Hard Numbers: From “Provincial Man” to Political Office

500 million: More than 500 million people in India are living in areas hit by a drought that has now affected more than 40 percent of the country's total land mass. The summer monsoon season may not bring much relief: forecasts call for below-average rains between June and September this year.


123 million: While the British economy continues to suffer from the uncertainty caused by Brexit, there's one industry making a killing—consultants. The British government spent $123 million on consultants between April 2018 and April 2019 to help prepare for Brexit. And that's a "conservative estimate."

4,000: Hostility from the Trump administration has prompted some asylum-seekers from Central America to try their luck crossing the Atlantic instead. The number of people from the region seeking refuge in Europe has jumped from 4,835 in 2017 to 7,800 last year. But it's not all about Trump: The number of Central Americans headed for Europe is up roughly 4,000% over the past ten years.

3: Apparently TV-stardom-to-political office isn't just a Ukrainian thing these days – seven cast members from the popular Philippines police TV serial "Ang Probinsyano," or "Provincial Man" ran for public office in the country's midterm elections in May, and three of them won.

The world is at a turning point. Help shape our future by taking this one-minute survey from the United Nations. To mark its 75th anniversary, the UN is capturing people's priorities for the future, and crowdsourcing solutions to global challenges. The results will shape the UN's work to recover better from COVID-19, and ensure its plans reflect the views of the global public. Take the survey here.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday. To understand what that means for the country's politics and public health policy, GZERO sat down with Christopher Garman, top Brazil expert at our parent company, Eurasia Group. The exchange has been lightly edited for clarity and concision.

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The Trump administration sent shockwaves through universities this week when it announced that international students in the US could be forced to return to their home countries if courses are not held in classrooms this fall. Around 1 million foreign students are now in limbo as they wait for institutions to formalize plans for the upcoming semester. But it's not only foreign students themselves who stand to lose out: International students infuse cash into American universities and contributed around $41 billion to the US economy in the 2018-19 academic year. So, where do most of these foreign students come from? We take a look here.

For years, the Philippines has struggled with domestic terrorism. Last Friday, Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a sweeping new anti-terror bill that has the opposition on edge, as the tough-talking president gears up to make broader constitutional changes. Here's a look at what the law does, and what it means for the country less than two years away from the next presidential election.

The legislation grants authorities broad powers to prosecute domestic terrorism, including arrests without a warrant and up to 24 days detention without charges. It also carries harsh penalties for those convicted of terror-related offenses, with a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. Simply threatening to commit an act of terror on social media can now be punished with 12 years behind bars.

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16,000: Amid a deepening economic crisis in Lebanon that has wiped out people's savings and cratered the value of the currency, more than 16,000 people have joined a new Facebook group that enables people to secure staple goods and food through barter.

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