Japanese exports. In order to deal with the fallout that comes with putting his economy on life-support, PM Abe said the government would push through a $1 trillion stimulus package.

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As reports swirl from sources in the U.S. Intelligence Community that China vastly underreported the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths, China's top diplomat in the U.S., Ambassador Cui Tiankai, joined Ian Bremmer for an exclusive conversation in which he responds to the claim.

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