Hard Numbers: French workers vs. Macron, Guinean junta buys time, Chinese manufacturing slows, Iran’s execution spree
65: Thousands of French workers marked International Labor Day by protesting against newly re-elected President Emmanuel Macron for, among other things, wanting to raise the retirement age to 65 if his party wins a majority in the June legislative election. The rallies were mostly peaceful, although some demonstrators torched businesses in Paris.
39: Guinea's military junta says it's ready for the country to return to civilian rule in ... 39 months. Don't be surprised if ECOWAS, the powerful economic bloc of West African nations worried about rising coups, decides the timeline is not fast enough and slaps fresh sanctions against Guinea.
47.4: China's Purchasing Managers' Index — which measures manufacturing activity — fell to 47.4 in April, its lowest level in two years. The figure reflects the worsening economic fallout from the controversial zero-COVID policy and the Shanghai lockdown.333: Iran carried out 333 executions last year, mostly related to drug-related offenses, a sharp spike compared to 2020. The surge has been attributed in part to the election of hardline President Ebrahim Raisi.