Hard Numbers: Biden’s UN envoy, Syrian war crimes conviction, US asylum seekers in limbo, Hungarians vs Sinopharm
78: Linda Thomas-Greenfield was sworn in on Wednesday as US ambassador to the United Nations, after being confirmed by the US Senate with 78 votes in favor and 20 against. During her confirmation hearing, Thomas-Greenfield — a veteran diplomat and the second Black woman to represent the United States at the UN after Susan Rice — was grilled by some Republicans, who questioned a 2019 in speech in which she praised China's activities in Africa.
4.5: A former member of Syria's intelligence service was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison by a German judge for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity by the al-Assad regime. It's the first time a court outside Syria ruled on such offenses in the country, which human rights campaigners hope will set a precedent for future cases. The defendant was initially accepted by Germany as a legitimate refugee in 2018, but recognized by some of his victims a year later.
12,000: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has registered roughly 12,000 asylum seekers currently stranded in Mexico for US immigration authorities to process their applications. The Biden administration recently reversed former president Trump's policy to deter asylum seekers from crossing the border by making them wait in Mexico to review their claims.27: Hungary has become the first EU country to start administering China's Sinopharm COVID vaccine — partly in response to the bloc's own bungled vaccine rollout. But a recent poll shows that only 27 percent of Hungarians plan to roll up their arms for the Chinese jab, compared to the 43 percent who trust Russia's Sputnik V shot, and the 84 percent willing to take the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.